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Ukraine, Poland, and “The Good Fight”

Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2022
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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Poland and Ukraine

In 1982 and 1983, the currents of life took me to Oxford University, from where friends tied to the Polish Underground took me into that Eastern European country, then besieged by Soviets trying to hold control – which they eventually lost. That period carries profound lessons for this one.

Meeting and living with Solidarity leaders, as a wide-eyed student, several things were instantly clear. Even then, the power of history significance of the moment through which we were living was clear. So were the life-lived lessons of that moment.

First, free peoples have no end of motivation to fightbacks against the wall; they will die for freedom. Visiting underground leaders, their willingness to give all was obvious. Many had been imprisoned. Taking risks endangering their families. Opposing a ruthless army was filled with risk. They were all-in. 

Second, once the battle for freedom is joined, more and more people materialize in pursuit of victory. Small gatherings became massive. Secret police, the Ministry of Public Security, deployed goon squads for Communist intelligence, counterespionage, secret police missions. Poles were undeterred. ZOMO and the paramilitary police, were feared – but not enough to stop the resistance.

Third, support from outside a beleaguered, struggling nation is vital – especially moral support. If material support matters, moral support matters more. American President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Polish-born Pope John Paul II resolved Poland could be free.

Their resolve was like an infusion of spiritual adrenaline into the Polish body politic. Watching a massive rally, tens of thousands, in Gdansk and Gdynia, I asked an underground friend, “what are they shouting?” 

She said, with quiet confidence, “They are shouting, ‘Reagan will show you’.”  Even remembering that poignant moment sends chills down my spine. The Poles knew the world was behind them.  

Fourth, unflinching leadership is powerful, especially as low morale weakens an oppressor from within. Never did I meet Lech Walensa, but his influence was widely felt – just as Zelensky’s is now, as leaders like General George Patton in WWII, General McAuliffe at Bastogne, and so many others turned the tide.

Fifth, religious convictions – not surprisingly – create an all-or-nothing bedrock for the fight. In 1983, communist oppression notwithstanding, 90 percent of Poland was Christian, mostly Catholic. Today, 70 percent of Ukraine is Christian, mostly Orthodox. 

The power of faith overwhelmed communist atheism. Somewhere in the hearts of Ukrainians, this is a battle for what is right, as understood by their faith. To many, this is St. Paul’s “Good Fight.”

Sixth, small victories for an unfairly oppressed population can magnify effort and energy. As time passed in Communist-dominated Poland, little things mattered more and more.

Poles pinned little homeland flags of free Poland, crosses, and radio transistors (what they called “resistors”) to their clothes. They intentionally violated oppressive laws. They resisted at all turns. This effort wore down the Soviets, which further elevated the freedom-loving spirit of the Poles.

Seventh, the courage of the “everyman” or “everywoman” is infectious, a force multiplier. Seeing one person do the unexpectedly courageous – confront a tank head-on, take a beating and getting back up, save a child in danger, dare feats involving great risk, is invariably inspiring. These things happened and are happening now.   

Eighth, the power of evil is not to be underestimated, a lesson well known to Europe and America. Between 1981 and 1983, countless Polis citizens and freedom fighters were killed, tens of thousands arrested, Soviets indifferent to the evil committed, preoccupied by power.

But ironically, the audacity of these horrific acts created a new sense of outrage, a wave of popular disaffection that rose like the towering right-front wave of a hurricane. That wave swamped the evil.

Ninth, for reasons unclear, history favors those who give their all to win, refusing to compromise with evil. On the numbers, American patriots fighting for freedom should not have prevailed in the American Revolution, nor at Normandy, Anzio, Bastogne, Midway, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, and other places. They did.

Some tenth lesson would be nice, but only nine resonate just now. They all matter because evil is again afoot on the globe, narrow eyes focused on what happens in Ukraine, despots and communists, autocrats and dictators watching to see if those defending freedom can somehow turn the tide.

We do not yet know, just as we did not know when all Eastern Europe struggled desperately for freedom against the oppressive communist Soviet Union. All conflict’s facts differ.

But some elements of human history and behavior are unchanging, like the price desperate people grounded in the love of freedom, right, and faith will pay –to win. This moment will long be remembered.

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legally present
legally present
2 years ago

I don’t think the lunatic in charge of Russia will stop with just the few countries he has already tried OR did get control of, he’s going for the whole enchilada and retaking ALL of what was the USSR.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

The Mirror War:
o Issue arms to citizens: UK 1940, Germany 1945
o citizens in shelter, London blitz
o Russian blitz into Ukraine
Rerun WW2

Kim
Kim
2 years ago

We are all in with Ukraine. Most of the free world is all in with Ukraine. I don’t understand why biden is resisting giving “all” to the Ukrainians.

I’m not talking about tens of thousands of troops (although that would put an immediate end to this crisis), but arms and supplies and whatever it takes for the Ukrainians to fight this war for themselves. That’s all they asked for. Putin’s war is not going well for him, and this is a most opportune moment to put this b-word out of contention. If this country, England, the EU, and others who care about sovereign nations and maintaining peace did what it takes, this would end soon. Someone has to stand up to the bullies of the world, and we have the means to do it. But without strong leadership, we’ll see lots of little tyrants popping up in all corners of the globe. You might disagree and prefer to stay on the sidelines, but we can do this. Acting soon and decisively will save thousands or perhaps millions of lives in the long run. But, of course, there’s the threat of nuclear weapons…that’s the sticky part that gives me pause.

Biden has a habit of offering too little too late. Only yesterday, he finally banned Russian oil or gas entering the U.S. Meanwhile, for several months, Putin has been organizing his forces and tanks, and lining up along the Ukraine border. Sanctions…big deal. Biden should have frozen Russian assets and stopped oil imports long ago. He also should have allowed American drillers to supply the market and drive down the price of oil, which would have prevented Putin from funding his dreams of reestablishing the U.S.S.R. Biden is the biggest enabler in Putin’s advances.

It is inspiring to know the sons and husbands in Ukraine remained in the country to battle a bully who is out of touch with the sentiments of most of his countrymen. I heard about a vodka producer (Kruto Vodka) in Austin TX, Ukrainian by birth, who is going over to defend the country, as many others are doing. President Zelensky has set a great example of patriotism and leadership, and I hope he and his country succeed in keeping their country intact.

LiamL
LiamL
2 years ago

We have bio labs in Ukraine being run by deep state apparently, Ukraine is the Clinton deep state money laundering apparatus and the Biden’s quid pro quo, the Ukraine has a huge Nazi terrorist organization murdering it’s own citizens. I support none of these things. I’m not pro Russia but I also don’t believe the ever lying Dems and MSM.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

The Poles know what happens when you’re under Russia’s jackboot. They should fly their Migs over there and tell Senile Joe to pound sand. After all, Biden screwed all our NATO allies in Afghanistan!

BCC
BCC
2 years ago

We, as a free nation, seem to be going in the direction of giving up that freedom to the powers that be. We really should be watching our own power hunger leaders!

legally present
legally present
2 years ago

I don’t think the lunatic in charge of Russia will stop with just the few countries he has already tried OR did get control of, he’s going for the whole enchilada and retaking ALL of what was the USSR.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

The Mirror War:
o Issue arms to citizens: UK 1940, Germany 1945
o citizens in shelter, London blitz
o Russian blitz into Ukraine
Rerun WW2

Kim
Kim
2 years ago

We are all in with Ukraine. Most of the free world is all in with Ukraine. I don’t understand why biden is resisting giving “all” to the Ukrainians.

I’m not talking about tens of thousands of troops (although that would put an immediate end to this crisis), but arms and supplies and whatever it takes for the Ukrainians to fight this war for themselves. That’s all they asked for. Putin’s war is not going well for him, and this is a most opportune moment to put this b-word out of contention. If this country, England, the EU, and others who care about sovereign nations and maintaining peace did what it takes, this would end soon. Someone has to stand up to the bullies of the world, and we have the means to do it. But without strong leadership, we’ll see lots of little tyrants popping up in all corners of the globe. You might disagree and prefer to stay on the sidelines, but we can do this. Acting soon and decisively will save thousands or perhaps millions of lives in the long run. But, of course, there’s the threat of nuclear weapons…that’s the sticky part that gives me pause.

Biden has a habit of offering too little too late. Only yesterday, he finally banned Russian oil or gas entering the U.S. Meanwhile, for several months, Putin has been organizing his forces and tanks, and lining up along the Ukraine border. Sanctions…big deal. Biden should have frozen Russian assets and stopped oil imports long ago. He also should have allowed American drillers to supply the market and drive down the price of oil, which would have prevented Putin from funding his dreams of reestablishing the U.S.S.R. Biden is the biggest enabler in Putin’s advances.

It is inspiring to know the sons and husbands in Ukraine remained in the country to battle a bully who is out of touch with the sentiments of most of his countrymen. I heard about a vodka producer (Kruto Vodka) in Austin TX, Ukrainian by birth, who is going over to defend the country, as many others are doing. President Zelensky has set a great example of patriotism and leadership, and I hope he and his country succeed in keeping their country intact.

LiamL
LiamL
2 years ago

We have bio labs in Ukraine being run by deep state apparently, Ukraine is the Clinton deep state money laundering apparatus and the Biden’s quid pro quo, the Ukraine has a huge Nazi terrorist organization murdering it’s own citizens. I support none of these things. I’m not pro Russia but I also don’t believe the ever lying Dems and MSM.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

The Poles know what happens when you’re under Russia’s jackboot. They should fly their Migs over there and tell Senile Joe to pound sand. After all, Biden screwed all our NATO allies in Afghanistan!

BCC
BCC
2 years ago

We, as a free nation, seem to be going in the direction of giving up that freedom to the powers that be. We really should be watching our own power hunger leaders!

kamala harris
trump flag
President Joe Biden departs after speaking at the NAACP Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mark Laws

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