Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow

Yes, one swallow does not make a summer, but what if there are more to follow?

My name is Tomasz Szmydt. I am a judge of the Second Department of the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw. Previously, I held various positions in the judiciary and administration of justice in Poland. I performed the functions of Director of the Legal Department in the Office of the National Council of the Judiciary.

Because of my disagreement with the policies and actions of the authorities, I was forced to leave my native country and am currently residing in Belarus. I was persecuted and intimidated for my independent political stance. I express my protest to the authorities in Poland, who, under the influence of the US and Britain, are leading the country to war. The Polish people stand for peace and good neighborly relations with Belarus and Russia. That is why I am in Minsk and ready to tell the truth.

These are the words (the highlighted sentences is in the original) posted by Tomasz Szmydt in his telegram channel. The text is concise and to the point, in Polish and in Russian. A sensational event in Poland. A few days ago a high-ranking official made his way to Belarus of all the places to seek political asylum there. Wow! For years it used to be quite otherwise: it was the Belorussian politicians and activists who used to flee to Poland (and other European countries) and request asylum. One Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, wife of Syarhey Tsikhanouski, once a candidate for president in Belarus, now under arrest, enjoys in Poland a status of an alternative head of state of Belarus. The Polish president, when he wants to talk to her, does not invite her to his presidential palace but travels to the villa given to her disposal by the Polish government out of gentlemanly courtesy, and to emphasize how important she is, the head of Belarus to be, a Belarus that is to be born and shaped in such a way as to suit the dreams of the European Union.

This time it is someone from the European Union who fled to Belarus. Tomasz Szmydt fled straight to Alexandr Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, to the man who is alternatively ridiculed and despised by all European leaders! Consider it for a moment. For decades the Belorussian president has been depicted in the Polish mass media as a dictator, Putin’s footstool, crypto-communist, a satrap – you name it. Belarus has been regarded as a backward country: any news about Poland’s eastern neighbour was always and invariably unfavourable. Common citizens of Poland have been made to believe – and they do believe – that Belorussians are living in squalid conditions and have absolutely no say in politics or social matters, that they suffer all kinds of shortages and so they all only dream about toppling the satrap and joining the European Union. Years ago – in 2007 – the Polish authorities launched Belsat TV – a TV channel broadcast from the territory of Poland to Belarus, a kind of revived Radio Free Europe, whose staff go out of their way to present Belarus to Belorussians as hell on earth in order to instigate them to radical political action. It is claimed that this TV channel is watched by a large segment of the Belorussian nation – with great interest – which is rather doubtful or else TV Belsat would not be on the verge of being liquidated. Its staff applies the same strategy of forcefully creating a separate Belorussian nation, a strategy that has been performed for three decades in Ukraine, a strategy that thrusts the Belorussian language down the throat of the Russian-speaking Belorussians (apart from chunks in Russian, just in case Belorussians are not quite at ease with their “mother tongue”). The Belsat staff is headed by a daughter of one of the former top political dissidents from the antediluvian times when Poland was ruled by the so called communists. It is some fun to watch Belsat or for that matter regular Polish TV channels as they paint Belarus in black and gray shades and compare with the programmes about Poland broadcast by Belorussian TV. As you might expect the two parties to the information war are mirror reflections of each other: Warsaw shows pictures of unrest in Minsk, Belarus’s capital, while Minsk shows shots of unrests in Warsaw, Poland’s capital; Polish TV correspondents interview angry Belorussians, while Belorussian TV corespondents interview angry Poles, and so on – you get the picture. With this as a backdrop, let us come back to the sensational event of the defection of the high ranking Polish official to Belarus.

Sure, Polish mass media began portraying him as an evil person or someone who was not quite in his rights senses or someone who violated the law and out of fear of being detected, arrested and punished created a legend about himself as a political dissident. The usual stuff in such cases. Warsaw claims he fled to avoid law and justice, Minsk claims he was fed up with democracy in Poland in particular and in the European Union in general. Be it as it may, it is his words that need scrutinizing. What Tomasz Szmydt wrote in his telegram message (and repeated during a press conference in Belarus) reads, among others: I express my protest to the authorities in Poland, who, under the influence of the US and Britain, are leading the country to war. Is it true or not true? That’s what matters. Is it true that Poland is under the influence of the United States and the United Kingdom? Is it true that Poland cannot act independently? Is it true that the West is trying to make Poland (and Romania, and the Baltic States) go to war with Russia? Irrespective of whether Tomasz Szmydt is a dissident or traitor, a crackpot or a hero, these are legitimate questions. Is it true that Tomasz Szmydt attempted to voice such opinions and was told to shut up or else? Since we cannot by any means verify it, it is legitimate to consider if you – any one of us – can voice a dissenting political opinion concerning the war in Ukraine in Poland or elsewhere in the West and get off scot-free. Another legitimate question is this: is it not so planned that after Ukraine has been unsuccessfully used as a proxy in the war against Russia, the job needs to be continued by Poland and Romania and the Baltic States? Are these countries not envisaged as battering rams against Russia? Tomasz Szmydt may be called names in the Polish mass media (and he is), yet the questions and their answers remain valid irrespective of who poses the questions and who responds to them. Tomasz Szmydt also said in his message that The Polish people stand for peace and good neighborly relations with Belarus and Russia. Though most of Poles are intensely anti Russian, barely anyone wishes to fight a war and to have his country ravished by missiles. There have been held anti-war marches in Warsaw and elsewhere while support for Ukrainians – so fervent two years ago – has significantly waned in Poland. We do not need to talk about the Polish nation alone: is there anybody in the collective West – apart from a few trigger-happy crackpots who volunteer for the fight in Ukraine to get a shot at a Russky – who is willing to join the combat and have a hand or a leg torn away from his body in defence of Ukrainian “democracy” and Ukrainian followers of Stepan Bandera, an ideologue of ethnic cleansing of non-Ukrainians?

Yes, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but maybe we are in for more and more of cases like that with Tomasz Szmydt – more Poles, Lithuanians, Romanians, maybe Frenchmen or Germans – fleeing the European Union and voicing their political dissent in an attempt to stop this craziness of escalating the war that is waged for the purpose of having NATO firmly established in Russia’s underbelly. 

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