The Washington Times - November 10, 2008, 03:08PM

Poland seems to be winning the prize for angering President-elect Barack Obama more than any other country has since last week’s election.

After a weekend dispute over what Mr. Obama said during a phone conversation with Polish President Lech Kaczynski regarding missile defense, Mr. Kaczynski was forced to issue an apology Monday for “astonishing, unacceptable and racist” remarks by a member of parliament from his party.


Artur Gorski, who is well-known in Poland for his often controversial comments that have upset members of his own conservative Law and Justice party, called Mr. Obama a “black crypto-communist” and a “naive individual whose election must delight al-Qaeda.”

In remarks during Thursday’s parliamentary session, he also said that Mr. Obama’s election was “a disaster” and “the end of the white man’s civilization.”

Officials in Washington were not amuzed. They instructed the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to demand an official apology from the Polish government as soon as possible.

“Those comments were despicable and outrageous and don’t warrant any kind of response,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.


On Monday, Mr. Kaczynski issed the expected apology, saying, “These are the kind of highly odd views that this member of parliament is well known for. Clearly neither I, nor the vast majority of the party, share views of this sort.”

Mr. Kaczynski and Mr. Obama spoke by telephone on Friday, in one of more than a dozen calls with foreign leaders the newly elected president made. Mr. Kaczynski’s spokesman said Mr. Obama promised to “continue” a missile-defense project the Bush administration has been pursuing in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The next day, however, Mr. Obama’s team rejected that statement, saying that he had made no such committments.

“His position is as it was throughout the campaign — that he supports deploying a missile-defense system when the technology is proved to be workable,” said senior Obama foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough.