Security
Martin Sieff
March 22, 2021
© Photo: REUTERS/POOL New

U.S., British and other NATO leaders need to grow up fast: Instead, they witlessly allow themselves to be trapped in their own infantile rhetoric, Martin Sieff writes.

Can Poland’s leaders never learn? In 1939, they made World War II and their own destruction by the Nazis inevitable by refusing the only thing that could have saved them — a military alliance with the Soviet Union as well as the West that Moscow was ready to offer. Today, they are eagerly urging the West towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia that would destroy Washington, New York, London and Paris.

Yet their own army is as much a joke today as it was in 1939.

As my friend, retired senior Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong has documented on this platform, Poland’s political and military chiefs — ludicrously eager to impress Washington and urge the United States into some disastrous confrontation with Russia — have eagerly offered their supposedly elite units to attack the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. And Kaliningrad is crucial to Russia: It guards the invasion routes to St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, that Nazi armies followed to slaughter multiple millions in 1941.

As Patrick noted, NATO — including its Polish components — also slavishly follows the 21st century American fashion of puffing itself up to repeatedly claim it is “professional,” “competent” and “serious” when instead, the actual military activities of its senior member nations from Ukraine to Afghanistan eerily echo the Keystone Kops.

In their dreams of rapidly eliminating Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, NATO experts cited by Patrick assure us, “if that would ever come to fruition, we’d be ready to execute.” It would be “a multi-domain, very timely and effective capability”. “The best Polish military units, numbering 30,000 soldiers, should take part in the quick offensive.”

As Patrick commented: “Multi-domain, best Polish; in the imaginations of the strategists of Laputa, the Russians passively await the blow.”

However, Patrick, a citizen of what insistently demands it still be called “The Real World,” goes on to also recall that 2020 Winter virtual military exercises “ended with the complete defeat of Polish troops: on the fifth day of the virtual conflict, the enemy reached the banks of the Vistula and surrounded Warsaw.”

Reading this devastating expose of Polish and NATO military fantasies exposed by their own assessments, I was overwhelmed with a tidal wave of deja vu: Been there: Done that. Seen it all before. Nothing New Under the Sun.

For it has all happened before, just over 80 years ago in fact.

As the excellent U.S. popular historian Gene Smith noted in his heartbreaking, beautifully written book on the outbreak of World War II “The Dark Summer,” the Polish government of the time flatly blocked every (half-hearted) effort by the British and French governments to negotiate a defensive alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany.

In the frank assessment of British historian Paul Johnson in his classic work “Modern Times,” Poland in 1939 was ruled by an ugly racist junta that practiced extreme policies of apartheid against its Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish citizens alike.

Soviet leader Josef Stalin had for years made clear he was eager for such an alliance. But as the memoirs of Soviet Ambassador to Britain Ivan Maisky vividly document, Winston Churchill alone among leading political figures in London was eager to have one.

Polish junta leader Colonel Josef Beck was an idiotic buffoon who regarded himself as a genius. He liked to say that only three men counted for real power in Europe: “There is Hitler. There is Stalin. And there is — Beck.”

The Polish general staff were just as bad. Without any armored force or useful artillery, and an air force consisting only of old biplanes, they imagined they would proudly march into Germany and conquer Berlin in only a few weeks. Then their cavalry would wheel around and charge straight to Moscow.

The price of this crass stupidity was paid by the entire Polish people. Around six million out of Poland’s prewar population of 30 million were slaughtered by the Nazis — a death toll of 20 percent or one in five. At least 87 percent of Poland’s prewar Jewish population of three and a half million were slaughtered in the Nazi genocide. Ethnic Russians and Gypsies were also murdered without number.

Yet it could all have been so easily avoided. Beck and his clownish generals refused to recognize that the Soviet Union remained the dominant military power of Central and Eastern Europe. They refused to admit that Russia was essential to lasting peace and stability in Europe — just as it is today. They also refused to recognize that Stalin wanted peace rather than war. Is this also starting to sound familiar?

Eighty million people died in World War II. Up to half of them were slaughtered by the Nazis across the Soviet Union. Yet today, a new generation of Polish self-styled “patriots” and “strategists” — ludicrously and appallingly encouraged by the political buffoons of Washington and Brussels are hell-bent (the term is literally appropriate) — on fomenting war between Russia and the West.

It should be sobering enough for any country to face its responsibility for failing to deter World War II. It is vastly worse when the leaders of that same country actively and even enthusiastically openly try to provoke a confrontation that can only end in a thermonuclear World War III.

U.S., British and other NATO leaders need to grow up fast: Instead, they witlessly allow themselves to be trapped in their own infantile rhetoric.

Winston Churchill worked tirelessly in the 1930s to forge an alliance with Moscow to prevent the outbreak of a world war. Yet today, all his supposed admirers in the West remain hell-bent on provoking a catastrophic war with Russia that can only end in their own destruction.

But then, with Poland’s leaders on their side, How can they lose?

Can Poland’s Leaders Never Learn?

U.S., British and other NATO leaders need to grow up fast: Instead, they witlessly allow themselves to be trapped in their own infantile rhetoric, Martin Sieff writes.

Can Poland’s leaders never learn? In 1939, they made World War II and their own destruction by the Nazis inevitable by refusing the only thing that could have saved them — a military alliance with the Soviet Union as well as the West that Moscow was ready to offer. Today, they are eagerly urging the West towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia that would destroy Washington, New York, London and Paris.

Yet their own army is as much a joke today as it was in 1939.

As my friend, retired senior Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong has documented on this platform, Poland’s political and military chiefs — ludicrously eager to impress Washington and urge the United States into some disastrous confrontation with Russia — have eagerly offered their supposedly elite units to attack the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. And Kaliningrad is crucial to Russia: It guards the invasion routes to St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, that Nazi armies followed to slaughter multiple millions in 1941.

As Patrick noted, NATO — including its Polish components — also slavishly follows the 21st century American fashion of puffing itself up to repeatedly claim it is “professional,” “competent” and “serious” when instead, the actual military activities of its senior member nations from Ukraine to Afghanistan eerily echo the Keystone Kops.

In their dreams of rapidly eliminating Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, NATO experts cited by Patrick assure us, “if that would ever come to fruition, we’d be ready to execute.” It would be “a multi-domain, very timely and effective capability”. “The best Polish military units, numbering 30,000 soldiers, should take part in the quick offensive.”

As Patrick commented: “Multi-domain, best Polish; in the imaginations of the strategists of Laputa, the Russians passively await the blow.”

However, Patrick, a citizen of what insistently demands it still be called “The Real World,” goes on to also recall that 2020 Winter virtual military exercises “ended with the complete defeat of Polish troops: on the fifth day of the virtual conflict, the enemy reached the banks of the Vistula and surrounded Warsaw.”

Reading this devastating expose of Polish and NATO military fantasies exposed by their own assessments, I was overwhelmed with a tidal wave of deja vu: Been there: Done that. Seen it all before. Nothing New Under the Sun.

For it has all happened before, just over 80 years ago in fact.

As the excellent U.S. popular historian Gene Smith noted in his heartbreaking, beautifully written book on the outbreak of World War II “The Dark Summer,” the Polish government of the time flatly blocked every (half-hearted) effort by the British and French governments to negotiate a defensive alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany.

In the frank assessment of British historian Paul Johnson in his classic work “Modern Times,” Poland in 1939 was ruled by an ugly racist junta that practiced extreme policies of apartheid against its Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish citizens alike.

Soviet leader Josef Stalin had for years made clear he was eager for such an alliance. But as the memoirs of Soviet Ambassador to Britain Ivan Maisky vividly document, Winston Churchill alone among leading political figures in London was eager to have one.

Polish junta leader Colonel Josef Beck was an idiotic buffoon who regarded himself as a genius. He liked to say that only three men counted for real power in Europe: “There is Hitler. There is Stalin. And there is — Beck.”

The Polish general staff were just as bad. Without any armored force or useful artillery, and an air force consisting only of old biplanes, they imagined they would proudly march into Germany and conquer Berlin in only a few weeks. Then their cavalry would wheel around and charge straight to Moscow.

The price of this crass stupidity was paid by the entire Polish people. Around six million out of Poland’s prewar population of 30 million were slaughtered by the Nazis — a death toll of 20 percent or one in five. At least 87 percent of Poland’s prewar Jewish population of three and a half million were slaughtered in the Nazi genocide. Ethnic Russians and Gypsies were also murdered without number.

Yet it could all have been so easily avoided. Beck and his clownish generals refused to recognize that the Soviet Union remained the dominant military power of Central and Eastern Europe. They refused to admit that Russia was essential to lasting peace and stability in Europe — just as it is today. They also refused to recognize that Stalin wanted peace rather than war. Is this also starting to sound familiar?

Eighty million people died in World War II. Up to half of them were slaughtered by the Nazis across the Soviet Union. Yet today, a new generation of Polish self-styled “patriots” and “strategists” — ludicrously and appallingly encouraged by the political buffoons of Washington and Brussels are hell-bent (the term is literally appropriate) — on fomenting war between Russia and the West.

It should be sobering enough for any country to face its responsibility for failing to deter World War II. It is vastly worse when the leaders of that same country actively and even enthusiastically openly try to provoke a confrontation that can only end in a thermonuclear World War III.

U.S., British and other NATO leaders need to grow up fast: Instead, they witlessly allow themselves to be trapped in their own infantile rhetoric.

Winston Churchill worked tirelessly in the 1930s to forge an alliance with Moscow to prevent the outbreak of a world war. Yet today, all his supposed admirers in the West remain hell-bent on provoking a catastrophic war with Russia that can only end in their own destruction.

But then, with Poland’s leaders on their side, How can they lose?

U.S., British and other NATO leaders need to grow up fast: Instead, they witlessly allow themselves to be trapped in their own infantile rhetoric, Martin Sieff writes.

Can Poland’s leaders never learn? In 1939, they made World War II and their own destruction by the Nazis inevitable by refusing the only thing that could have saved them — a military alliance with the Soviet Union as well as the West that Moscow was ready to offer. Today, they are eagerly urging the West towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia that would destroy Washington, New York, London and Paris.

Yet their own army is as much a joke today as it was in 1939.

As my friend, retired senior Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong has documented on this platform, Poland’s political and military chiefs — ludicrously eager to impress Washington and urge the United States into some disastrous confrontation with Russia — have eagerly offered their supposedly elite units to attack the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. And Kaliningrad is crucial to Russia: It guards the invasion routes to St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, that Nazi armies followed to slaughter multiple millions in 1941.

As Patrick noted, NATO — including its Polish components — also slavishly follows the 21st century American fashion of puffing itself up to repeatedly claim it is “professional,” “competent” and “serious” when instead, the actual military activities of its senior member nations from Ukraine to Afghanistan eerily echo the Keystone Kops.

In their dreams of rapidly eliminating Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, NATO experts cited by Patrick assure us, “if that would ever come to fruition, we’d be ready to execute.” It would be “a multi-domain, very timely and effective capability”. “The best Polish military units, numbering 30,000 soldiers, should take part in the quick offensive.”

As Patrick commented: “Multi-domain, best Polish; in the imaginations of the strategists of Laputa, the Russians passively await the blow.”

However, Patrick, a citizen of what insistently demands it still be called “The Real World,” goes on to also recall that 2020 Winter virtual military exercises “ended with the complete defeat of Polish troops: on the fifth day of the virtual conflict, the enemy reached the banks of the Vistula and surrounded Warsaw.”

Reading this devastating expose of Polish and NATO military fantasies exposed by their own assessments, I was overwhelmed with a tidal wave of deja vu: Been there: Done that. Seen it all before. Nothing New Under the Sun.

For it has all happened before, just over 80 years ago in fact.

As the excellent U.S. popular historian Gene Smith noted in his heartbreaking, beautifully written book on the outbreak of World War II “The Dark Summer,” the Polish government of the time flatly blocked every (half-hearted) effort by the British and French governments to negotiate a defensive alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany.

In the frank assessment of British historian Paul Johnson in his classic work “Modern Times,” Poland in 1939 was ruled by an ugly racist junta that practiced extreme policies of apartheid against its Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish citizens alike.

Soviet leader Josef Stalin had for years made clear he was eager for such an alliance. But as the memoirs of Soviet Ambassador to Britain Ivan Maisky vividly document, Winston Churchill alone among leading political figures in London was eager to have one.

Polish junta leader Colonel Josef Beck was an idiotic buffoon who regarded himself as a genius. He liked to say that only three men counted for real power in Europe: “There is Hitler. There is Stalin. And there is — Beck.”

The Polish general staff were just as bad. Without any armored force or useful artillery, and an air force consisting only of old biplanes, they imagined they would proudly march into Germany and conquer Berlin in only a few weeks. Then their cavalry would wheel around and charge straight to Moscow.

The price of this crass stupidity was paid by the entire Polish people. Around six million out of Poland’s prewar population of 30 million were slaughtered by the Nazis — a death toll of 20 percent or one in five. At least 87 percent of Poland’s prewar Jewish population of three and a half million were slaughtered in the Nazi genocide. Ethnic Russians and Gypsies were also murdered without number.

Yet it could all have been so easily avoided. Beck and his clownish generals refused to recognize that the Soviet Union remained the dominant military power of Central and Eastern Europe. They refused to admit that Russia was essential to lasting peace and stability in Europe — just as it is today. They also refused to recognize that Stalin wanted peace rather than war. Is this also starting to sound familiar?

Eighty million people died in World War II. Up to half of them were slaughtered by the Nazis across the Soviet Union. Yet today, a new generation of Polish self-styled “patriots” and “strategists” — ludicrously and appallingly encouraged by the political buffoons of Washington and Brussels are hell-bent (the term is literally appropriate) — on fomenting war between Russia and the West.

It should be sobering enough for any country to face its responsibility for failing to deter World War II. It is vastly worse when the leaders of that same country actively and even enthusiastically openly try to provoke a confrontation that can only end in a thermonuclear World War III.

U.S., British and other NATO leaders need to grow up fast: Instead, they witlessly allow themselves to be trapped in their own infantile rhetoric.

Winston Churchill worked tirelessly in the 1930s to forge an alliance with Moscow to prevent the outbreak of a world war. Yet today, all his supposed admirers in the West remain hell-bent on provoking a catastrophic war with Russia that can only end in their own destruction.

But then, with Poland’s leaders on their side, How can they lose?

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

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The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.