Media Reacts With Slanders
American economist, statesman, and Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche warned Poland in a May 2001 visit, in which he met deputies from the Sejm (national parliament), that bankruptcy reorganization of the world financial system, and for individual national financial systems, was the only realistic way out of economic breakdown crisis. Eight months later, Poland finds itself on the verge of state bankruptcy, given its deficit of 90 billion zloty (over $20 billion), the bankruptcy of its national electricity company, and so forth. The government and central bank are locked in policy battles. The country is searching for some way out that does not lead to social chaos.
"The collapse of Comecon [the socialist countries' trading bloc] should have become the signal for a great reconstruction effort in all of Eurasia," LaRouche said in May; "traffic, waterways, energy production, development corridors. When I, in a Berlin speech in 1988, first proposed this, I thought of the Polish railway industry, as one of the big potentials, which would enable Poland, to carry this economic development into all of Eurasia. Poland is a frontier area of this Eurasian development."
LaRouche's full speech was printed in the Polish weekly Mysl Polska. Apparently, after this, some people in the Anglo-American establishment, and their Polish offspring, lost their nerve over LaRouche's visit. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, and their circles regard Poland as their "protectorate," which, as a member of NATO and the European Union (EU), is obliged to assist the United States in unconditional solidarity. This includes having Poland play a geopolitical role as a buffer between Russia and Western Europe, as well as preventing Poland from breaking ranks with globalization, monetarism, and free trade.
This background explains the new and intense campaign of slanders against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche in Poland. This campaign has again been triggered by radical peasant leader Andrzej Lepper, whose party, Samoobrona ("Self-Defense"), became the third-strongest party in the September elections, and Lepper himself briefly became Deputy Speaker in the Sejm.
Given the dramatic economic and social crisis in Poland, Lepper's popularity is rising quickly. More than 20% unemployment, farms submitting to mass bankruptcy, and bitter poverty in the countryside: Under these conditions, his populist rhetoric against globalization, the EU, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gives him political credibility among a growing portion of the disillusioned population. As all too often in such crises, the victims look for a "strong man" who appears to take on the powers that be, not the thinker who offers real solutions.
Lepper thus used his new position as Deputy Speaker to set off a scandal, at the end of November, when he denounced Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz as a "scoundrel," for having gone to EU headquarters in Brussels and discussed details for the conditions under which Poland would join the EU, allegedly without prior consultation. As a result, Lepper was relieved of his post. In an escalation, he has now accused ten members of the government, among them the foreign and defense ministers, of corruption. He promised to present evidentiary documents, but has not.
To the extent that discussion in Poland now centers around Lepper, the pressing issue of the crisis is left out. The fantastic allegation was being retailed that the Schiller Institute had "trained and financed" Lepper, which is being used to fuel a malicious campaign against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche in the Polish media. The slanderous labelling of LaRouche runs the gamut from right-wing extremist, to left-wing extremist and sectarian. Some, however, go even further: The former communist-era chief of counterintelligence, now turned zealous liberal, Konstanty Miodowicz, slandered the Schiller Institute, during a Dec. 5 radio interview, as "anarchistic with a right-wing extremist cover." Miodowicz outrageously asserted that the Institute had been outlawed in the United States, and had then fled to Germany. Lyndon LaRouche is even mentioned in the same breath as the authors of the Oklahoma City bomb attack.
The Schiller Institute is preparing legal means against this slander.