Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A bloody cheek

A US diplomat has suggested that Polish deputy PM Roman Giertych get the sack for asking for a debate about Poland’s involvement in Iraq.

Responding to a call from the nationalist Giertych - who is against Polish troops being stationed in Iraq - for an open debate about the war and for accurate figures of the many Iraqi deaths (30,000?...500,000?) caused by, or resulting from, the ‘Coalition’ invasion and occupation be published, the US Deputy Ambassador in Warsaw, Kenneth Hillas, (pictured) said in a meeting with a Polish official:

“Should a deputy government head in Germany, France or Denmark make such a statement, he would be dismissed from his post”.

Roman Giertych has said of the memorandum containing these remarks:

'Maybe we have created a situation in which Poland has allowed the US to exercise absolute power over its foreign policy to the extent of eliminating Polish opinions...'

Many are wondering why it is that only extreme politicians like Giertych and others (see my Andrzej Lepper – peace activist) are reflecting and voicing public opinion in Poland. A majority of Poles have been against the Iraq war from the very start.

This is because mainstream conservative and ‘liberal’ politicians in Poland have been so anxious to bend over backwards (not a pretty picture) to any demand by Washington, no matter how ridiculous or destructive.

But Giertych is right: the current US administration has a very vague idea of what ‘national sovereignty’ means – which is why they went in to Iraq in the first place.

Polish ministry summons U.S. ambassador over accusation diplomat overstepped his bounds, IHT, Nov 6
U.S. spokesman refuses to discuss brouhaha in Poland over U.S. diplomat's comment, IHT, Nov 7


Anonymous said...

I say let’s forgive the US for this diplomatic blunder, that is if they admit that they simply confused Poland for Panama. It’s clear that on the way to his meeting with the secretary of state at the Prime Minister's Office, he drove by a truckload of bananas and got disoriented.

The reality is more serious as the US felt the already compliant Polish foreign policy wasn’t good enough and total compliance was necessary. There was no mistake here or loose cannon on the deck, Kenneth Hillas is an experienced and professional diplomat that knew exactly what he was doing and was caring out policy.

Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga is meeting with the US ambassador; hopefully she has the backbone to make sure the Americans understand this behaviour can’t be tolerated. As Kenneth Hillas interfered in the affairs of a sovereign country he must leave Poland.

Just as you would think there are limits to American incompetence in foreign affairs here we go again. The result of this ill considered move is to bring sympathy and support for a Polish Politician who doesn’t deserve it, the stature of the US in Poland suffers and confidence in this important ally is shaken.

As a footnote Victor Ashe was nominated by President Bush to be Ambassador to the Republic of Poland on April 8, 2004, Mr Ashe was a college friend and political crony of Bush. This ambassador has no experience in foreign service and has spent most of his time in local and state politics. Like Bush he also avoided military service in Vietnam, in his case this was done by serving as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Reserves from 1967 to 1973. There are persistent rumours and accusations of bi-sexual affairs and possibly being a closet homosexual.

Perhaps an opportunity was found to get at Roman Giertych where the US embassy was just an instrument for someone’s personal distaste of Giertych.

sonia said...

Should a deputy government head in Germany, France or Denmark make such a statement, he would be dismissed from his post

Is this guy for real ? Has he ever set foot in Western Europe ?

This is a win-win situation for Poland and Giertych. A gift from heaven...

Anonymous said...

I say Giertych is looking for a fight and hes found one.

beatroot said...

Sonia This is a win-win situation for Poland and Giertych. A gift from heaven...

For Giertych ut certainly is. But you can imagine that for the 'Establishment pro-American - Anything for America' politicians here - and that means the great majority of them - this is cringe time. They have always known that average Poles are not so enthusiastic about all this war stuff, but they went ahead with it anyway. And now the ruly Mr Giertych says something in tune with what people think, and it makes them very uncomfortable.

Stiil, it will be fun watching them and the American diplomats squirm a bit.

beatroot said...

Anon, I am sure what you meant to say was that there have been alleged affairs and closets, didn't you? Course you did. No need to get me a libel lawyer then, have I?

Martin said...


Sikorski must have crapped himself.

I'd love to see how that plays in 'The Applebaum Post'.

Anonymous said...

Oh brave anonymous, trumpeteer of the "homosexual agenda" myth. So Giertych got criticised because the US Ambassador is (allegedly - beatroot) a closet gay? Yeah right, pull the other one...

Giertych deserves to get criticised because he's a dangerous idiot; alas that the US chose the wrong issue on which to criticise him, and thus lent him the image of saviour and protector of the Polish National Interest.

michael farris said...

"Sikorski must have crapped himself"

One can wish, his body language is so .... craven in the company of Americans I've taken a great disliking to him. Irrational maybe, but hey.

"the US chose the wrong issue on which to criticise him"

A Bush representative choosing the wrong response to the wrong stimulus? Get outta here!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the ideal bargain to me. An official who nobody has ever heard of or gives a shit about but who was appointed by a right-wing fundamentalist regime gives huge political capital to a shithead from a right-wing fundamentalist party. Right-wing fundamentalist regime then pulls good ol' boy back to the USA and hands right-wing party even more PR capital at bugger all cost to themselves because everybody in the USA is busy watching the elections and could not give a f*ck what happens in Poland or Holand or any of those countries.

Anonymous said...

Some mixed signals here, surely. The Potato Twins give the impression that Poland wants not only the country but the whole of the EU under US control. Article:

Poland proposes an EU army tied to Nato

Some out takes . . .

Poland has proposed the creation of 100,000-strong European Union army tied to Nato for use in global trouble spots or for European defence, according to Lech Kaczynski, the country's president . . .

" . . .if pushed, Poland would not hesitate to stand alone against other EU members to defend its interests."

. . . While acknowledging that Russia did not pose an immediate military threat, Mr Kaczynski was worried about the dependence on Russian energy and foreign investments by state-owned Russian companies, as well as Moscow's "continuing powerful military". . .

So, the guy was obviously convinced that it's 'US' against THEM and quite OK to say what he did.

Frank Partisan said...

I'm sure multitudes of Poles are smiling today. I'll bet Giertych is being forgiven, for previous sins.

Anonymous said...

I particularly like the diplomat's choice of countries in which a foreign minister who questioned the war against Iraq would be sacked: France, Germany and Denmark.

We all know that it is only in Britain that the foreign minister would be sacked for questioning the dear leader.

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Anonymous said...

Kenneth Hillas implied that, in most other European countries, a serious policy disagreement between "government heads" and "deputy government heads" would usually lead to the dismissal of the deputy. The issue has nothing to do with the war in Iraq and it is unfortunate how misleading this quote, in the wrong context, can be.

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