Since 2016, there has been a discussion in the Polish media space about how to defend Poland's good name. Representatives of political circles, academic representatives of the media, clergy and many others participated in this discussion. At the moment, the debate continues. Almost all diagnoses have been made. It was decided what to do. And what happened? Nothing.
We continue to be attacked by the Belarusians and Putin, we are criticized by the European Union, the Czechs disregard us, Israel accuses us, Germany and the Americans are closing our development project called the Three Seas Initiative. It is time, however, to discover what the administration of President Biden is preparing for us.
In early November, the US Congress flared up a discussion in the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the US Helsinki Commission, on the state of the judiciary and fundamental rights in Poland and Hungary. The Congress discussion took a very dangerous turn. This direction is to further discredit Poland with the intention of ending Washington's support for Poland in NATO.
The attack was made by a former "officer" of the Department of State and, from the beginning of January, the head of the think tank of the German Marshall Fund — Heather Conley. During the debate, she argued that the United States should "assess whether the US forceful stance is the right solution." In her opinion, if the lack of independence of the judiciary in Poland leads to a weakening of NATO, the Alliance should ask itself whether Poland should remain its member. The Commission did not rule out possible sanctions against Poland and Hungary. The statements in the US Congress provoked further criticism of the government from the Polish opposition.
Soon, a new Polish ambassador will appear in Washington — Mr. Marek Magierowski, who is a journalist by training and realizes that Polish diplomacy in the US will have its hands full. It is necessary to build an appropriate narrative and use it to reach American elites, especially those friendly to Poland.
In America, Poland and the Polish nation have many friends. They often know nothing about Poland after 1989. During the last vacation in Wisconsin, I met a group of politicians, also of Polish origin. They knew nothing about the Three Seas Initiative or the threats on NATO's eastern flank. This knowledge must be disseminated and the Polish media, organizations or cultural events, such as the one I want to mention below, can help.
In Texas, at the same time as the aforementioned conference, at the Texas A&M University, there was a screening of the film: "Death of Captain Pilecki" by Ryszard Bugajski. The main panelists after the film were Marek Probosz himself, who played the main role in the film, and dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, the leader of the Polish community in Texas.
No one needs an explanation about what role Captain Witold Pilecki played in the Polish historical narrative. Its promoter and performer is the most outstanding Polish actor living in the USA — Marek Probosz. Tygodnik Solidarność (Solidarity Weekly) conducted an extensive interview with him, entitled "Captain Pilecki on Broadway: Marek Probosz for Tysol.pl: I would like an epic film about him". A feature film about "one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century," as wrote the New York Times , has yet to be made.
Polish English-language television has also not been established, although we have been hearing about it since 2016.
Mr. Ambassador, we are waiting for you with the hope of a partnership and cooperation!
This text was originally published in the «Solidarity Weekly».
Translation from Polish by Andrew Woźniewicz.