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Poles in Iraq. What's the point?


PolReport  
13 May 2006 /  #1
The Poles have traditionally for years aligned themselves with the US, possibly as an understandable reaction against the longtime Russian oppression.

Although a free country by name, Poland, for fifty years after the end of the Second World War, has merely been a satellite state of the dictatorial USSR. No wonder that Poles, given an opportunity, were happy to show their solidarity with the other, benevolent superpower. After all, Poland, having a strategic position in the middle of Europe, needs powerful allies, and the US is in this respect the number one in the world. As the saying goes, the winner is always right, and thus, the Poles followed the US into its Iraqi adventure with eyes open and without much hesitation, publicly joining Mr. Bush's war on terrorism.

What exactly the Poles expected in return is a good question. Although, one can argue, the Poles joined forces with the US for a noble reason, they were hoping for a reward. Alas, the economical outcome of the war adventure turned out not to be very profitable, if at all.

Like many other countries that went into Iraq with the US, those Poles who were expecting huge and profitable business contracts were sorely disappointed. It was the US companies that were blessed with lucrative assignments, and besides, since the insurgency is still very much alive and kicking, much of the planned economic development of the country has been put on the backburner.

The US went into Iraq for many more or less obvious reasons. In a way, it was a logical continuation of the first war with Iraq, won but never finished. Why would the Poles get involved is a more intriguing and never clearly answered question. Solidarity with the superpower, possible contracts, and political favors are just a few possible motives.

The war in Iraq is still raging. In fact, now, quite a while after the victory, the number of casualties is much higher than during the war itself. It seems that winning against Saddam was an easy part, restoring law and order in the country is a different matter. The insurgents do not fight fair, the human bombs, the car bombs, and the shootings in the back never cease. There is no glory in the patrolling the deserted streets of the distant Iraqi cities, only inherent danger.

As the Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkowski stated the Poles will be staying until the end of 2006, although only as advisors and instructors to the Iraqi forces. Only 900 soldiers will stay, compared to 1400 at present. The bill that the Polish government will pick up is a respectable 131,5 mln zl;, which the government argues is cheap, since the Americans pay the most of the costs and the actual expense is no more than what keeping the forces in Poland would cost.

A new Polish contingent will arrive already in June. According to the Prime Minister, both the Iraqi and the Americans are eager the Poles to remain in Iraq. The US wants to show that the invasion of Iraq is an international effort. Thus, it is vital that also other countries are involved. The Polish government has been putting off making the decision about the continued effort ah, the intricacies of politics - as it seems, in order to get the most benefits from both the Iraqi and the Americans. The Poles, just like many others, hopefully not in vain, also are counting on future cooperation with Iraqis regarding oil.

By now the Polish forces have been in Iraq for two and a half years, and the facet stands at 27 killed soldiers. But, as the government states, there was no casualties in the last year, since the Americans have take over the deadly areas - which is undoubtedly better for the Poles, but what about the Americans?

The mission is controversial between the Poles and there is a broad political opposition against continued involvement. The ruling PIS (Law and Justice) is the only party that wants the mission to continue. "We succumb to easily to our allies' pressures," critically states the former chief of defense Bronislaw Komorowski.

It's important not to forget the dire conditions in Iraq - as a returning soldier stated, "I have been to Hell and back." No wonder Poles at home have eclectic views on the subject - after all, they do not have to go out and fight. There are those that want the Polish participation to go on, be it because they feel it is our duty to fight terrorism, or as Piotrek points out, because the US "is our only defense against Russia." Another critical vote states that "PIS are American's servants," and that is why the Poles have to stay. Krzysztof is pessimistic, though, about the rewards, possibly because "the Polish mongrels will be thrown a bone by Mr. Bush. But what he cares about is Israel or nothing at all, not us" and Joanna says ironically, "It is a courageous decision by our authorities, but they do not need to ride metro, as the rest of us." Maria asks a pregnant question like many others in the non participating countries: "Why do we need to take part in occupation of a foreign country that never threatened us, but with whom we had good commercial contacts?"

Some Poles believe that the image of Poland has improved thanks to its involvement in Iraq. Piotrek thinks that "Poland counts now as a real partner. We sell products to iraq for millions now and will continue to do so."

Who is right or wrong remains to be seen. Right now and, as always, only one thing unites the Poles - they agree to disagree. Whether the mission to Iraq a success or whether Iraq will turn out to be yet another Vietnam, only time will tell. One thing is certain, it will more than a Polish contingent to Iraq and 27 casualties to make Poland a worthy partner for the US. And Iraq is very far from home, indeed.
kath  
14 May 2006 /  #2
QUOTE: The Poles have traditionally for years aligned themselves with the US, possibly as an understandable reaction against the longtime Russian oppression.

Definitely not. Just our f*** government thinks the American will love and help us if we unite with Bush. And that's the terrible misunderstanding because Bush will never ever treat us like partners.

Moreover, I am asking myself the same question. Why the hell did they sent our soldiers to Iraq?...
Guest  
14 May 2006 /  #3
Jezus Christ - another portion of "blahblah" from PolReport...
okon  
14 May 2006 /  #4
Why the hell did they sent our soldiers to Iraq?...

Because they thought they would get "SOMETHING" from the US government. At least allowing Poles to go to the US without a visa. Promises, promises...
Guest  
14 May 2006 /  #5
I`s not becaouse "they would get something"..

It`s becaouse we have an opportunity to help those poor Iraqi people who were dying by thair thousands becaouse of the UN sanctions that were put in place to contain Saddam.

It`s good that our people are on the ground in Iraq, bacaouse this makes it easier for our government and companies to make contact with the Iraqi authorities which is going to materialize in the form of economic cooperation as the situation in Iraq normalizes.

It`s also becaouse we need an ally like the US. It`s a sad truth that we live right next to a country like Russia where noone knows how the situation in that country is going to develope in 10-15 years. It`s also quite obvious that if Russia would threaten us militarly we can not count on help from countries like France which has proven over and over again that it is able to produce nothing else as hot air. The US on the other hand are a reliable ally who understands our needs and intentions (after all there are over 10 million Poles living in the US - some of them - like i.e. Zbigniew Brzezinski were/are in the most influential possitions in that country).

It`s also becaouse of the American investments - according to the AT Kearney report last year - after the Iraq war Poland had jumped from place 12 to place 5 as the WORLDS`s most desired investment destination - It`s partly becaouse of our EU accession but also becaouse of the US investors who see Poland as an American-friendly country - unlike Germany&France who are bieng viewed in the US as anti-American.

And finally it`s also becaouse the situation in Iraq provides a very good opportunity for our military to commence serious combat traning as well as it is an opportunity for companies like BUMAR or PZL Świdnik to test their newest products (and get som contracts ofcourse).
okon  
14 May 2006 /  #6
It`s becaouse we have an opportunity to help those poor Iraqi people who were dying by thair thousands becaouse of the UN sanctions that were put in place to contain Saddam.

Currently about 2-3 American soldiers die in Iraq A DAY. How many Iraqi soldiers die a day? I would say 5 Iraqi soldiers per one American soldier. Do you think Iraqi people are happy with their situation now? Especially that the price for oil increased 1000% in their own country.

Only politicians who want to win the next election talk about "opportunities to help other people". In reality, the families of the killed soldiers curse those polititians and people who sent them to war.
Guest  
14 May 2006 /  #7
"Currently about 2-3 American soldiers die in Iraq A DAY. How many Iraqi soldiers die a day? I would say 5 Iraqi soldiers per one American soldier. Do you think Iraqi people are happy with their situation now? Especially that the price for oil increased 1000% in their own country."

thetruthaboutiraq.org/myths_04.htm
thetruthaboutiraq.org/myths_07.htm

"Only politicians who want to win the next election talk about "opportunities to help other people". In reality, the families of the killed soldiers curse those polititians and people who sent them to war."

I know Polish soldiers who want to go to Iraq for the second and for the third turn. The same can be said about many American soldiers - now how about that.
okon  
14 May 2006 /  #8
I know Polish soldiers who want to go to Iraq for the second and for the third turn. The same can be said about many American soldiers - now how about that.

I'm not surprised - in Poland there is no job for young people so they prefer to go to war for money than to starve in their home country. Same for American soldiers -- their pay has been increased recently so money is the number one motivator for them.
Guest  
15 May 2006 /  #9
OMG - well YES it`s becaouse of the money. You know being a solidier is a JOB where you earn money - and what`s wrong about that ? But it`s also about getting new experience - I don`t see anything wrong with it as well.

"in Poland there is no job for young people so they prefer to go to war for money than to starve in their home country"

LOL - I`ll leave that without comment for now. ..From what kind of planet are you man ?
okon  
15 May 2006 /  #10
You know being a solidier is a JOB where you earn money - and what`s wrong about that ?

I dont think there is something wrong in that -- just the oposite, I think soldiers should make more money since they risk their lives (war is not a playground). But I don't buy the idea that all soldiers who go to war do it ONLY because they truly want "peace" for other nations...
Guest  
15 May 2006 /  #11
But I don't buy the idea that all soldiers who go to war do it ONLY because they truly want "peace" for other nations...

Have I said that it is so ? I don`t know what is your job, but I wouldn`t go that far by saying that you`re doing it becaouse you want to improve the world.
Lewanski  
15 May 2006 /  #12
I think that it's fun, that US just before the war, gave Poland about 49 F-16 and a lot of US millions, they called it a "investing"

And what about Denmark ? I live in the country, and they don't say ANYTHING about Polish trops in Iraq, but they right whit big letters that the state of Denmark is a BIG part of the war, and they did what ? They send a single ship and a U-boat.. and about 100 men.. I still laugh at the danish..
RAWR_IM_ANDY  
19 May 2006 /  #13
I just wanna say this, males get DRAFTED into the military in Poland after they get out of high school. I think they have to stay in for a couple of years or something like that.
Guest  
19 May 2006 /  #14
^^^ Those times were long time ago. Today, though the draft still exists in most cases the military takes only those who want to jojn. And the missions abroad (we`ve got troops stationed in Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Afganistan and Iraq) are for volounteers.
Wlazski  
19 May 2006 /  #15
I just wanna say this, males get DRAFTED into the military in Poland after they get out of high school. I think they have to stay in for a couple of years or something like that.

The guest is right, that was under the communism.

Today, I heart that the Polish Gorvenment have abolished the compulsory military service, which is good. You can't force people to join the military, and its wased of money.

Are you planing going to Poland in the summer ?
basia777777777  
19 Sep 2006 /  #16
hey, you know what guys? There is somethink Poland has to do. AS for now, we don't understand our involvment in war and all of that, but at least we try. For most of us it doesnt make a sense, but that's what happening...
saddened - | 64  
11 Oct 2007 /  #17
i am new to this whole Complete Polish forum (even the home) why are.
why is poland in iraq any way?
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
11 Oct 2007 /  #18
why is poland in iraq any way?

You need to do some reading. maybe you can find your answer here: wsws.org/articles/2003/aug2003/pola-a07.shtml
saddened - | 64  
11 Oct 2007 /  #19
Thank you for your answers but do they explain our real involvment . and the fact that we were not realy invited but followed, the us. this is a world fact afganistan is a war that everyone should be in but noone in iraq accept themselves.

Tylko oni.
dtaylor 9 | 823  
11 Oct 2007 /  #20
excuse me, but i dont see any reason for any foriegn army to be in iraq, expect the u.n.
DumbYankee71 - | 18  
11 Oct 2007 /  #21
Iraq has been a big mistake, this is stating the obvious. Any football coach has a plan A, B and probably a C. Bush had just A. Even prominent members of the Republican party told him NOT to do it. Just like his election, it was anything but a large plurality.

BUT.. if the Iraqis weren't screwing around over different religious squabbles they would have a chance to enrich their country like it never has been before. They could the nationalize the oil and sell it. Should the US and Poland get a discount? Sure, why the hell not? We are helping to stabilize it. This may come to fruition. I didn't vote for Bush and he is pretty clownish, but good things can come from the mess.
szkotja2007 27 | 1,498  
11 Oct 2007 /  #22
We are helping to stabilize it.

LOL
saddened - | 64  
11 Oct 2007 /  #23
what about this oil and this global warming stuff?
AvJoeUK  
11 Oct 2007 /  #24
Poles are their because their doing there part, atleast support the soldiers...
zibo - | 55  
11 Oct 2007 /  #25
huh?
saddened - | 64  
11 Oct 2007 /  #26
do you know how many us soldiers desert iraq and run away to canada because they are deserters and cant go home? because they cant stand the war?
zibo - | 55  
11 Oct 2007 /  #27
US had no rights to invade Iraq in the first place.
jnowiski 2 | 121  
11 Oct 2007 /  #28
do you know how many us soldiers desert iraq and run away to canada because they are deserters and cant go home? because they cant stand the war?

how many?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
11 Oct 2007 /  #29
do you know how many us soldiers desert iraq and run away to canada because they are deserters and cant go home?

They each get a white feather from me.
AvJoeUK  
11 Oct 2007 /  #30
huh?

Whats to Huh? About, If you dont support what their doing atleast support the men and women putting their lives on the line. I dont see enough of it.

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