Radek Sikorski is a man of considerable experience: as a journalist, for National Review, The Spectator, and many other publications; and as a politician. Sikorski was foreign minister and defense minister of his country, Poland. Today, he is a member of the European Parliament. He talks with Jay about a slew of issues: the recent Polish election; the EU; NATO; the United States; Boris Johnson (his contemporary at Oxford); Viktor Orbán (ditto); Afghanistan (where Sikorski was a war correspondent); etc. A lot of ground is covered in this Q&A, with a very thoughtful, and experienced, and candid man.

 

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  1. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    I’m debating if I should listen this. I knew about him and liked him long before I moved to Poland when he was affiliated with AEI. I believe he did fantastic job as Foreign Minister. My wife and I supported him strongly over Komorowski during the PO “primary.” But he never really got over Kaczynski siding with Macierewicz over him in 2007 and since being in the opposition has become extremely bitter and biased. Unfortunately, other than recently urging EU negotiators to “stop demanding the impossible” from the UK, I haven’t heard him say anything “very thoughtful” in a while. I guess I’ll give it a listen and hope I’m proven wrong.

    • #1
    • July 21, 2020, at 12:29 AM PDT
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  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Very informative… and more than a little disturbing. It sounds like Poland, like all Western nations, has lost its center. 

    His observation about Russia is one that sadly must be made over and over again. Many conservatives are fond of pointing out how poor Russia is, as if that by itself means Russia is no threat to us. Yet Russia continues to be a major influence in world events.

    • #2
    • July 21, 2020, at 7:25 AM PDT
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  3. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Very informative… and more than a little disturbing. It sounds like Poland, like all Western nations, has lost its center.

    Ughhh… I’m 10 minutes in and he’s highly exaggerating. A couple examples, he talks about a high number of nationalized companies to say PiS is “nationalist.” It’s true there is, but as a legacy of a former communist country and no more than when his party, PO, ran the government from 2007-2015. It’s also true they favor some social benefits that many of us in Ricochet as Republicans would not typically support. I certainly didn’t, especially the well-known 500+. However, even I and many other critics have had to admit that it has not only had some very positive effects stimulating the economy, it’s also increased the fertility rate by a half point in a few years to almost 2, which is something we need.

    Nope, nothing at all disturbing going on here in Poland. We had the highest turn out for a presidential election since 1995 (20% more than last election) due to some extremes from both PO and PiS pushing some nonsense that the other candidate represented some sort of existential threat to the country but for the most part we haven’t lost our center at all in my opinion. Actually, I take that back if you view center as between Right and Left. Neither PiS nor PO are considered Left. The Left hasn’t had any significant power in 15 years. Poland is a pretty darn good place for an American Republican.

    Sorry, but listening to his take on domestics politics is like what you would expect Hillary or Pelosi to say about the Trump Administration.

    • #3
    • July 21, 2020, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    For anyone interested in Polish politics, this Power Line podcast a few months ago had some interesting stuff as well as some comments from me elaborating on some things: https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-world-on-lockdown-a-view-from-eastern-europe/.

    • #4
    • July 21, 2020, at 9:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    For anyone interested in Polish politics, this Power Line podcast a few months ago had some interesting stuff as well as some comments from me elaborating on some things: https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-world-on-lockdown-a-view-from-eastern-europe/.

    I’m going to take your word for it and skip this podcast. I did listen to the that Powerline interview which clued me in to the “Anne Applebaum Mystery” as I call it. I just don’t see why she sees the far right on the rise everywhere but does not worry about the Obama administration’s attempt (success?) in thwarting a smooth transition of power. Who has acted rather than just talking about things? I think the far left is more of the one actually, physically intimidating people and governments as compared to the right. Is it a European thing to be more worried about the far right than the Communists? 

    • #5
    • July 22, 2020, at 7:20 AM PDT
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  6. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    colleenb (View Comment):
    Is it a European thing to be more worried about the far right than the Communists? 

    I don’t know, it’s hard to say. Throughout Europe, there have been more tolerance towards true communist politicians than anything we can imagine but on the whole I think Europeans are as worried about communism as the far Right. I think it just seems like they’re not right now because the communists have been losing influence the past couple of decades. So, they’re not much of a threat. I think it’s the same with Americans, too. I mean I can’t think of a single TV show I watch that hasn’t had episodes with with some far right group as the big threat to the country. If the AOC and Bernie Sander types have their way though, I’m sure time would pass and people would start to really see again just how dangerous communism/socialism is and we’d forget about the far Right.

    Sorry, Jay… I didn’t mean to dissuade anyone from listening.

    • #6
    • July 23, 2020, at 7:22 AM PDT
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  7. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):
    Is it a European thing to be more worried about the far right than the Communists?

    I don’t know, it’s hard to say. Throughout Europe, there have been more tolerance towards true communist politicians than anything we can imagine but on the whole I think Europeans are as worried about communism as the far Right. I think it just seems like they’re not right now because the communists have been losing influence the past couple of decades. So, they’re not much of a threat. I think it’s the same with Americans, too. I mean I can’t think of a single TV show I watch that hasn’t had episodes with with some far right group as the big threat to the country. If the AOC and Bernie Sander types have their way though, I’m sure time would pass and people would start to really see again just how dangerous communism/socialism is and we’d forget about the far Right.

    Sorry, Jay… I didn’t mean to dissuade anyone from listening.

    Yes but will that be too late? Sigh.

    • #7
    • July 23, 2020, at 8:12 AM PDT
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  8. Front Seat Cat Member

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):
    Is it a European thing to be more worried about the far right than the Communists?

    I don’t know, it’s hard to say. Throughout Europe, there have been more tolerance towards true communist politicians than anything we can imagine but on the whole I think Europeans are as worried about communism as the far Right. I think it just seems like they’re not right now because the communists have been losing influence the past couple of decades. So, they’re not much of a threat. I think it’s the same with Americans, too. I mean I can’t think of a single TV show I watch that hasn’t had episodes with with some far right group as the big threat to the country. If the AOC and Bernie Sander types have their way though, I’m sure time would pass and people would start to really see again just how dangerous communism/socialism is and we’d forget about the far Right.

    Sorry, Jay… I didn’t mean to dissuade anyone from listening.

    It has been in the non-mainstream media where much of the rioting, organizing and fundraising of Black Lives Matter and this “Rev” group has been fueled by Soros, and it is reeking with communist agendas, including the founders of BLM. That’s why things are not dying down, but accelerating.

    • #8
    • July 23, 2020, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like