Poles do not Want to be Hostages of US Military Ambitions
The decision on the deployment of US anti-missile base in Poland should be taken by Polish people themselves. This resolution was adopted by a session of the National Council of the Union of Democratic Left forces, SLD, which favoured holding of a nation-wide referendum.
Polish Left is a major political party having the third numerically-strongest faction in the parliament. They insist that the treaty on the deployment in Poland of 13 US anti-missiles signed in Warsaw on August 20 should be put to a nation-wide referendum. According to the leader of the Left Gzhegozha Naperalsky, in parliament debates should be held during which the government and the president should inform voters of what took place at the talks with the United States. In addition, they should explain what the US anti-missile shield can give to Poland and the Poles.
Launching a broad discussion of those problems the Left proceed from the assumption that the deployment of US missiles in Poland, that is, actually the creation of a US military base there, cannot enhance the country’s security, on the contrary, this can pose only new threats. This was emphasized in the resolution of the SLD National Council. The Left opposition believes that the ruling rightist coalition has ignored public opinion: a majority of the Poles were against the deployment of US missiles at the moment of signing the agreement with the United States. The Left are also indignant with the fact the final decision was taken without consultations with the residents of Slupsk and Redzikovo where US facilities are expected to be deployed.
It is well to remind here that the residents of those settlements have taken a negative attitude to the consent of the Polish government to deploy elements of US anti-missile defenses on their territory. Recent public opinion polls have shown that over 66 percent of the respondents were against. True, experts believe that the incumbent Polish government will hardly deviate from its course. An Academic Secretary at the Institute of Europe, Pavel Kandel, believes that speculations about Polish history play a certain role in the matter. Here is more from him.
Policy toward closest relations with the United States is a corner stone of the Polish foreign policy. Historically Poland has apprehensions against Russia. It is enough to recall here the 19th-century uprisings, to say nothing of the Socialist period. Today by its pro-US policy Poland hopes to raise its prestige in European affairs.
The Polish Left intend to insist on a referendum. In such a way they hope to torpedo excessive military build-up in their country. The situation is much similar to that in the neighbouring country, the Czech Republic, where the opposition also works for holding a referendum on the deployment of US radar on the country’s territory. Ordinary people in Poland and the Czech Republic are fully aware that what is meant is not mythical opposition to Iran’s nuclear threats but attempts to provoke Russia to reciprocate, and this will not make life of ordinary Poles and Czechs safer even under a US umbrella.
[Source: The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 08Sep08]
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