GEN. JARUZELSKI, strongman of Poland, has now had his parliament dissolve Solidarity, the first independent trade union ever recognized officially in a communist country. Last December, when the general declared martial law, Solidarity had been merely suspended. That status dramatized the possibility that, if Solidarity and the government were to agree on terms, Solidarity could be restored to working status.
But in the 10 months since, no agreement has been reached. There has not even been the start of a real negotiation between the government, Solidarity and the other crucial party, the Catholic Church. Now, by dissolving Solidarity, the government signals that it no longer countenances negotiation as a method of national reconciliation, and it does not even accept reconciliation as a national goal. It intends to proceed by its force, its decree power, its manipulative ability, toward a condition it describes as "normalization."
Not by accident perhaps, the outlawing of Solidarity seems to have stirred no immediate popular response within Poland. Gen. Jaruzelski's method is to blame Solidarity for its own fate, to encourage the notion that there is no alternative to a government-imposed solution and to throw the country a few bones -- in this instance, the promised release of "a large number" of political prisoners -- even while he is shortening the leash. By such tactics he hopes to bleed off frustration and despair into tolerance, at the least, for his rule.
Ronald Reagan, for one, reacted in the manner that has characterized his Polish policy in the last year. He expressed burning personal outrage and reached for one more modest economic screw to tighten: Poland's favored tariff status in this country. By so doing, Mr. Reagan keeps faith with Solidarity. Unfortunately, his gesture also highlights the back-to-business-as-usual attitude of the European allies. Fortunately, official policy does not have to carry the whole burden of the American response. The AFL-CIO promises that in every available international forum, it will insist that the Warsaw regime account for its suppression of the only authentic workers' movement in the communist world.