Update: Because of a reader's remarks putting the above facts into doubt, I am adding the following excerpts from previous posts:
- "Another myth was that European governments, which now praise Solidarity as the movement that precipitated the collapse of the communist system, were right behind the movement" writes Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune. "There were always 'ifs' and 'buts' or 'maybes' or 'let's wait and see," said Gienek Smolar (Europe Responds with More Sophistication and Better Understanding than the Trigger-Happy Cowboys Do…)
- 'The French left declined all support because it itself was too close to the former Soviet Communist Party. The French right did not want to foster instability anywhere in Europe. As for German leaders, they feared that a political explosion in Poland would undermine their efforts at détente with the Kremlin, which they believed was crucial for establishing closer ties with Communist East Germany. "The West European governments were concerned with the stability. They did not want Poland to rock the boat," says [Gienek Smolar], who when living in exile in London had helped garner international support for Solidarity.' ("The West European governments were concerned with the stability", not peace nor justice)
- "As for freedom, the Polish mind-set on Western Europe had been indelibly marked by considerable hesitation there to openly support the Solidarity trade union's rebellion against Communist rule in 1981. No joke, an Austrian speaker recalled, but his country's labor officials didn't recognize Solidarity until 1989!" (The Poles refuse to define a European future that could ever be in opposition to the Americans)
- Krauthammer's conclusion is that the European Left's "concern for human rights turns out to be nothing more than a useful weapon for its anti-Americanism" [against America as well as against Washington's allies!] (It would be a misreading of Europe's elites to see anti-American complaints as isolated gripes which can be overcome through patient dialogue)
- The death penalty, an insulting cartoon, a Berlin exhibit on European expulsees, everything is Poland's fault. "Poland's relations with the Union have become more complicated since last spring's formation in Warsaw of a coalition between conservatives, populists, and the far right." (It's All Poland's Fault)
- "Isn't that depressing! Isn't that sad? All those lucid, intelligent, humanistic, pacifist, reasonable groups (like the former communists), wanting to wake the Poles up to the reality of the US war, and those apathetic beings, not listening to them." (The Devil Is in the Details: How to Turn a Neutral Story into an Entirely Anti-American Article)
Update 2: A Polish émigré weighs in:
…it does not strike you as odd that the people who rush to the side of "justice" were once very happy to forsake justice because we were not proving their social theories correct. It bothers you not at all that the people defending Geremek did not defend him twenty years ago. It bothers me very much, because seventy years ago, these same people "defended" us. I do not want this defense again.
Let me offer some quotes that to me are very telling:"His moral authority, his commitment to Europe, his fight for freedom have made (Geremek) a figure symbolic of Europe and its values," Douste-Blazy said.M. Douste-Blazy, Geremek's moral authority was established decades ago. You chose to ignore it until it served your purposes to attempt to harm Poland. I am not impressed.French presidential candidate Segolene Royal urged Poland in the affair "to conform to the European Union's democratic values," which she described as "not negotiable."Au contraire, Mdm. Royal, these values have always been very negotiable. When the Germans and Russians signed an agreement to bypass Poland with a gas pipepline through the Baltic, where were our French "friends?" Is M. Putin conforming to the EU's "democratic values?" When Poland was fighting to keep an agreement regarding representation in the EU from being arbitrarily changed by France and Germany, where were your "democratic values?" They are as ephemeral as the French "offensive" in 1939.
…If Poland is to survive in the EU in anything but a subservient role to the French-German axis (or should I say the Vichy-Nazi Axis), it cannot allow hostile neighbors to intervene in its attempts to shed the political turpitude which is a direct consequence of the cowardice those neighbors showed (and in the case of the Germans, far worse) when we could have most used courage.
…the attitudes of individuals must have made an impact on subsequent positions after the Cold War. I suggest that based on the feelings of those people with whom I spoke at that time, who would be contemporaries with those who now denounce Poland, this is not a new sentiment. It was disdain before, and it is disdain now. The rhetoric has adjusted to support current interests. Its hostility to Poland itself is unchanged.