What happens when an EU country with a virulent anti-Russian press and political class has a political crisis over press freedoms which results in large scale civil disturbances? The mainstream media gets confused.
I’d very much like to be a fly on the wall at BBC headquarters at the moment as the Orwellian goons therein try and frame an angle around which to cover the current crisis in Poland. After all, in the eyes of the western political elite, Poland can do no wrong. But Poland has done wrong, at least according to many Polish citizens.
The ruling conservative Law and Justice party have passed a law limiting the number of reporters who have journalistic access to the Sejm (Polish Parliament). This, along with allegations of violations of free speech laws and allegations of trying to integrate Roman Catholic traditions into the civil law of the country have caused some of the most spectacular riots in Poland since 1981.
The protesters have been accused by the government of trying to stage a coup. Images of angry mobs waving Polish and EU flags, throwing smoke-bombs and blockading Parliament will be very familiar to members of the Polish political elite who encouraged radicals in Kiev to do the same thing in 2014.
In Kiev, this of course resulted in an actual coup, in Poland it likely will not go that far, but the political classes in Poland are now feeling the same kind of pressure they put on Viktor Yanukovych and Parliamentarians from the Party of Regions during the Maidan putsch.
Perhaps neighboring Russia should send in ‘advisers’ to keep the peace. Perhaps these advisors should encourage, arm and pay the protesters in order to advance their ‘fight for freedom’. Perhaps most importantly, Sergei Lavrov should come to Warsaw and hand out cookies to the men throwing smoke bombs. Maybe Vladimir Zhirinovsky should also arrive and take grinning selfies with the most pugnacious opposition figures.
But no, none of this should happen, because Poland is a sovereign state and it is up to the Polish people to select and deselect their government. Russia respects this, but all of the hypothetical situations in the previous paragraph are exactly what happened in Ukraine in 2014. Substitute the words Russia for Poland and Polish ally, the United States, substitute Sergei Lavrov for Victoria Nuland and substitute LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky for Republican Senator John McCain and presto, you have Maidan!
Of course, the mainstream media in the west are being far more subtle in their reportage on Poland. It’s not even headline news in many instances. This is because a country which pursues a Russophobic foreign policy can do no wrong in the eyes of the mainstream media. This is even more the case when the country is in the EU, in spite of the current Polish government’s often tense relationship with Brussels.
Most importantly, the Polish Prime Minister is called Beata rather than Viktor and unless your name is Marine Le Pen, female heads of government can do no wrong, it is only men who are evil, bigots according to the warped western narrative.
If the Ukrainian coup in 2014 exposed the duplicity and outright lies proffered by Western mainstream media, the current protests in Poland expose their utter hypocrisy. It also exposes the fact that where EU countries like Poland intervene in the political affairs of sovereign neighboring states and in doing so, slander the memory of their own people who were slaughtered by Ukrainian fascists in the 1940s, Russia has not crossed the border nor even commented on their preferred outcome of the events in Poland.
Because of this, if the Polish government does fall, it will likely be far more peaceful than the events in Ukraine in 2014. Illegal foreign interference can only make a bad thing worse.
Now that Warsaw is looking increasingly like Kiev in 2014, one is reminded of a saying by Ataturk, “They go as they come”. The Polish elite helped destroy peace in Ukraine, now their own chickens are coming home to roost. It remains to be seen, just how much traction the mainstream media can get out of the ‘trouble in paradise’ narrative. Pass the popcorn.