Polish authorities appear to be settling in for what they foresee as a prolonged cooling in relations with the United States, while still hoping to keep some lines of trade, finance and other exchanges open to the West.
In response to what is seen here as America's campaign against Poland, the martial-law government has released a flurry of anti-U.S. press commentaries and official statements attacking Washington's motives.
The United States is charged with interfering in Poland's internal affairs and with attempting to turn the Polish crisis into an international affair as part of a grand strategic design to undermine socialism.
Poland's vigorous counterattack is an attempt to justify the new military order and to offset the effect of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe broadcasts received in many Polish homes.
But, Warsaw authorities say, the intensity with which Polish officials have responded to U.S. criticism and events such as last Sunday's "Let Poland Be Poland" television production reflects a judgment that relations will remain poor for some time. This is blamed not on what has happened in Poland, but on a reorientation of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
The argument here is that it is America's souring on detente in the months before Warsaw's imposition of martial law Dec. 13 that inhibits continuation of the business, cultural and travel ties that grew between Poland and the United States during the 1970s.
In this view, the Reagan administration is seen as using the Polish crisis simply as a "pawn" in a scheme to destablize the communist world, incite a new cold war, rally the Atlantic Alliance around a hard-line policy and justify a Western arms buildup.
The Polish Army paper, Zolnierz Wolnosci, said in a commentary last week that the Reagan administration would like to regard Poland "merely as a pawn in its global political gamble to win world hegemony, or at least to keep its dominance over the capitalist system undivided."
The government paper, Rzeczpospolita, said: "The constant exacerbation of the Polish question in the international arena, the attempts to internationalize Poland's domestic problems that we have been witnessing since the introduction of martial law in our country, the diplomacy of pressures and the carrying out of anti-Polish propaganda in the form of spectacular TV speeches made by traitors of the Polish nation or the latest TV show have little in common with the interests of Poland or the Poles."
"The Polish weapon in the hands of the Reagan administration," Warsaw's official paper continued, "serves solely and exclusively the U.S. big power strategic objectives, and we do not wish this weapon to be used at our expense."
Much is also being made in Poland's propaganda of the differences between the U.S. and the Western European approaches to the situation here. Western European nations are portrayed as being wary of U.S. aggression and worried about an American overreaction to the Polish crisis.
Included in Warsaw's pitch to the Western Europeans is a subtle appeal to observe their common interest in keeping peace on the continent--a continent, it is stressed, they share with Poland--rather than get drawn into a renewed East-West struggle.
Britain's announcement Friday that it was joining in the U.S. sanctions would seem to weaken Polish efforts to isolate the United States and play up a transatlantic rift. Authorities here have depicted the British action as having been forced by U.S. pressure--"a concession toward the demands of Washington," a Polish press agency commentator said.
Given the discredit in which many Poles hold their own authorities, the official propaganda is probably having only limited effect at best.
When 3,000 persons battled Polish security forces in Gdansk Jan. 30 and when the military government raised food prices drastically Feb. 1, officials sought to blame the country's deepening economic hardship on U.S. refusal to grant new credits for grain purchases.
U.S. diplomats here, meanwhile, shrug off the anti-American propaganda, which went so far recently as to accuse the Central Intelligence Agency of manipulation of the independent trade union Solidarity and allege, during a five-part television series, that the CIA had conducted extensive espionage activities against Poland.
For all Warsaw's official snarling, the government here knows it cannot afford to sever ties with the West. It still hopes to negotiate extensions with Western governments and banks for repayment of its $28.5 billion debt and to continue trading with emphasis on spurring exports that earn hard currency.
But some reorientation in economic ties is expected. The U.S. sanctions, which one senior government official stated privately had not been anticipated in planning the crackdown, brought home how vulnerable the Polish economy had become to the West, particularly in agriculture. Poland's poultry industry is heavily dependent on feed corn imported from the United States.
"We've learned a lesson that will be of a lasting character," government spokesman Jerzy Urban said in an interview last week commenting on U.S.-Polish relations. "It is not safe for Poland to have excessive relations with a far away country with global interests that will pursue those interests at the expense of our own."
Urban said the strain in relations was especially regrettable since Polish public sympathies for U.S. styles, attitudes and problems traditionally had been very strong--greater even, the spokesman added, "than for other large powers much closer to Poland."