Global Independent Analytics
Jafe Arnold
Jafe Arnold

Location: USA

Specialization: Geopolitics

Bandera and the Information War in Poland

Not a single state in Eastern Europe has been spared the tremors emanating from the earthquake that has shaken the former Ukraine for the past two years.

The fallout of Ukraine’s explosion within the context of NATO’s heightening aggression against Russia has yielded a number of geopolitical, economic, social, and even ideological effects that have agitated the volatile impasse at which the region finds itself.

The ideological and psychological implications of the war in neighboring Ukraine have particularly afflicted Poland. Despite the propagandistic portrayal of Poland as “once again united against Russian aggression,” Poles remain greatly disturbed by the events in former Ukraine. As early as October, 2014, 83% of Poles responded that they were deeply concerned by the developments across the border while 67% contended that the situation in Ukraine poses a direct threat to the security of the Polish state and the livelihood of Poles.

On the one hand, the majority of Poles’ perceptions of the war in Ukraine and their interpretation of its origins and trajectory do not differ considerably from other Atlanticist-ruled nations of the region. The swift and ruthless conduct of the information war by Atlanticist regimes and media in the region has successfully (unfortunately) channeled the concerns of many Eastern European nations, such as Poles, into hysteria over a supposed “Russian aggression” and the need to “defend Ukraine in order to defend Europe.” The whipping up of virulent Russophobia by Atlanticist-owned media, especially in Poland, has duped ordinary concerned citizens into reinforcing their own semi-colonial domination by buying into the frenzy of mobilization against an illusionary threat. Given the especially tight grip of Atlanticism on Poland which manifests itself, among other things, in the near total monopolization of information dissemination, it is no surprise that the vast majority of Poles mistakenly blame Russia for the situation in Ukraine.  But on the other hand, Poland is a special case insofar as the Polish nation, just 71 years ago, was in the throes of suffering a horrific genocide at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists. Despite the overwhelming pressure of the information war on Poles, many Polish families are unable to ignore, for obvious reasons, the fact that a significant number of the parties, organizations, and individuals who seized power in the coup in Kiev in February, 2014 are faithful heirs to the ideology of Banderism and its criminal fanatics who were responsible for the murder of more than a hundred thousand Poles during the Second World War.

No matter how persistently in Goebbelsian fashion the Atlanticist mottos that “Ukraine is defending Poland and Europe” or that “Ukrainians and Poles are European brothers united against Russia” are drummed into Poles’ ears, the fact of the rebirth of Ukrainian fascism and the resurgence of its genocidal tendencies remains imbued in Polish consciousness. For the past two years, the residents of former South-Eastern Ukraine have been subjected to the barbarities and malicious ideology of Banderism which Poles themselves were the victims of a little more than half a century ago. The only difference is that nighttime artillery bombardments, punitive battalions financed and equipped by oligarchs, and an organized “military” campaign have replaced the hammers, saws, arson, lynching, and crucifixions primitively employed by roaming bands of Banderists as in the previous century.

The exposure of Banderism’s lively role as the unofficial state ideology of Ukraine and the Western-backed rebirth of this ideology in the contemporary context occupies a central role in the information war. Despite all the Russophobia which as been impressed upon the Polish national psyche, it is unlikely that ordinary Poles would welcome today’s incarnation of Ukrainian fascism with the open arms that the contemporary Polish state has, or as Poland’s oligarchical Atlanticist media instructs them to do.

It bears remembrance that it was precisely non-Atlanticist media’s exposure of Ukrainian fascism as the real driving force of the Maidan, as the unofficial ideology of the new Kiev junta, and as the malicious manifesto of the subsequent civil war, that led millions of people around the world to wake up from their Atlanticist slumber, recognize the horrific forces that NATO and the US have unleashed in their crusade against Russia, and rally to the side of Novorossiya under the signboard of anti-fascism. In Poland, the relevance and importance of this crucial task of the anti-Atlanticist information war are magnified exponentially.

Revealing the genuinely fascist character of the “Ukrainian revolution” and unmasking its direct ancestral line from the forces which sought to exterminate the Polish population of the Kresy and forcibly eradicate Polish culture from Ukraine’s cultural mosaic is an undertaking which promises to break through to the heart of Poles’ consciousness. Indeed, not only would this revelation lead Poles to realize their historical responsibility to oppose Ukrainian fascism today, but it would also inspire Poles to question Atlanticism itself and strike at the heart of the paradigm of Poland’s contemporary plight.

This is especially clear when one considers the consequences that this would bear for the ideological paradigm which the Polish oligarchy utilizes to legitimize its Atlanticist rule. This “road to Europe” paradigm which, as discussed elsewhere, manipulates Polish history and statehood in order to justify the Atlanticist subjugation of Poland, also occupies an important place in the ideology of contemporary Ukrainian fascism, which sees the realization of Greater Ukraine’s supposedly “European identity” as an achievement historically impeded by the impulses of Eurasian civilization whose representatives, such as the people of Donbass, are, according to Banderism, to be chastened with genocide.

Atlanticist discourse in Poland has worked towards fastening these two “European identities” together into a perverse union of historical falsification and Russophobia. Accordingly, Ukraine is portrayed as Poland’s “European brother” whose own “road to Europe” has once again been historically restrained by “eternal Russian aggression.” Thus, Poles are instructed to stand with their Ukrainian brothers, who are now supposedly positioned on the front line of defense against Russia’s assault on “Western civilization.” This, indeed, has been the propagandistic line presented by Banderists themselves to Poles in begging for the material and moral support of the latter.

The majority of Poles have succumbed to this discourse. Warnings of a Banderist revanche are written off as “history,” that is, the “history” which has been distorted and perverted by Poland’s Atlanticist scriptwriters. When protests or non-mainstream news services do manage to inform a number of Poles of the real characteristics and underpinnings of what has mildly been termed the “crisis in Ukraine” the Polish subconscious memory of Wolyn arises and a number of disturbing dilemmas grab the attention of the average Pole. Of course, “Why is Polish media silent on this?” is the most frequently expressed question. Ambiguities give rise to questions and these questions give way to dissolution and ultimately to an urge for resolution. Moreover, it bears recognition that in a country such as Poland where the media is so tightly censored and propagandized, such revelations shock and spur the witness into action more so than in other places where “alternative media” already exists in large quantity and more often than not has already faded away into the bland everyday confusion and spectacle of post-modernity.

Uncovering the fascist reality of present-day Ukraine would thus strike at the heart of the deceitful ideological paradigm in Poland today and has the potential to mobilize people. Poles, upon witnessing the real face of Ukraine’s “revolution of European dignity,” are confronted with uncomfortable questions. The introductory question as to why the Polish media fails to mention such stark realities quickly gives way to bigger ones: “Why does our state support successors of those who murdered our ancestors?”; “Why should we hate the people of Donbass, who are now suffering through precisely what our ancestors did in the previous century?”; “Why should we suffer as a result of economic sanctions imposed in ‘solidarity’ with people who are in fact our enemies?”; “Is this what the ‘road to Europe’ looks like?”; “Are we really to be friends with our those who lynched us merely for the sake of opposing Russia?”

The mass-psychological effects of such a breach of information and the questions subsequently aroused would provoke Poles to question the very foundations of the regime and the indoctrination which has engaged in financing, training, arming, and defending the most brazenly anti-Polish forces in action today. If the statement of the leader of the prominent organization Right Sector to the effect that “We will make a second Katyn for Poles” were to reach the media to which the majority of ordinary Poles turn, dramatic reactions could be expected.

This is becoming not only increasingly important in preventing the wounded and confused identity of Poles from being misdirected down the route of war with Russia, but also entirely necessary for other reasons. The escalation of violent antagonisms in Western Ukraine - the historical heart of Banderism, threatens to spill over the border and bring ethnic and political violence to Poland for the first time in many decades.

Overall, as many analysts and activists have pointed out, the information front has emerged as the foremost front in combatting the destructiveness of Atlanticism and reconstructing Polish identity amidst the tense climax of geopolitical and ideological antagonisms in the world today.

The present situation in Poland, however bleak it may appear at cursory glance, presents hidden opportunities hinting towards this end. On the one hand, the vacuum created by the Law and Justice party’s (PiS) employment of a “strategy of silence” on such issues as Ukraine (underlied by an unequivocal continuation of the basic Atlanticist policies of the Civic Platform (PO)) and the lack of clarity confounding the amorphous mass that forms the burgeoning nationalist movement have together presented fertile grounds for new anti-Atlanticist political and educational initiatives. These new initiatives have the potential to provide a critical edge of informational persuasion directed at the disillusioned groups momentarily co-opted by PiS. Information services are being developed which could, on the one hand, challenge the general oligarchical media monopoly while playing on the contradictions between the ongoing PiS and PO media skirmish, on the other hand.

The Law and Justice party, in playing the role of the “nationalist,” “conservative,” and “Catholic” facade of the Atlanticist oligarchy, bears within it essentially three groups which could curiously impact Polish political discourse on Ukraine and the topics of information war. These include, as Mateusz Piskorski has pointed out, the descendants and heirs of the former residents of the Kresy, the “national conservatives” who reject the pro-Ukrainian position insofar as they seek to blame Civic Platform for “betraying the interests of Poland,” and those deputies who are elected from the regions in South-Eastern Poland on the border with Ukraine. In using the media machine built up by PiS in its opposition to former PO governments and playing the “nationalist” card, this wing of the Atlanticist Polish oligarchy might be drawn into dipping its feet in the water of the Ukrainian question. This could manifest itself in information campaigns waged against PO under the fake and hypocritical claim of “defending Polish interests before Ukraine’s,” with the goal of discrediting PO on account of its support for contemporary Banderism. The ripples of such a dip could very well produce a tidal wave.

No matter how hypocritical, limited, or superficial such an undertaking would be as a conditioned response to inter-oligarchical “competition,” such a move could give a leg up to the anti-Atlanticist narrative that seeks to expose Banderism in Ukraine and criticize the Polish Atlanticist elites’ support for such anti-Polish forces. Of course, such a media blitz by PiS would be limited within an exclusively anti-PO framework but, just as with the case of Poland’s proliferating nationalist initiatives which PiS strives to entice, its manipulation would nonetheless de facto bolster its emergence into the political mainstream.

Overall, the information war remains the most important front in challenging Polish Atlanticism today. Discourse on the Ukrainian conflict is a key bunker on this frontline and one which, if addressed, would have compelling ramifications for the whole Atlanticist monopoly on information and ideology in Poland. The paradoxical contradictions within the ruling elite as well as the appearance of openly anti-Atlanticist political and information projects could give impetus to the information war’s tackling of the issue of Banderism in Ukraine and its meaning to Poles today. The results of such an upsurge could reach far and have deeper implications than the mere typical, momentary shock and short attention-spanned shake of the head at the images and headlines that habitually bombard the post-modern individual.

Poles have everything to lose in blindly supporting Banderists disguised by their own media as Ukrainian democrats. They have everything to win in asking the critical questions which would arise upon learning of the true nature of events plaguing their eastern neighbor. This pivotal point can be expected to and should arise in the arena of information warfare.

POPULAR ARTICLES

Not Found

OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

toTop