Polish President Lech Kaczynski is dead, killed in a plane crash with
dozens of other Polish officials while en route to commemorate the
Katyn massacre in Russia. Commentators begin to explain the depth of
- 'The West Has Lost a Good Friend,' says Ed Morrissey
at Hot Air. "When Georgia and Ukraine went through tribulations with
Russia, Kaczynski was a dependable voice for self-determination in
- Albeit a Controversial One within Europe, Morrissey acknowledges. Judy Dempsey
for The New York Times offers some extended analysis on this point.
"Mr. Kaczynski forged very close relations with Ukraine and Georgia,
determined to bring them closer to NATO and eventually have them
admitted to the American-led military organization"--Kaczynski
"believed passionately that a strong NATO would prevent Russia from
reasserting its influence over Eastern and Central Europe." But that
didn't always sit well with EU members, who worried "an expanded NATO
would ... lead to new East-West tensions." Then too, Kaczynski wasn't
always a full EU supporter, concerned about "protect[ing] Poland's
sovereignty against Brussels."
- A Good Friend to the U.S. and to Holocaust Remembrance "President Kaczynski," writes William Jacobson
at Legal Insurrection, "went out of his way to honor Ronald Reagan for
the fight to free Poland from communism when he visited the United
States in 2007." He also "worked to acknowledge the Holocaust and the
extermination of millions of Polish Jews during World War II, including
honoring Poles who risked their lives to save Jews."
- Cruel Irony Jacobson and Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall
are two among many to note the double misfortune of Kaczynski's and his
accompanying officials' untimely death: they were headed to Russia for
a commemoration of the Katyn massacre, in which Soviet soldiers, tasked
with the extermination of the Polish officer corps, murdered thousands
of Polish officers in their custody as prisoners of war. This joint
commemoration would have been a step towards better Russian-Polish
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