Within the last few months NATO has doubled the military force stationed in Szczecin . It’s part of the troop re-deployments in Poland and the Baltic states that has been referred to in places as “poking the Russian bear “. The National Guard has been sent over here , too , for training with the Polish military . In older times it might have been referred to , I think , as ” sabre rattling ” , but no one uses sabers much anymore , I suppose . Perhaps we need a whole new term for what seems to be the same age-old political / military mumbo-jumbo , macho chest-thumping , the flexing of national muscles and all that crap . Makes the generals feel needed , I suppose .
Mr. Putin , that Russian guy , is doing his own posturing crap , too , of course . His air force is bombing Syrians friendly to the U.S. His aircraft have buzzed U.S ships , so close that the U.S.sailors can see the smiles on the faces of the Russian airmen . And then there’s the Ukrainian invasion , of course . The NATO mobilization in Poland is said to be in response to that .
It’s always easier to get into a war than to get out . That’s a lesson evidently unlearned by world leaders . But , then again , no one has asked my opinion about it , so I’ll move on .
I’ve seen more Americans here in the city in the last week than I have seen in the twenty years before this that I’ve been visiting Szczecin . The NATO base on the edge of town could be overcrowded as it rushes to expand . Groups of young soldiers are all over town now . I’ve seen them in restaurants , on the streets , and in the large shopping mall here called ” Giant ” . Two guys I spotted today were wearing “POLSKA” shirts and they looked pretty Polish , both Ada and I thought , but their American voices gave them away .
I could tell these guys ( a few women , too ) where to get a good hamburger in town , and maybe give them a few pointers on local customs , but I’ll just let them be . In fact , I’m officially announcing the giving up of my past policy of talking to any Americans I see in Szczecin . Yes , you heard it here . They’ll have to get by without my input . Besides, my guess is , good hamburgers with all the trimmings are readily available at the NATO base . Now that I’m thinking of it , maybe I’ll go over there and ask .