The people of Poland are in shock and are worried about the Russians again. Saturday's plane crash that killed, not only the president of Poland and his wife, but practically the entire leadership of Poland's military and government, is already being called Katyn II. It is a measure of just how nervous their neighbors make them. If you don't know what Katyn I was, prepare yourself for a string of "interesting" historical coincidences. Given Polish history, the Poles can be forgiven if they find what happened this weekend in the forest near Smolensk eerily parallel to what happened 70 years ago in the forests near Katyn.
It was 1940, Europe was in turmoil and Poland was, unbeknown to most of its citizens, the subject of a secret agreement between Germany and Russia, dividing the country between them. On March 5 1940, Joseph Stalin signed a secret order as brutal as any Hitler ever issued, that led to the capture and mass murder of 22,000 Polish doctors, lawyers and military officers in the forest near Katyn. The crime was so brutal that the German (Goebbels, of all people) was able to use it as propaganda against the Russians. The assassinations decapitated the Polish Army and the leadership of its public service sector as the Germans and Russians prepared to overrun the Polish nation.
The plane crash that took the life of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 95 key Polish government and military leaders is already being publicly called Katyn II by many Poles and one can hardly blame them. The plane was carrying the president and his entourage to a Katyn memorial service on the 70th anniversary of the tragedy.
President Kaczynski and his twin brother, founding members with Lech Walesa of the Polish Solidarity movement have been less than diplomatic with either the Russians or the European Union of late. They've been less than diplomatic with the European Union about its bullying tactics. Suddenly, the troublesome leader is eliminated in a crash that ironically took place at Smolensk, not far from the Katyn Forest. It effectively decapitates the government and brings the opposition party almost instantly to power, at the same time leaving all three Polish military branches without their top leaders, the banking system and much of the Polish civil service. Predictably, the Russians are blaming the crash on the Poles. The newspapers in the states are dismissing Poles who compare the disaster to Katyn "extremists".
It's also a bit unnerving that the day after the crash, news about it is already buried in the back pages of the newspaper behind glowing headlines about how Neville......., I mean Barak Obama is bringing us peace in our time by signing a nuclear nonproliferation agreement with the Russians, the upshot of which is that the U.S. is laying down its nukes with few real guarantees that anyone else will lay down theirs. With the stroke of a pen, the U.S., for all practical purposes ceases to be a superpower. Of course, considering that we've got an administration that seems intent on turning us into Albania, it's not surprising.
By the way, be careful looking up the Katyn massacre. In the first two pages of a Google search on the subject last night, more than half of the sites that showed up were fiercely virulent malware sites. I had to flip my computer off at the wall to escape having malware forcibly downloaded to my computer. Odd that the obscure term "Katyn" would suddenly be the keyword for so many malware sites. It's as though someone didn't want people reading that particular bit of history.
I have a friend in Poland. He says everyone is in shock. He mentioned Katyn right away. I think the Poles would do well to reexamine that bit of their history. If the U.S. doesn't stand with Poland on this one, then once again, Poland is all alone. Pray for Poland. They will very likely need it if history is indeed being replayed.
Just one man's opinion.