Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Obama Alienates Poland by Referring to "Polish Death Camps"

This is not just "Smart Power", this is "Super-Duper Smart Power".

Video embedded below.



"The bad news? This isn’t the only dumb, offensive thing that a prominent Democrat has said about Poland this week. The worse news? When I say he’s alienated Poland, I don’t mean he’s alienated a few bloggers in Warsaw or the editorial page of some partisan newspaper. The outrage goes to the very top:

“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald “Tusk will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”…

“A Polish death camp” — Sikorski also tonight tweeted a link to an Economist story noting that “few things annoy Poles more than being blamed for the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers of their homeland. For many years, Polish media, diplomats and politicians have tried to persuade outsiders to stop using the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ as a shorthand description of Auschwitz and other exemplars of Nazi brutality and mass murder. Unfortunately this seems to have escaped BaracK Obama’s staff seem not to have noticed this.”…

Alex Storozynski, the President of the Kosciuszko Foundation, lauded the president earlier in the day for recognizing Karski, but now says “Karski would have cringed if he heard this….So far, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and others have changed their stylebooks to ban the use of this phrase. Now, the Obama White House must do the same. President Obama’s remarks are already being called ‘scandalous’ by media outlets in Poland. Obama was seen reading this phrase off a teleprompter. The President must acknowledge his mistake and apologize for it. He must do it for Karski and the other Poles that risked their lives trying to stop the Holocaust.”

BuzzFeed has a round-up of Polish Twitter reaction, and it ain’t pretty.
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Video embedded below.

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