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« Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears or the Politically-Correct Pickles | Main | Raise Russian Human Rights in Russia, Not Just American Wrongs »

April 16, 2010

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Homelesseus

You actually say, as you reject the Latvian analysis, that you know nothing about Polish politics? How on earth did you convince yourself that your opinion is worthy of cyberspace space?

Homelesseus

Moreover, when did any leader of the US, Australia, France, Great Britain, Spain, or any other (excluding Germany, which had little choice but to apologize for the Holocaust)civilized country ever apologize for its atrocities, atrocities that make Katyn look like your average run-of-the-mill massacre? This is so selectively appalled that it nullifies itself.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

I don't have to know anything about Latvian or Polish politics in detail (I only know of them broadly from reading the Times) to find the Latvian comments chilling and bloody-minded. I have a lot of questions about what it means to "get in the way" of the Germans, the Russians, and the Americans. In what? How? Maybe that's a good thing, if "getting in the way" means not caving to Russian bullying. I personally don't avidly support the expansion of NATO and don't see the point of adding Ukraine and Georgia when NATO/the U.S. have absolutely no intention or capacity to actually fight Russia on behalf of those two countries.

Even so, I can see that the solidarity that the Polish president might have felt for these two countries feeling threatened by Russia was a real political factor and one that may have had national and regional support. At least it got him elected, but maybe it couldn't keep him elected.

The Latvian sounds to me like he can't explain a) such a president with such positions in fact having popular support and getting elected b) the real threats Georgia and Ukraine experience. But that's because he's a Latvian, I guess. I imagine he values his own country's freedom!

Um, please do find for me a massacre or atrocity like Katyn that the U.S., Australia, etc. have committed. I don't know of any certainly of the U.S. on that scale. I've never heard of this way of distracting and downplaying Katyn -- complaining that the U.S. and other Western countries had committed massacres on this scale with this amount of deliberation and planning and viciousness (holding the people in prison for 2 years and then murdering them).

If you're going to go back to the era of the Spanish Inquisition, I would think that isn't really a fair debate, because then you'd have to look at all the wars and atrocities of the countries of Eurasia for this same time period.

If you're going to try to cook up one of those "Columbus genocide via smallpox" arguments, then I realize I'm not talking to a reasonable person, and since your an anonymous drive-by commenter, there isn't much purpose in discussing this seriously with you anyway.

Do try to find what you imagine to be an equivalent, actual or moral, to Katyn committed by the U.S.

For example, if you are going to cite the Trail of Tears expulsion of some 20,000 Cherokee and the deaths of at least 4,000 so we're told on Wikipedia in 1830 is then matched by any number of similar types of displacement and deaths of indigenous and minority peoples in the Soviet Union in modern times, such as the Crimean Tatars, whose population of 184,000 people were deported in 1944 from the Crimean peninsula to Central Asia, with about 50 percent of them dying along the way -- and that's the story of just one of the many "punished peoples" of the Soviet Union.

I don't understand why it is so difficult for people in the West to grasp that the horrors of the Soviet Union were far, far worse than anything you can come up with in the West. I wonder why it's even necessary to argue about these facts.

barbara

Thanks for a piece of great reading. Even though Kaczynski was a very controversial figure (both in Poland and abroad), it should not be forgotten that he has also played a major role in overthrowing the communism in the 80s. I personally have never supported him as a political leader yet still find it rather creepy that some 'sigh with relief' after the tragic news making it look like it was a totalitarian leader who lost his life that day.

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