Polish Defense Minister disagrees with Brzezinski, says no war is forthcoming and no need to panic

From Rick Rozoff

Polish Radio
March 25, 2015
Security inconsistencies

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Experts, including former US security advisor Zbigniew Brzeziński, and Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Simoniak, have contradicting views of the future of Polish national security.

“Poland should be armed, buy military equipment, modernize and increase its army,” Zbigniew Brzeziński told an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

“Poles must rely on each other to be able to defend themselves as long as possible,” said Brzeziński, the former National security adviser under the 39th US President, Jimmy Carter.

The Polish-born Brzeziński – who was one of the top international-relations experts during, and after, the Vietnam War – said that in the case of an attack on Poland, NATO could have its hands tied, and take some time to respond.

This is because Greece is part of NATO, and since it has close ties with Russia, the Southern EU country could veto a military intervention, Brzeziński said.

The political analyst added that it is not necessary for Ukraine to be in NATO. “This could even be harmful. For Kiev to be part of the [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] as well as the EU would be too big a slap in the face of Russia.”

In a separate interview for Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, said that “No war is forthcoming, and Poland is safe.”

These claims seem to directly contradict the statements made by the US expert.

Poland has the ability to defend itself, Siemoniak said. “The red line between NATO and the rest of the world is very clearly marked,” the Minister told the daily.

Siemoniak added that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not dare attack NATO. This would be extremely irresponsible from his point of view, Siemoniak, who is also Poland’s deputy Prime Minister said, adding that NATO is many times stronger than Russia.

Siemoniak explained that despite its geographical stature, Russian economy is smaller than that of Italy, while in terms of population, it is slightly larger than Japan.

“Russia cannot be ignored, but one cannot panic,” Siemoniak said.

“We should take care of our own defense, protect our interests with NATO, to develop a constant presence in Poland.

https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/polish-defense-chief-says-no-war-with-russia-brzezinski-disagrees/

Polish leaders’ reckless rhetoric increases tension, as they ignore Russian security and guarantees made to Gorbachev

From Rick Rozoff

Polish Radio
March 11, 2015

MoD Siemoniak: Poland ‘cannot ignore threats’

Atlantic Resolve exercise

Poland’s Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has said that despite the unstable situation in eastern Ukraine, Poles should feel safe.

“However, we cannot ignore any threats and we have to remember that after years of peace, suddenly one country decides to the change the borders of another,” Siemoniak told the public broadcaster TVP on Monday evening.

“[Poland is] a member of EU and NATO and as such we are safe,” Siemoniak maintained, adding that “let us not forget that NATO is much stronger than Russia in military terms”.

Siemoniak underlined that Poland’s security is maintained by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – the founding charter of the military alliance – which calls for mutual defence in case of an attack on one of its members.[Editor: will Ukraine be quickly inducted into NATO so that the civil war becomes the pretext for attacking Russia under Article 5? What about the guarantees made to Gorbachev about NATO boundaries?]

“US forces have been stationed in Latvia precisely for this reason, to underline their presence,” Siemoniak said.

The comment comes as the United States on Monday sent heavy armour to Latvia and also announced that it will send some 3,000 troops to the Baltic states for joint exercises over the coming months.

“The deliveries are intended to “demonstrate resolve to President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia that collectively we can come together,” US Major General John O’Connor told the AFP news agency in the Latvian capital, Riga.

O’Connor added that the equipment would remain there “for as long as required to deter Russian aggression”.

Meanwhile, Minister Siemoniak said that a Polish training mission for Ukrainan army officers and NCOs will be finalised later this month.

We would like to undertake this mission in Poland, although there an idea to conduct these exercises in Ukraine has also surfaced,” he said. “Our decision will made regardless of what the Russians think, what’s more important is that this cooperation is effective”.

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Polish Radio
March 11, 2015

Kopacz: Europe faces greatest security crisis since Cold War

Prime Minister of Poland Ewa Kopacz has stated that the Ukrainian crisis has triggered an unprecedented security threat to contemporary Europe.

”We have the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Cold War,” she affirmed in an interview with public broadcaster TVP. ”To disregard this would be irresponsible,” she added.

”Yet sending signals that spark anxiety among our citizens would also be too much.

”So we need to have a balanced position,” she said. Kopacz claimed that Poland’s membership of NATO is the country’s guarantee of security.

To date, Poland has been one of the most vigorous defenders of the new Kiev government. ”We need to protect our own interests, but at the same time to fight for something that Ukraine is fighting for today.

”For the first time, blood is actually being shed for the European Union, or for an attempt at integration into the European Union.”

https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/invoking-article-5-polish-defense-chief-says-nato-can-defeat-Russia/

Poland launches $42-billion war buildup

Sofia News Agency
February 16, 2015
Poland Embarks on Massive Spending to Overhaul Military Hardware

NATO member Poland, bordering conflict-torn Ukraine, has earmarked a whopping EUR 33.6 B in spending to modernise its armed forces.

The plans will bring Poland in line with NATO’s recommended defense spending target of 2% of gross domestic product, AFP said on Monday.

The planned overhaul over a decade calls for the purchase of new military hardware including anti-aircraft systems, an anti-missile system as well as combat drones, armored personnel carriers and submarines.

Poland’s shopping list also includes helicopters and cruise missiles for submarines and drones.

According to Polish officials, “the risk of the conflict in eastern Ukraine heating up remains” even though a ceasefire agreement between the government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists was signed last week in Belarus’ capital Minsk.

“The possibility of a lasting peace still isn’t close,” AFP quoted Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski as saying last week.

Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said last week that Poland was drawing up a long-term plan to shift some of its military strength towards its eastern border, closer to Ukraine and Russia, in response to Moscow’s involvement in Ukraine.

 

Source:

https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/poland-launches-42-billion-war-buildup/

U.S. torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes

From World Socialist Web Site, December 12, 2014
By Alex Lantier
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/12/euto-d12.html

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture—including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs—officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.

Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

Re-posted at

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-torture-report-exposes-european-powers-involvement-in-cia-crimes/5419480