Hallelujah! The long-awaited report of Antoni Macierewicz’s subcommission for investigating the Smoleńsk crash has been finally published! Finally, we know the truth, how the best president in the history of the Universe has been murdered by the evil team of Donald Tusk and Vladimir Putin. But do we?
First of all: why the body run by Macierewicz is called “the subcommission”? Because to be real commission you would need some real experts, and Macierewicz had none – barring one Frank Taylor – aviation experts. But there were some biologists or people who are specialising in concrete. So after years of burning through taxpayer’s money – taxpayers lost over 22 600 000 zł on that circus so far, not to mention – not to mention the costs of their “investigation” – this is for example a state the subcommission “experts” left the other Tu-154M, still perfectly good plane, in:
– and conducting some idiotic experiments like boiling hot dogs or blowing up a tin shed (they also wanted to strap a tree to the roof of a car and drive it into the wing of the other remaining Tu-154 plane at high speed but, apparently, there were no volunteers for that) they finally picked one conspiracy theory from the many they were propagating over the years.
Alas, my favorite theory with Russians producing fake fog and releasing helium bubbles to impact the plane’s lifting force had been dropped, but the one they came to is almost equally loony: in the elaborate conspiracy, Russians removed to install a radio navigation system at the airport (even though they brought one in the suitcase for Donald Tusk’s visit a few days earlier), then the Russian air traffic control was deliberately misleading the pilots, but when those realized they are being made to crash, they responsibly decided to abort the landing, the two thermobaric bombs have been detonated – first the one in the wing, and then the second one in the cabin, causing the plane to disassemble and crash. Some conspiracy theorists go even further claiming that some people survived but Russian Spetsnaz soldiers were awaiting them on the ground and killed them with shots to their heads. And all that is, somehow, Donald Tusk’s fault. Of course, it is, if you have any doubts just look at those very subtle posters somebody plastered all over Warsaw recently…
Of course, experts tear this bunch of nonsense apart. The real commission established the reasons for this crash years ago: it was caused by recklessness, ignoring the procedures (or even automatic altimeters playing the message “TERRAIN AHEAD, PULL UP, PULL UP” – one of the pilots manually adjusted the instruments to silence it) and pilots being pressured by their superiors to land at all cost. The theory of explosion was long time debunked – and the findings of the pseudo-experts are being mocked by many experts, like by this chemist on Twitter, and nobody can explain how the explosives were placed on board the presidential plane. The “report” is absurd in many other ways – like it simultaneously claims that the onboard sound recordings are proof of those explosions and that they were faked by Russians, or that pilots were still having a casual conversation after their wing had been blown off by the bomb. I won’t even go any further into this ridiculous rambling of madmen.
So what is going to happen? Surely if the official government body is claiming that the president of our country was assassinated by Russia, it should undertake some serious actions? I don’t know, declare war on Moscow, expel Russian diplomats? I would not hold my breath for that: the truth is that even in PiS nobody believes in that crap, and even if they did, the families of many victims, mostly PiS politicians, collected astronomically high insurance compensation for the loss of their family members, but the insurance is valid for accidents only, so if it turned out it was an assassination, they would have to pay all those millions back.
If anything, Kaczyński will use this report for his political needs – it will help him to build up the support from his hardline supporters and turn their anger at Donald Tusk again, while at the same time helping Putin, who can now use it in his propaganda saying “look, what idiocies they are accusing us of, are you sure the accusations about our alleged crimes on Ukraine are also true?”. The other benefit is that by blaming everyone else, Kaczyński can try silencing his conscience, as it was him who orchestrated his brother’s presidential campaign and pushed him to go to Katyń (they only went there because it was an election year). Kaczyński is obviously obsessed with Smoleńsk and he tries to drag the nation into grieving with him. His monthly celebrations of monthiversary of the catastrophe are now on the verge of ridicule, and he has to be heavily sheltered by the army of the police officers from protesters. Obviously, 12 years of those was not enough to silence his conscience, so this month it has been decided that air raid sirens are to sound on the hour of the plane crash. While this form of celebration is a long-established tradition once per year on the anniversary of Warsaw Uprising (and is useful, as it can double as an annual test run of this important equipment), to use it for this purpose is a new thing – and it can only be described as malice towards million of traumatized refugees, that fleed to Poland to avoid Russian bombs falling on their cities.
But good things for Ukrainians happen as well. A housing estate in the center of Warsaw nicknamed Szpiegowo (spy-city) had been repossessed by the bailiffs and given back to Warsaw city. It was under the control of the Russian embassy, which hosted their extra staff there in the past. It was given to Russian Federation in exchange for an equivalent estate in Moscow, but Russia never fulfilled its part of the agreement. Warsaw’s mayor Rafał Trzaskowski hoped that this housing estate can be used to host Ukrainian refugees, but it turned out that it’s in a tragic condition. Even cables were ripped out of the walls and it is not even known if the building is safe – it is possible it will have to be demolished. Russian ambassador claims that the building is in a state of disrepair because Poland was “obstructing the transfer of the property to the official diplomatic object of Russian Federation” (duh!). Some Poles meanwhile joke, that Russians stole taps from bathrooms and took them home, hoping that if they put them on their walls, they will have running water in their houses too…
Another hostile takeover is hitting the obstructions too. The Constitutional Tribunal (currently under PiS control) had lost a court case and was ordered to provide Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights with information it demanded regarding Julia Przyłębska meddling with the judging panel – she has been accused of replacing judges that were likely to rule against the government will in the cases crucial for PiS. Of course, I don’t expect Przyłębska to observe this ruling, they will probably appeal all the way and then probably rule that the freedom of information act is unconstitutional or something… But it is a small victory for democracy for now.
But on the other fronts of ideological war in Poland, while the losing side is in retreat, they are trying their best to fortify their positions. Deputy Justice minister for example announced that the absurd laws making “offending religious feelings” a crime are to be further tightened (in Poland you can get up to 2 years in jail for saying something that a religious person subjectively finds offensive, but of course, there is no punishment for offending atheists or rational feelings…). At the same time, he promises to protect religious speech. So if you say religion is silly, you will be punished. But if you say gay people should be stoned to death because your Bible says so, you will be legally protected.
Another bill just had been also voted through, according to which it will be more difficult to change street names. Streets named after Polish national heroes, kings, and so on will have to stay named that way forever unless they will be given even prominent place in exchange or the new historical information is to emerge saying that such person was not really a hero – was a spy, communist, Nazi, etc. The same rule will apply to streets named after “saints or blessed of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations”, but I doubt any of them will ever be deemed a spy or a Nazi, so it will become impossible to get rid of street names propagating Catholic cult…
The youth is also still groomed. In Pabianice a district competition for high school students has been organized. A mathematical-religious competition, in which participants had to calculate for example how much flour had to be used to bake a wedding tort for the wedding in Cana of Galilee that Jesus attended, or how long it would take for David and Goliath to meet if both were running on the same circular trajectory with various speeds. When I was a kid, my grandfather was helping me with maths, using some ancient books from Stalinist times. I remember I had to calculate something about steam engine crews, that in order to celebrate the 5th congress of the communist party made a commitment to run their engine without a major overhaul of the boiler and other crap. True, the basis of the math stays the same, but does it really needs that propaganda added on top of it?
In other news, a weekly pro-government propaganda paper Sieci (which recently made the news by publishing an 11-page long interview with the Russian ambassador just after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) announced the winner of their annual “Man of Freedom” award. If you wonder, this year’s Man of Freedom is not PiS’ prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, not PiS’ president Andrzej Duda, not even PiS’ chief of Constitutional Tribunal Julia Przyłębska or PiS’ chief of the biggest Polish oil company Daniel Obajtek (who all were awarded this title in the past), but Jarosław Kaczyński himself (again, he also got this title back in 2016). For some reason PiS’ public media and other pro-PiS publications are very excited about it, while everyone else finds the whole thing very silly – and I would say rightly so. Sieci is basically PiS’ own propaganda tube so no wonder they give that award to their own people all the time, it’s as if Britské Listy were awarding the Man of The Year title to Jan Čulík, Boris Cvek, and Karel Dolejší recurrently.
As for me, I am not impressed with Kaczyński’s achievement. Only last week I had been awarded five titles of “The Coolest Man in The Whole Milky Way Galaxy And Both Magellanic Clouds” by the website orynski.eu! Eat that, Jarosław!
This piece was written for Britske Listy
Picture: Public Domain