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The Warsaw Voice » From the News Editor » January 27, 2011
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From the Editor-in-Chief
January 27, 2011   
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The crash of the presidential plane in which 96 people lost their lives on April 10, 2010, including the president, his wife and the commanders of the Polish armed forces, has a lasting place in our history. It has impacted the public mood and political life. It has turned into the focus and the front line of a sharp conflict between the government and the main opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS), whose leader Jarosław Kaczyński is the twin brother of the late president. Last year’s presidential election and local government elections were also overshadowed by the Smolensk crash.

This is a story with no end in sight. The Smolensk tragedy has turned into one of those classic Polish dramas. It is constantly present not just in history but in everyday life. It is full of disputes over its nature, causes and consequences, and over who is ultimately to blame. It is fiery and full of hatred and ever capable of fueling national conflict.

The Smolensk tragedy has an added quality. Its destructive force has international ramifications. Skillfully exploited, it could destroy Polish-Russian relations, at any time. The report issued by the Interstate Aviation Committee, the Russian body investigating the crash, is like a wall of fire. The Polish response is obvious.

Does it have to be like this? Following the principle of looking for the log in your own eye, I wonder if we could manage not to fall into the trap, even if Moscow were inclined to use this tool.

It won’t be easy, the temptation is too great to resist in domestic political life. Unless, that is, someone feels a sense of responsibility for the country as a whole.
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