Tuesday, 27 March 2012

cordon sanitaire or the moon of endor

While Poland was hosting the new German president on his first official state visit, to reaffirm the ties of the two neighbouring countries, Poland was declared, again, the unwilling football of dรฉtente and appeasement. I am sure a great deal of diplomacy is carried out in the footlights, in hushed tones and without attendant-minders, like this Cold War melodrama. Certainly, there is an element of smug fatalism, but it seems as if old rivalries are drawing the same lines in the sand and perhaps the same promises written on water. Starting with the rise of Bolshevik governments out of the chaos of World War I, America sought to staunch the spread of the Communist revolution, but it was not until the victors picked over the wreckage of the World War II, that the US policy of containment became such a formalized game.

Crying foul at the “subversion” of free peoples by Soviet tyranny and without deference to Poland’s history of being swapped, the first bargaining-chip, the country was overlooked again, but despite the clash of the ideologues enveloping it, Poland—like many of the other Eastern Bloc, buffer states—did manage to overcome adversity and neglect to thrive. It is probably not more (but also not less) than an uncomfortable and sad reality to defer change or meaningful negotiations (in as much as such promises are worth) until after a campaign, as was overheard in the candid exchange between the US and Russia regarding Western encroachment into Russia’s domain—casting into question the fumble over the planned deflector shield, to protect Europe from Middle East aggression, to be based in Poland (and in the neighbouring Czech Republic). There is a certain quid pro quo detachment inherent in these dealings, which probably means that tensions and disagreement over Syria and Iran are being broached in the same way, and that’s likely the bigger embarrassment behind shelving the focus on this one slip.