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Our Forgotten Allies...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Adam, Jan 1, 2004.

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  1. Adam

    Adam Member

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    Our Forgotten Allies (Poland)
    New York Post ^ | 22 December 2003 | Ralph Peters

    THE decisive turning point in the West's long struggle against Islamic conquerors came on the afternoon of Sept. 12, 1683, during the last Turkish siege of Vienna. Severely outnumbered Polish hussars - the finest cavalry Europe ever produced - charged into the massed Ottoman ranks with lowered lances and a wild battle cry. Led by the valiant King Jan Sobieski, the Poles had marched to save Vienna while other Europeans looked away. The French - surprise! - had cut a deal with the sultan. (To Louis XIV, humbling the rival Habsburgs trumped the fate of Western civilization.)

    The odds were grim. Many of King Jan's nobles feared disaster. But Sobieski risked his kingdom - actually a rough-and-tumble democracy - to save a continent.

    On that fateful afternoon, the Polish cavalry struck the Turkish lines with such force that 2,000 lances shattered. The charge stunned the Ottoman army. A hundred thousand Turks ran for the Danube.

    No army from the Islamic world ever posed such a threat to the West again.

    Poland's thanks for its courage? In the next century, the country was sliced up like a pie by the ungrateful Habsburgs, along with the Romanovs of Russia and the Prussian Hohenzollerns. It was the most cynical action in European history until the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which divided Poland again in 1939.

    But the Poles never gave up their belief in their country - or in freedom. During our own revolution, our first allies were Polish freedom fighters such as Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciusko. (Paris only joined the fight when it looked like we might win. And France intervened to spite Britain, not to help us.)

    Throughout the 19th century, Poles fought for freedom wherever the struggle raged, in Latin America, Greece and Italy, and on the Union side in our Civil War. Although their country had been raped by the great powers of Europe, Poles kept her cause alive.

    Again and again, Poles rose against their occupiers, only to be savagely put down, with their finest young men slaughtered or marched to Siberian prisons. Then, at the end of the Great War, Poland suddenly reappeared on the maps.

    What did the Poles do? They immediately saved Western civilization yet again. In the now-forgotten "Miracle on the Vistula," a patched-together Polish army turned back the Red hordes headed for Berlin. One of history's most brilliant campaigns, it saved defeated Germany from a communist takeover.

    Poland's thanks? The slaughter of World War II. Then the Soviet occupation.

    But the Poles never gave up. Their language, their faith - and their martial traditions - were maintained with rigor and pride. Of all the countries that gained their freedom as the Soviet Union collapsed, none had struggled for liberty as relentlessly as Poland.

    Now the Poles are defending freedom again. In Iraq. While the establishment media agonize over the fickle moods of Paris and Berlin, there's little mention in the press of the superb contribution made by our Polish allies - at great cost to their own country.

    In the words of an American officer who works closely with them, "Poland has taken to the Iraq mission for idealistic and principled purposes: Its leadership and military truly believe that freedom and justice are universal values worth fighting for."

    To how many other nations would those words apply?

    Poland has deployed 2,500 of its best soldiers to Iraq. It sent $64 million worth of its newest equipment - which operations in Iraq will ruin. Warsaw selected its finest officers to command and staff the Multinational Division Center South. A Polish major general commands a total of 12,000 troops from 22 nations with responsibility for a sector previously held by twice as many U.S. Marines. The Polish performance has been flawless.

    Their reward? Surely America must recognize such a great contribution from an economically struggling ally - at a time when Polish troops also support peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and the Balkans?

    Sorry. Turkey, which stabbed us as deeply in the back as it could on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, will receive a minimum of $2 billion from Washington - and the same elements in the Rumsfeld cabal who failed to plan for the occupation of Iraq hope to increase our aid to Ankara to $5 billion.

    Pakistan, which refuses to press home the fight against al Qaeda, will get billions from Washington. The repressive Egyptian regime will get a few billion, too, as it does every year. Even Yemen will get a welfare check from Uncle Sugar.

    And Poland? Like the Czech Republic, which sent a few medics to the Persian Gulf then withdrew them in panic, Poland will get a standard package of $12 million for NATO-related programs. Other than some logistical support in Iraq, that's it. Strategic peanuts for our most enthusiastic ally on the European continent.

    Poland did have one request - a humble one, in the great scheme of things. Warsaw asked for $47 million to modernize six used, American-built C-130 transport aircraft and to purchase American-built HMMWV all-terrain vehicles so elite Polish units could better integrate operations with American forces. Much of the money would go right back to U.S. factories and workers.

    Our response? We stiffed them.

    For once, the Pentagon and the State Department agree: No can do. Impossible. Our pocket are empty. Got to FedEx every penny to our favorite dictators.

    It's a mistake to over-idealize any nation. But if there's a land of heroes anywhere between the English Channel and the coast of California, it's Poland. Our Polish allies have taken a brave, costly, principled stand for freedom and democracy in Iraq. They desperately want to be seen by Washington as reliable friends in this treacherous world.

    The least we could do is to treat them with respect.

    Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of "Beyond Baghdad."
     
  2. agricola

    agricola Member

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    finally Peters article i agree with, though he neglects to mention the Polish emigre contribution during WW2.
     
  3. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    I think a fitting reward for Poland, if they want it-and a slap to the Germans-will be to move V Corps out of Germany and into some of the old Soviet bases in Poland. That would be a concrete commitment to Poland's security, especially with the way Putin has been acting in Russia lately. An added, incidental bonus would be the millions of dollars we'd spend upgrading the facilities at those old Soviet bases-work that would be done mostly be Polish contractors.

    Another ally that I've only seen mentioned once, and that in one passing sentence about who was providing security for a US Army medical unit in Iraq, is Albania. Little Albania, the poorest country in Europe, and Muslim on top of that, has troops in Iraq. Not many, I'm sure, but they're still there.
     
  4. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    The worst thing that's come from the discussion to give contracts to France, Russia, & Germany is that we're shafting the allies that went into Iraq with us. Allies like...
    Spain
    Italy
    Romania
    Bulgaria
    Hungary
    Albania
    Poland
    ...and other countries that I apologize for not mentioning. THEY should be the cherry contracts in Iraq (plus a whole lot more foreign aid & a few US military bases.) But Bush is screwing them over like he seems to do with everyone else.

    I'm sure these countries would now agree w/ my sig line...:fire:
     
  5. Adam

    Adam Member

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    Good news. We have a location for the first US Army base in Poland. Only few hundred soldiers, but it's great news for us. Your boys can't find better place and more friendly people here in Europe...
     
  6. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Forgotten? Hah, not here. We named cities and counties after the Poles who helped us win our Independence from England.

    Isn't it sickening that it is often better to be an enemy of the USA than its friend?:mad:
     
  7. Adam

    Adam Member

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    I found even a second Warsaw somewhere in Indiana State :D . Interesting, but I heard that Indiana isn't very beautiful. Is it true?
     
  8. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Adam, yes, northern Indiana by the Michigan border. Beautiful? Lots of trees and lakes. Good fishing up there.

    Don't know what you mean by beautiful. There are no mountains and no oceanfront, but lots of freedom. Some people prefer to have good-looking chains. YMMV.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    No, Indiana is a beautiful state, with a topography that is in many ways like Poland. However some cities within Indiana, such as Gary, are not good places when it comes to issues like unemployment, poverty and crime.

    And many Americans are well aware of the controbutions that Poland has made to our culture and history.
     
  10. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Shhhh, Fluff, I was trying to keep Gary on the QT.:D

    Adam, what Fluff says about the topography. However, in Indiana we cut down those darn pesky trees and then put that accomplishment on the state seal.:D Take that, watermelons!!!

    http://netstate.com/states/symb/seals/in_seal.htm
     
  11. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Hell, in Illinois we take the day off every year in honor of our Polish hero, Casimir Pulaski!

    (Of course, this is mostly done so that politicians in the large city of Chicago can claim to be friends of the Polish immigrant community there. . . . but still.)

    No, the Poles are not forgotten, except maybe by the people who count.
     
  12. Adam

    Adam Member

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    I'm asking about Indiana because one of areas for our ralocation is Southern Kentucky (Williamsburg or Somerset) or Central Tennessee and we have a family in Chicago. So driving through Indiana will be interesting experience (few times per year I can imagine). Trees and lakes - it's beautiful then IMO. Thanks for information.
     
  13. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    The Poles are a lot like Americans., although we Americans have not had to endure the same setbacks. The Poles are always seeking a better way, a free way. They are still bucking Old Europe. The crumbling of the Berlin Wall/Iron Curtain started in the shipyards of Poland.

    I think that is why we have Polish jokes. They keep trying against all odds. They never, never, never quit. To a Euroweenie, that is to be poo-pooed.

    Like any good friend, they probably are not looking for a handout. They will stand by us whether or not Uncle Sugar pays a call. Very telling, indeed.

    BTW, Welcome Adam.
     
  14. Adam

    Adam Member

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    100% agree, and nearly every Polish family have few loved ones in USA, so I'm proud we could be together now during this trouble time. Thank you my friends. Thank you America!
     
  15. hksw

    hksw Member

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    IMO, I think this last go around with Iraq had shown us just who our real allies are nowadays and who think along similar lines as we (the US) do interms of freedom/security without getting too political. Eastern European countries previously closely linked to the old USSR have shown a strong stance for the US (along with a very few old western allies and northerners).

    IMO, again, we should pull up stakes in Germany and Belgium and give the money that goes with our bases to the countries who truly helped and backed us up like Poland and Czech Rep no matter how small. Some old western European countries have become too accustomed to high living and it has gotten to their heads. Again, IMO.
     
  16. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    There's also a Warsaw, Pennsylvania.

    LOTS of Poles settled in Pennsylvania during the great waves of European immigration.

    I went to high school with Kryczkowzkis (they were a-holes... sorry!), Kowalski, and a couple of others.

    Heaven only knows if I have the spelling anywhere close to what it actually should be.
     
  17. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Member

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    I totally agree we should be supporting the Poles.

    I also can't help but note, on behalf of Old Fuff, that it seems 2 out of 3 times someone responds to him, they spell "Fuff" as "Fluff." I'm not trying to pick on anyone, but I've noticed this several times, and to my knowledge the Fuffster has never said anything. So for what it's worth I'll mention it.

    StealDean
     
  18. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Ugly Indiana:

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  19. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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  20. Nightfall

    Nightfall Member

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    So what are the gun laws like in Poland?
     
  21. kernal_panic

    kernal_panic Member

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    more importantly what are the women like?
     
  22. D.W. Drang

    D.W. Drang Member

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    Adam, I went to Kosciusko Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan.
    When my grandmother started working at Chrysler's Hamtramck Assembly Plant in the late 1940s, all of the signs were in English and Polish.

    The Poles are not unknown everywhere...
     
  23. cookhj

    cookhj Member

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    kernal, i have met some absolutely gorgeous polish girls; i'm sure adam would agree.

    there is also a warsaw, virginia. nice little town.

    the town i'm from originially, west point, virginia (the home of chesty puller!) had a huge influx of poles in the 20's and 30's, and there are still a lot of people of polish descent there. and they're all good hard working people.
     
  24. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    Pulaski Appreciation

    Adam:

    Savannah, Georgia has not forgotten. They have a Pulaski Square, Monterrey Square (with statue & monument commemorating Casimir Pulaski) and also built Fort Pulaski before the Civil War.

    I lived in Pulaski County in Arkansas for a few years.

    Some have not forgotten.

    BTW, my family moved around quite a bit when I was a kid. My favorite neighborhood we lived in was in Western Springs, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). Lots of other kids & parents who looked out for all the kids in the neighborhood. Oh, and we were the only non-Catholic (maybe the reason for so many kids?), non-ethnic-Polish family on our block. Good folks & good neighbors. I still remeber the block parties fondly. Just to think, that a century earlier back in Europe, my folks & their folks were intent on slaughtering each other with abandon: Come to America, work hard toward the American Dream, and then buy a house & go to PTA meetings next to people who your ancestors used to battle with. I love this country.

    Pulaski & Savannah
     
  25. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Adam, as you can see, Americans have not forgotten Poland's contributions to our Independence. Our politicians in D.C. may, and may even spit in your face, but we will never forget and we would never think of acting that way to Poland.:)
     
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