Xan Smiley

Xan Smiley formerly editor of the newsletter Africa Confidential, has reported on foreign affairs for the Observer and the Spectator.

Poland and the West

Xan Smiley, 15 April 1982

What should the West hope for in Poland – let us say, within the next decade? Should the maintenance of a balance of fear between East and West remain the target – at the expense of the freedom of Poland? Or can the twin goals of Polish emancipation and East-West peace be achieved together? Even among liberals sympathetic to the people of East Europe, there appears now to be a consensus, buttressed by an instinctive reaction against whatever line the current American Administration may take, that popular national movements towards democratic freedom in Eastern Europe are enemies of world peace. The corollary is that Solidarity is (was?) a particularly dangerous nuisance. ‘The good news is the crackdown in Poland,’ Ian Davidson wrote in the Financial Times. ‘General Jaruzelski’s intervention, however deplorable in many ways, nevertheless offers the last faint hope for the reform movement in Poland.’

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