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06/30/2020

Poland: American Training Ground

Poland: American Training Ground

It would be easier for Polish voters to skip voting in the second round of the presidential elections in Poland altogether, and simply wait for results of the American elections between Donald Trump and Joe Biden this Autumn instead. They might as well do so, given that the American President also de facto rules the US colonies such as Poland. The main Polish candidates – Andrzej Duda (PiS) and Rafał Trzaskowski (PO) represent circles openly and legibly associated with the centers competing for power in Washington, and therefore the Polish election is little more than a kind of maneuver before voting starts in the US.

Who is More Pro-American? 

It is no accident that in attempting re-election, President Andrzej Duda has done everything to meet with Donald Trump ahead of the first round of elections and agree to another several billions dollars worth purchases of military equipment, nuclear power plant technology, and even a coronavirus vaccine which has not yet been invented. Parallelly, the candidate of the pro-European Civic Platform (PO), i.e. the Polish part of the German-dominated European People’s Party, Rafał Trzaskowski assures that he is in no way less pro-American than his opponent. He just misses the times when Democrats ruled in the White House, not placing such excessive financial demands on European (especially German) partners. At the same time, of course, when it comes to the payment for US demands – R. Trzaskowski is no less enthusiastic than Duda.

Unfortunately, in the Polish elections, there are no truly different visions of foreign policy. Sure, in almost no country are such considerations the most important factor when it comes to choosing a president (although diplomacy is one of the few competences of the Polish system of power). On the contrary, almost all candidates (and as many as 11 of them were running) were completely in agreement with the general geopolitical direction of Poland as a subordinate part of the Western World and only casually suggested a different distribution of details in completely secondary matters. Actually, only two, as it turned out, completely marginal candidates – Waldemar Witkowski representing the socialist left and conservative libertarian Stanisław Żołtek (demanding Polexit) dared to cast doubt on the canon of politics in Poland such as US Army presence on its territory. And their presence is not really a significant matter given that the ideological candidates of the left and right d0 not even earn 1% of the votes in these elections together.

Who is More Anti-Russian?

Another curiosity is that although Duda would like to be seen as Trump’s guy in Poland – his formation, the Law and Justice party (PiS), does not share all the views of the American president, especially when it comes to Russia. That is, following Washington guidelines, PiS willingly represents American interests in the European Union, joins the economic anti-German campaign and eagerly build the “American European Union”, i.e. the so-called Three Seas Initiative with Central European countries hand-managed by American ambassadors (such as Romania and Croatia). Also, anti-Chineseness is not a problem for the current government in Poland, which, contrary to all obvious interests of its own state, is ready to join in on any action against Beijing (as well as against Tehran and every state Washington opposes). The only difference it Russia, i.e. Warsaw has not lost hope that Trump’s warmer gestures towards Moscow will blur in the general mess caused by Americans around the World and that it will be possible to continue a hard Cold War anti-Russian rhetoric. On this point, Trzaskowski feels even better, being able to refer directly to the Russophobic, confrontational Hillary Clinton’s line, and today J. Biden’s position, to which he adds the traditional “concern for the state of democracy in Russia” à la George Soros.

Despite the appearance of a two-party system – elections in Poland, in the opinion of national observers, have at least two more winners. First of all, TV presenter Szymon Hołownia, who won over 13.85% of the vote, taking the third place and the candidate of the Confederation, the right-wing coalition of conservative liberals and nationalists, Krzysztof Bosak with a result of 6.75%. Hołownia is an attempt to repeat in Poland the success of the President Ukraine, actor Volodymyr Zelenski, there is a similar scenario of big capital and secret services financing a “citizens’ campaign“. In turn, barely 38-years-old, with the face of a child, Bosak did not significantly expand the right-wing electorate, however, he proved that at least for now it is quite stable, organized around slogans of greater economic freedom and lessening Poland’s dependence on foreign countries. One of the important differences between the Confederation and PiS remains the issue of Act 447, which is the commitment of the American Congress to monitor the procedure of property restitution and the payment of so-called damages to international Zionist organizations. It is no secret that PiS and Duda (just like, of course, PO and R. Trzaskowski) are ready to pay such billions (but preferably after elections), while the Confederation organized mass protests against these claims.

Bosak does not question the very colonial status of Poland towards America, only it’s humiliating form – but even this brought with it accusations of “pro-Russianness“. Invariably, for the main parties, both PiS and PO – the accusation of being “Putin’s agent” is the most serious of all possible. It is no accident that Duda’s people suggest that Trzaskowski is only a shadow of Donald Tusk (head of the European People’s Party), who “suspiciously hugged Putin during face-to-face talks“. In turn, Trzaskowski’s base argues that Duda and PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński behind him just wait to bring Poland a “dictatorship à la Putin“, taking all methods and patterns straight from Russia.

So Russia and its president remain the favourite topic of election campaigns in Poland – of course as enemies, therefore, even the unfortunate Bosak was forced to publicly declare that “although he would like to normalize relations with everyone, including Russia, he knows that there are conflicts and differences between our countries hardly possible to overcome“.

In addition, to facilitate polarization among the main candidates – elections in Poland were held around only a few substitute questions (such as “whether LGBT is an ideology – or people”), while in almost all crucial matters, e.g. the ways of fight against the COVID-19 – the Polish establishment remained surprisingly consistent Hence, it can be presumed that even if there be a change of president in Poland on July 12 – it will not change anything.

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Konrad Rękas
Political expert, geopolitical analyst (Poland)

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