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James Brody April 12th, 2010 08:16 PM

Katyn, Kaczynski, & Sync
Poland is a Catholic nation and on Holy Days, tides of candles burn in the cemeteries.

Seventy years ago, Russian KGB murdered 22,000 Polish prisoners of war, buried them hidden in Katyn forest, and for fifty years blamed the Nazis. "More than the illegal execution of prisoners-of-war. It was the decapitation of the country's pre-war elite."

President Lech Kaczynski (pro US, pro West, pro Israel, and a thorn to Putin), his wife and many key leaders of the Polish government were nearly at the end of their journey when the pilot – possibly because he followed orders from Kaczynski – ignored warnings of blinding fog, dumped fuel, tried to land, and put their plane in the trees, killing everyone. Putin, formerly of the KGB, is in charge of the investigation. Read the Economist article to understand fully why more candles now burn in Warsaw and in Polish communities across America.

As for the crash, the Economist notes that Kaczynski in August 2008 overruled his pilot and ordered a landing in difficult conditions in Tsiblisi, Georgia. If it had not been for this week's Memorial and just as importantly, if he did not have 96 key staff on board with him, he might well have thought differently and not insisted on landing blind.

Might he have responded to the same instincts that unified those who died at Masada? Or for that matter, in Waco? And should there be a hero's medal for the pilot who signaled his awareness of approaching death and dumped fuel as the plane went down?


Strogatz, S. (2003) Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order. NY: Hyperion.

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