Before the US President's visit to Poland

Jozef Szaniawski

In the history of the Polish-American relationships there were presidents who did not care for Poland. There was also Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who gave Poland to Stalin in 1945. And it is not true that Roosevelt sold Poland in Yalta since he gave it to Russia for free. America did not gain anything instead and so we cannot speak about sale. But many presidents of the United States were Poland's friends and they understood excellently the dramatic struggle of Poles for freedom. These were the most outstanding US presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover and first of all, Ronald Reagan. It was Reagan that destroyed communist Russia, defining it as the empire of evil. It was him that on the Christmas Eve of 1981, in the window of the White House, lit a candle for Poles fighting against the regime of marshal law and called the whole world to show solidarity with us. In 1997 Bill Clinton announced Poland's integration with NATO in Warsaw. And now President Barack Obama is coming to Poland.

Patton and MacArthur in Poland

An episode at the end of World War II - April 1945. The tank brigade and two infantry regiments, the picket of 3rd Army of the United States, commanded by the most famous American General George Patton, forced their way from the Czech lands through the Izerskie Mountains and conquered the area between Szklarska Poreba, Swieradow and Gryfow Slaski. Patton asked in vain General Eisenhower (US President in 1952-60) and other superiors to allow him to strike the dispersed Germans and move even 300 km towards Berlin to capture the capital of the Third Reich. He was commanded to retreat, in accordance with the agreement between Roosevelt and Stalin. Then the fate of the world could have been changed, with advantage for Europe, including Poland, with benefits for America. This was the end of the only military presence of the US Army in Poland.
On 10 September 1932 in the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw Marshal Jozef Pilsudski met the Chief of Staff of the US Infantry Army. It was General Douglas MacArthur, later the famous hero of World War II, conqueror of the Japanese and a true American legend. MacArthur made a special two-week journal by sea from America to Europe to meet Pilsudski, who he regarded as the most outstanding European statesman, the conqueror of communist Russia and a great commander. During that meeting the USA received an extraordinary, although top secret present from Poland. It was such a secret that until now only some professionals have been initiated to it. Marshal Pilsudski gave the United States two most important top secret Soviet codes 'Revolution' and 'Fialka' decoded by Poles. The last code was used by the Russians until 1945. They had no idea that the CIA had been receiving their secrets during the cold war. At that time General MacArthur also received the first elements of the German 'Enigma' decoded by the Polish mathematicians. We can only guess what benefits the USA must have had from that Polish present that General MacArthur took from Warsaw to Washington.

Invitation for President Obama to visit Colonel Kuklinski Museum

Now we know much more about the effects of the historical intelligence mission of Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski. It was also described by the Secretary of Defence in President Obama's administration Robert Gates in his memoirs entitled 'From the Shadow', 'Polish Colonel Kuklinski was our most valuable source of information in the whole Soviet block from Vladivostok to East Berlin. He passed the United States over 30,000 pages of the top secret documents of the Red Army, which allowed the USA to prevent the aggressive plans of the Kremlin.' The pregnant exposition in the Remembrance Hall of Colonel Kuklinski in Warsaw's Old Town presents that story. On the wall of the 17th century old building there is a meaningful commemorative tablet describing the Polish-American relationships and the image of the commander of the I Department of Strategic Planning in the Headquarters, 'Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski (1930 - 2004), conspirational pseudonym Jack Strong, a hero of Poland and America. He helped the USA defeat the Soviet Russia; in Moscow he managed to gain the top secret plans of the aggression of the Red Army against Europe, preventing the outbreak of World War III in which Poland was to become a nuclear battlefield. During the marshal law he was sentenced to death by the communists and was discharged by the Republic of Poland.' It is not incidental that the co-author of the inscription was President Lech Kaczynski.
On 27-28 May 2011 President Barack Obama is going to pay an official visit to Poland. It would be important to the Polish-American relationship if President Obama visited the unique museum of Colonel Kuklinski in the Old Town in Warsaw. It would undoubtedly be a symbolic political promotion of America in Poland and at the same time Poland's promotion in America. It is such a place that the US President should visit. Barack Obama in Europe

Therefore, as the curator of this museum I am honoured to invite the US President. Barack Obama is visiting Poland as part of his European trip. He is visiting Ireland, Great Britain, France and Poland. In France he participates in the G8 summit, the meeting of the eight most important world states: Japan, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia and the USA. Whereas in Warsaw as the president of the only superpower in the world he meets the leaders of the Central-Eastern European countries. Poland will be the host of this meeting. We cannot foresee the results of Obama's political visit to Europe, the more that the situation in various trouble spots in the world is dramatically unstable. We do not know what will happen in the world chessboard in two days, not speaking about several weeks. Additionally, the situation of President Obama himself is going to change. When in November 2008 he won the presidential elections convincingly he was an unchallenged American leader. Currently, his democratic party has lost majority in the Congress and Senate and the popularity of the President himself has gone down rapidly. Despite that Barack Obama officially confirmed his desire to be a presidential candidate in 2012. It will not be easy since even his closest advisors, including Prof. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former head of the US National Security Council, criticize and leave him. Recently in a large interview Brzezinski has characterised the politics of Obama, 'Obama's evaluations and diagnoses are not only idealistic but also, which I have stressed many times, not realistic. He shows a deep understanding what is needed. But this understanding is not translated into consistent political activities, based on a strategic plan. What he speaks about is not always put into practice. During the presidential campaign in 2008 I praised Obama for his excellent strategic understanding. Today I am disappointed with his foreign policy. I would say that his foreign politics is based on right evaluations, which the 21st century means for America, what critical changes are happening in the world, how the United States should adjust to them, at the same time giving them some direction. But these presumptions, which in my opinion are penetrating and historically right, have not been transformed into a true strategy of actions. And it is a serious gap that is revealed by the lack of a strategic initiative of the Americans.'

Ballast of the American President

Obama is a weak president, which can be seen more and more. Many people praise him a lot since they confused the true president with his image in the media. The problem is that America's troubles are much more serious than the image. In politics nothing is given for good but things get changed and the recent geopolitical situation has changed for the disadvantage of Poland and the United States as a superpower. The increased importance of communist China, the rebuilding of Russia's imperialistic desires, Germany's domination in the European Union, the Islamic expansion in the world, including in the EU and terrorism are only some of the elements of destabilisation that can be dangerous for America.
Obama, who won the confidence of his voters as a firm opponent of the war in Iraq and advocate of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as soon as possible has involved the USA in the new military conflict in Libya. His party members accuse him of violating the Constitution, starting a war without the authorisation of the Congress. Many of them are irritated that the decision was consulted with the representatives of the UN, NATO and the Arab League omitting the Americans. What's more, the level of unemployment in the USA is still 9 % and there have been dramatic debates concerning budget cuts in the Congress for several weeks, which does not make the president's situation easier. Numerous American tax-payers cannot agree with the fact that Obama is sending the army and expensive equipment to the other end of the world whereas in his own yard he fires librarians, teachers and policemen, neglects bridges and motorways and cancels help for the poorest.
In the year 2011 President Obama is not the presidential candidate of 2008. From the CIA there are leaks that Barack Obama, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace, has signed a confidential command for the special forces to begin secret military operations of sabotage in order to force concessions on Kaddafi's regime in Libya. Obama wants very much to have a quick success in the allied intervention against the Libyan regime since he promised such a success to the American voters who were sceptical towards actions at the ends of the globe. 'New York Times' presents the guidelines of the national doctrine in foreign politics that Obama sketched. Firstly, a military intervention somewhere in the world is really possible for Obama if the key military or economic interests of the United States are threatened. And secondly, according to the daily, Obama stressed that America was ready to begin military actions in the name of the so-called imponderabilia but it needed a coalition of other countries and clear, concrete aims of each military operation. This is the political ballast the US President takes to Poland.
The political, military and economic presence of America in Poland is a salt in the eye of Moscow and other capitals. The American F-16 with the white-red pattern in the Polish sky, the production of the modern Black Hawk helicopters in Mielec and even the huge works of Coca-Cola in Radzymin are the American presence that strengthens Poland. And it is always worth reminding that the origin of the relationships between Poles and Americans goes back to the 18th century. It is always worth reminding that Pulaski and Kosciuszko were not ordinary American generals but they were the heroes of the American war of independence and founding fathers of the US Army. In his artistic-historical vision Jan Matejko deliberately painted 'Kosciuszko at Raclawice' with Kosciuszko wearing a uniform of the US general with a Polish cocked hat, standing next to the conquered canons of the Russian invader and the moving little chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

"Niedziela" 22/2011

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: