The November election will supply the answer
“Missile Offense” in today’s Wall Street Journal (September 10, A14) reports that Poland, at considerable risk to its own safety, has agreed to the installation of ten American interceptor missiles whose purpose is to shoot down Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Vladimir Putin’s new Russian Empire has fabricated a complaint that these missiles somehow threaten Russia, even though they are totally defensive and cannot even stop more than a fraction of Russia’s still formidable strategic nuclear arsenal. The Poles have nonetheless stuck to their decision, and it is now up to us to show whether we are worthy of their confidence. The surest way for Americans to show that the two Eagles of Liberty still stand for the same values and principles is to elect John McCain, who will stand with Poland the way Poland is prepared to stand with us.
Poland’s confidence in the United States is quite frankly amazing because of this country’s prior history with mutual defense pacts. They had one with England and France in 1939, and those countries admittedly honored it by declaring war on Germany when Germany invaded Poland on September 1. The French were, however, content to sit behind the supposed safety of the Maginot Line when an immediate invasion of Germany (while Germany’s armies were predominantly busy with the Poles) might have won. The British admittedly did a little more at the Battle of the River Plate (December 13, 1939) where the Royal Navy displayed its usual courage and professionalism. Nonetheless, Germany and the Soviet Union crushed Poland, and then Germany swung its victorious armies to the West to crush France. The operative term is “defeat in detail,” i.e. defeating one opponent at a time instead of fighting two at once. We should consider it the highest possible honor that Poland is willing to trust us after this experience.
“Missile Offense” reports,
- …Polish leaders finally struck the missile deal, after months of national debate, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Georgia. The agreement is largely symbolic, since the 10 interceptors couldn’t possibly stop a Russian attack and are really aimed at Iran. But the symbolism is still useful as a message to Moscow that its Georgian imperialism won’t cower everyone in Eastern Europe. It is also an expression of Poland’s confidence in America as an ally.
The article adds that Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), John Murtha (D-PA), and Barack Obama (D-IL) spokeswoman Wendy Morigi have been doing everything possible to undermine the missile defense agreement with Poland. The term “cowardice” easily comes to mind, because Poland is right next to the Russian Bear and its wrath while the United States is thousands of miles away. (Murtha once served in the Armed Forces and therefore cannot be accused of physical cowardice, but his subsequent Congressional career has certainly been one of moral cowardice as well as politically-correct efforts to scapegoat service members as war criminals. As for Tauscher and Obama, though, we think “yellow” is the color that best suits them, and it is up to them how they want to wear it.) Obama’s willingness to undercut missile defenses in Poland also says a lot about his administration will really stand by other democratic allies like Israel, no matter how much lip service he and his shills like Wexler (D-FL) give to Israel’s security.
Poland and the United States have, or should have, a special relationship because of their common history and values. The Polish Commonwealth was probably the first major country to enjoy freedom of speech and also freedom of religion. The latter was why, even after more than 100 years of anti-Semitic Russian occupation, three million Jews lived in Poland after the end of the First World War. Poland also attracted Protestants, Calvinists, and even Muslims who were unwelcome in other parts of Europe. The king ruled not by divine right, but at the pleasure of the szlachta or nobility. About 10 percent of Poles were szlachta, which is probably comparable to the percentage of Americans who could vote when the country was founded. (The vote was, in many jurisdictions, restricted to land owners.) At least two Poles, Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko and Casimir Pulaski, played significant roles in our War of Independence.
It may be added that Poland saved Central Europe from Islamic domination at the Battle of Vienna, whose anniversary is this Friday (September 12).
The story of Lech and the White Eagle (Poland’s national symbol, as the Bald Eagle is ours) underscores Polish attitudes toward freedom and liberty. Long ago, Duke Lech saw a nest of eagles, and he decided to appropriate the fledglings for his own use in falconry. The mother eagle had other ideas, and she and the Duke drew each other’s blood until the Duke finally relented. Lech then admired the White Eagle’s willingness to defend her children, and this is how she became Poland’s national symbol.
Poland stood for American ideals of freedom and liberty more than two hundred years before there was a United States. John McCain put his life on the line for the same values during the Vietnam War. The Poles have just shown that they are willing to trust Americans with their country’s very existence in the face of threats from a resurgent nuclear-armed Russian Empire, the same country that destroyed Poland in the late 18th century and that tried to do so in 1939. Those of us who still think the United States is a beacon of liberty can give Poland, and ourselves, only one honorable answer:
God BLESS America, McCain 2008.