Polish-American Relations after Terrorist Attack in Spain, Change in Polish-Spanish Alliance

Read two previous articles about Kwasniewski-Bush Meeting - Is Poland still offering unquestioning support to the U.S. War on Terror? and Poland versus the USA - Mess with granting contracts in Iraq.

Kwasniewski headed home almost empty-handed after the meeting but with other adventures waiting on the way home. His plane was stopped in Canada because of the snowstorm and he was detained by Canadian authorities. Kwasniewski later stated that he felt like an illegal immigrant being confined in a place where he could not leave…obviously anti-terror measures and visa restrictions work well not only in the USA.
So, the president Kwasniewski came back to Poland without any of his requests being settled. His support among public opinion was the lowest since the time he became a Polish president

The next turn in Polish-American relationship was the terror attack in Spain in March 2004.The terrorist attack in Spain changed also the Spanish political scene since it influenced the election results. In the results of the elections the socialistic government with leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero won. Zapatero almost immediately announced the will of Spain to withdraw Spanish forces from Iraq. Spain was the biggest part, after Poland in multi-national force lead by Poles - read more about it in Polish military zone in Iraq Polish Military Zone in Iraq, having 1,300 soldiers there.

Zapatero also said that he would make Spain's relations with European Union partners a priority. He said that he wants to see an "accelerated" adoption of an EU constitution. These words hinted that the Polish-Spanish united stance against adopting European constitution because of the new voting procedures is over. So Poland just before joining European Union in May lost the biggest strategic partner in its attempts to keep Nice voting system unchanged. Read more about Polish-Spanish coalition against European constitution in the article Fiasko of EU Brussels Summit - Position of Poland in Europe.

Besides, Polish minority government with a prime minister, Leszek Millet is also very weak since it was battered by a series of scandals and economic problems. The support for Leszek Miller in Poland is only… 10%.

Poland is now in the risk of isolation in Europe. So, it needs to redefine its position in Europe and in the world. "Poland so far lacked a necessary balance before the EU entry. It was too pro-American," said Janina Paradowska, a commentator for the Polityka weekly.

There were some reports that the Kwasniewski's comment was mistranslated. I cannot agree with it, Kwasniewski's words were translated correctly - first he stated that Iraq is better today than before the war since Saddam is gone. Then he added that he feels a certain discomfort because Poland was misled, in Polish - Polska byla zwodzona, since WMD were not found.

While in Poland is widespread public positive sentiment towards the USA - Poles in their majority are against the involvement in Iraq - 42 percent of adults in favor and 53 percent against.

In writing the three articles about Kwasniewski's -Bush meeting and the development of Polish-American relationship afterwards I used several sources - The Washington Post, Eubusiness, Warsaw Voice, Gazeta Wyborczam BBC, Guardian, Associated Press, The Washington Times.

© by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, March 19, 2004 (article #177)

I recommend:

Poland's Jump to the Market Economy (Lionel Robbins Lectures) by Jeffrey Sachs (Author) - famous economist whose ideas contributed to changes in Eastern Europe

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