Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Polish President and Several Senior Government Officials Die in Plane Crash in Russia

This is something of a stunner. The Polish Presidential aircraft crashed near Smolensk in dense fog. The list of senior officials killed is long and shocking: The President, First Lady, the chief of the national security office, the Chairman of the Polish central bank, the deputy Speaker of the lower house of parliament (the Speaker of that house will take over as interim president until a special election is held), the deputy minister of defense, the chief of the General Staff, and the deputy leader of the President's Law and Justice Party (a right wing populist party with controversial positions on a range of issues).

The Poles made the mistake of flying a plane designed and built in the Soviet era: a TU 154. This plane has the NATO designation of "Careless". The Russians are saying the crash was caused by pilot error. But this plane has an average to poor safety record. There certainly a lot of incidents of catotrophic failures on this plane (like the entire fuselage suddenly breaking apart in mid air). Of course the weather conditions are sufficient to explain the crash in this case but given the purpose of the trip and the nature of the Presidents' supporters I doubt that will be universally and easily accepted....

The delegation was flying to Smolensk to memorialize the thousands of Polish military leaders and intellectuals who had been murdered by the Soviets at the Katyn forrest in 1940. The supporters of this President are Poland's answer to the Tea Party crowd around here. Let the conspiracy theorizing commence!


renan said...

I read from news minute ago that there are no survivor this is a big tragedy from Polish government. Possible that the vice president will be the president after this tragedy.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I don't think it's fair to compare the late President's party to the Tea Party. I'm sure you are right, that conspiracy theories will abound. How can they not? The horror of another generation of Polish leadership cut down in Katyn in which the Russians may have had some hand. It's even sadder when you realize that Russia was finally moving to acknowledge its role in the Katyn massacre, and this should have been a healing moment for Poland. A German pope won't help either.

Raised By Republicans said...

The late President's party, Law and Justice, is ultra-nationalist, anti-market, socially conservative populists. Of course they are more electorally successful than the Tea Party crowd, but they have very similar politics.

Raised By Republicans said...

This is a sad event, btw. And Russian acknowledgement of Stalin's crimes against Poland would be a big step forward in relations with Poland other former communist states in the EU.

As for what happens next, the Speaker of the lower house of the Sejm acts as interim president until a special election can be held.