Responding to a Soviet attack, the influential Polish weekly Polityka has mustered for tomorrow's edition statements by top government officials, including the country's leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, in strong defense of the Warsaw regime's policies.
The Soviet paper New Times last week accused Polityka, a paper favored by the progressive wing of Poland's Communist Party, of promoting political pluralism beyond the restraints of orthodox communism.
The charge was seen here as part of a new backstage challenge by Polish hard-liners, supported by at least some in the Soviet leadership, against senior ranking reformers around Jaruzelski--most notably, Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Rakowski, Polityka's former editor-in-chief.
Although Polityka terms the New Times article "without precedent in tone," its explicit response is mild and nonpolemical. It dismisses the Soviet piece as inaccurate, painstakingly reporting that most of the quotations used by Soviet commentator Andrei Ryzhov from articles written by leading progressive party theoreticians and journalists largely last year were taken out of context.
But the Polish paper does not directly debate the Soviet publication on the pluralism charge. Instead, it prints an interview with Rakowski, an article by government spokesman Jerzy Urban and excerpts from speeches delivered by Jaruzelski in 1981 and 1982 and argues the rightness of the Polish approach adopted by the current leadership.
Nonetheless, the swift and extensive Polityka response appears to be a signal to the Soviets and Polish hard-liners that Rakowski and his circle still enjoy considerable confidence in Warsaw leadership ranks.
In particular, some of the quotations lifted from Jaruzelski's speeches underscore a policy of limited tolerance for pluralistic views in a country where the Roman Catholic Church is strong and sentiment against the party runs high.
"We respect the plurality of ideologies," Jaruzelski said in a speech on Dec. 13, 1981, the day martial law was imposed.
In a statement last December, he spoke of the doubt and bitterness still in Poland and the need for time to reunite the nation.
"We don't have to all talk with one voice," he said.