Saturday, April 10, 2010
Another crisis for Europe? Just what we needed.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and his entire entourage of Polish officials perished as his plane went down while attempting to land in western Russia, reportedly in "bad weather". Kaczynski was headed to Russia to commemorate the massacre of Polish soldiers by the Soviet Union during World War II.
The President was one of the Kaczynski twins... somewhat known as political rock stars in Europe. A huge number of Polish officials were on the flight. Luckily the Polish Prime Minister traveled to Russia for ceremonies earlier in the week and was on a different plane, part of a different delegation. But much of the government of a major European Country has just been lost in one incident.
This will be a developing story throughout the day and into next week. A huge story in Europe for sure.
Tensions may rise as the two Countries - Russia & Poland - generally don't get along. Kaczynski was considered pro-U.S. (perhaps too much so), but was disliked by the Russian government. So this could muddy relations between Russia & Poland, between Russia & the U.S., and between Russia & The West (NATO/EU). It could be a setback to what little progress has been made in relations between the U.S. & Russia and between Russia & Poland.
Poland is part of the geo-political chess board of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus where the U.S. and Russia are still fighting the Cold War, battling for influence and dominance (no the Cold War never really ended unfortunately...have been very annoyed by the fact that Obama has decided to keep it going). Other parts of that active chess board include the Czech Republic, Georgia, Ukraine, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan - another Country in chaos that the U.S. wants to maintain a footprint in...even though we shouldn't be there (recent events prove my point for why we should avoid these unstable Countries). The argument that the U.S. needs an airbase in Kyrgyzstan to support operations in Afghanistan is completely bogus. It's nonsense. The U.S. presence in and around these Countries has been more destabilizing than helpful. It has been destabilizing for the Countries, for the regions, for Europe & Central Asia, and for the world.
It would make more sense for Russia to hand the investigation over to a third party commission.... or any neutral party... such as the EU, OSCE, or the UN. I don't know if the people of Poland will accept anything that the Russians say.
Additional Report from Sky News