Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Progressive Press
 Barnes and Noble
 Join Mailing List

Analysis Last Updated: Oct 23rd, 2007 - 17:02:40

Futuristic revolt in Poland
By Gaither Stewart
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Oct 23, 2007, 00:40

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

In the name of Europe and renewal of the nation, Polish voters struck another blow against George W. Bush and his wars last Sunday. After two years of the disastrous Catholic fundamentalist government of the Kaczynski twins, Poles in national elections favored the modern pro-Europe, liberal Civic Platform led by the 50-year old Donald Tusk, who intends withdrawing Polish troops from Iraq.

The democratic victory after two years of darkness is a severe setback for Bush because Polish troops command one of the four zones of the occupation administration in Iraq. After his victory Tusk commented, �Love counts more than power,� echoing the 1968 slogan �make love, not war.�

Supported by the European Union and most European capitals, Tusk aims at a thaw with the EU. He intends to mend relations with Germany and Russia in the East, relations that had degenerated during the two years of witch hunts by unleashed secret services, suspicions, fear and incompetence, while the populist, demagogic twins -- one president, the other prime minister -- at the helm of government became the laughing stock of Europe.

The national populist party, Law and Justice, of Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski thus loses its hold on power after two devastating years for Poland, distancing this big country situated between East and West from both. In fact, the entire European Union awaited anxiously the electoral results that meant the return of Poland to the fold of progressive Europe.

In response to appeals from liberal and progressive parties and the Father of Polish democracy, Lech Walesa, and the majority of Catholic Church leaders, the vote turnout of 55 percent was better than expected. This was the highest turnout since the first democratic elections after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Empire, a testimony to the desire of Poles for a change of direction.

The Civic Platform becomes the nation�s major party, while the populists of Law and Justice folded. Together with Tusk, the alliance of ex-Communist reformists and the fathers of the secular wing of Solidarnosc, led by Lech Walesa, emerge as winners. The LID Party, the alliance of ex-Communists and the secular veterans of Solidarnosc, garnered over 12 percent, and the Peasant Party nearly 9 percent.

An important quality vote was cast by the intellectuals and university graduates, who emigrated from Poland during the two years of the Kaczynski twins and their repressive spy network in an atmosphere resembling the USA of the Joseph McCarthy era. Especially in these years, Rome, a traditional Mecca for Poles, has been flooded with Polish immigrants of all levels. On Sunday night, exiles waited for the results outside Polish consulates in Berlin, Rome, Milan and Barcelona.

The majority of Polish voters leapt aboard the European train that the Kaczynskis had derailed. Most probably Tusk owes also a certain debt to Nobel Prize winner and former President Lech Walesa and Solidarnosc intellectuals like Bronislaw Geremek who masterminded the changeover from Communism, who helped deviate votes from reactionary parties.

Except for eastern border areas, Civic Platform and Left parties swept the nation, from Warsaw to Danzig, from the Cracow of Pope Wojtyla to the Silesia mines. The primate of the Catholic Church of super Catholic Poland, Cardinal Josef Glemp, said that after this vote he �hoped for social peace.�

Donald Tusk will have a comfortable majority in Parliament, enabling him to maintain his platform of return to Europe and abandonment of mad directions such as Polish troops to the Middle East. Tusk�s priorities are reconciliation with the European Union, Berlin and Moscow and putting an end to the climate of accusations and suspicion, slander and abuses of power and the curtain of ridicule that hung over Poland for the two years of reaction under the tutelage of the nefarious Kaczynski twins.

Two lost years

Yesterday morning, a veteran international observer of Polish nationality wrote me from Warsaw a succinct analysis of the two-year Kaczynski disaster and predictions of European Poland�s route in the future. The gist of his message is that despite the role of traditions and the past in Poland, it is a young country that has had enough of too many papas and mamas.

The reactionary President Kaczynski often visited the Vatican and the United States, my friend recalls, but he refused to visit Poland�s major trading partner, Russia, the natural market for Polish meat and agriculture. Moreover, Russia�s gas and oil pipelines passing through Polish territory can bring money to state coffers in Warsaw. So why pay more for Norwegian gas if you have Russian supplies?

New Poland must put the brakes to the Catholic Church, which is overly involved in public affairs through institutions like the notorious anti-Semitic Radio Maryja. At the same time the Left parties too need a thorough housecleaning to get rid of the old and the dirty and the compromised in order to be reborn in the best European tradition.

My Polish friend predicts that the Kaczynskis will fight tooth and nail to block all reforms of the new government. But they will eventually fail. In three years no one will even remember their pathetic figures standing nose to nose on speaking platforms, one congratulating the other.

Gaither Stewart is originally from Asheville, NC. After studies at the University of California at Berkeley and other American universities, he has lived his adult life abroad, in Germany and Italy, alternated with residences in The Netherlands, France, Mexico, Argentina and Russia. After a career in journalism as Italian correspondent for the Rotterdam newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, and contributor to media in various European countries, he writes fiction full-time. His books, "Icy Current Compulsive Course, To Be A Stranger" and "Once In Berlin" are published by Wind River Press. His new novel, "Asheville," is published by He lives with his wife, Milena, in Rome, Italy. E-mail:

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Housing flameout; California falls into the sea
Futuristic revolt in Poland
Hard times for Sarko, le Roi de France
Recess games
Venezuela fears military aggression from the USA
The New World Order and education
Chokepoint! The geopolitical stakes of the Saffron Revolution
Why Burma is not Iraq
Old times were not good times
End the disgrace of Guantanamo
Cato�s trade report: Blinded by ideology
Ukraine divided between East and West
Lebanon and Syria: The politics of assassination
A Fed panic and a massive bailout of American banks paid for by the entire world
The era of global financial instability
America�s hegemonic status slipping away
U.S. banks brace for storm surge as dollar and credit system reel
The meaning of that Kerry fracas In Florida
Rejecting ad hominem attacks and arguments