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What should Poland do with the problem of Belarus?


kondzior 12 | 1,103
5 Sep 2020 #211
Post-'89 Polish foreign policy always openly supported any attempts of any eastern european or post-soviet state to democratize and westernize. In the case of Belarus this also included things such as polish public TV operating a TV channel airing in Belarussian and Russian.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belsat_TV

Kicking as many states out of Russian orbit is geopolitically in Poland's interest. Of course it also just so happens Belarus shares a border and is in close military ties with Russia, which adds further reason for Poland to support a change in status quo on Belarus, even if it is fabulously optimistic to think Belarus will happily switch sides away from being a Russian staging ground (Crimea showed the problem with that).

There's also historical baggage similar to Ukraine (polish minority, parts were former polish land in ancient history etc.), but that's usually just a smokescreen for the plebeians. There's also a Belorussian minority in Poland. So the usual eastern european mess.
pawian 173 | 12,729
5 Sep 2020 #212
In the case of Belarus this also included things such as polish public TV operating a TV channel airing in Belarussian and Russian.

Yes, it is a praiseworthy activity, reminds me of Radio Free Europe or Voice of America which we eagerly listened to in communist times. Their contribution for democratic changes in Eastern block was invaluable. I still have cassettes with Kaczmarski`s concert which I recorded from RFE in early 1980s

However, you should know or remember that in 2017 PiS nominee, Foreign Minister Waszczykowski suspended the financing for the station and there was a big brawl about it.
Ironside 49 | 10,481
5 Sep 2020 #213
Post-'89 Polish foreign policy always openly supported any attempts of any eastern european or post-soviet state to democratize and westernize.

Whatever it means. What IF that democratization in Belarus will bring people to the fore who will choose to become Russian pawn? Why you people assume that a slice of bread always falls buttered side up?

Eke saying that Poland has some eastern policy is an overstatement.
It behoves me give you same basic lesson in realpolitik.
AntV 2 | 273
5 Sep 2020 #214
coz you aren`t Polish, didn`t live in Poland at the time

You just obliterated the study of history. Hahahahaha!!!!!

Communists knew that after peaceful strikes the next step would be violent protests which had already occured in 1981-84

But how much of the violence was begun by protesters? How often did the protesters react violently to government crackdowns? And, how long was the violent reaction of the protesters sustained?

I read a book by Jerzy Urban,

Urban's "admission" is something to consider and may lead to revising my understanding, but, as a general rule, it's best to heavily scrutinize a professional propagandist. Even if it played a part in the Communists decision the violence was a product of economic and political pressures.

Even though there were some elements within Solidarity (including Church clergy) who wanted to employ violent tactics to confront the government, they didn't gain much influence. Solidarity was a non-violent movement.

My position still remains that the Communists were driven to The Round Table because they knew the fragile Polish economy could not sustain more strikes and lack of production and that the unified voice of the Polish people was an undeniable sign that the political legitimacy of the regime was severely compromised. I wouldn't be surprised that the fear of a violent reprisal was present within the regime, but it wasn't violent protests that drove them to negotiations.

The civil war is a disaster in any country.

Hold the phone! But, isn't that what you're calling for in Belarus?
pawian 173 | 12,729
5 Sep 2020 #215
But how much of the violence was begun by protesters?

What is the importance of it at all?

You just obliterated the study of history.

History is a fascinating science and magistra vitae. However, the difference between us is that you can only rely on History to know sth about communist Poland while I have both History and my personal experiences at the disposal. It is me who remember the atmosphere of that time, the annoynance of ordinary people whose emotions would soon explode into fury if sth wasn`t done to reform the system. You know nothing about it.

Do you mean what I know??? hahahaha

Solidarity was a non-violent movement.

Go back to history books and check there were a few Solidarities. hahahaha One of them was Fighting Solidarity. And other fiercely anticommunist groups.

because they knew the fragile Polish economy could not sustain more strikes and lack of production

Wrong! You seem to express your respect for their "patriotic feelings" about Poland and its future. Please, stop coz it is ridiculous. Communists didn`t care about anything except power - the economy could collapse totally as long as they still ruled the country. Again, go back to history books and find what Jerzy Urban said during one of his conferences about the government after the US imposed sanctions. . Sth that pissed people off to the maximum.

that the unified voice of the Polish people was an undeniable sign that the political legitimacy of the regime was severely compromised.

hahaha funny. So, you claim they were decent rulers who cared about the opinions of common people. hahahaha

but it wasn't violent protests that drove them to negotiations.

Who said they were?
pawian 173 | 12,729
5 Sep 2020 #216
Hold the phone! But, isn't that what you're calling for in Belarus?

Show me where I was calling for a civil war in Belarus. hahaha
AntV 2 | 273
6 Sep 2020 #217
The importance of it all would be to highlight that violence was or was not an effective and important tactic or response to drive the communists to negotiate. If violence against communist authorities was not widespread and sustained (as I understand, it wasn't widespread and sustained, but rare and unsustained), it would not have much if any effect. If it was more common and sustained, it would give the government a reason to negotiate, if for no other reason than keep the Soviets from intervening--something they were prepared to do in 80/81.

You're right, I don't have the experience of living under the regime. My wife and in-laws did, though. So, I know of their experiences. Although, those experiences don't tell me anything about whether or not violent action against the communist regime played a part in the government negotiating with Solidarity.

Didn't you say the Belarussians were being too soft with peaceful demonstrations? Or was that Crow? I get you two confused sometimes; my apologies if you didn't say it.

We agree that communists didn't have patriotic feelings for Poland or cared for the plight of common Polish people, but only cared about power. But, their power depended on what the future of Poland would be--economics plays a central role in that future and a failing economy has a way of putting a regimes power in a precarious position (the uprisings in the 70's and 80 began over food price increases, right?). And, of course they cared what the opinions of the people were, why do you think they had a propaganda division within the government and a tight grip on media?

It would be better to have a war with soviet establishment in Poland provided that Polish side would have been victorious.

Well, yeah, but you seem like a guy who has a punch two guys in the face per day quota. :):) What do you think the chances of a Polish victory would've been? And, wouldn't it have been the Polish commies fighting the Soviet commies? However you slice it, you're left with commies.

F they wouldn't be so damn peaceful and timid then it be much better situation.

How? Besides, Pawian says they weren't that damned peaceful anyhow.
Crow 139 | 8,302
6 Sep 2020 #218
What should Poland do with the problem of Belarus?

What about - nothing? My teacher used to tell that `when one don`t have to do or say anything smart, much better to keep his mouth shut and stay put`.
pawian 173 | 12,729
6 Sep 2020 #219
How? Besides, Pawian says they weren't that damned peaceful anyhow.

Let me recommend a good source on that: Street fights in communist Poland.



pawian 173 | 12,729
6 Sep 2020 #220
t wasn't widespread and sustained, but rare and unsustained), it would not have much if any effect.

Yes, but when emotions overwhelm the mob in street, the situation often gets out of control and anything can happen. Communists realised the possibility that if 100.000 or more mob gathered in streets, they would be helpless, having only regular riot police for their defence.

whether or not violent action against the communist regime played a part in the government negotiating with Solidarity.

So now I can tell you they did play a part. Not crucial, I never claimed it, but important one. The most intense protests took place in 1982 -84 after the martial law - those were violent riots with a lot of people injured on both sides and a dozen fatal victims in some unlucky cities. In 1988, communists remembered them well and they were aware the choice was limited - either start talking with the opposition or deal with people`s annoynance in streets again.

And, of course they cared what the opinions of the people were,

Yes, but as long as those opinions weren`t destructive for the regime. When they became such, communists reacted brutally and didn`t care about anything. In 1981, they cracked down on Solidarity which had 10 million members. How did they care about people`s opinions then?

their power depended on what the future of Poland would be--economics plays a central role in that future

hahaha no, the future of a communist country depends on how strong and loyal is the army and other forces which regimes use for their aims. See North Korea: citizens eat grass and tree bark during frequent famine periods - do communists worry about economy? Of course not.
Ironside 49 | 10,481
6 Sep 2020 #221
How? Besides, Pawian says they weren't that damned peaceful anyhow.

Ok!
1. They were peaceful or not it didn't mattered because commies weren't peaceful at all. There was no demonstration in Soviet Poland unless it was a regime organized demonstration for example against American imperialists. In other words any gathering of people be it hoodlums' be it saints was illegal and Milicja, ZOMO and Ubecja just dispersed it.

2. Changes in 1989 were triggered by Gorbachev who seeing as Soviet a loosing economically against the USA so called arms race wanted to reform Soviet economy somewhat, allowing some private enterprises and loosing commie regime grip on the people somewhat. At same point he lost control of the process but in way it was a success - local soviets took position of power and money and remained a the helm for some time.

3. They shaped those changes in way that were beneficial to them and granted them immunity for treason and crimes but at the same time it made a mess when it comes to social capital, economy and what have you. It just was bad for Poland.

4. What was needed. After the round table when international circumstances changed with the fall of the Soviet union Patriotic side should have just renegade on all promises made to commies. Unfortunately there was not a patriotic side with an support or force behind it. Those who made a deal with Soviets were just sell outs Soviet choose to deal with - at last most of them.

pawian is either 'ex'-local soviets' element or is on the side of those who made a deal with them, at least he is affiliated with that side. They had 30 years to grow they won branch of political support.
mafketis 24 | 8,743
6 Sep 2020 #222
n Patriotic side should have just renegade on all promises made to commies

Good luck on attracting any foreign investment after proving that your promises can't be counted on....
Ironside 49 | 10,481
6 Sep 2020 #223
ood luck on attracting any foreign investment

don't warry about that as promises made at gun point are not valid per se genius!
mafketis 24 | 8,743
6 Sep 2020 #224
promises made at gun point

Would you have taken up arms and taken part in the civil war scenario?

Who would you have been personally willing to kill? Any/all party members? Their families? Kids? Employees? Any/all members of the militia? Armed forces?
pawian 173 | 12,729
6 Sep 2020 #225
Of course, none. Nationalists who were allowed to function in communism were eager supporters of the regime. If Iron was older, he would have been one of them.
AntV 2 | 273
6 Sep 2020 #226
talking with the opposition or deal with people`s annoynance in streets again.

But annoyance doesn't mean violence. It overwhelmingly meant strikes and protests, yes? I'm not trying to refute there wasn't any violence, but it was typically, if not always, started by the authorities (what were the security police called back then?), which matters because it shows that demonstrations were peaceful --demonstrators only reacted violently when provoked. And, that's been my point all along, the Solidarity movement was a peaceful movement and its demands were met because of non-violent pressures, not violent ones.

How did they care about people`s opinions then?

Apparently they did, as they kept propagandizing that evil foreign forces were trying to expand their activities against the state and stuff like that.

future of a communist country depends on how strong and loyal is the army and other forces

That certainly helps, but there still needs to be some legitimacy (granted this legitimacy is typically gained by brainwashing through the education systems and cultural institutions).

That book you recommended is it in English, also. My feeble mind struggles mightily with learning the Polish language.
pawian 173 | 12,729
6 Sep 2020 #227
the Solidarity movement was a peaceful movement

Why do you put all protesters in Solidarity basket? I already told you there were a few anticommunist opposition groups, or even parties and they had their own share in protests. I mentioned Fighting Solidarity, now it is time to mention KPN.

No, the book wasn`t translated I am afraid, but I saw it in foreign libraries or on Amazon so if you find it in electronic version you can try to translate its parts.

I have just taken it from the shelf and looked though 1980s period. Protesters` violence consisted mainly in throwing various objects at the riot police: stones, screws (with slingshots) , litter bins, Molotov cocktails. Sometimes coins to show contempt, or even yogurt cups. When at home, inhabitants also threw flower pots, in one case sb threw a fish tank. They also threw back what they got from the police - gas grenades. They attacked policemen physically when got close enough to them. To block the passage of riot units or vehicles they built barricades across streets.
AntV 2 | 273
6 Sep 2020 #228
Why do you put all protesters in Solidarity basket?

Because i haven't, but without the unity under Solidarity it was highly unlikely the government would have made the concessions it made.

In 80 or 81 the gov was trying to put a wedge between the different industry workers and negotiate relatively meaningless wage increases, e.g. separately negotiating with the strikers in the shipyard and truck factory, etc., correct? It wasn't until all (or, at least, most) of the strikers at different industries demanded the 21 demands as a unified voice did you see the gov willingly, although not in total good faith, start to consider more meaningful demands, correct?

If there wasn't the solidarity under Solidarity, the opposition to the gov would've been markedly weaker and impotent.

Again, I don't refute there was violence on the part of protesters, but it wasn't widespread and sustained and not significant enough to bring the commies to the table. If there's proof that the Solidarity leadership called for or condoned it, I'm unaware of it.
pawian 173 | 12,729
6 Sep 2020 #229
It was significant enough when combined with other factors you mentioned. I offered you a compromise but you unreasonably rejected it. hahahaha.

Yes, Solidarity leadership, operating underground, called for street protests on various anniversaries and special days, such as: 1 May, 3 May, 31 August, 11 November, 13 December.
pawian 173 | 12,729
6 Sep 2020 #230
Today, another giant demo of 200.000. Forces decided to go brutal and a lot of people have been beaten or detained. Secret police even broke windows in cafes or shops where demonstrators were hiding.

It is visible that peaceful demos are useless and people only lose blood in vain. It is obvious Lukashenka won`t leave unless he is forced to.
AntV 2 | 273
7 Sep 2020 #231
1 May, 3 May, 31 August, 11 November, 13 December.

Interesting. I'll check it out.
Crow 139 | 8,302
7 Sep 2020 #232
I just heard that Germany barks at Belarus.
Crow 139 | 8,302
8 Sep 2020 #233
Lukashenko said to Russian mass media /translated citation from yesterday/: ``I maybe rule for too long.``

Info by Serbian agency B92, via Reuters >

"Da, možda sam malo duže ostao", rekao je Lukašenko za ruske medije, prenosi Rojters.

b92.../info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2020&mm=09&dd=08&nav_category=78&nav_id=1730279

l
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,579
8 Sep 2020 #234
what were the security police called back then?)

ZOMO were the ones who quelled riots, busted up strikes, etc.
pawian 173 | 12,729
8 Sep 2020 #235
It is visible that peaceful demos are useless and people only lose blood in vain.

They are going to also lose a lot of money. E.g, Belarussian well developed IT sector (World of Tanks etc) has been attacked by Lukashenka`s henchmen - they cut off the Internet or even arrest managers. Now most of IT companies are planning to transfer their headquarters and workers to other countries. It is business which brought Belarus 2 billion $ per year - they called it the Belarussian Silicon Valley.

The dictator is visibly hurting the economy which will result in the drastic worsening of living standards soon. Belarussians have no choice now - they can`t allow him to rule anymore or they will eat grass like North Koreans during famine.

REVOLUTION! But are they determined enough to overthrow the cockroach, as they call him?



Crow 139 | 8,302
8 Sep 2020 #236
We are about to witness major geo-strategic shift in Europe. Belarus would most probably trigger chain reaction of events. Then comes Greek-Turkish War and Serbian question and Europe face continental wide changes.
pawian 173 | 12,729
13 Sep 2020 #237
help him stay in power and make EU be as helpful. he will have an option or more options than Russia.

Wrong, of course! The weaker he gets politicaly, the more he has to rely on Russia. Poland and the EU can`t close an eye to brutal dealing with the opposition or protesters and Putin remains Lukashenka`s only support. That means further integration of two countries - that`s what Putin has been advocating for years but Belarussian president resisted coz he tried to keep his independence. Not his country`s, but his own. Now he won`t have a choice.

Iron, you are talking like a Kremlin troll again. Have you returned to the job in the Factory? How much are you paid in 2020? I am just curious.
pawian 173 | 12,729
13 Sep 2020 #238
Belarussian economy is gradually collapsing. I already wrote about the end of Silicon Valley in Minsk. Besides, export has fallen by 20% in the first half year. Plants pay workers with their products instead of money.
mafketis 24 | 8,743
13 Sep 2020 #239
Belarussian economy is gradually collapsing

Another case of a national leader wearing out their welcome.... no national leader should be in office more than 10 years (two year under/over). If there are no credible successors then that's just another failure of said leader and all the more reason to make room for someone else.
pawian 173 | 12,729
13 Sep 2020 #240
no national leader should be in office more than 10 years (two year under/over)

Yes, except autocracies like Belarus or Russia. Soon Poland under PiS.


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