Key issues

August 29, 2016
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Letter to Presidential Candidates

Dear Secretary Clinton / Dear Mr. Donald J.Trump

The Polish American Congress (PAC), established in 1944, is the oldest and largest organization in politically organized Polish America. During past United States presidential election campaigns, candidates have opted to answer the PAC’s questions on issues of concern to our members. I hope that you will decide to continue this tradition, and look forward to the favor of your reply to the four questions below which will inform for whom Polish Americans will vote on November 8, 2016.

1. How do you plan to implement the decisions taken at the 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit on the forward deployment of NATO armed forces assets from Western Europe and the United States to the Baltic States and Poland? Polish Americans want the four battalions, one in each of the Baltic States and one in Poland, which together constitute a brigade, to present a deterrent as powerful as did the Berlin Brigade during the Cold War. The Soviets dared not attack West Berlin because they knew that the Berlin Brigade could be rapidly reinforced by air from West Germany. What specific measures do you propose to make NATO’s forward deployment to Poland and the Baltic States a powerful deterrent?

2. Since Russia’s October 2009 ZAPAD (which means West in English) war games played against Lithuania and Poland, which involved the deployment of nuclear weapons, the Kremlin’s leaders have threatened to incinerate Poland with nuclear weapons at least six times. Do you favor reviewing United States policy to prohibit the proliferation of nuclear weapons in light of the failure of the United States and the United Kingdom to honor their Budapest Memorandum (December 1994) commitment to guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity after Ukraine surrendered her nuclear arsenal? Should Poland have an independent nuclear strike force?

3. Do you promise to continue construction of the anti-missile base in Redzikowo, Poland?

4. Do you favor promulgating, at the outset of your administration, a clear definition of worldwide United States security interests? What is your vision of the role of the United States in the world? What should be the role of the United States in the international organizations of which it is a member?

5. If elected, will you instruct the State Department’s Office of Holocaust issues to continue pressure on Poland to pay lump-sum compensation to the owners, their heirs, or organizations that represent them, of private property located on conquered Polish territory that first was despoiled by Nazi Germany and then nationalized by the communists during the World War II era? The Polish Government refuses to pay lump-sum compensation and encourages claimants to seek relief through the Polish courts. This is the most contentious issue in state-to-state relations between Poland and the United States.

6. How will your administration work to correct wrong, but deeply held, views on the role of Poland and the Poles during World War II? The Obama administration’s FBI Director, Mr. James B. Comey, often praised for his independence of judgment by the mainstream press, delivered a speech, in April 2015, in which he held Poland and the Poles complicit in the mass murder of European Jewry perpetrated on conquered Polish territory by Nazi Germans. How will you prevent your top level appointees from propagating such falsehoods about Poland and the Poles during World War II? The image of Poles and Polish Americans is tarnished, and Polish youth is tormented when key governmental officials, whose prestige gives them broad credibility with the public, use their bully pulpits to distort the gallant record of Poland and the Poles in fighting totalitarianism from start-to-finish during World War II.

7. Almost all Polish Americans want to enlarge opportunities for upward social mobility for themselves and their children, and view governmental social engineering remedies, supposedly designed “to level the playing field”, with skepticism. How will your administration expand the scope of individual liberty to promote more opportunities for economic success.

8. Do you see Poland as the key country of the Intermarium, the lands between the Baltic and Black Seas that approximates the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth, East Central Europe’s first and longest lasting (400 years) experiment in limited government, elected by approximately 15% of the population, which protected the individual rights of a multi-cultural and pluri-religious people. A strong Intermarium will form a powerful regional grouping that will prevent a power vacuum from again developing in East Central Europe, the lands between Germany and Muscovite Russia. A strong Intermarium requires the determined support of the United States and the United Kingdom. A strong Intermarium will co-operate as an equal with Berlin and Moscow.

9. Will your Secretary of State appoint more Polish Americans to serve as Consuls in Poland? To date, consular officials serving in Poland have been applying unrealistic criteria in deciding which Poles applying for tourist visas to visit the United States are unlikely to have reason to return to Poland after their travels. Polish American consular officials who know the country and its culture are less likely to reject so many Polish visa applicants. Though a Pole may own property in Poland which an American not of Polish background may consider negligible, those who understand a Pole’s attachment to his humble home will not conclude that such a visa applicant will not return to Poland.

10. Are you satisfied with the official Russian MAK Report, and its subservient echo, Prime Minister Donald Tusk Government’s Miller Commission Report, that attributed the SmoleĊ„sk Disaster of 10 April 2010, in which the President of Poland and all 95 others aboard Polish Air Force One perished, to pilot error in inclement weather? Will your administration support the Polish Government’s continuing requests that the Russian Federation’s Government comply with international law and return to Poland the Black Box and other materials from the wreckage of Polish Air Force One?

This November, Polish Americans are very likely to vote in larger numbers than ever before. Poland is in peril. Resurgent Russian imperialism reinforces the conviction of Americans that a strong and truly sovereign Poland safeguards United States security interests in Eastern Europe, and defends American democratic values in that vital region.

The presidential candidate who convinces Polish Americans that Poland plays an important role in United States foreign policy-making will get the Polish vote.

Sincerely,

either the PAC president, or the vice-president for Polish Affairs

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