Monday, 24 January 2011


For the last few days my attention has been gripped by the issue of Smolensk air crash. For months I had been of the opinion that the issue is not the most important problem and we should focus on things other than dwelling on the circumstances of the accident. But since 12 January when MAK unveiled its report, thoughts on the disaster have assault me almost all the time, from the first seconds after I wake up in the morning, till the last seconds before I fall asleep. Given that I have exam period (seven down, two to go) and dozens of other things to handle, recurring thoughts on the disaster begin to pose a serious threat to my sanity. For this reason I made the decision to withdraw from any political postings and comments on other blogs (including Posłuchaj, to do Ciebie). My resolution will come into force on 7 February, the day I return to work, and sooner or later will be broken, but not before I am sure reviving the tetchy affairs would not bring me into losing my mind. There are many other topics worth raising here, many other discussions and disputes to be held, the range of subject matters will shrink a bit, hopefully with the benefit for the readers.

I had several concepts of this post, one partly developed and given up was to dedicate it to my fellow blogger, Toyah, just like I did over half a year ago. Having changed my mind several I finally settled on hitting you with a list of questions (order is totally random, some of them overlap one another) that keep nagging me... I do not hold out much hopes that you know answer to most of them, but maybe taking it off my my chest will help me sleep restfully tonight...

1. Am I the only one who holds the view that politicians of PiS do not want to find out the truth about the disaster, but they have had their own "truth", i.e. the PO-led government and Russians are the only guilty of that crash and they pick out the facts that match their concept? (If you happen to spot any lies or misrepresentations in GW's article, do let me know about it and substantiate where they depart from the truth)

2. Do politicians of PiS realise what they do actually realise what they do actually mirrors Russian stance on the investigation results, stemming directly from Soviet mentality, in line with which "all our faults must be withheld and others' fault must be highlighted"?

3. Is it in the vested interest of our country to conceal our faults, irregularities and infractions of rules?

4. Does telling openly about errors made by our pilots during the flight translate into "sullying their honour" (giving to the public the information about level of alcohol in the blood of one the passengers was indeed out of place)?

5. Why passengers could enter the pilots' cabin, if such practices were forbidden?

6. Will the pilot of Jak-40 who landed there despite being ordered by air traffic controllers at 09:14:41 to do a go-around and fly off and will he be held accountable of putting lives of tens of people at risk?

7. Why deputies of PiS call pilots, who attempted to touch down the plane, despite being told at 09:55:37 the landing was impossible due to bad weather conditions, heroes?

8. Why were pilots of Tu-154 who in August 2008 had followed all safety procedures and did their utmost duty, i.e. ensured the safety of their passengers were called "cowards"?

9. Why Mr Karski did not have the courage to apologise for his misdeed and did not concede he had been wrong?

10. How the Georgian incident and, above all, the subsequent litigation could affect decisions taken by pilots during the fateful flight?

11. Why politicians (and journalists, both groups recently boast about in-depth knowledge in air accidents), not aviation experts, adjudicate on the causes of the crash? Do we follow example of Russia, where such inquests are politicised?

12.Will Polish independent aviation experts, who have torn a strip off Polish crew, become enemies of PiS, or have they already become, if M(r)s Kempa suggested special services should handle them? (a foretaste of what dissenters may face in IV RP)

13. Is it true captain Protasiuk declined to take off from Okęcie, because he had not received a weather forecast for Smolensk or because the weather report he had received told landing was impossible and why somebody convinced or ordered him to take off?

14. Why did Poles who organised the visits insisted on landing in Smolensk, if they knew the airport there was dilipidated and had been closed in October 2009. why did not they choose another airport and did not provide other means of transport to get to Katyn?

15. Why Russians did not try harder to dissuade Polish pilots from landing or why did they not close the airport?

16. Why did Russian air traffic controllers did not tell Polish pilots they had problems with their tawdry equipment?

17. Why was the first speech delivered by the prime minister Tusk on 19 January so aggressive?

18. Why politicians of PiS tried to hoot down deputies of PO when they were asking questions?

19. Why deputy speaker of the lower house, Mr Niesiołowski acted the fool (or a jack-in-office) during the debate?

20. Why Mr Macierewicz told, in response to the inqiury about his visit to the United States he had met the most important congressman, Peter King, who he had wanted to meet, if it did not happen?

21. Why Mr Macierewicz called the United States "our biggest ally", if they do not give a shit about Poland and their president paid his respects to Lech Kaczynski by playing golf during his funeral?

22. On what legal basis Mrs Fotyga and Mr Macierewicz were authorised to represent Poland in the USA on what legal basis could anyone help them establish an international committee to investigate the causes of Smolensk air crash?

23. On the basis of what legal document could Poland not hand over the inquiry to Russians and was that document really applicable in that situation?

24. Do PiS and their apologists try intently to reshape the image of the late president and make Poles believe he was an outstanding statesman, when in fact, despite being a noble and honest man, he simply did not have making of a head of state and his presidency was generally clumsy and mediocre?

25. Are PiS and their followers trying to paint the picture of downfall of Poland, a falling apart country, run by servants of Russians, traitors, Heaven knows who else, just to justify radical steps they will take if they win the election in October 2011 and set out to crack down on their enemies?

And finally, the most important question.
If Mr Protasiuk had refused to take off and the plane had not taken off with any other pilots in the cockpit, or if pilots had made the decision to land somewhere else or even return to Warsaw without trying to touch down, or if Russian authorities had closed the airport in Smolensk, how would Lech Kaczyński and politicians of PiS have reacted?

There is just one question I can answer. Jarosław Kaczyński blames the Polish government because visits of his brother and Mr Tusk were separated. Donald Tusk could not bring Lech Kaczyński along on 7 April to Katyn because the late president did not receive an official invitation from Russians, which is required by diplomatic protocol (Jarosław Kaczyński and his followers are proud to be ignorant of the rules it sets out). Donald Tusk did not fly to Katyn on 10 April because he was not invited by president Lech Kaczynski. Finally, if president and prime minister had been on board of the same plane, it would have been an appalling violation of safety procedures. And after all we all know that Russians are coarse and simply did not wish to see the man who had openly displayed his hostility towards Russia. And their decision was quite probably provoked by late president's brother...

To break the language barrier I hereby waive the rule of blogging which tells to reply to a post in a language in which it is written. If you want to have your say and do not feel up to the task in English, do it in Polish, I will appreciate it anyway.


Michael Dembinski said...

Brilliantly argued. Utterly brilliant. Better than all the waffle that's filled square kilometres of newsprint since 4/10.

Jeremy said...

Agreed (up un till the point of turing the Smolensk tragedy into an American acronym - not sure why that's needed) , you have asked more questions than we will perhaps ever have answers to. The accidental was of course sad, but sadder still is how it has become a political tool.

Pan Steeva said...

I got to curse you, although I also have to thank you for putting me in that position. After I followed your link to the report, I too had a period of obsession - it was the first occasion I could compare Polish accusations against Russian truth - ie what was claimed to be said in the report and what it actually did say. I had to force my mind onto other subjects to stop constantly thinking about it all. I don't want to start getting upset again, so I am therefore also forcing myself not to comment further, but thanks for this anyway. See the power you have.