Naming Names: An Op-Ed by Prof. Marek Chodakiewicz in Eurasia Review

“Islamofascists” and “Putin-Hitler” reverberate through our public discourse, reflecting anger and emotion, rather than calm and acumen. As such, these seemingly helpful tags actually impede our understanding of both adversaries and, hence, prevent us from elaborating a successful strategy against each, including mobilizing popular support for the endeavor.

He who gets to name names, wins. The old saw makes for a good zinger but lacks precision. It should perhaps be: he who labels a phenomenon fast and popularizes it persistently and repetitiously dominates the discourse. Hence, we suffer of the ever enduring poison of the Komintern’s Willi Műnzenberg who cast the Civil War in Spain as a conflict between “fascism” and “democracy.” Never mind that the former included Stalinists, Trotskyites, and anarchists whose revolutionary fury rendered anything smacking of democracy null and void. By pitting the putative “democrats” against alleged “fascists” maestro Műnzenberg supplied the West’s cackling liberal and leftist glitterati with an ultra-reductionist vision of Spain, where anyone rooting, as, for example, Evelyn Waugh was, for the conservative forces of law and order and against a Red revolution was instantaneously accused of worshiping Hitler, and thus ostracized and, more often than not, traumatized. This was deviously mischievous for it rendered any thoughtful analysis of the Spanish carnage utterly impossible. Hence, the West remained impotent in the face of the Hitler and Stalin aggression. And it missed another important lesson for the future. Műnzenberg built on a legacy of opprobrium attached to the generic concept “fascism.” Initially, the Communists considered Italian fascists as socially friendly, if confused revolutionaries. After Benito Mussolini’s black shirts crushed the Reds, Moscow changed its mind and unleashed an Exorcist-like stream of bile inundating anyone who opposed Stalin. Therefore not only the national socialists of Hitler became “fascists,” but so did the followers of Trotsky and anyone in between, including, for example, Christian nationalists. Labels tend to stick. Simplistic labels stick indefinitely.

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Kosciuszko Chair Fellow discusses Russia’s information war

On December 11, Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies Fellow, Nathalie Vogel, published an article on the websiteThe Interpreter, which is “a daily-updated online journal dedicated primarily to translating media from the Russian press and blogosphere into English and reporting on events inside Russia and in countries directly impacted by Russia’s foreign policy.”

The article – entitled “In This Info-War, The Problem Is Not Only Russia” – quotes three IWP professors: Dr. John Lenczowski, Prof. Paul Goble, and Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz.   

Please click here to read the article.

Former intern publishes report on Polish intelligence

Mr. Bolesław Piasecki, a former intern of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP, has just published a report on “Offensive Counterintelligence and the Challenges Facing the Polish Intelligence Services.”

The analysis — which was the product of Mr. Piasecki’s research and studies during his internship at the Institute of World Politics — was published by the Warsaw-based National Center for Strategic Studies (NCSS) and is available on the think-tank’s website.

Prof. Marek Chodakiewicz speaks at Yale APAC conference

Marek Chodakiewicz APAC Conference 2014 800On Sunday, December 7, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz spoke at the American Polish Advisory Council’s conference on “Poland’s Emerging Role in Shaping Global Security & the US-Polish Partnership” at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

During the conference, Dr. Chodakiewicz, who currently holds the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP, participated in a panel discussion on panel on “25 Years of Democracy in Poland and the US-Polish Partnership: Military Cooperation, Trade, and Common Objectives.”  Other speakers at the conference included Honorable Boguslaw Winid, Poland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and Jaroslaw Strozyk, Poland’s Defense Attaché in Washington.

An outline of his remarks can be found below.

Photo courtesy of the American Polish Advisory Council.  


 

Poland’s Integrated Strategy:
An Outline

Poland needs integrated strategy, one that encompasses many tools of statecraft. However, to play at the global scale, one must have the means to do so. Poland does not. It should acquire them. Meanwhile, it should either lay low and reform or make popular noises at the international level, in other words, bluff, and reform.

Poland can try to go it alone, which is unadvisable, or seek an alliance for security. At the moment it has NATO. However, the US is confused and Western Europe unwilling to step up to the task of defending NATO member states in the post-Soviet zone. “Leading from behind” will continue until a regime change in Washington, but a new administration, after, 2016, may or may not be willing to provide leadership for the alliance.

Meanwhile, despite America’s malaise, Poland needs to reform internally to be able to defend itself. The following should be done:

  • Favor an economic system with low taxes, few regulation, and even fewer government bureaucrats; avoid EU regulations like the plague or learn to overcome them.
  • Support a social system that encourages high birth rates and love of country.
  • Relax gun laws.
  • Encourage grass roots self-defense forces, starting with gun and rifle clubs (bractwa kurkowe).
  • Foster paramilitary activities involving girl and boy scouts and other youthful volunteers.
  • Set up territorial defense from above based upon the Swiss model.
  • Establish throughout the nation a multitude of state arsenals with small arms and individual, portable defense systems, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. They are more efficient and economically feasible than expensive weapons systems they are designed to destroy like planes, helicopters, tanks, and armored vehicles.
  • Train both paramilitaries and territorial defense soldiers both male and female.
  • Re-institute a two track draft — for national defense or for national service (e.g., for hospital or school service).
  • Assemble a small professional elite armed forces, including special forces.
  • De-Communize and de-Sovietize the current brass. No post-Communist mentality permitted.
  • Procure defensive nuclear weapons as deterrent: first step, of course, would be to acquire a nuclear reactor, which would also benefit Poland’s energy sector.

Meanwhile, the Polonia should put its money where its mouth is. Support pro-Polish and Polonian initiatives. Be proud and strong.  Lobby both in DC and in Warsaw. Pressure the Polish government to make Poland into a venue into the EU for American interests, including to institute affirmative action for Polish American businessmen.

Peace can only come through strength.

Dr. Chodakiewicz delivers Intermarium Lecture on Belarus, Ukraine, and Hungary

On Tuesday, December 2, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz — Professor of History at IWP and the current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies — delivered a lecture on the “Intermarium in song, thought, and action: Belarus, Ukraine, and Hungary.”

The event was part of the Kościuszko Chair’s ongoing Intermarium Lecture Series, which commenced in 2011. During the presentation, Dr. Chodakiewicz addressed the accusations that are often levied against the government of Viktor Orban in Hungary. He also spoke about the nostalgia for the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth and support for greater cooperation among the nations of the Intermarium in Belarus and Ukraine.

A video of his remarks can be found below.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: A realist perspective

The following article by Kosciuszko Chair researcher Pawel Styrna was published by the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: A realist perspective

During the twenty-fifth anniversary of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall, in Berlin, Mikhail Gorbachev ventured so far as to claim that “the world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it’s already begun.” Gorbachev no doubt understands that the West is reluctant to confront Russia and, therefore, resistant to recognizing the reality that the Chekists running the Kremlin did not see themselves as having “lost” the Cold War, but as merely having suffered a setback.

In the West, the “fall” of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 functions as a powerful symbol of the implosion of communism and the end of the Cold War; in Germany it is celebrated as the watershed initiating German reunification. The wall – which the East German communist propaganda apparatus called the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” – was built by the Soviet puppet regime of the “German Democratic Republic” in 1961, primarily to halt the mass exodus of East Germans to the West. The wall was thus a reminder of the real nature of the communist bloc, which was essentially one giant Gulag – stretching from the heart of Europe all the way to the Sea of Japan – and that Marxist-Leninist regimes could not remain in power without terror, coercion, and intimidating border fortifications to prevent the slaves from “voting with their feet” and escaping from the “Socialist Paradise.”

The Berlin Wall also represented the Yalta betrayal and the subsequent division of Europe into two zones following the Second World War: a free Western Europe benefiting from the American protective umbrella, and a captive Central and Eastern Europe under the Soviet jackboot. The barrier cutting Berlin in half was a deep wound, and the scar has yet to heal completely.

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Dr. Chodakiewicz co-edits new document collection on the Polish underground

NarodoweDr. Marek Chodakiewicz – along with Dr. Wojciech J. Muszyński and Leszek Żebrowski – have just published a document anthology, which they compiled and co-edited, on the Polish underground during the Second World War.

Entitled Narodowe Siły Zbrojne: Dokumenty, 1942 – 1944 [The National Armed Forces: Documents] (Lublin: Fundacja im. Kazimierza Wielkiego, 2014), the collection is the first volume of a trilogy of documents on Poland’s anti-Nazi, anti-Soviet armed resistance. Most of the files – originally generated by the High Command of the National Armed Forces (NSZ) – and were locked way for more than six decades.  They were finally rediscovered in 2008 and are now available for scholars and researchers in a convenient three-volume collection.

Please click here for more information.