I fell in love with the United States of America around 1946, when I learned as a young boy that it was the American army that liberated my father, who’d spent most of the war in the German prisoner of war camp, in Murnau, Germany. They, the Americans, became my instant heroes, even before I was old enough to learn that they helped the whole of Europe to fight back the Nazi scourge of the Second World War.
As I said, I loved the Americans.
Ultimately, I imagined as a natural consequence, Poland, which had spent long years under German occupation, then even longer under the Communist regime, finally liberated herself. For the next number of years Poland was well on the way of regaining her international status as free, democratic and independent nation.
And today I’ve learned that Barack Obama is visiting Poland, to celebrate the arrival of the first 150 American soldiers on Polish soil. They didn’t come when Germany attacked Poland from the west, nor when Soviet Union did the same from the east, but now, that Poland is free and independent, they came with great fanfare.
Contrary to my initial impression of America around 1947, when the incredibly generous ERP Marshall Plan gave Europe $13 billion (that’s close to $13 trillion in today’s dollars), and which put Europe on its wobbly feet, I have very great misgivings about this belated and incomprehensible military mini-invasion. Weren’t the Germans and the Soviets enough? Why must we have American soldiers on Polish soil now?
Ah yes, they came as friends.
They also came as friends to Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and possibly to some Central American countries. God save us from the help that they brought to those nations. And those countries weren’t even free and independent. Surely, there is no Al Qaeda in Poland threatening American soil? Poland has vital economic relations with Russia, which also managed to throw off the scourge of communism.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, under only a little pressure from the Big Brother, the present Polish political oligarchs didn’t invite them. As did, under similar circumstances some other nations. But let us not forget that neither in Poland nor in Washington, none of today’s oligarchs were around, when Poland liberated herself. The old heroes are long gone and buried.
So what is the American excuse, or reason? Ego? Economical advantage? World domination?
A friendly gesture with a loaded gun?
I do hope that Washington will not help Poland the way they helped the other countries listed above. Have not Polish people suffered enough? And I want to continue to love and admire the Americans. I really do.
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