July 20, 2005: Headlines: COS - Poland: COS - Azerbaijan: Speaking Out: International Herald Tribune: Azerbaijan RPCV Mark Lenzi says: Poles deserve the West's support

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Poland: Peace Corps Poland : The Peace Corps in Poland: July 20, 2005: Headlines: COS - Poland: COS - Azerbaijan: Speaking Out: International Herald Tribune: Azerbaijan RPCV Mark Lenzi says: Poles deserve the West's support

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-23-45.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.23.45) on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 10:12 pm: Edit Post

Azerbaijan RPCV Mark Lenzi says Poles deserve the West's support

Azerbaijan RPCV Mark Lenzi says Poles deserve the West's support

"Because Washington counts Poland among its best allies - indeed the Poles have stuck with the United States through thick and thin from the Revolutionary War to Iraq - it is time for the Bush administration to initiate high-profile assistance to Polish efforts to resolve the issue of the treatment of the Polish minority in Belarus peacefully."

Azerbaijan RPCV Mark Lenzi says Poles deserve the West's support

Poles deserve the West's support
Mark Lenzi International Herald Tribune

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2005
KIELCE, Poland One of the more dramatic political dramas playing out in Europe this summer is the profound increase in tension between new NATO and EU member Poland and its eastern neighbor, the pariah state of Belarus.

Almost unheard of in Europe nowadays, a political shoving match complete with a war of words, the expulsions of numerous diplomats from Warsaw and Minsk and, on Thursday, Poland's recall of its ambassador, has broken out between the two countries over the Belarusian government's harassment and poor treatment of ethnic Poles living in Belarus.

The ethnic Polish community in Belarus - about 400,000 people or roughly 4 percent of the Belarusian population - has been square in the crosshairs of the Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko ever since the Orange Revolution in neighboring Ukraine last year toppled a similarly corrupt regime. Lukashenko's fear that he will be ousted in a similar popular uprising has caused him to crack down brutally on minorities and organizations that he fears may not continue to stay silent in the face of his illegitimate and increasingly authoritarian rule. Topping his hit list was the Union of Poles in Belarus - the largest nongovernmental organization in the country and one with democratic credentials and close ties to Poland.

In actions straight out of Soviet Political Methodology 101, the Belarusian government last month orchestrated an illegal coup within the Union of Poles in Belarus and replaced the democratically elected leadership with their own cronies and closed the country's main Polish-language newspaper, instead printing a bogus paper with the same name and format that praised the regime in every aspect. These actions have run parallel with arrests, detentions and show trials of average citizens and journalists in order to instill a sense of fear within the ethnic Polish community and the Belarusian population at large.

Poland, which has quietly asserted itself as a regional leader and anchor of stability in Eastern Europe, has responded to these actions with outrage and tough rhetoric and has expelled numerous Belarusian diplomats. It recalled its ambassador on Thursday after a raid on a building near the Polish border, used by ethnic Poles. At the same time, it called on the European Union to impose sanctions on the Belarusian leadership.

Warsaw desires to do more to protect its ethnic brethren but increasingly feels isolated in its actions and policies from Western European countries in the EU, which maintain a rigid and counterproductive policy of simply ignoring Belarus and calling for a nonconfrontational approach by all means - even in such cases when Minsk clearly provokes and blatantly violates international norms.

The EU, not wanting to harm relations with Belarus's historic big brother, Russia, has tried appeasing Minsk for the better part of a decade, despite Lukashenko's continual efforts to rig elections and close all meaningful independent media outlets, all against a background of mysterious disappearances of journalists and political opponents.

Peace Corps Online
Because the treatment of minorities in Eastern Europe has led to wars and ethnic strife in the not so distant past, it should be obvious that the tension simmering between Poland and Belarus should be urgently addressed through an international negotiating forum before a further escalation of hostilities.

Because Washington counts Poland among its best allies - indeed the Poles have stuck with the United States through thick and thin from the Revolutionary War to Iraq - it is time for the Bush administration to initiate high-profile assistance to Polish efforts to resolve the issue of the treatment of the Polish minority in Belarus peacefully. In addition to leading a high-level international forum to mediate the conflict, Washington should increase direct pressure on Belarus while also compelling Moscow to step up actions to rein in its client state's dangerous behavior.

Ethnic Poles have historically represented one of the largest and most influential minorities in the United States and have thrived in a free political environment to help shape American political discourse. It is in this context that the United States, more than any other country in the world, should realize what is at stake and the dangerous consequences of continuing to stand by while an authoritarian country represses the rights of an ethnic minority in the heart of Europe. Polish people, regardless of citizenship, have been steadfast allies who have assisted the United States time and time again. They should now be able to count on Washington to assist in the peaceful resolution of this conflict.






When this story was posted in July 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

Special Events for RPCVs Date: July 13 2005 No: 683 Special Events for RPCVs
Join the NPCA in DC for Advocacy Day on July 28
NPCA to hold Virtual Leaders Forum on July 29
RPCV's "Taking the Early Bus" at Cal State until Aug 15
"Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures" in NY thru Sept 30
See RPCV Musical "Doing Good" in CA through Sept
RPCV Film Festival in DC in October

July 17, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 17 2005 No: 690 July 17, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
C. Payne Lucas writes "Can we win the war on HIV/Aids?" 11 July
Director Vasquez hints at expansion in Bangladesh 17 July
Why didn't I spend my life helping others? 17 July
John Beasley returns to the islands of Micronesia 17 July
Jennifer Field to study glacier melting 17 July
Tucker McCravy works with Serendib in Sri Lanka 17 July
David Vick writes "Waging civilized warfare" 16 July
Tom Petri says Nelson helped to promote civility 16 July
Peace Corps Director Visits Volunteers in Mongolia 15 July
John Bridgeland writes "An example for Boomers" 15 July
Robert Blackwill says India and US have a great future 15 July
Peace Corps debuts new internet recruitment tool 14 July
Eight New Country Directors Appointed 13 July
Shelton Johnson Honored for Buffalo Soldier program 13 July
Bill Lorenz leads trek for Sudanese refugees 12 July
Emilie Pryor says Peace Corps ignores Lariam problems 12 July
DDN is Award Finalist for reporting on PC Safety 11 July
Randy Lewis to hire 200 people with cognitive disabilities 10 July
Maryland needs people like Tom Lewis 10 July
Dan DeWayne puts on music festival 10 July

July 9, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 9 2005 No: 675 July 9, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Mike Honda says Democratic Party in paradigm shift 6 July
Peace Corps Suspends Program in Gabon 8 July
Thomas Tighe says Thailand is faring better 8 July
Michael Parmly appointed top diplomat in Cuba 7 July
Paul Timmreck got his start trailing garbage trucks 7 July
Shays says London explosions should be wakeup call 7 July
Tom Murphy says: Be Vigilant, But Not Afraid 7 July
Gov. Doyle saddened and outraged by London Attacks 7 July
RPCV Films organizing Film Festival 6 July
Terez Rose writes Aid for Africa Will the G8 Help? 6 July
Carl Youngberg takes ballet to Honduras 6 July
Kafatia faces a mandatory eight years in prison 6 July
Bill Moyers says LBJ hated FOIA law 6 July
Andy and Trudy Anderson work with The Hunger Project 5 July
Thomas A. Dine deplores the attack against reporter 5 July
Mime Troupe tackles history, politics and the World Bank 4 July
Francis Mandanici says investigation could lead to impeachment 4 July
Beth Bedinotti says motherhood is "toughest job" 1 July
Director Vasquez Visits Volunteers in Eastern Caribbean 1 July

July 8, 2005: PC suspends program in Gabon Date: July 10 2005 No: 679 July 8, 2005: PC suspends program in Gabon
Peace Corps announced the suspension of the program in Gabon citing the high cost of the program. In addition, a 2003 Inspector General report documented safety and security costs of $1 million that would be necessary to keep the program operating successfully. Background: In 1998 Peace Corps Volunteer Karen Phillips was was found murdered in the weeds about 100 yards from her home in Oyem, Gabon. Her killer has never been brought to justice.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: International Herald Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Poland; COS - Azerbaijan; Speaking Out

PCOL21374
89


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: