Monday, 26 October 2015

On the Victory of PiS In Poland 2015: Rearmament and the Nationalist Struggle.

Beata Szydlo won the Polish elections of October 25th 2015 for PiS.

Beata Szydlo may as well be 'the puppet of Jaroslaw Kaczynski' as she sounds curiously like him with the nasally mock sententious drone that is pitched at a would-be priest like level of maudlin and plaintive whining. As with most political players, this is part of the stage act needed to win over disaffected provincial voters.

Despite the 3.5% economic growth figures for 2015, much of provincial Poland has languished; small towns such as Chrzanow or Trzebinia retain high youth unemployment. The young have migrated West or to the larger Polish cities. They have never recovered from the callous neoliberal shock therapy of Balcerowicz.

Desolate post industrial wastelands abound in towns such as Trzebinia that virtually died overnight in the 1990s. The oil refinery is the only business that employs substantial numbers: in Chrzanow, just across the motorway, the Fablok locomotive worksdeclined and closed for ever a couple of years ago.

This side of Poland is seldom mentioned in the Western media nor the appallingly low wages workers still recieve on new factory production lines. It goes against the heroic story that Poland defeated communism and Solidarity won: it did but the principles it stood for were sold out by the new post-communist technocrats.

The Defeat of Solidarity in the 1990s through the top down and doctrinaire neoliberal reforms meant that anger at the disappointment at its effects has been repeatedly channelled into populist-nationalist political formations of which PiS has proved the most effective and enduring version.

As opposed to challenging the failed economic policies of the PO, PiS tends to ascribe blame for Poland's ills on nefarious enemies within much as did the Polish Communist Party against which Solidarity was once ranged in opposition. Apart from 'the Jews' targeted by Radio Maryja, the Russians are another grand loathing.

When the underlying economic failures are not addressed, beyond vague promises of 'reindustrialisation', PiS offers the oldest trick in the book of 'look over there' at the Russians as the reason why Poland is 'in danger'. This comes as the reported membership of Polish paramilitary organisations has increased.

As Vice News reported 'Since Russia moved into Ukraine, these groups have seen membership triple to about 80,000—by comparison, the Polish Armed Forces are 120,000 soldiers strong.' Given the level of war hysteria ramped up by the media, as if Russia really would invade Poland, this is hardly surprising.

Nor is the drive to reindustrialise by slavishly copying the US model in pursuing rearmament and promising to spend billions on weapons against the Russian 'threat'. This was clear in PiS President Andrzej Duda's proclamation in February 2015 that a new belligerent policy was needed.

There was a need to deter an 'potential aggressor ( i.e. Russia ). "The second topic is the question of its armament. I have a deep conviction that the reconstruction of the military potential of the Polish military ... should be based on Polish production. This is also an element of my concept, the economic reconstruction of Poland."

Oddly, the fact that the Ukrainian government in Kiev since 2014 has been intent on rehabilitating UPA and Bandera, responsible for murdering 200,000 Poles in the the Second World War in Eastern Galicia and Volhynia, had no impact on its stance over supporting more aggressive nationalists as Yatsenyuk.

Given that Polish meddling in Ukraine helped precipitate the crisis, by yoking Ukraine's EU ambitions towards fast-tracking it into NATO, it bodes ill that a more viscerally anti-Russian government in Warsaw is set to try and push military solutions over diplomatic ones in reaction to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

If Szydlo is a puppet of Jarek Kaczynski, there would be reason to be concerned for global security given how he claims to think Putin was behind downing his brother in the Smolensk Air Crash. The most insane conspiracy theories are still peddled over what was a clear accident.

The idea the Russians used a huge magnet, created a deliberate fog around Smolensk using a machine, rigged the plane with explosives; all have been given credence as 'explanations'. A number of top players in PiS such as Vice President Antoni Macierewicz see Smolensk as the start of the road to 'the assassination of Donetsk'.

The underlying reason for these conpiracy thories is to ramp up nationalistic outrage against Russia by using Kremlin style politics because it serves the game plan of rallying the Polish populace behind strategies to expand Polish influence and hence NATO power into post Soviet space outside of the Russian federation.

To an extent this is just a more radical and dangerous form of the PO governments plans to bolster the Eastern Partnership and draw in Ukraine and Georgia towards NATO so as to expand and protect rival oil and gas pipeline routes from the South Casucasus and the Black Sea region from Russian control or influence.

PiS ideologues, however,would be prepared to drastically up the threat level and prospect of conflict with Russia as a means to force the US to commit militarily to the rolling back of Russian influence in Eastern Ukraine, even by directly sending lethal armaments and making Poland a more 'frontline' state in the struggle.

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