Friday, August 03, 2007

Kaczynskis on holiday, parliament in recess...

Aug. 11….the ruling coalition has been broken up and elections in October now look (almost) certain…the beatroot will return first Monday in September to offer unrivalled bloggy coverage of what promises to be a truly mind boggling election campaign….Ciou for now!.....

...so the beatroot is going into an August recess, too.

Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski went on holiday this week. A strange time to go on holiday when your coalition government is on the point of collapse.

But as Jaroslaw told the newspapers this week, it’s important to re-charge the batteries, and ‘catch up on some reading…’

Well, that is what the beatroot blog is going to do, as well. I haven’t played my guitar for months, and the girlfriend is complaining I haven’t spoken to her for as long.

So we will be back on Monday, September 3, to start up all over again.

Have a lovely summer.

the beatroot

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Enjoy!

varus said...

I am like wise taking a vacation in the real world away from electronic enticement. See you in September.

Anonymous said...

Just don't sing please.

geez said...

Must be nice living in a semi-socialist country getting all this time off.

beatroot said...

I am workin like a mad man, innit. I just ain't got the time to do any bloggin....Jeez, Geez...

geez said...

UR w Polsce. Datz a vacation in itself, even if it's Varsovia. Count yer lucky stars.

Renegade Eye said...

The Iraqi government, Bush43, are also on vacation.

Yasha said...

I was looking for cool blog about polish politics for a long time in english. Dzienkuje bardzo. :).

geez said...

And Rydzik was vacationing at the Vatican.

Damien Moran said...

When you come back ya can give me a few lessons on the guitar BR! Name your rate?
I'm currently out of the loop as regards Polish politics as I've travelled to the Mid-East and will be here until end of September. Its always good to travel and gain insight on the farcical political games engaged in by various nation's elites.
When I was in Ireland I thought: 'It can't get much worse than all this corruption'. But then I came to Poland in the midst of the 4th Republic Revolution, lustration law et al. and thought to myself: 'Wow, this is really fucked up!'
But when I travelled to Lebanon recently I suspected that: 'this country is sleep-walking into a new civil war' - and ya can hardly get much worse than that.
Or so I thought.

Heading from Lebanon to Syria I got so sick of looking at Bashar al-Assad's face on every corner shop, bus and lamp post in Damascus and its outkirts that I was glad to leave after 3 days. Though the Syrian people themselves are very hospitable and the country and had lots to offer any body interested in different cultures, landscapes, etc.

And though King Abdullah of Amman also takes lengthy breaks throughout the year and has about 300 times more cars and motorcycles than both Jaroslaw and Lech put together - indeed, he may even have more private vehicles than all PiS party members or even the entire Sejm, he is nonetheless an untouchable leader that Jordanian inhabitants dare not criticise.

So just when you think you have seen the most farcical, authoritarian, corrupt or just plain crap political regimes, always remember that some poor soul living elsewhere in the world is thinking the exact same thing about the government in his/her neck of the woods!

Currently I'm hanging out in OTof Palestine/Israel - and even though one may think idt doesn't get much more screwed up than that, think about Iraq, Sadia Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan.........

Hmmm, maybe PiS aren't so bad afterall! Boze, - never thought I'd say such a thing.

beatroot said...

As far as guitar playin goes, I have a little accident withy my left gand (do g re;ated, as usual) so I ain’t played a note yet, dame, but of course, lessons are free!

I envy you in middle east…it used to be one of me favourite haints.

Geez – yeah, the Ryd having a package holiday in Vatican – half board I believe (with free host and wine thrown in).

Cheers yasha!

YouNotSneaky! said...

It's boring around here.
This:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtTDfooAjso
is both the dumbest and the funniest thing I've seen all week. And related to the recent posts.

Anonymous said...

Beatroot wrote: "Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski went on holiday this week. A strange time to go on holiday when your coalition government is on the point of collapse."

The government has been on the point of collapse since its first day. They might as well catch some rays now as any time...

geez said...

How the Italians trained to win the World Cup:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcCw9RHI5mc&mode=related&search=

Furedi thinks Jim Wallis is banal?

He-he.

geez said...

Kromwellz krappy krepes...

A bigger jerk than the Kaczynskis has been found:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2264829.ece

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

Yeah, that shit was not just an attack on the Kaczynskis....it was a journalist parashuted into a country, not knowing anything about it, and then trying to make sense of it.

And if it takes him five hours to get to Krakow then maybe he should take the train (2 and a half hours)....

The Sunday Times is on the same level as the Daily Mail these days.

jake said...

I thought it seemed like a reasonable summary of the state of Polish politics. It is pretty much in line with what most of my Polish friends in Warsaw think.

Curious to know what you found shit about it?

geez said...

Uh, maybe he might have noticed how many votes the League of Polish Families candidates actually get in comparison to other parties' candidates?

Or how much actual influence Radio Maryja has in terms of votes?

Reading his article, you'd think that Rydzik is running the country.

It's crap reporting like Cornwell's that give Rydzik et. al. more acknowledgement and sway than they deserve.

beatroot said...

Jake
So where is the evidence for some rampant anti-Semitism? Geez makes the point that:

Uh, maybe he might have noticed how many votes the League of Polish Families candidates actually get in comparison to other parties' candidates?

In the last election League had small support but was in government because of the PR voting system – which gives small parties bigger clout than there electoral worth.

Geez is also correct that Radio Maryja listeners comprise a particular – and peculiar – group in Poland and do not represent the average Pole.

Nobody really thinks that the Kaczynskis are anti-Semites.

The ‘shit’ part of the article was that Cornwall tried to present a country rife with anti-Semitism. It is not. There are active anti-Semites in it, but they do not represent Jan Kowalski.

You will find as many expressions og anti-Semitism in Britain these days as Poland. Ever walked past a pro-Palestinian rally in London (a cause I support, by the way) and read the banners waved by white middle class ladies from Hapstead, saying ‘We are all Hezbollah now!’

Have you read the gibberish that supporters of Hezbollah have sad about an international ‘Jewish conirpiracy’ as dumb as the one the Nazis got off on?

On other parts of the article – the bit about the palace of culture…”The most ugliest building I ever seen…” says Cornwall.

Well, he is entitles to his own opinion but most foreigners here, and quite a few younger Poles, quite like it.

The chraracterisation of the Palace of Culture as being the ‘only genuine thing about Warsaw’ was just jaundiced.

If he had taken the trouble of seeing past his preconceptions eh would have both seen a much more genuine Wasraw and tried to understand why so much of it had to be rebuilt.

And the rebuilding of the Old Town could be seen – as I see it – as a sign of admirable defiance.

I could go on. I think the Sunday Times piece was a pathetic attempt to not just present the Kaczynski government as one of the worst governments of Europe (and many would agree with that) but as Poland as one of the most backward countries in Europe.

And that is simply ‘shit’.

Jake said...

OK, all fair points; I concede.

I agree with all your details (especially the points about Warsaw; I also think that the uprising museum is a fantastic piece of work, while he slams it).

I read it as an article critical of those in power, rather than pointing the finger at Poles in general. It put into some context/explanations for those unknowlegeable about Poland many of the stories that have grabbed the news briefly abroad.

I agree that Poland has probably the worst government in Europe, and the antics of those splashed on the front pages do indeed damage Poland's reputation abroad.

PR is one reason for the situation Poland finds itself in now; surely crucial too though is lack of any strong decent opposition.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Also calling Samobrona "extreme right wing" is just plain stupid. They're leftist in both their economic and social platforms. The only thing they have in common with the extreme right of the LPR is the anti-foreigner thing and the cynical populism which makes them willing to do or say anything in order to get power.

richardlith said...

Is not John Cornwell not the real name of John le Carre?

Will the master if spy novels be setting his next adventure in Poland?

I think we should be told.

beatroot said...

Jake, there is an article in this week's Time magazine which is a far better piece of political journalism, and which makes the necessary critique of the government, without crapping all over Poles.

And you are right about the Uprising Museum - one of my favourite history museums anywhere in Europe.

And yup, Sneaky, the Samoobrona one catches out all the lazy journos, who understand jack about Poland. What exactly, Mr Corn Ball, is rightwing about Lepper?

It's simply one of the worst articles I have read about Poland by a foreign journalist.

geez said...

How screwed up and ever weirder can things get?

The EU is now giving money to Rydzik through an education-promoting grant to expand his private university to include engineering and info tech curricula.

And just about every Polish representive, his uncle, and Auntie Malgorzata representing just about every party are supporting cancellation of the scheduled upcoming EU summit on the Palestinian situation. Such a confab would be Anti-Israel, doncha know? And still the incessant outcry about Poles being anti-Semitic (well, I guess it's true vis-a-vis the Palestinian Arabs).

beatroot said...

Hi Geez. It's a weird one, innit. The anti-Palestinian thing is a desperate attempt - as I have argued before here, to give Poland a foreign policy mission as THE FRIEND OF ISRAEL IN EUROPE. This is right at the top of their foreign policy. You say, however, that even Uncle Piotrek is supporting the EU action, but maybe I missed it, but I didn't see Maciej Giertych's name on the list...

As for the EU and Rydzyk...the EU gets involved in funsding all sorts of NGOs and stuff...from pro choice groups to Rydzyk. I think the EU should stop funding everyone, personally. It ain;t their job.

jake said...

Beat,

thanks for the tip - popped into Empik today and picked up a copy of Time.

One line in the last paragraph intrigues me. In summing up PiS's achievements, the author includes:

"an overdue house-cleaning of former communist officials in the country's military intelligence service".

I've not read much about this elsewhere, but from what I understand PiS has effectively closed down Poland's equivalent of the Pentagon. Just because this included some people who were there in the 'old days', it would seem to be a bit short-sighted to cripple a service that presumably has quite a major part to play in national and international security?

What does anyone think about this?

Anonymous said...

No, WSI was not the Poland's equivalent of the Pentagon. WSI was a kind of 'Military CIA'. Fortunately the civilian intelligence services remain untoutched.

Problem with WSI was that some of it's agents were trained many years ago by GRU (Russian military intelligence). I think you may imagine how dangerous it could be for Polish and NATO security.

Unfortunately together with a shut down of WSI we almost lost our agents network in Middle East (just read 'Raport Maciarewicza'). And that is extremly high price paid only because of brainless liquidators of WSI (all could be done in a diffrent way, if only professionalist would do it). And that could be recognized problem for EU security in a time of terrorist attacks.

Anonymous said...

This article by Cornwell is a piece of shit written by uneducated teenager. Me, as Pole have learnt that I am surrounded by anti-Semites, Anti-Germans and anti-Russian crowd of xenophobes... hmmm something new for me. Somehow I could not notice it before.

I have some advice to John Cornwell: go back to school and take some history lessons. After that you maight try to know something about Polish trauma related with WWII.

Ah, zresztą szkoda słów na komentowanie wypocin takiego palanta... I feel disgusted.

Beatroot is perfecty right: 'it was a journalist parashuted into a country, not knowing anything about it, and then trying to make sense of it.'

Regards,

Maciek

beatroot said...

All that you say is true abort WSI Anon (Maciej?))but if I remember rightly the 'Raport Maciarewicza' – the government investigation into WSI activities was….inconclusive, to be polite. It was not the bombshell that many had expected and there were precious few ‘smoking guns’ found…in fact, it was a bit of a damp squib.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

Oh, and by the way, now even Maciej Giertych HAS signed up to the protest by Poles against the pro-Palestinian rally/conference!

Maciej Giertych...friend of Israel....

Bless him...

geez said...

Wait. Is it a conference or a rally? Is it more pro-Palestinian than the US government is pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian? The latter meaning ignore all the UN resolutions, ignore the Isrealis refusing to live up to their agreements at Oslo, etc., etc., etc., let the Israelis kill at will and call it defense while a stone throwing Palestinian is a terrorist who should be tortured, imprisoned and killed.

beatroot said...

There is a conference and then there will be a rally on spetember 11, in Brussels, linked, I think, to the whole middle east stuff. The EU has traditionally been seen as a little more sympathetic to the Palrestianian cause than has Washington....so the conference - which discusses the wall around the west bank and the general oppression of Palestianins, and refugee situation, is being attacked by Poland as 'making things worse' by encouraging conflict.

Maybe they feel this is what Washington wants to hear and that it is does some good to Poland's reputation (in Israel) ....

geez said...

So the questioning of -- not the wall itself, the screwing over and killing of Palestinians when they are not simply being displaced-- the questioning encourages conflict. Arrrrgh. But hey, it's what DC wants to hear and it helps Poland's reputation in Israel, so it's good. Arggh-- arghh!

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said... “Maybe they feel this is what Washington wants to hear”

Maybe it’s just the right thing to do. The Palestinians are at fault for the lack of progress in the peace process.

How can Israel take seriously any talk of peace with people who still run around talking about driving the Jews into the sea, either you want peace or you don’t?

And whom do we phone to get the peace process going Hamas or Fatah, as the Palestinians are in a de-facto state of civil war. So now lets ask what the EU is doing taking sides in a civil war, also until the Palestinians get their house in order we have no one to talk to.

There exits no rational basis for this EU conference other than perhaps an excuse to do some Israel bashing the latest cover for European leftists to practice this currently fashionable form of anti-Semitism.

beatroot said...

Jan - the oppressive actions by the Israelis, the viscious sanctions by the 'international community' when Palestinians voted for a government they did not approve of, have left that place in ruin. And it's very difficult to form a coherent policy towards any kind of 'peace process' when you have not been paid for months....that is if you have a job in the first place - which most don't.

geez said...

Please at least read Robert Fisk's _The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East_ before you blame the Palestinians for lack of progress in an entirely bogus "peace process."

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said... “oppressive actions by the Israelis” + “viscious sanctions by the international community”

Western aid to the Palestinians was a method of supporting progress in the peace process and it was a reasonable idea given the predicament the Palestinians find themselves in. It wasn’t helpful for the Fatah administration to be so corrupt and openly corrupt for that matter. The result was that Hamas managed to get elected by an outraged public. The donor states can reasonably be expected not to support a Hamas administered Palestinian territory if Hamas has policies that are not supportive of a peaceful solution. Such policies as: “calls for the destruction of the State of Israel” and such gems as “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad” also “the creation of an Islamic state”

So to follow this logic while they organize the destruction of Israel and establish an Islamofacist state, they would like western governments to send them a cheque so they aren’t financially embarrassed during the process.

As for as the construction of the wall, the Palestinian authored the problem, if they didn’t want the wall it could have been sound judgement not to send suicide bombers to Israel.

Fundamental to any peace process is that Israel can get guarantees for it’s security and survival. If the Palestinians are not ready to give such guarantees or continue with a policy that refuses top accept the existence of a Jewish state then we have no potential for a peaceful settlement.

Keep in mind a consistent habit of the Palestinian leadership to say one thing to their own people and something very different to the western media.

beatroot said...

The donor states can reasonably be expected not to support a Hamas administered Palestinian territory if Hamas has policies that are not supportive of a peaceful solution.

No, Jan. It is not 'reasonable' at all to do anything that would make matters worse. Rule one of foreign policy should be: Do No Harm.

The 'international community' have destabalized an already unstable disaster...that is not 'reasonable'.

geez said...

What are the chances that the Palestinians can destroy Israel? Seems to me that the Israelis have been consistently and methodically destroying any chance of a Palestinian state ever since 1948.

Potential for a peaceful settlement?

How many of the settlements on Palestinian territory are peaceful?

Please wake up and smell the olives, Jan.

jannowak57 said...

It seems nobody wishes to raise the issue of accountability when it comes to the Palestinians who have substantially been the authors of the current position they find themselves in. In the typical fashion of political correctness we place Israel and Western countries under the microscope and simultaneously ignore the actions of the Palestinians. A double standard?

How can we make it worst by the time the money tap was turned off the Fatah people had already demonstrated their ability in the areas of theft and corruption and Palestinian society was already fragmented into two bitterly opposed camps.

You can’t get to the point of discussing settlements until you first have both parties ready to be serious about a peace process or for that matter find a Palestinian group in the position to represent all Palestinians at the negotiating table.

geez said...

Jan,

The Israelis are largely the authors of the situation in the middle east, not the Palestinians.

Seems to me you have fallen into the trap of blaming probably the most powerless group of people in recent history.

And I think the bandying about of the term "political correctness" can be thrown in your direction, too. It's just a different ideological version of "political correctness."

I am not one to ignore the actions of Palestinians who resort to terror tactics. But it is necessary to consider the history and the current situation.

And for any kind of genuine peace process to proceed, the Israelis simply need to stop expanding and fortifying their settlements in Palestinian territory.

I'd like to think that a people who were partitioned and occupied for around a couple of centuries might be a little more empathetic to folks who are in a similar but even much worse situation.

beatroot said...

Yeah, Jan…I don;t think you really need to reach for the old ‘political correctness’ chestnut to describe a political position that you don’t agree with. As Geez says, I think – PC is really a method of shutting down debate (‘you can’t say that’, the liberals scream) You are using the term in the same way – circumventing debate.

The Israel/Palestine thing comes down to political principles.

I have never agreed with the ‘two state solution’ because I never agreed with the way Israel was set up in the first place. A nation only defined by religion and thus excluding and making refugees of everyone that didn’t fit, is not something I would ever support. What about the self determination of the people who were there before?

The two state solution is also a no go because Palestinians will never have a viable state anyway.

Nor – on political principle – do I ever support or agree with sanctions – ever - which is effectively what EU, US etc have imposed on Palestinians. They talk about democracy then punish people when they vote the wring way.

I think your JP II would have agreed with that.

To criticize the way Hamas or Fatah have gone about the so called ‘peace process’ is missing the point about the origin of the conflict in the first place. I would never support Hamas either – or the corruption of Fatah. But that is not the point. It is not my business what Israel politicians do or Palestinians. It is their business. But I will not support governments that I have voted for in my own country from starving Palestinians of help they badly need.

jannowak57 said...

geez said... “Israelis are largely the authors of the situation”
beetroot said “I have never agreed with the ‘two state solution”

In my first comments on the matter I said “There exits no rational basis for this EU conference”. Judging by your position it seems I wasn’t off the mark, if there is no two state solution there is no solution.

We can debate what happened in 1948 and the subsequent 67 war forever, but it doesn’t change the reality on the ground and that is what has to be dealt with. The State of Israel is not going away the Palestinians must accept this first before any meaningful solutions can formulated. That acceptance is going to happen anytime soon, so lets forget any pointless conferences.

Send a donation to UNHCR looks like the Palestinians are destined to be refugees a bit longer.

beatroot said...

if there is no two state solution there is no solution.

How about a One State Solution? In the end that will be the only solution. Though not forseeable now...

geez said...

Well, I support a "two state solution."

So in that respect, there is a rational basis for the EU conference.

Arafat did accept the state of Israel at Oslo and even gave up claim to way too much Palestinian land.

The Israelis reneged on just about all their promises. They do not want peace. They want land. Israel has become the new Sparta.

beatroot said...

I am affraid that Israel gets away with what is does because it knows it can. The only country that could retrain it is of course the USA....

michael farris said...

beat,

How exactly would this one state work? How would questions of language, law (esp as relates to religion), military etc etc etc be settled?

beatroot said...

A bit like Switzerland...?

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