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Polish Border Under Attack—Tinderbox in Eastern Europe

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman

polish

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus’ ruler, likes to refer to himself as “Europe’s last dictator.” Combined with his decision to rename his security forces back to the KGB after taking power and his willingness to cross lines even Kim Jong-Un and the Iranian Ayatollahs would balk at – such as hijacking international airliners to kidnap 20-something bloggers and murdering opponents while they are out dog-walking – Lukashenko is the sort of guy you should expect anything from. His recent actions, which involve the Belarussian military rounding up more than 30,000 Middle Eastern refugees at gun point and driving them over the Polish border, are only exceeded in their audacity by the attempt of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to add a financial shakedown to this act of war by suggesting that the European Union pay Lukashenko to stop it.

Make no mistake, Poland, a NATO member state and U.S. ally, is under attack on its eastern border by a rogue Belarussian regime backed by Moscow. That those crossing the border are themselves mostly unarmed does not detract from the fact that armed Belarussian forces are forcing them across, amounting to a physical invasion of Poland. And lest there be any doubt as to the intentions behind it, Lukashenko himself has suggested that the Polish response of moving troops is itself an act of aggression. “We are not bullying … Because we know that if, God forbid, we make some mistake, if we stumble, it will immediately draw Russia into this whirlpool and this is the largest nuclear power,” Lukashenko said recently. Poland has correctly identified that Lukashenko would not act without Putin’s support, but the Belarussian leader’s recent behavior makes him the perfect Russian patsy.

Lukashenko is infuriated at Poland because Poland has continued to allow Lukashenko’s domestic political opponents to operate freely within Polish territory. Last summer Lukashenko held fraudulent elections, where he first arrested his leading opponents and then, when one of their wives chose to run, responded by releasing fabricated results showing him winning nearly 80% of the vote. The result was mass protests and a general strike. Aided by Russian troops bussed in, Lukashenko suppressed the protests, driving his opponents into exile. But this was not enough for the volatile leader.

Lukashenko has long displayed serious signs of paranoia. He has not only turned on his own children in the past, accusing them of plotting to overthrow him, but engaged in a love-hate relationship with Putin’s Russia, alternatingly relying on Moscow for support and accusing Putin of plotting his overthrow. In fact, the Belarussian KGB arrested a number of Russians for what it claimed was a plot to launch a coup in the leadup to the 2020 elections. While Lukashenko seems to have patched up his relations with Putin given the burnt bridges with the West following the 2020 protests, his paranoia has not abated. He seems to view any opposition as a mortal threat. This was demonstrated when Belarussian jets forced a commercial flight between Athens and Vilnius to land and removed a 26-year-old opposition blogger from the aircraft who was promptly charged with terrorism. The U.S. and E.U. responded with sanctions.

Lukashenko’s hostility towards Poland is likely due to a combination of factors. First, there is a historical nationalist view, whereby Belarus’ secession from the Soviet Union, which Lukashenko opposed, was in his view driven by “Poles.” This outlook is the product of decades of propaganda going back to the Russian partitions of Poland in the 1790s, which tried to convince Belarussians that they were Russians who had been occupied by Poles until they were “liberated” by Catherine the Great. In turn, the Soviets treated any anti-Communist or Belarussian nationalists as “Polish spies,” with the Polish minority suffering a near genocide under Stalin. Lukashenko shares with Putin a suspicion that pro-Western sentiment in Belarus – and for that measure any anti-Russian sentiment – is by definition Polish subversion.

Lukashenko also believes that Poland, by supporting the E.U.’s sanctions, is supporting his overthrow. In his mind, allowing bloggers and opposition activists to enjoy asylum in Poland is tantamount to preparing for an “invasion.” Lukashenko was likely furious when a Belarussian athlete at the Tokyo Olympic games defected and was granted asylum in Poland, and sees his current actions as an effort to retaliate.

Finally, Lukashenko probably agrees with Lavrov’s suggestion that if he escalates the border conflict, then not only might the European Union and U.S. be forced to drop sanctions, but they might even be compelled to pay him for “stopping the flow of refugees.” While audacious, such an outcome is far from inconceivable. Neither the United States nor the European Union has much desire for a military confrontation with Russia, which would follow any effort to invade Belarus in order to depose Lukashenko. With that option off the table, it is unclear politically how exactly the Poles can handle this influx of migrants. Lukashenko and likely Putin have bet, not without reason, that shooting refugees will not be politically acceptable. While so far European leaders who have otherwise clashed with Poland have voiced strong support, there is reason to believe that support may not last.

Poland’s government has been subject to a constant campaign of demonization in Western Europe for everything from “undermining democracy” to “assaulting LGBT rights” to most recently a campaign to blame the death of a 30-year old woman on the Polish Supreme Court’s elimination of abortion except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened, a clause which is ignored in coverage of what is almost certainly a case of malpractice by a local hospital. While some of these stories have vague relations to events which occurred and have basis in fact, and many of the authors are genuinely concerned about Poland, it is hard to escape the view that the anti-Polish campaign is too well-funded and too orchestrated not to be part of someone’s agenda. It seems probable that Russian intelligence and money is behind much of this campaign, and recent accusations that Polish border guards “fabricated incidents” were spread by Russian bots.

All of this has left the Poles isolated. Poland has mobilized its military, recently increasing its defense budget, and is making plans for a Donald Trump-style border wall. But Lukashenko and Putin seem to be betting that Poland is the weak link in the Western alliance, and that Biden’s commitment to said alliance is weak in any case. With good reason, they think that if push comes to shove, the political costs of supporting Poland will be outweighed by the short-term domestic benefits of making a deal, which leaves Lukashenko in place, sanctions lifted, and cash payments flowing to Minsk. Not to mention that having proven this sort of blackmail can work once, there will be little to stop Putin and Lukashenko from trying it again, including in Ukraine.

Biden and his team need to realize that they are not dealing with some random crisis, but a deliberate attempt at blackmail through aggression on an ally. Moreover, Biden and European governments have encouraged such aggression by their willingness to openly feud with Warsaw and thereby give the impression to Russia that Poland is isolated and vulnerable to pressure. In fact, even as Poland is under assault, the European Parliament is openly voting on condemning Poland’s abortion law for causing the death of the 30-year old mother. What sign does holding a vote to condemn Poland send to Putin and Lukashenko other than that Poland is alone?

Biden and his team may think they are helping the Polish people by pressuring their government, but all they are doing is empowering attacks, attacks which they will then find themselves obligated to resist as long as Poland is in NATO. They need to learn that both appeasement and incompetent passive aggression do not work. They only encourage very-non passive aggression from the likes of Lukashenko on American allies.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.


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Willy E
2 months ago

Biden will probably take the funds he stole from our border wall and spend it to protect the Polish border.

Deportem
2 months ago

Can’t blame him for deporting the Mideastern illegal aliens. Muslims are a menace to any society.

Jaeger Johan
2 months ago

Only 30,000 illegals coming across the boarder? Wait, hold my beer!

Patriot 39
2 months ago

Personally, I think part of the reason some of the EU are pi$$ed with Poland is ALSO because Poland has had no terrorist attacks because of their “no un-vetted Moslem immigrants” policy– the rest of Europe wants Poland to share in the violence that radical Islam, or should I say, Islam, has brought to *their* countries.

Bliss William Tew
2 months ago

It is natural and justifiable to feel sorry for the Polish people who have suffered under National Socialists (NAZI) and Communists. Now another oppressor wants to oppress them? Nevertheless, it should not be America’s fight, since our military forces, under our Constitution were meant to be the defenders and vindicators of the United States alone, not everyone of the 192 countries on the planet. We should get out of the entangling treaty known as NATO and go it alone. If any NATO-member-nation (30 of them) goes to war, as long as we’re in the treaty as a member, we’re obligated to send our military forces to fight and die in their war. We’ve had far TOO MANY interventionist entanglements of a military variety since we joined the United Nations in 1945 and their offspring “Regional Arrangement” NATO in 1949. GET US OUT OF THE UNITED NATIONS and out of NATO too. Congress should withdraw us from these international entanglements.

Tim Toroian
2 months ago

I would piss off the Poles after the way they have been treated the past few hundred years, when they go it will be BOOM!

Tim Toroian
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Toroian

I left out the not as the third word above..

Mac
2 months ago

Sounds like what biden has is contagious.

Hal
2 months ago

Yes, the incursions of the recognized borders of Poland … with any or all neighbors… is very problematic. Brings to mind Adolph Hitler (the Poster Guy for the Democraps) and the Ruskies who are always ready to peel off a litte of its neighbors land (except Ckina0. But I’m not sure but what anything Biden could say or do about the situation would not ring of “the pot calling the kettle black.”.

DrScott
2 months ago

And so we have returned to the era of Marxist communist authoritarian governments, but now add the USA to the misery.
At this point there’s very little left for the people to overcome this.
Let’s go Brandon may bring the youth to the table, but what we need more than anything at this time, God.
We need God’s Revival in His Church. We need God’s help in this journey. We need God’s Great Awakening to follow.
Without God leading the people, we will never succeed. So, start with Him and remember to stay in prayer with Him or face the destruction of evil without God’s help.
Yes, this is a global problem. It’s going to move slowly because they know what may happen should they react to fast with severe measures. However, with the looming indictments and prosecutions that follow, the reactions of evil people will cause a serious reaction from the citizens.
God help us.

Dee
2 months ago
Reply to  DrScott

Amen

Emilia
2 months ago

And again Poland is between powers!!!! History repeats itself!!! 1939 Hitler invade Poland from the west and soon after Russia from the east. London declared war on Germany but did nothing to help!!!!!! Poland was alone and is alone now. World is only able to watch bc most of the governments are lead by cowards

Bliss William Tew
2 months ago
Reply to  Emilia

True, Emilia, that Poland was caught between two socialist-thugs (Hitler the national socialist and Stalin the International Socialist/Communist) in 1939. Poland has sadly been betrayed too when FDR and Churchill agreed to let Stalin take over Poland when WWII finally came to a close. Then when Hungary’s freedom fighters thought that U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower was going to save them in 1956 in their revolt against Communism, the Hungarians were betrayed. This disappointment was widely understood in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, our 1945 entanglement in membership in the United Nations meant the the globalists and International Communists had a victory in getting the U.S. to join their incipient world government- the United Nations Organization- and to fund it, supply military forces for its interventionist wars, and support the UN’s treaties. World government has been the goal of communists world wide for centuries and FDR and President Truman were happy to move us into the UN, with Congress foolishly agreeing by passing the 1945 United Nations Participation Act. Since then we’ve been entangled in one interventionist war after another starting with the Korean “UN Police Action” (undeclared by Congress as our Constitution requires). Hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers, Airmen, and sailor have died as a result. We then joined UN Regional Arrangements SEATO and NATO. NATO has us entangled with 30 allies for whom we are obligated to go to war for any of those countries that gets in a war. That can keep America perpetually at war as we’ve been since we joined the UN. It is time for Congress to disentangle us from the “new world order,” the United Nations membership ASAP. No more funding for the UN.

Myrna
2 months ago

Does this foreshadow our next election? When the military will not only guard the fences around congress but arrest suspected voters democrats will not want to vote will be jailed we will finally know we have lost.

Max
2 months ago

Looks like Poland is caught between a rock and hard place. A NATO ally is under attack but it is obvious that the EU members will not mobilize their military for the defense support of Poland because of the forced refugee invasion caused by Belarus military forces. It is more important that the EU force its socialist politics unto the Polish government about abortion and LGBT rights. The EU is declaring that they will play nice with Poland once the Polish sovereignty is abolished. The US response might be some minor saber rattling but more than likely, the US will tell Poland to get onboard with the EU.

PaulE
2 months ago
Reply to  Max

I doubt the Biden administration will even bother doing minor saber rattling. Poland is on their own and Belgium, Putin and Belarus know it. Poland is being betrayed and offered up on the altar of socialist policies by U.S. and EU administrations more concerned with virtue signaling than supporting a supposed ally. At least Poland and its people know it. Given Biden just got back from Glasgow and did everything but bend over and ask for more from the NWO crowd, I expect this story will be completely buried by the MSM to shield the Biden administration.

J. Shenk
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Biden’s administration has shown incompetence and fecklessness overall, but especially in foreign affairs. This weakness only serves to embolden our enemies. You may well be right. Should push come to shove, Biden will probably refuse to act in Poland’s defense.

PaulE
2 months ago

The Biden administration fully understands they are undermining the Polish government under the phony pretext they are utilizing. The Biden administration has been busy doing similar actions with other countries we have been long-term allies with. Read today’s WSJ to see how the Biden administration has essentially driven a wedge with Saudi Arabia and now the Saudis are looking for closer relations with President Xi and China, as the Saudis now doubt the United States will keep its commitments to the region.

The leaders of the EU in Belgium are doing their best to sour the relationship with Poland as well. Although for slightly different reasons, as the EU struggles with numerous internal power struggles and a more autocratic shift. When the Poles voted to join the EU many years ago, it was with the commitment from the EU that their national rights would be respected. The EU now seeks to change the rules of the road, so to speak, and now prefers to dictate what laws and rights it will consider acceptable within Poland’s own borders. In essence, wipe out Polish sovereignty and replace the constitution of Poland with the EU constitution. The Polish people have long memories and this strikes them as all too familiar to what a certain German dictator carried out decades ago.

So both Putin and the President of Belarus see Poland as an opportunity they might be able to leverage to their own advantage. Thus the massing of Belarus troops at the Polish border, all while the current occupant of the WH deliberates whether to have chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Decisions, decisions. What’s a senile old puppet to do?

Max
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Decision, that is easy, “O” told “B” to go with the RAINBOW sherbet. (LOL)

PaulE
2 months ago
Reply to  Max

LOL!!! Yes that would be his recommendation.

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