May 20, 2016 –
By Jafe Arnold (J. Arnoldski) for Katehon –
“Zmiana (Change): Labor, Peace, Patriotism”
On the morning of May 18th, 2016, Polish liberal democracy showed its true face to the Polish people and the world. All the mindless chanting of “27 years of freedom” turned into a gasp of horror as armed officers of the Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW) swooped down on anti-NATO activists in a rampaging scene resembling the most stereotypical “totalitarian” political repressions of the 20th century. Coordinated raids hit the Warsaw-based office of the party Zmiana (Change) and ransacked the homes and offices of its associates. Computers, telephones, documents, and virtually any materials the security services could get their hands on, including ordinary Polish flags, were confiscated and the founding leader of Zmiana, Mateusz Piskorski, was arrested and remains in custody on charges of “espionage on behalf of a foreign state.” As if in synchronization, mainstream Polish media outlets immediately unleashed a new volley of accusations against the party and its leaders for being “Kremlin agents,” “terrorist accomplices,” and the “Russian Fifth Column” which, for the first time, were accompanied with hysterical claims that Piskorski was working not only for Russian, but also Chinese intelligence services! This day will surely go down in history as one of the most sickening, tragically farcical instances of life under the US-NATO occupation of Poland.
While the harsh, whirlwind blitzkrieg against Zmiana might have caught some off guard, sadly enough this purge should come as no surprise. Two days before his arrest, Piskorski warned on his blog that Warsaw was planning to “pacify” any opposition to the upcoming NATO summit to be held On July 8th-9th in Warsaw. Seeing as how several weeks earlier, anti-NATO activists from the Communist Party of Poland and the Grunwald Patriotic Workers Union were coarsely sentenced for “promoting totalitarianism” and the Polish parliament just passed a bill banning protests in the capital from July 7th-10th, Piskorski, unfortunately, was proven right, his own example included. Moreover, according to one activist from Zmiana who was approached by the ABW, the officers carried a list on which appeared to be a number of opposition organizations to be “visited.”
Despite the overbearing bullhorn claims of the mostly Western-owned Polish corporate media, we are not dealing with any kind of thriller “espionage” on the part of Piskorski and co. or a provocation by “Kremlin trolls.” Instead, the reality at hand is a barometer of the geopolitical confrontation gripping Eastern Europe and a telling sign of what is to come for Poland and the other states being “generously” presented with increased NATO presence and the deployment of US weapon systems on their soils. “Predictions concerning the upcoming NATO summit in July in Warsaw are beginning to clearly indicate that the aim of the alliance today is first and foremost preventing the emergence of social movements demanding the liberation of Europe from underneath the tutelage of the United States,” Piskorski warned before his arrest. In this light, the political repression against Zmiana is the logical consequence of NATO’s new efforts to forge “battleground Eastern Europe” and by all indices it can be expected that the arrest of Piskorski and the harassment of Polish activists is just the first episode of many more to come in the “pacification” of dissenting voices. After all, those who speak the truth are, as is known, the first casualties of war, which is merely politics by another means. As Piskorski said in November, 2015: “We will not complain, because it is obvious that the establishment reacts to us as a virus which could potentially lead to illness and death.”
Zmiana is the paradigmatic target of such pacification, precisely such a “virus” to unipolarity. A distinctly anti-Atlanticist party which uncompromisingly opposes NATO’s occupation of Europe and American hegemony, Zmiana assembled itself as a syncretic project uniting both the “right” and “left” wings of anti-liberal Polish organizations to fight Atlanticism in Poland on all fronts: in independent media, on the streets, in workplaces, in representative bodies, etc. The change for which this new, unique, and vital party has striven and has enshrined in its name is a multipolar world in which Poland has the right to self-determination and the pursuit of foreign and domestic policies beneficial to the Polish people as part of a wider civilizational pole. Zmiana’s geopolitical and ideological orientation have since the very beginning posed a formidable threat to the Atlanticist Polish establishment which has acted as a willing puppet and senseless attack dog in furthering US interests in the region to the detriment of Poles’ livelihoods and identity.
The first attempt to smother Zmiana consisted of indefinitely postponing the legal party registration process under the pretext of “false signatures”, but the party continued to grow and expand its operations nonetheless. This intolerable opposition to Poland’s comprador elite, its colonial overlords, and the numerous fake parading “oppositions” reached a critical point with the party’s adamant insistence on meeting the upcoming NATO summit with a defiant anti-summit. It is no accident that the assault of May 18th came after Piskorski declared that “we have been left with one thing: to loudly protest and by all law-abiding means block the realization of NATO’s plans which it will announce in July in Warsaw. It is also worth organizing a social movement for Poland’s exit from this pact as a condition of gaining elementary state sovereignty and a real sense of security.”
Zmiana’s self-identification as the “only real opposition” and “first non-American party” has been confirmed by the state’s open aggression against it for the sake of presenting a clean show for the Polish elite’s masters’ visit in July. After all, Zmiana has presciently, consistently criticized the consequences of Polish Atlanticism for Polish democracy, and the definitively negative effects which opening up Polish soil for NATO boots has had on the respect of basic rights and democratic processes. Whether in marching through the streets of May Day in Lodz, changing the street names in Warsaw to combat symbolic colonization, exposing the hypocritical nature of the present “democratic opposition,” seeking reconciliation and dialogue with Russia at Katyn, rejecting historical revisionism by laying flowers for the Red Army liberators of Poland, welcoming the Night Wolves on their ride to Berlin, protesting the Polish oligarchy’s support for the Kiev junta, or helping deliver much needed material and diplomatic aid to Donbass, in the year and half of its existence Zmiana has shown itself to be the party that connects the various struggles confronting Poland into a single, unified, determined anti-Atlanticist front.
The media-hyped targeting and arrest of Mateusz Piskorski is itself symbolic. Piskorski has come to represent the face of the Polish struggle for multipolarity. As such, he was and remains simultaneously among the most disliked and the most liked politicians in Poland. As an analyst and one of the heads of the European Center for Geopolitical Analysis, Piskorski has also become a respectable representative of the intellectual and diplomatic endeavor to conceive and realize multipolarity. In this capacity, he has not only represented Poland’s case for multipolarity but has also linked this front with the endeavor of liberating Europe and defending Eurasia at large. Thus, Piskorski’s arrest is not only an assault on a well-known Polish opposition figure, but a strike at the network of individuals and groups promoting civilizational reconquest from Lisbon to Vladivostok and beyond.
The real reasons behind the flimsy and hysterical pretexts for the first-rate repressive operations launched against Zmiana and Piskorski are just as clear as is the overarching geopolitical situation. With questionable setbacks in Ukraine and Syria, NATO has opted to put full thrust on its escalation of tensions on the Eastern European front. The main subject of the Warsaw-hosted NATO summit itself revolves around the further deployment of US and NATO armed forces in Poland, especially the installment of the US’ infamous weapon “defense” system which, as has been admitted, is aimed at none other than Russia. Ultimately, the US is seeking to turn Poland into the foremost front of a potential, all-cards-thrown-in war against Russia. To this end, NATO has manipulated Poland, against its own geopolitical and economic interests, to provoke successive deteriorations of relations with Russia, an initiative which involves the manipulation of Poles’ disoriented national identity to set them against their eastern neighbors and ultimately leave them to pay the price. In this pawning of Poland, oppositional forces which call out the falsehood of NATO’s “security guarantees” as what they really are – “guarantees of conflict” – are a liability for the Polish puppet regime and its Washington and Brussels-based puppeteers. And these “liabilities,” in the lexicon of the US-NATO bloc’s information war against Russia, are inevitably, no matter what, “hybrid warriors.” Hence the transfiguration of what are in fact genuinely pro-Polish figures into “Russian spies” or “Putin’s agents.” Moreover, as is expected among the results of the new NATO summit, any such “hybrid activities”, i.e, acts of protest, will now be treated as security threats liable to forcible neutralization. By such heinous acts as imprisoning “pro-Russian” activists and intellectuals, NATO’s puppet states are but begging for a Russian response, which would in turn merely further agitate relations. The self-fulfilling prophecy thus spirals on.
NATO shows absolutely no signs of slowing or halting its further encroachment up to Russian borders by way of its Eastern European semi-colonial subjects. Indeed, its raison d’être leaves it with no other conceivable option. As this offense continues, and as Russia is inevitably compelled to respond, democratic structures and rights will no longer be in the aggressors’ interests. Freedoms of speech, the press, and organization will become uncomfortable thorns in the sides of NATO’s occupation forces, and will be subsequently restricted and, as the state of war intensifies, ultimately abandoned under one or another pretext. Democratic opposition itself will become a “tool of hybrid war” slated for liquidation. This is the case unfolding in Poland and, with ever steady inching forward, in the Baltic states. Then, the real meaning of the SOFA agreements according to which American soldiers cannot be prosecuted for committing crimes on Polish soil will truly be felt; and these and similar agreements do not only exist in Poland, but across Europe.
The attack on Piskorski and Zmiana is not only an attack on Polish sovereignty at that crucial point where the security and interests of the Polish people diverge from the orders of the repressive security apparatus. It is an attack upon and intimidating warning for all of Europe under NATO’s thumb. It is an endemic part and parcel of the removal of the “human face” mask from the true face of occupation. It is a flagrant discarding of democracy in the country which was hitherto masqueraded as the West’s prized pet of “freedom, democracy, and security” in the former Eastern Bloc, the implications of which will surely touch other such states of the region. As such, moreover, it is not only an exposure of the real, non-democratic reason of the West’s crusade, but is also an anticipation of what is still to come in this now deracinated context. The “temporary, preventative” measures of repression before the Warsaw NATO summit are a painful reality here to stay, and will soon enough become everyday hallmarks of life in the midst of geopolitical Endkampf. As Piskorski himself predicted: “The next scene of the conflict which Carl Schmitt described in terms of the war between land and sea is unfolding before our very eyes.”