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Friday, May 24, 2024

Maciej Wierzyński’s column. Counterfeits – TVN24

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At the beginning of my writing for the TVN24 portal, I didn’t really know what topics I should stick to, one of my colleagues practically remarked: “How do you not know? Foreign affairs are your specialty.” What the young man didn’t know was that it wasn’t a specialty, just a coincidence.

In order to shorten the story and not to bore it, or as the Anglo-Saxons say: “making a long story short”, the point was that because I lived abroad for a long time, I probably know a foreign language and know how abroad works. Based on this assumption, my bosses at TVN hired me to create a program devoted to world politics. They asked me to come up with a title, I suggested Horizon, and that’s how it all started. I did this job for fifteen years, until I realized that there are people in this industry at TVN who are better than me, more competent and younger. I resigned. Then I gave up. The proposal was accepted with relief, I think by both sides, and the only inconvenient thing was that the opinion of an expert in international politics clung to me undeservedly and against my will.

Colleagues from the TVN24 portal, who took me in with momentum, probably expected a serious foreign commentator’s thought. With time, however, they reconciled that it is, to a large extent, a memoir column from the series “Grandfather Recalls”. For the sake of order, however, in order not to disappoint and to uphold the otherwise binding opinion of a serious man, I take up international issues. That’s the case this time, and here’s the result.

War Russia with Ukraine changes the world. It also changes Europe. The article of “The Economist” of June 10, 2023 mentions the enlargement of the Union, the fact that Finland and Sweden join FOR THIS and it is also said that there was an agreement between the two most powerful countries of the European continent: France and Germany. The author – as in “Economist”, unsigned – also adds that the changes are not limited to the exchange of pleasantries between President Macron and Prime Minister Scholz during a meeting in Potsdam – they had dinner there for three and a half hours. After that dinner, it became clear that, clearly influenced by the war, Scholz and Macron changed their minds on many key matters concerning the Union.

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For Germany, Russia’s attack on Ukraine means the end of economic development based on cheap Russian energy resources and exports to China. Germany also gradually and hesitantly became a supplier of military equipment and weapons for Ukraine. In turn, the French, who until recently opposed the enlargement of the Union to the East and treated the countries of Eastern Europe as immature youth, also softened their objections. Macron currently supports the status of Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for EU membership. France also withdrew its veto against granting Albania and North Macedonia the rank of candidate country for membership. Such a change of front encourages questions about her sincerity, but maybe the French bosses are really worried about the future.

In Bratislava a dozen or so days ago Emmanuel Macron called for Ukraine to “open the way to NATO”, and yet four years ago, the same Macron said that the organization is “brain dead”, that is, to put it bluntly, it is “an idiot”. Recently, insider sources even claim that the French president has expressed his readiness to open a dialogue on French nuclear deterrence. According to an article in The Economist quoted here abundantly, “little can be done in Europe without the agreement of France and Germany.” This is somewhat at odds with the propaganda line of the party currently ruling Poland, which puts the nation on the head that the EU is being shaken by Germany, and, as history teaches, they are to blame for all our misfortunes. And since the EU is Germany, the EU is to blame for all our misfortunes. If The Economist is right, then France would be an accomplice to our woes.

The same France that Jerzy Stempowski did not have a good opinion of. In an essay entitled “Europe 1938 – 1939”, Stempowski wrote: “The West has been completely devalued. (…) In the Munich Agreements, Eastern Europe was even perceived as a zone of German influence.” Let’s just replace the adjective German with Russian, Hitler with Putin, and we’ll get today’s picture of the world. The only difference is that today the West – it seems – has fortunately woke up and got rid of its illusions.

Stempowski wrote his remarks a few months before the outbreak of the war, before September 1, 1939. Today, we lack in Poland not only politicians worthy of those times, although they did not save Poland from defeat either. Kaczyński thinks he is Piłsudski, I don’t know what Tusk, Hołownia or Czarzasty think, I don’t know who thinks he is General Sikorski. On the other hand, many well-known journalists are certainly not Adolf Bocheński, Cat Mackiewicz or Stempowski.

In the pre-war cabaret, they sang: “If you don’t have what you like, you like what you have”.

Opinions expressed in columns for tvn24.pl are not the editorial position.


Maciej Wierzyński – TV journalist, columnist. After the introduction of martial law, he was released from TVP. In 1984 he emigrated to the USA. He was a scholarship holder at Stanford University and Penn State University. He founded the first multi-hour Polish-language Polvision channel on cable television “Group W” in the USA. In the years 1992-2000 he was the head of the Polish Section of the Voice of America in Washington. Since 2000, editor-in-chief of the New York “Nowy Dziennik”. Since 2005, he has been associated with TVN24.

Main photo source: TVN24

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