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'Let Poland Be Poland'

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Many people have expressed at least mild embarrassment over the administration's television spectacular ''Let Poland Be Poland.'' Not because they oppose a strong statement of moral indignation at the suppression of freedom in Poland. But because a government-sponsored program, replete with Hollywood stars, risks criticism as a propagandistic and undignified vehicle for such a statement. The fact that the Poles cannot see it, that the West Europeans have shunned it, and that many American TV stations also are reluctant to show it suggests that the program serves domestic politics more than the needs of international diplomacy.

What is significant, however, is that the administration has not closed the door on a diplomatic demarche to Poland. Almost in the same breath, as ''Let Poland Be Poland'' was going out over the airwaves, the administration decided to repay some $70 million owed by Poland to American banks, without requiring that they declare Poland in default. This may strike the public as slightly inconsistent, but the inconsistency is understandable and points to the dilemma confronting US diplomats. For reasons of Mr. Reagan's political constituents, they cannot be seen to be ''soft'' on Poland; yet they must seek a way of encouraging a political accommodation in Poland that will make it possible to put Poland back on the road to economic solvency.

The fact is, the Western bankers have an enormous stake in stabilization and reform of the Polish economy. Default by Poland of its $27 billion debt would have substantial impact on the West's financial institutions. Therefore General Jaruzelski's actions - raising food prices and inducing farmers to deliver their produce to the state - are doubtless looked on more understandingly by Western financiers than by the Polish people. It has long been recognized, by economists in and out of Poland, that bringing prices in line with production costs is crucial to good management.


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