Appeal of Polish intellectuals to the citizens and governments of Europe

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2014/08/30 • Featured, Op-ed

“To die for Danzig” is a phrase that symbolizes the attitude of Western Europe to the war that broke out 75 years ago. Three times, France and the United Kingdom gave the green light to the German dictator. Neither the Anschluss, nor the occupation of the Sudetenland, nor the dismantling of Czechoslovakia resulted in any serious consequences for Hitler and his state. And when on September 1, 1939, as a logical continuation  of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the first shots rang out in Danzig (Gdańsk), the Western powers could decide only on a “phony war.” Thus, they gave Hitler the green light for the fourth time, thinking they would save their own lives at the price of Danzig. The next capital on the list to be occupied was Paris, and then, soon after, the bombs fell on London. Only then did the cries begin: “Stop,” and “Never again!”

This selfish and shortsighted policy of the Europeans toward the aggressor must not be repeated again. However, the recent evolution of the world situation and the sudden heightening of tensions strangely resemble the year 1939. Russia, the aggressor state, is occupying a part of its smaller neighbor — the Crimea. The army and special services of President Putin, operating mostly incognito in the east of Ukraine, are supporting groups that terrorize the local population and are openly threatening invasion.

There is, however, a new element as compared to 1939: in recent years the aggressor has succeeded in attracting into the orbit of its interests many politicians and business people while its Western partners continue to believe in its “human face.” The lobby that was formed has influenced and continues to influence the policies of numerous countries. This policy is described as “Russia first” and even “Russia only.” Now it has collapsed and Europe urgently needs a new Ostpolitik.

Therefore, we are issuing an urgent appeal to our fellow Europeans and their governments:

1. François Hollande, president of the French Republic, and his government are attempting to take a step that would be far worse that France’s passivity in 1939. In the weeks ahead, France is set to become the only European country to help the aggressor: it intends  to deliver to Putin’s Russia two brand new Mistral helicopter carrier warships. The cooperation on this matter began in 2010, and generated many protests even then. Nicolas Sarkozy, the president at the time, used to cut off all discussion by repeating “the Cold War is over.” Now, open war is truly taking place. Therefore, there is no reason to honor old commitments. Several politicians and Bernard-Henri Lévy have proposed that France sell its ships either to NATO or to the European Union. If President Hollande does not change his mind, the citizens of Europe should convince him by boycotting French products.

2. The Federal Republic of Germany, since 1982, has begun to depend increasingly on Russian gas. Even  at that time, Polish intellectuals, including Czeslaw Milosz and Leszek Kolakowksi, warned  against the installation of new pipelines, calling them potential “instruments of blackmail” against Europe. Successive presidents of the Polish Republic, from Aleksander Kwasniewski to Lech Kaczynski, also issued the same warning at different times. But German politicians, either because of the famous German guilt complex, or believing in the “Russian economic miracle” and hoping to profit from it, greatly appreciated the cooperation with Russian power. At the same time, they continued, possibly unconsciously, the unfortunate German tradition of carrying on discussions with only one partner in the East —  Russia. In recent years, the companies owned by the Russian state or its oligarchs increasingly have been established in Germany, whether in the field of energy resources, the world of soccer, or the tourism sector. Germany must put a stop to this kind of dependence, which always conceals political pressure.

3. All Europeans and each country individually should become involved in actions to support imperiled  Ukraine. Hundred of refugees from the eastern territories of Ukraine and Crimea are in need of humanitarian assistance. Its economy has been devastated by years of a draconian contract with Gazprom, which holds a monopoly on energy resources and which imposes on Ukraine, its most destitute client, the highest rate possible The Ukrainian economy is in dire need of emergency assistance, new business partners and new investors. The spheres of culture, media and civic initiatives, which are dynamic and of extraordinary richness, also need support.

4. For many years, the European Union has made it clear to Ukraine that it had no chance either to become a member or to receive anything other than symbolic assistance. The policy of the “Eastern Partnership” has not changed much in this respect. The question arises if perhaps this solution was considered as a lesser evil. However, overnight all these questions have taken on their own dynamic, due largely to the determination of Ukrainian democrats. For the first time in history, the citizens of a country were dying under bullets with the European flag in their hands. If Europe does not show any solidarity with them now, it will mean that the ideals of liberty and fraternity inherited from the French Revolution no longer mean anything to it.

Ukraine has the right to defend both its territory and its citizens and to respond to external aggression by using its police forces and its army, including in the regions bordering with Russia. After all, since 1991, stable peace has reigned both in the Donetsk region and in the entire country. There was no violent conflict, and no conflict on the issue of minority rights. Vladimir Putin, releasing the demons of war and testing a new type of war, has transformed Ukraine into a military training area in the image of the Spanish Civil War, where fascist units supported by Hitler’s Germany attacked the young republic. Those who will not tell Putin today “no pasarán!” (“They shall not pass!”) expose the European Union and its values to ridicule, while agreeing to the destabilization of the world order.

Nobody knows who will lead Russia in three years. It is unclear what will happen to the current ruling elite, the one that is leading this reckless policy that is contrary to the interests of its own people. However, one thing is certain: those who continue “business as usual” are risking new deaths of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of new refugees, as well as new imperialist attacks by Putin against  new countries. Yesterday Danzig, today Donetsk : we must not accept an open bleeding wound in Europe for years to come.

Gdańsk, September 1, 2014

Signed by:

Władysław Bartoszewski
Jacek Dehnel
Inga Iwasiów
Ignacy Karpowicz
Wojciech Kuczok
Dorota Masłowska
Zbigniew Mentzel
Tomasz Różycki
Janusz Rudnicki
Piotr Sommer
Andrzej Stasiuk
Olga Tokarczuk
Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki
Magdalena Tulli
Agata Tuszyńska
Szczepan Twardoch
Andrzej Wajda
Kazimierz Wóycicki
Krystyna Zachwatowicz

Translated from French by Anna Mostovych

Source: euractiv.fr

 

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  • Kruton

    Progressive leaders do not know how to resist agression. The main reason is they are cowards!

  • ENo

    Hats off to the Poles! I have always been in sympathy with Poland and it’s people. There are not many countries in Europe who have had such a tragic history like the Poles. Always been kicked in the head by more powerful neighbours. Even though the Poles were treated badly even by the Ukrainan nationalists in the 1930’s and 1940’s they are willing to stand by Ukraine now and show support to Ukrainians in their desperate fight against the Russian aggression. Well done.

    • http://dailyworldwatch.wordpress.com/ S M

      Agreed.

  • Danny Smith

    Well written could feel the hairs on my neck rise as I read

  • Thomas Ferree

    Right on point! EU leaders – can you listen as well as you hear? If you don’t follow the lead of Poland now, you will sooner than later follow the lead of Russia! The world is watching. Make a wise choice!

    • Sonia Jasiczek

      But don’t follow our Prime Minister. He will be new President of the European Council. Don’t listen to this guy. We fell sorry for him.

      • Pablo

        This discussion is not a place for petty flame wars taken from Polish tabloid-like websites. I feel sorry for you.

        • Sonia Jasiczek

          I don’t want people to judge us only because of him. He made a lot of mistakes (not only but for people from Poland mostly that were bad decisions). And he will be in press of whole Europe soon. So listen to guys who made this Appeal, because He would never do such thing. And Ukraine is more important than He. So don’t fight about such stupid things ( like ppl taking money for nothing)…

          • Pablo

            European people will judge him based on his actions. Please don’t bring your mostly imaginary problems to other nations that have problems on their own – very often bigger than we in Poland. Life in Poland could be improved in so many ways – however – how it is now is very good (and I am not even in the “medium class” let’s say). So Poles should stop complaining so much!

            I’ve traveled enough to appreciate that I have a job, relatively safe city to live in, nice environment, affordable prices for my basic needs, no war around, freedom of speech, ethnic and religious stability, good and still mostly ecological food, public health care (at all), history of a nation to be proud off (really proud off not media infused proud) etc. + you may noticed that in our Sejm there is few hundred more people that can take initiatives not only Tusk. So why being so occupied with him ? I just dont get any scent of reasoning, logic, argumentation or even common sense in what you write.

          • Sonia Jasiczek

            Job? Freedom of speech? (You know Bauman case? Ppl were punished because they said truth) Public health care? You’re kidding right? (I’m practising in clinic so that’s not my imagination. If you want sth from NFZ you have to wait very long). I’m not saying that was only his mistakes. A lot of ppl made them. I’ve also traveled a lot. I saw how ppl live in Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands. Why can’t we live like them? And retirement? You think havin’ 450 zł (110euro) monthy is ok? (That’s also not my imagination. My granny has now the court case about that. She worked 45 years).

          • myprecious27

            Major ButtHurt reporting for duty?

          • dredd

            You know what Sonia, I feel sorry for people like you, criticising everything. You may not like Tusk, but it’s not a place to write such stupid things.

      • myprecious27

        Just shut your mouth – it’s not about Tusk.

        • Paul P. Valtos

          Well no matter. We Americans have the same problem with some who are still angry that a Black President got elected. It’s still racism but he isn’t a communist last time I checked. He knew what was waiting for him when he took the oath of office. I would not want his job but things change in this country. Some good, Some bad. We still have the Health care act snags and the opposing party trying to blame the President for computer problems. So our health care plan is no way perfect but we’re working on it. That is our obsession, working on some damn thing. We have infrastructure problems, unemployment problems, ecology problems (solved some, pretty clean water with sewage treatment plants) and you name them. America is not nirvna but a sight better than Russia. We have cheap bananas, and mostly cheap food, housing which we own, bedrooms that Russia doesn’t have, no lines for food or bread, electrified farms since 1932, cheap electricity, consumer goods where stores compete on price. If someone wants a copy of our grocery list flyer which comes in the daily paper let me know with your address hopefully in English with the latin alphabet. Our Postal workers do not read in the Cyrillic alphabet.. otherwise the postal service is terrific. I honestly never met any one named Tusk but I’m sure its in Chicago where many immigrants from Poland went when they came here. My brother jokes that he thanks God that “dziadek” didn’t miss the boat when he left Jasionka, Poland or Austria in the late 1800’s.

  • Murf

    I hope Poland and some others understand something that the highly educated and intellectually enlighten leaders of the West don’t;
    The battle for Eastern Europe has already begun.
    A win here and now by Putin will mean the next time he makes a move it not be 40k soldiers in the same place at the same time in the same uniform. With Ukraine’s tech industry, natural resources and industry. He will be MUCH stronger in real power and in perceived power.

    Eastern Europe should also understand this regrettable truth;
    Western Europe and the US are not going to fight for you.
    Sorry but you are on your own.
    I hate it!
    I am ashamed of my Government and my country,

    but there it is.

    The question now is what are you going to do about it?
    The economies of Poland, Slovakia, Romania Georgia and to an extent Turkey. are not a small matter. All have unique advantages that can be brought to bear against Russians encroachment.
    For example;
    Poland is about to replace it fleet of 30 or so Mi 17 Hind Attack helies for modern western attack helicopters. “Donate” them to UA for a to be negotiated sum later.
    Georgia has a factory to produce SU-25s. Get it back into production with help from UAs aviation industry.
    Romania has a Mig -29 upgrade package called the “sniper” that is considered one of the best for that plane. Start working on UA’s birds now.
    Slovakia has three SA-300 anti aircraft systems. Can you spear one?
    That is just a few examples of how Eastern Europe can brace up UAs defenses.

    Quit worrying about EU rules,god knows Putin doesn’t care about the rules.
    This is war,
    leaders don;t want to call it that but doesn’t change the reality
    Those it will effect the most need to start acting like it.
    MAYBE the Western leaders will catch on and get off their ineffectual asses and help also.
    Just don’t count on it.
    Best regards from the US, Formerly known as the home of the brave.

    • sam browning

      my thoughts exactly.
      i am a democrat and as such i believe in live and let live but this can not be left to stand this way. the eu uk and us could have seriously disassembled the Russian war machine in one move by freezing all of Russia’s assets and baring all company’s who do business with us from doing business with them.we need to do something whether it be supplying arms and money or volunteers humanitarian aid,we need to do something instead of having a wait and see attitude while puttin braggs about having nukes and his willingness to use them.

      • Murf

        Even truly strong sanctions would have helped. Now things have taken on a life of their own. Everyone has their metaphorical Johnsons on the chopping block and the first one to flinch gets an extreme circumcision. In some cases it not that metaphorical.

        • Marcin Klisiak

          Sanctions would not help at all, the Russians have this mentality that they will accept empty shelves as long as their country is strong. Anyway, it is the Russians who impose real sanctions (calling them “preventing the spread of pig disease” or “embargo on low-quality fruit”), which hurt our economy as much as theirs, so our sanctions would not help as well.

          • Murf

            In the beginning they may have brought across the point. Now it’s way to late and only betray weakness. Your assessment of the Russians is spot on. They are used to being satisfied with less.

          • Brent

            We need to move beyond the ineffectual sanctions and start seizing the assets and bank accounts of Putin’s rich oligarchs and supporters from European banks and London-grad and use them for war reparations to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and to beef up NATO and Europe’s defence. Russia doesn’t want to play by the rules, then why should the ‘evil’ west? Send the oligarchs wives and spoiled daughters back to Mother Russia instead of letting the ‘play safely’ in the playgrounds of Europe and the U.S. They won’t be happy not being able to find the European and American goods they love so much and will have to buy cheap Russian crap instead.

            Kick Russia out of the WTO, G20 and Europe as an entity should unify and demand the 2018 World Cup be removed from Russian soil. Enough ‘showcases’ and glorifying Russia to the world as it is not worthy of the World’s support.

            it’s not just a matter of Ukraine’s sovereignty, but it’s extremely sad how the West has allowed Russia to get away with sponsoring the murder of 298 innocent citizens of the World aboard MH17.

    • r. dimitryous

      Please copy you message to NATO HQ on time for the meeting in Wales. Please do it…

  • Jiří Petrák

    Perfectly written. I totally agree.

  • Polka

    As most of the neigbour countries, we, Polish and Ukrainian people have difficult history, but we should stay togheter and build the future, my slavic brothers and sisters… There is a proverb “prawdziwych przyjaciół poznaje się w biedzie” which means, that you know who is your true friends when you’re in trouble. I hope Polish government will do everything they can to help you.

  • Polka

    As most of the neigbour countries, we, Polish and Ukrainian people have difficult history, but we should stay togheter and build the future, my slavic brothers and sisters… There is a proverb “prawdziwych przyjaciół poznaje się w biedzie” which means, that you know who is your true friend when you’re in trouble. I hope Polish government will do everything they can to help you.

    • cxz

      I would not call ukrainians “brothers”. I simply cannot forgive taking out baby from mothers belly and putting bottle or cat instead. Still it is better to help them against russia now than have war near our borders.

  • Jim Monaghan

    Excellent.

  • Rafał

    Any of You who agrees with above, please share thi in your social media.
    Let’s increase awareness, step by step…

  • Ants Erm
  • paats1

    we do not need Tsars in Moskovy, the EU or Red India; we need traditional communities to live in peace on their ancestral territories and with their heritage/values. The present addiction of vultures to the Rus gaz reserves in Ukraine will only bring implosion of the megaloempires, which is a good thing.

  • David Israel

    The man in the White House is a disgrace, and is the main culprit in this inaction, as well as in what is happening throughout the Middle East. He fiddles while Rome burns. I salute the brave Polish people.

    • Paul P. Valtos

      I’ll bet you salute .

      • David Israel

        If, by that, you mean what I think you mean, it’s in very poor taste: my name should ring a bell.

        • Paul P. Valtos

          If by hiding your real intentions by using a presumedly Jewish name you think your statements will fly, think again.My relatives who died in Oswiecim , though dead would back me up.

  • ArekS

    I can describe myself as a polish intellectual, and I disagree with this appleal. First of all – a comprasion made by authors of this appeal, i.e. that contemporary russian rulers with Wladimir Putin as a head of state act like rulers of III German Reich is very inaccurate. Annexation of Crimea had really good historical background, since Crimea was a part of Russian state to 1954. In 1954 communist ruler of USSR, Nikita Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. This move is still unclear, and as far as I know there are many versions of justifications “why it happend”, but one thing is clear – Khrushchev was Ukrainian himself.

    Second of all. Why should Europe support regime that is currently in power in Ukraine? Don’t you remember how they took control over this country? It was through revolution. Legally elected president of Ukrainian Republic, Viktor Yanukovich had to run away from his country, because forces which are now in control over Ukraine threatened that they will found and kill him and at least imprison all members of his family. It was really similar to october revolution of 1917 in Russia, when the bolsheviks came to power. So-called Ukrainian Maidan forces started to robb houses of previous “rulling class”. To support this government, means to support robbery and terror.

    Third of all. Why should we boycott french products? What is the fault of french producers in this case? Because they will feel such action most uncomfortable, they are the first people who will pay for this irrational reaction. I’m the man of western (latin) civilization, and I don’t recognize collective responsibility as a fair one. Off course it won’t happend, because consumers are always going to buy good products for a decent price, and they won’t care about some idiotic appeal of usurpatory “polish intellectuals”.

    Last thing I must reffer to, is this sentence: “Vladimir Putin, releasing the demons of war and testing a new type of
    war, has transformed Ukraine into a military training area in the image
    of the Spanish Civil War, where fascist units supported by Hitler’s
    Germany attacked the young republic.”

    Ukrainians themselves transformed their country into a battlefield by supporting revolutionary forces, and so-called republicans fighting in spanish civil war was supported by USSR. But off course in english-speaking media it is polliticaly incorrect to write anything wrong about USSR, since it helped allied forces to win WWII, at the cost of enslavement of polish nation under communist regime for decades, which was by the way supported by many signatories of this appeal.

    Learn history.

    • AlphanTis

      I d rather say u r Russian spammer than Polish anyhow. Poland used to be USSR as well. Should it be given back to Russians? Throwing few names and dates does not shows anything, only that knowing some things does not necessary means you understand it.

      • ArekS

        Poland never was a part of USSR. It was a part of eastern block, but never in USSR. Your reply is the best prove that people supporting ukrainian revolution don’t know history.

        • Polka

          O.K, Poland wasn’t a part of USSR directly, but as a fact we were under their domination. And don’t you remember KATYN? Russians were killing us, indoctrinated, deporting to the Syberia, raped our women, robbed what they could! It’s typical for pro-russian commentators to “not remember” any russian crimes against us and other conquered by Russians nations. And they want to divide nations who want to unite, they want to burn every bridges between us, because it’s not in their interest.

        • Paul P. Valtos

          Poland was the largest country prior to 1700. It was the nutty nobility who established the ” liberum veto” where anyone in the Sejm (parliament) could veto anything. Poland wanted to get rid of it but by this time Catherine of Russia had Poniatowski who bedded her on the Polish throne and controlled the Sejm with bribes and they decided to allow the veto. In turn, Catherine talked with Frederick of Prussia and Austria (Maria Theresia) and they split up Poland in three parts. Autria didn’t want anything to dowith it but was afraid of having Russia at her border. Actually considering, Southern Poland lucked out. The worst was Russian Poland, illeducated, Russified and oppressed, .German Poland germanified but much more free than Russian Poland.Russian Poland was returned to serfdom and the equivalent of the Russian Mujik. living in mud huts and little to eat.

    • ENo

      “Ukrainians themselves transformed their country into a battlefield by supporting revolutionary forces…”

      Are you talking about the pro-Russian people in Eastern Ukraine?

      Seriously, while it is true that the Maidan protests ended in violence and about 100 people were killed, there was no violence in the Eastern Ukraine until Russia had annexed Crimea and started to stir up hatred among the Russian-speaking people there by sending the little green men in and by feeding the local people with totally twisted propaganda 24 hours a day.

      I can see that you know a lot about history. But in this particular issue I disagree with you. I rather believe my acquaintances in the Donbass area than you. I had several friends that I had acquainted with on the internet in the Eastern Ukraine. Two of them lived in Luhansk (one of them originally from Shakhtarsk), one in Zolote, one in Alchevsk and one in Crimea in Simferopol.

      During the Maidan protests I was worried about them and I asked them several times what was the situation in their home towns and cities. They answered that it was totally tranquil. People were worried and frightened. But no violence. It all changed after the Russia-backed rebels started attacking police stations, army depots and governmental buildings. That’s when the violence started in the Donbass area. People who were pro-Ukrainians were beaten in the streets in clear daylight. They were illegally arrested, tortured, eventually some were murdered.

      All my friends were Russian-speaking. None of them were openly pro-Maidan. But none of them were neither openly pro-Russian. They were neutral, ordinary people who just wanted to live their normal everyday lives in peace. Since the violence in the Donbass area started I lost contact with most of them. I don’t know what has happened to them. One of them wanted to move abroad. One of them simply disappeared after I had sent her quite a big sum of money to help her. Well, these things happen. Maybe she was just interested in my money.

      Lately I have been able to be in contact with just two of my friends. The other says that she is now living in the West. But I have doubts whether this is my friend at all. I have reasons to believe that it is someone else pretending to be her. The other one was still living in Luhansk the last time we exchaged mails couple of weeks ago. Part of her family had moved to Russia.

      These are just my personal experiences. Maybe they have not much weight of evidence. But according to them I must say that your claim that the Ukrainians themselves turned their country into a battlefield, is not true. The Russians were heavily involved. And, in fact, they are getting more involved day by day.

  • Aquillare

    These so called “intellectuals” actually denounce Poland, some of them are not even Polish and would be devastated if anyone called them such, since they despise Polish people. If you could compare Ukraine to Poland, these are the kind that would support the Polish equivalent of Yanukovych. The utter collapse of Poland would make them somehow glad, even if they would not overtly state it. It is the Ukrainian people that do need help, but they should be wary of false friends and those who build their career on appearing actively engaged in such affairs.

    • Pablo

      Those reading these comments should be wary of petty people “building their carrers” (as Internet trolls) by being “actively engaged in such” discussions.

      “…some of them are not even Polish…” , “…they despise Polish People…” oh man please :/

      • Aquillare

        http://www.polskatimes.pl/artykul/1061992,szczepan-twardoch-chcialbym-aby-uznano-moje-prawo-do-uwazania-sie-za-slazaka-i-tylko-za-slazaka,id,t.html

        If I considered Szczepan Twardoch a Pole I’d be wrong because that would be jingoism. Yet when I do not consider him a Pole I’m wrong because it is trolling in order to build my career.

        http://kazwoy.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/sladami-upa-muzeum-jego-dowodcy-romana-szuchewicza/

        Woycicki actively campaigns for relativisation of war crimes carried out by Ukrainian nationalists in the second world war. This is the worst time to do such things. Ukraine does need help, but there is still a danger that if Poland is too friendly and forgiving, Ukrainians will consider Poles weak and unworthy of respect.

        I wonder if it is even worth it to respond.

        • Pablo

          Okay In the light of what you’ve wrote that I may wrongly flagged you as troll. For that I am sorry. However we seem to have different priorities when comes to issues like this – for me in situation like in Ukraine the least needed thing is reliving history again (peace times is the other case and even then such historical/histerical discussions doesnt bring much). Just to clarify that history isnt unimportant for me – my family was actively fighting with UPA (my grandfather was even heavily wounded).

          SInce you’ve responded – i consider it was worth it.

  • Artur Nowakowski
  • gersheimer

    “…nor the occupation of the Sudetenland, nor the dismantling of Czechoslovakia…” …didn´t you Polish guys yourselves take an active role in the process then in ´38????

    • Pablo

      Yes and this morally was bad decision. I wouldnt however overestimate Polish “active role” – it was rather for securing minor regions with strong Polish population when Czechoslovakia was collapsing (mostly thanks to Western powers attitude towards Hitler). Those regions were planned to be divided after first WWI between Poland and Czechoslovakia based on popular voting. During the dispute between governments of both countries Bolshevik revolutionary army invaded Poland on its way West. Pushing its defensive capabilities to the limit and almost defeated Poland agreed to give those regions to Czechoslovakia (without voting – in some way betraying interests of some Polish population there) in exchange for free passage for foreign ammunition transports via Czechoslovakian territory. Czechoslovakia agreed on terms (SPA conference if I remember) and took the land but not keeping their part of the deal :/ If not Hunagrian ammunition aid, Poland would be communist country 25 years earlier (not mentioning that Bolsheviks planned to spread revolution further in Europe after Poland loss). Luckily Poland won Battle of Warsaw (1920) and Bolsheviks started full retreat.

      This very general description can show you that BOTH Poland and Czechoslovakia are even when comes to using their neighbour historical weakness to their purposes. I hope it helps to get wider perspective.

  • Amit Saraswat

    Make total sense, if not now then when?

  • DarioFe

    However, we must not forget that our aim should be peace (and good relationship with everybody, including Russia)!!! The actions of the Russian government may be wrong, but keeping NATO also after the Warsaw Pact was terminated, or supporting an anti-russian (sometimes fascist) protest/temporary government in Ukraine do not seem to be clear signals of peace. I talked with some Russians. They are afraid of USA-UE imperialism which, after placing its bases in Russia’s former allies, now has come to get Ukraine… then it will be Belarus… and then Russia. It may be wrong, but it must be taken into account

    • Paul P. Valtos

      Boy sounds like the Russian fifth column in America.

  • blueskybigstar

    Aggressor? The US invaded Iraq for false reasons that caused the deaths of over a million people, tortured so many people that a hundred died, and will not even let investigators interview the accused for 9-11. Why would people be inclined to believe them again and why are they not in jail?

    • Paul P. Valtos

      Stalin killed 10 million in Ukraine by starvation and deportation in 1937/38. We are not even going back to Lenin or the Czar. All psychopaths.

  • HankRearden

    I’m 41, I don’t know how many years I have left, but I do want to leave them in peace. No, I will not be fighting for Ukraine. I’m curious how many people here are in their 20s and have a chance of being sent to fight. Or are you just going to be watching the war on the TV while sipping your beer?

  • Jack Black

    Jesus, these guys are totally brainwashed. Anti-russian propaganda has done it’s job.

    • David Israel

      I think the Russians themselves are very effective at fostering anti-Russian propaganda.

  • Cohen Sommer

    As a portuguese I can only say that we don’t need and cannot afford a war we Russia. The UE already asked too much froom us with the embargo and the air patrols in the baltic countries. The time is not to go to Ukraine, but to get out of EU. We don’t have a war on our soil since the Liberal Wars in 1821, so why should we step in someone else’s problem? As a founding member o NATO, Portugal should have vetoed the estern europeans and their belicist ideals from joining. Now we can only leave.

    • krzy65siek

      Sure, you should leave and be left alone with muslims banging at your door. I wander why we need portuguese in NATO at all?

      • Cohen Sommer

        Don’t worry with the muslims. I’m not worried at all. And why exactly NATO needs Portugal? Because, besides being a founding member, Azores is the reason why th USA can reach the Middle East. Have eyou wondered why exactly it was in Azores that the USA, Portugal and UK did the summit that lead to the invasion of Iraque? And just to end, please, remember your words next time you ask for portuguese F-16’s to go to the Baltic Countries, or soldiers to go to “exercice” in Poland. Bunch of incompetent beliscists…

        • Paul P. Valtos

          Until China seizes Mongolia.

          • Guest

            Well, if i do not care what happens with estern europe do you think I care what were to become of Mongolia?

        • David Israel

          Well, Portugal could leave NATO and the US still keep its air force base in the Azores, on Terceira, if I remember well (a base first ceded to Britain by the Salazar government in 1943).

          As for the summit before the Iraq war, it was obviously held in the Azores because the islands happen to be in mid-Atlantic. Quite handy, I’d say.

          • Cohen Sommer

            Do you really think Portugal would let the USA use Azores if we were to leave NATO? And doesn’t 1943 ring any bell to you?
            Yes, quite handy, only while Portugal let’s it. It was held there because Bush asked Barroso to use it. It, it wasn’t just “half-way”.

      • Eurogambit

        We don’t need NATO at all, the EU has become a feeding through for former soviet country’s that NATO uses as pawns to stir up war. Let the east and the Baltic states go it alone, they can have their own EU if they want war with Russia, we need to get out of the EU.

    • George L

      Nobody sane could want a war with Russia, certainly most Ukrainians and the EU members that border with Russian don’t want it. That’s the whole point, how do you stop it? It is precisely because of what these countries experienced during the WWII and the following cold war that they don’t want things spiraling out of control. To label these countries as “bellicist” is cruel and unfair. Remaining neutral, as Portugal did during WWII is nothing to be proud of. Nor is having a fascistic government with brutal colonial wars up until 1975 (thus keeping the wars off your soil). Look, I hate the idea of spending money on the military, and of everybody paying for this and for sanctions, but we need to prevent things from getting worse, So the only question is how to do that. Putting your head in the sand just allows this to continue.

      • Cohen Sommer

        Well, every portuguese is proud of Portugal’s neutrality in WWII, and we couldn’t care less what the world thinks about it. Our only regret is not having been neutral in WWI as well. Our colonial wars ended when the portuguese decided they should end, and the “Carnation Revolution” is a good exemple of the difference between us and eastern europeans. Look at the history of their revolutions and then tell me they are not belicist. Portugal sould not spend one single cent in NATO and even less in this case.
        And why should we be affected by Russia’s embargo when we don’t even have any problem with the Russian Federation?
        When Portugal proposed to sell natural gas and renewable energy to the rest of Europe and requested a new pipeline, you all said Russia would sell it cheaper, so now f… you all. Deal with your own problems. Die frozen and see if we care!

    • David Israel

      I know you’ve said you’re Portuguese, and so I don’t want to sound pedantic, but weren’t the “Liberal Wars” you mention the Portuguese Civil War of 1832-1834, between King Miguel and his brother Pedro? That’s what I seem to remember. I studied that in my time.

      As for NATO’s enlargement to the East, which seems to bother you, I can assure you it was most welcome for the peoples of Eastern Europe, who just wanted to feel shielded from the Russian menace. I’m not so sure they are all that shielded these days, but that’s a different matter altogether.

      You may be right about exiting the EU, though! 😉

      • Cohen Sommer

        Yes, it is the 1828-1834 civil war that opposed the King D. Miguel I against it’s brother the King D.Pedro IV.
        Well, it would not bother me if those new members were not constantly reigniting the Cold War, depite the attempts of the older members to end it.

  • Jakub Lesiak

    You forgot about Putin first test – Georgia few years ago. Sanctions could be hard for russian people but only silly for Putin crew…

  • Marcus Godwyn

    I have always had very positive experiences in Poland but these “so called interlectuals” and its current leaders are in danger of ruining evrything that Poland has acheived over the last 25 years by submitting to ancient anti Russian sentiments=racism! The supporters of’ and the current Ukrinian government are in the grip of mass psychosis and as such can only sow death and destruction in their own country (which is what has been happening over the last 6 months) and in the whole world if we are not careful! The analogy with WW2 is very accurate when one considers that it is the USA-NATO-EU who are Nazi Germany and Russia who stands alone against it as Britain did in 1940 dedicated to the self determination of peoples!

    • Paul P. Valtos

      Oh my God, poor Russia the very agent of murder in Lubyanka, the gulags, deportation of Poles, intellectuals, Priests, murder of Priests and Army Krajowna officers as well as those of the official Polish military of 1939, Katyn forest massacre .And you want anyone to feel sorry for Russia??

  • polish intellectual

    Polish intellectuals do not appeal anything. The unlegal government of Ukraina that brought this nation to this point and the 2nd W.W are two different stories. You’d better appeal for help to Palestine people ! As this piece of land has been a scene of many crimes against humanity and noone nation thought even for 1 second about possibile sanctions agains Isrele that keeps repressing the palestines!

  • George L

    Look, Putin may or may not be Hitler, but Russia has been becoming ever more authoritarian and militaristic, it has a penchant for the cult of the personality, which Putin is taking full advantage of and it has a big chip on its shoulder.

    That’s already a very bad recipe. Consider the recent statement made by Colonel Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker of the Russian parliament:

    “The Baltic States and Poland are doomed. They will be wiped out. Nothing will remain there. The heads of these dwarf states should think who they are… Eastern European countries risk to be destroyed completely. This is their fault, because we cannot accept planes and missiles to be launched to Russia from their territories. We need to destroy them 30 minutes before the launch.”

    Is it any surprise these countries are nervous? Does this not sound like Goebbels (the Nazi Minister of Propaganda).

    If Putin is not Hitler he needs to distance himself from such a statement, because the road Russia is going down will eventually lead to a Hitler if the trend is not reversed.

    So, how do we help that to happen?

    • Paul P. Valtos

      Some of this rhetoric is trial balloons. Words are cheap and effective only if those that hear them believe them. A lie repeated will sometimes begin to take on truth if only to stop the idiot from repeating it again. Putin can feint this move or that to bluff the listener as to his motives or his next move. I guess he was a master chess player taught by the East German master chess player when he was assigned to East Germany’s KGB. Think only of the terrible cold calculations that Stalin used with Poland whether it be Katyn, taking over Warsaw, his puppet government in Lublin or the killing of the last of the Polish intellectuals, professors, priests and poets. You are dealing with someone without a soul, evil personified.

  • Paul P. Valtos

    I feel about the Poles like I feel about the Turks. A tough bunch and damn good soldiers. Many Ace pilots in WWII to defend a country swallowed up by the psychopath, Stalin. Poland is probably the most successful state of all of the former satellite countries freed in the crash of the USSR. I hope they are covertly helping their Ukrainian buddies in this situation

  • Gryzelda Wrr

    The letter is signed by intellectuals and artists, but its content is deeply felt and supported by majority of normal citizens in Poland, regardless their political opinions.

  • Paul P. Valtos

    When China sees that it doesn’t have to pay for that natural gas especially after signing an agreement to reduce its pollution using coal and invades Russia.