Michał Bąkowski

The Third Echelon

Jeff Nyquist kindly responded to my previous article with splendid divagations around the importance of common usage when confronted with soviet strategy.

It seems to me that our recent exchange [1] opened up three wide areas of disagreement. First is focused on semantics but, as I see it now, the difference between us is much more fundamental than just our attitude to the semantic obliteration of opposition as a major plank of communist tactics. It actually touches upon the all important question of purpose. Why are we doing this? Why do we bother? Why do we engage in this polemic? Why are we holding on to views, which will not bring us any joy or recognition, and are only likely to be met with a dismissive sign of the forefinger touching the forehead? If “common usage”, thoughtless multitude and even intelligent people, all conspire to see us as crackpots – why inconvenience ourselves to that extent? What for?

Secondly, there is the Russian vs. soviet controversy, which I perceive to be at heart of understanding communism. And lastly, there is a small problem with interpretation of what Nyquist refers to as “positive developments in Poland, Georgia and Ukraine”. These are quite separate subjects so, at risk of boring my esteemed opponent to distraction, I will endeavour to elaborate on these points in wider context and in separate articles.

I believe the last point to be the least important so let’s start there. Contrary to Nyquist’s suggestions, I do not claim superior knowledge about what actually is happening anywhere. I don’t have any secret sources close to the centre of strategic deception, which impart superior insight to me. “Ex-kgb officers” do not routinely come to me to bend my ear. All information at my disposal is in public domain. All facts I know, are also known to Nyquist so, bearing in mind that we both claim to use the same methodology, i.e. a rational and logical analysis of facts along the lines demonstrated by Anatoly Golitsyn, it is somewhat disconcerting that our interpretation of events in Ukraine, Georgia and Poland differs to such an extent. Allow me to quote an example of the kind of analysis I have in mind, as presented interestingly by HL Shancken, an American blogger, some time Guest on The Final Phase Forum and a self-confessed admirer of Mr Nyquist:

1. Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin. He got the second-largest dose ever recorded, and he, like the woman who got the highest dose, lived. Dioxin is known as a non-lethal poison.

2. The dioxin poisoning was the second attempt on the life of Yushchenko. The first attempt involved the use of an automobile.

3. The KGB, given its demonstrable historical expertise in the area of assassinations, should have been able to easily and successfully assassination of Yushchenko. The fact that both attempts were unsuccessful indicates to me that all was staged, including the Orange Revolution.

4. Yushchenko’s face, made hideous for a time by the dioxin, no longer shows any effects of the poisoning. He has made a full recovery.

5. Saakashvili was educated in the United States in the 1980’s. What type of police state allows average, unconnected citizens to travel to the country that is their Main Enemy and be educated as they please? We all know the answer to that is that the idea is absurd on the face of it.

6. Saakashvili could easily have been assassinated by now. Recall the incident where he had Russian machine guns trained on him at a checkpoint he visited after the Russian invasion.

7. Yushchenko and Saakashvili are KGB. I do not believe that either man has defected from the KGB, because if they had, they would be dead.” [2]

That is indeed well said. Let us however, not accept anything at face value, let’s be more critical, perhaps after all Nyquist is right in his contrary interpretation. Clearly, the fact that someone survived an assassination attempt in the hands of people usually efficient in this field, cannot as such be enough to condemn the survivor as the agent of these murderers; so perhaps the conclusion above is a little too hasty. It surely can’t be enough to condemn him when looked at in isolation but in the context of Yushchenko’s policies, in light of his past and his present, it appears to me logical to be at least suspicious of him. Moreover, it seems reckless and foolhardy to infer anything from the behaviour of such a man, let alone that “the soviet fabric is weakening”. Nyquist meanwhile, saw fit to pronounce: “Do not despise humble beginnings. Did you know? The president of Ukraine will not go to Moscow.” And? What of it? I can see the beginnings here – that much at least is certain. The humble beginnings of an inevitable slide into the trap of soviet deception.

Rather than rejoicing in Yushchenko’s travel arrangements I think Golitsynian approach dictates extreme caution here because it seems perfectly plausible – if unproven – that kgb is building up the image of Yushchenko as an independent force for their own use in the future. If in the process they also managed to fool some of the most consistent exponents of Golitsynian methodology, so much the better for them. But also so much the worse for us because even if Yushchenko is a genuine anti-communist leader who miraculously survived an evil attempt on his life, than the reaction to his alleged heroics from no other but JR Nyquist would surely demonstrate to the kgb how to plant a believable stooge in the future. Actually, this is only wishful thinking on my part – they know it already. They did it very successfully many times before.

Saakashvili, Georgia and the whole of Caucasus is a more difficult case. Let me perhaps approach it from a different angle. Almost two decades ago Françoise Thom formulated the theory of the “second echelon of soviet leaders”, people like Nazarbayev, Aliyev, Shushkevich, Kravchuk, Shevardnadze and, in my opinion, Yeltsin (although Thom did not include him in the group). These were politburo members who were designated to safely take over power in soviet republics thus facilitating the main tenet of the Grand Deception –collapse of the soviet union. I would hazard a guess that one of their most important tasks was to create a “third echelon”, a new generation of leaders who could take over from them and perpetuate the same fiction. Georgia – where Shevardnadze was so sure of his position that he allowed power to slip out of his hands in the early Nineties, and then had to regain it in a bloody conflict – was particularly important as far as smooth transition was concerned.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, Saakashvili and Zhvania (who died in suspicious circumstances), Putin and Medvedev, with all their squabbles, appear to be not much more than the “third echelon of soviet leaders”. Naturally, and as always is the case whenever we are dealing with deception on such scale, it would be very difficult to prove this but let’s have a closer look anyway.

So firstly, is there any doubt that Saakashvili started out as one of Shevardnadze’s man? By all accounts, Shevardnadze hand-picked a handsome young lawyer with pretty foreign wife, as his successor. Saakashvili then picks up a fight with Shevardnadze’s cabinet about corruption but is neither sacked nor silenced; instead, he resigns in 2001 to form his own party, allegedly in opposition to his mentor. This fully conforms to the pattern of “false opposition”, as we observed it in many countries before, when a manufactured quarrel leads to a split and a formation of false opposition. By the way, the same process can be currently observed again, being repeated with utmost precision in Iran.

Saakashvili was far too close to Shevardnadze for comfort so his position needed to be strengthened and what can be better than a little war with the almighty neighbour to enhance new leader’s standing?

Antoni Macierewicz, however, is surely not a member of the “third echelon”. He is one of the very few politicians in Poland who consistently opposed communists throughout his life. I will not recount his remarkable career here; suffice it to say that I know whose walkie-talkie was used to spring him out of his place of internment (but I shan’t tell). He was strongly opposed to the infamous “round table talks” organised in secret by the “democratic opposition” and sb (Polish arm of the kgb), which resulted in renaming of the soviet “polish people’s republic”, as “the third republic”. And yet, when in 1991, Jan Olszewski, one of the participants of round table talks, was asked to form new government, Macierewicz agreed to serve as minister of the interior. He immediately set out to expose the communist past of people in high places in this “new Poland” and Olszewski’s government was promptly brought down in a parliamentary coup led by the resident – oops! sorry: “president” – Lech Wałęsa.

Clearly, Macierewicz’s intentions were good. Demonstrably, he is “on our side”. But should he not be a little bit more careful who he associated himself with? Olszewski had impeccable socialist credentials; he was a classic “revisionist”, someone who wished to improve the soviet system not to destroy it. (I will not defile these pages by writing more about Wałęsa.) Well, let’s suppose that I am a cynic and that I would have said that anyway, whilst an active politician, like Macierewicz, could legitimately have made a mistake in assuming that it was possible to expose the “new Poland” as a sham from within government’s institutions. Fine, I accept that and would not hold it against him – after all, he did prove the nature of the beast in 1991. But to repeat the same mistake 15 years later is a bit too much, isn’t it?

My bone of contention with Macierewicz, with regards to his publishing Golitsyn, is that it again perpetuates a lie. Namely, this is a new, free Poland, where even Anatoly Golitsyn could be published, and not merely a continuation of a soviet creature. And look, even JR Nyquist thinks it is amazing. Besides, when one accepts Golitsyn’s views on staging of the “collapse of communism” malarkey, how could one willingly work for the institutions of state created in that exercise? However it may be, Nyquist is either misinformed or something was truly lost in translation if he ever thought that we were “determined to alienate those who published Golitsyn in Polish because they refer to Russia instead of the Soviet Union”. That is rather silly from start to finish, it is a conjecture without any basis in fact – but I guess we couldn’t expect any better were anyone trying to comprehend our Open Letter to Macierewicz with the help of mechanical translators…

In his rush to prove that the main threat facing us is Russian rather than communist, Nyquist wrote an astonishing line. Poland, he says, “will be trampled by Russian boots”. I really don’t think you are right here, Mr Nyquist. “There’s enough native skunk,” as a poet said after the introduction of the martial law in 1981. The subjugation of Poland was completed by Polish hands – hands of Polish communists – and it was the same just about anywhere (which is exactly why equivocation of Russia and communism is so wrong). After all, weren’t Bierut, Gomułka, Gierek, Jaruzelski first and foremost Polish patriots? They would indeed do anything in their power to prevent “intervention” by the closest neighbour. And the neighbouring superpower acquiesced. Soviets happily facilitated Gomułka with sufficient kudos from the alleged spat with Khrushchev – which actually never happened but was enough to build a myth of the first secretary of the communist party as a “Polish patriot”. They eagerly helped Jaruzelski by conducting military manoeuvres close to the “Polish border” (which in fact was only an internal demarcation line) in 1981.

It is interesting to note that in today’s Poland, which inspires Nyquist with so much hope of “progressive weakening of the hidden Soviet structures”, 44% of Poles believe that Jaruzelski was right to introduce martial law. Another poll in 2005 showed that 46% of Poles believed Jaruzelski acted to prevent soviet intervention and a further 9% thought he was trying to save the integrity of Polish state.

Yes, it is true that there are large areas of agreement between Nyquist and us here, in The Underground. Yes, we too believe that there are strong soviet structures in Poland – and in the Ukraine, and Georgia etc. etc. – we just can’t agree that they are hidden. In fact, they are visible to the naked eye. However, the main tool of soviet control throughout the soviet bloc always has been and always will be the deep rooted sovietisation of the population at large. Sovietisation, which started with the appalling terror of Forties and Fifties, and after most of the potential enemies were eliminated, evolved into the second phase, introducing the idea that Polish communists are Poles first and commies only a distant second. This idea was accepted by large parts of the populace in 1956 when a million people spontaneously applauded Gomułka in central Warsaw.

I strongly believe that the successful deception played out by Khrushchev in Warsaw was the starting point for formulating the Shelepin plan. But to understand that, one has to read The Triumph of Provocation and since it is now available in proper, i.e. not mechanical, English translation, one has no excuse for one’s ignorance.

Anyway, communism with patriotic face was not introduced by Gomułka, not even by Tito. It was Lenin and Trotsky who appealed to the patriotism of Russian officers and called them to defend the Fatherland in the face of foreign intervention. It was Stalin who created the laconic formula of a state “national in form and socialist in substance”. And this leads me nicely to my next subject: Russian or soviet?


1. See also:

Michał Bąkowski, Poland as a front line state?

Jeff Nyquist, Semantic Liquidation of the Opposition

Michał Bąkowski, The Unbearable Weight of Semantics

Jeff Nyquist, Common Usage in Strategy and Tactics

    2. http://wydawnictwopodziemne.rohnka5.atthost24.pl/en/2009/12/16/english-common-usage-in-strategy-and-tactics/#comments Comment dated 20.12.09. I’m not sure the author is correct regarding Saakashvili’s “education in the US in the 80s”. As far as I know he studied in Kiev and in France and went to the US only in the Nineties.

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3 Comments “The Third Echelon”

  1. 1 Marek

    Panie Michale,

    trochę tajemniczo pisze Pan o Macierewiczu i czytelnik artykułu nie wie, dlaczego tak go Pan wyróżnia spośród działaczy “opozycji”. Może to Pański były “kolega z podziemia”? W każdym razie nie ma jasności.
    Być może nie było go nad stołem ani pod stołem, bo zabrakło zaproszenia. Teraz zaproszono i jest p osłem. “Antykomunista” Mikołajczyk też podobno miał dobre intencje, był “po naszej stronie” i (podobnie jak wspomniany działacz) nie przywiązywał wagi do towarzystwa, w jakim się obracał.

  2. 2 michał

    Drogi Panie Marku,

    Tu chyba nie ma żadnych “tajemnic”. Kiedy napisaliśmy List otwarty (prawie dwa lata temu), to był on komentowany zazwyczaj – zwłaszcza na Forum Solidarności Walczącej swkatowice – jako “atak” na Macierewicza. Musieliśmy wówczas tłumaczyć mozolnie, że to nie jest atak, że nie równamy go z Wałęsą czy Michnikiem, bo do takich ludzi nie zwracalibyśmy się z żadnymi listami, nawet zamkniętymi. Macierewicz zasłużył sobie na pewien kredyt zaufania, ale ten kredyt jest w moim mniemaniu na wyczerpaniu. Pańskim zdaniem najwyraźniej także. Widzi Pan, co nawypisywał o tym Nyquist, jak bardzo to jest szkodliwe.

    Natomiast Mikołajczyk… Mam wątpliwości, co do jego inetncji, nie wydaje mi się, żeby był po naszej stronie, a towarzystwo, w jakim się obracał, pozostawiało jeszcze więcej do życzenia niż Bolek i inni.

  3. 3 michał

    On the 3rd January, the above article was published on The Final Phase Forum by one S Kabud. It was not published in the form you can see above, though. That would be too easy for Kabud. Depending on, which version of our website you are currently reading you could see my text either in its original English version or in its Polish translation. But neither was copied and pasted on the TFP Forum. Instead, Kabud decided to torture my article with the use of google translator and to crow about it. What’s more, he also accused me of trying to “hide behind Polish language”. Naturally, what Kabud says is immaterial, as he seems incapable of stringing two sentences together, as readers of our website had the misfortune to find out. The ‘googled’ version of the article, though, is so funny that it is worth reading:


    I wrote to the administrators of the Forum on the 3rd January and asked them to publish a statement expressing my disquiet about Kabud’s practices but we have received a firm refusal today. So here it is:

    Dear Sirs,

    Could someone please stop the member signing himself as “KABUD” from embarrassing himself any further?

    The guy published an incomprehensible version of my article on your forum by applying google translator to the Polish version of the text actually written in English. If any proof was needed that such practice is pathetic and ought not to be allowed on any serious website than a simple comparison of “KABUD’s” gobbledygook with the original should hopefully suffice.

    “KABUD” accused me of “hiding behind Polish language”, which in his weird world possibly makes some sense but otherwise is devoid of any meaning. I have no inclination to hide from “KABUD” and only a sick mind could perceive writing in one’s own language as “hiding”.

    I would appreciate if you could place this note on your Forum, which I read with interest.

    Many thanks.

    With kind regards,

    Michael Bąkowski



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