Archive for the ‘Trump in Poland’ category

It’s True: Liberals Hate Western Civilization

July 9, 2017

It’s True: Liberals Hate Western Civilization, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, July 8, 2017

(Stop calling them “Liberals.” They are leftists and probably proud of it. — DM)

President Trump’s superb speech in Poland has been praised by most observers, including Paul. On the Left, however, Trump’s speech has been criticized for its principal virtue, the president’s spirited defense of Western civilization. Here are some of the many such instances.

Amanda Marcotte writes at Salon: “Trump’s alt-right Poland speech: Time to call his white nationalist rhetoric what it is.”

Trump argued that Western (read: white) nations are “the fastest and the greatest community” and the “world has never known anything like our community of nations.” He crowed about how Westerners (read: white people) “write symphonies,” “pursue innovation” and “always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers,” as if these were unique qualities to white-dominated nations, instead of universal truths of the human race across all cultures.

Why, exactly, should we “read white people”? Trump said not a word about race in his speech. While the peoples that developed Western culture were of course predominantly white, Western civilization is not limited to one race. Just ask, say, Thomas Sowell or Yo-Yo Ma. The obsession with race is the Left’s, not Trump’s.

He also portrayed this Western civilization as under assault from forces “from the South or the East” that “threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.”
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And yet, even though Trump was fairly begging to be labeled a fascist with his speech painting the purity of white civilization as under threat from racialized foreigners….

But wait! Doesn’t the threat from the East come from Russia? And aren’t Russians white? On the Left, facts are always secondary, at best, to the Narrative. Finally, this howler:

Breitbart gushed about how Trump was calling for “protecting our borders” and “preserving Western civilization,” and bizarrely compared the speech to Ronald Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech, even though the Berlin Wall is the gold standard in the kind of border security and cultural “preservation” that Trump has made his political career calling for.

Great point, Amanda! Just like Trump’s wall on the southern border, the East Germans built the Berlin Wall to keep out the throngs of West Berliners that were trying to get in illegally.

Next, Sarah Wildman at Vox: “Trump’s speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto.”

In his address, Trump cast the West, including the United States and Europe, on the side of “civilization.” With an undercurrent of bellicosity, he spoke of protecting borders, casting himself as a defender not just of territory but of Western “values.” And, using the phrase he had avoided on his trip to Saudi Arabia, he insisted that in the fight against “radical Islamic terrorism,” the West “will prevail.”

Is this what is meant by “alt-right”? I am so old, I can remember when 95% of Americans would have thought that such propositions verged on the self-evident.

Common Dreams (“Breaking News & Views For the Progressive Community”): “‘Disturbing’ Undertones Detected in Trump’s Bizarre Poland Speech.”

Honing in on Trump’s repeated emphasis on “the will” and his declaration that “our civilization will triumph,” many made connections between the speech and an infamous 1935 Nazi propaganda film titled “Triumph of the Will,” which was directed by Leni Riefenstahl and based on the 1934 Nuremberg Rally.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Peter Beinart in The Atlantic:

In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.
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The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.

But Israel is pretty universally regarded as Western, and Western values derive largely from Jewish history and culture.

The most shocking sentence in Trump’s speech—perhaps the most shocking sentence in any presidential speech delivered on foreign soil in my lifetime—was his claim that “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.” … Trump’s sentence only makes sense as a statement of racial and religious paranoia. … A direct line connects Trump’s assault on Barack Obama’s citizenship to his speech in Poland. In Trump and Bannon’s view, America is at its core Western: meaning white and Christian (or at least Judeo-Christian). The implication is that anyone in the United States who is not white and Christian may not truly be American but rather than an imposter and a threat.

Like Trump’s daughter and son-in-law? Beinart’s rant verges on the insane.

Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post: “Trump’s white-nationalist dog whistles in Warsaw.”

This is the same crowd that brays about the superiority of “Western civilization” and its contributions in the history of the world conveniently ignores (or perhaps is just plain ignorant about) what we’ve adopted from Muslims and the Middle East. Those symphonies Trump says “We write” (ahem) would be real lame without the influence of the Middle East and Muslims. According to Salim al-Hassani, chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization and editor of “1001 Inventions,” which chronicles “the enduring legacy of Muslim civilization,” told CNN years ago that the lute, musical scales and the ancestor of the violin are all part of that legacy.

Carlyn Reichel, former speechwriter for Joe Biden, in Foreign Policy: “Trump Has Reshaped Presidential Rhetoric Into an Unrecognizable Grotesque.”

Like staring into a fun-house mirror, the trappings of an American president delivering a landmark speech abroad were there — certainly there were deliberate echoes of President John F. Kennedy’s historic speech in Berlin — but it was all reshaped into an unrecognizable grotesque.

With each paragraph, strong statements about defending freedom and standing against the forces of oppression were replaced by a narrow vision of the world rooted in an even narrower ideology. For Trump, the boundaries of “civilization” only extend to those who share his definition of “God” and “family” — that is, a Judeo-Christian worldview and power structures that continue to be dominated by white men.

So you can’t celebrate or defend Western civilization without being denounced by liberals as a white nationalist, a fascist, and so on. It is good to know where they stand.

Eastern Europe Chooses to Keep Western Civilization

July 7, 2017

Eastern Europe Chooses to Keep Western Civilization, Giulio Meotti, July 7, 2017

[I]t is critical that Eastern Europe continues to be a strong voice of dissent in the EU project. It might provide just the cultural confidence that European bureaucrats dramatically lack — at the peril of Europe itself.

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“The greatest difference is that in Europe, politics and religion have been separated from one another, but in the case of Islam it is religion that determines politics” — Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources.

It is no coincidence that President Donald Trump chose Poland, a country that fought both Nazism and Communism, to call on the West to show a little willingness in its existential fight against the new totalitarianism: radical Islam.

“Possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether”. — Professor William Kilpatrick, Boston College.

In a historic speech to an enthusiastic Polish crowd before the meeting of the G20 Summit leaders, US President Donald Trump described the West’s battle against “radical Islamic terrorism” as the way to protect “our civilization and our way of life”. Trump asked if the West had the will to survive:

“Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

Trump’s question might find an answer in Eastern Europe, where he chose to deliver his powerful speech.

President Donald Trump gives a speech in Warsaw, Poland, in front of the monument commemorating the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans, on July 6, 2017. (Image source: The White House)

After an Islamist suicide-bomber murdered 22 concert-goers in Manchester, including two Poles, Poland’s prime minister, Beata Szydło, said that Poland would not be “blackmailed” into accepting thousands of refugees under the European Union’s quota system. She urged Polish lawmakers to safeguard the country and Europe from the scourges of Islamist terrorism and cultural suicide:

“Where are you headed, Europe? Rise from your knees and from your lethargy, or you will be crying over your children every day”.

A few days later, the European Union announced that it would begin proceedings to punish Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for their refusal to accept migrants as the European Commission had decided under a 2015 scheme it created.

After Szydło’s speech, Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources, declared:

“Islam is a major culture and religion, which we must respect, but Europe has a different identity, and it is clear that these two cultures are incapable of coexisting without conflict… The greatest difference is that in Europe, politics and religion have been separated from one another, but in the case of Islam it is religion that determines politics”.

That is why Viktor Orban has been labelled as “Europe’s enemy within” — because he spelled out what the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will never do: “Keeping Europe Christian“.

These speeches from Visegrad officials — the European group made up of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia — are just two examples of deep ideological divisions between Western European countries and those in Central- and Eastern Europe.

There has been a growing tendency of Visegrad leaders to depict Islam as a civilizational threat to Christian Europe. If, in Western Europe, Christianity has been dramatically cast aside by public opinion and severely restricted by EU official rules, in Eastern Europe new polls reveal that Christianity is as robust and patriotic as ever. That is why Trump called Poland “the faithful nation“. That is why US Catholic magazines are openly asking if there is a “Christian reawakening” in Eastern Europe. Slovakia approved a law to prevent Islam from becoming an official state religion.

These Central- and Eastern European countries know that Western Europe’s multiculturalism has been a recipe for terror attacks, for a start. As Ed West of The Spectator noted:

“Not all of Europe, of course. Central Europe, chiefly Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, remain largely safe from the terror threat, despite the former in particular being a Nato player in the Middle East. It is precisely because the reasons for this are so obvious that they cannot be mentioned. Poland is 0.1 percent Muslim, most of whom are from a long-settled Tartar community, Britain is 5 percent, France 9 percent and Brussels 25 percent, and those numbers are growing”.

What is presumably “obvious” here is that Poland and Hungary are not hit by Islamic terror attacks because they have very few Muslims, while Belgium and UK it is the reverse. Europe would probably have been safer if it had followed Eastern Europe’s example.

Eastern Europe not only shows a greater understanding of Western culture than Western Europe does; these Eastern countries have also been far more generous to NATO, the bulwark of their independence and security. Culture and security go hand-in-hand: if you take your own culture and civilization seriously, you will be ready to defend them.

A brief look at the NATO’s members’ military spending as a percentage of GDP shows that Poland meets the 2% target, unlike all the Western European countries. Only five of NATO’s 28 members — the U.S., Greece, Poland, Estonia and the U.K. — meet the 2% target. Where is France? And Belgium? And Germany? And The Netherlands?

“Unlike most of its NATO and European peers,” Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, explained, “Poland has for the past two decades consistently viewed defense as a priority issue, and as a result, has been slowly but steadily emerging as the bedrock of European security”. Poland — unlike Belgium, Italy and other European countries — is not a “free rider” but a trustworthy partner to its US ally. Poland showed loyal support to the United States both in Afghanistan and Iraq, where its troops fought the Taliban and helped to topple Saddam Hussein.

It is no coincidence that President Trump selected Poland, a country that fought both Nazism and Communism, to call on the West to show a little willingness in its existential fight against the new totalitarianism: radical Islam.

“The West will continue to have the military edge for a good time to come, but possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether”, wrote William Kilpatrick, a professor at Boston College. “The West is strong militarily, but weak ideologically. It lacks civilizational confidence”.

That is why it is critical that Eastern Europe continues to be a strong voice of dissent in the EU project. It might provide just the cultural confidence that European bureaucrats dramatically lack — at the peril of Europe itself.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Trump in Poland: “Our Civilization Will Triumph”

July 7, 2017

Trump in Poland: “Our Civilization Will Triumph”, Front Page MagazineRobert Spencer, July 7, 2017

Trump in Warsaw wasn’t just paying lip service to unattainable ideals, any more than Obama was when he said that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Obama worked very hard to make sure that would be true, and now his successor is working very hard to ensure that Judeo-Christian civilization survives instead. Americans can be grateful that we do not, for the moment, have (as Trump as said) a President of the world, but a President of the United States.

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Interrupted repeatedly by chants of “Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!” as he was speaking in Poland on Thursday, President Trump delivered a ringing affirmation that he would defend Western civilization: “Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail, our people will thrive, and our civilization will triumph.”

Now, we’re used to Presidents affirming that civilization will triumph. Barack Obama did it, too. Trump’s remarkable innovation here, and sharp departure from the example his predecessor set, is in declaring that Western civilization would triumph. Barack Hussein Obama, by contrast, was famous for declaring the triumph of Islamic civilization, most notably when he told the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

If the future is not to belong to those who are perceived as slandering the prophet of Islam, Sharia blasphemy laws criminalizing criticism of Islam will have to have been imposed; people aren’t likely to give up criticizing Muhammad voluntarily, especially as jihad terror attacks incited by his teachings become an ever more common feature of life in the West. Thus if the future doesn’t belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam, it will be because the freedom of speech has been extinguished and Islamic values have prevailed: Islamic civilization will have triumphed.

If that was not what Barack Obama wanted, he never gave any indication of it during eight years in the White House. The Democrats constantly pointed to his killings of bin Laden and al-Awlaki as indication that he was tough on terrorism, but amid foreign and domestic policies indefatigably supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and its auxiliaries in the United States, unstinting opposition to the freedom of speech regarding criticism of Islam, and an appalling deal that gave aid and comfort to the Islamic Republic of Iran, those killings only made clear that while Obama evidently opposed violent jihad, he had no serious objection to other methods of Sharia imposition and Islamization.

In Warsaw Thursday, Trump offered a radically different vision. “We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism,” he declared. “And we will prevail. We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.”

We cannot accept those who reject our values.” After eight years of Obama acting as if the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms were burdens to be cast off rather than rights to be defended, this is an extraordinary statement. It is also one of the reasons why Trump’s notorious “travel ban” contains a little-noted directive that is clearly designed to preserve American values. The March 6 executive order states:

To be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available the following information:…information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals.

Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (Reliance of the Traveller o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. In this case the victim was the murderer’s daughter, a victim to the culture of violence and intimidation that such laws help create.

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Until the encouragement Islamic law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer. President Trump is trying to keep women from suffering in this way in the United States.

That element of the executive order is the kind of thing that is involved in ensuring that “our civilization will triumph”: stopping the encroachment of Sharia values in the United States. Trump in Warsaw wasn’t just paying lip service to unattainable ideals, any more than Obama was when he said that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Obama worked very hard to make sure that would be true, and now his successor is working very hard to ensure that Judeo-Christian civilization survives instead. Americans can be grateful that we do not, for the moment, have (as Trump as said) a President of the world, but a President of the United States.

Trump’s Warsaw Speech Evoked Reagan’s Cold War Rhetoric, Not The Alt-Right’s

July 7, 2017

Trump’s Warsaw Speech Evoked Reagan’s Cold War Rhetoric, Not The Alt-Right’s, The Federalist, July 7, 2017

President Trump gave a stirring defense of western civilization on Thursday morning in Warsaw ahead of the G-20 summit in Germany. In a remarkably candid speech about the threats facing the West, Trump praised Poland for resisting communist and Nazi efforts “to demolish freedom, your faith, your laws, your history, your identity—indeed the very essence of your culture and your humanity.”

Speaking at Krasinski Square in front of the iconic Warsaw Uprising monument marking Poland’s 1944 resistance to Nazi occupation, Trump proclaimed, somewhat dramatically, “Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail, our people will thrive, and our civilization will triumph.”

The world hasn’t heard such language from a U.S. president since Ronald Reagan inveighed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. But apparently it’s racist and fascist these days to talk about resisting tyranny and defending western values—or even to talk about western civilization as such. The Guardian worried about Trump’s use of the word “civilization,” noting that he used it ten times, and claiming the speech “pits western world against barbarians at the gates” and calls for “a clash of civilisations.”

Vox blurted out the headline, “Trump’s speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto,” calling it “a speech that often resorted to rhetorical conceits typically used by the European and American alt-right. It sounded, at times, not just like the populists of the present but the populists of the past.” The New Republic’s Jeet Heer tweeted that Trump’s speech, “is evidence of how alt right still has a voice in White House” and later posted a commentary saying it “redefined the West in nativist terms.”

Even The Atlantic‘s James Fallows compared Trump’s rhetoric to the Nazi propaganda film, “Triumph of the Will,” saying Trump “represents our country as just another tribe.”

JFK Also Praised Poland’s History and Culture

These reactions belie a worldview that rejects entirely the very idea of “western civilization,” and insists that appeals to Enlightenment principles and cultural cohesion are inherently racist and fascist. And there’s a reason for that. As my colleague David Harsanyi noted, “many of the same people who believe Western values are alt-right dog-whistles want you to adopt a new set of values that have nothing to do with the founding principles and everything to do with their policy preferences.”

But Trump was espousing what used to be considered a fairly standard understanding of western values. “We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression,” he said. “We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives… And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom.”

Progressives today reject almost all of this—not because Trump is invoking the rhetoric of the alt-right, but because they have moved so far to the left. In fact, far from echoing the blood-and-soil language of the alt-right, Trump’s rhetoric here sounds a lot like the rhetoric deployed in speeches about Poland by Reagan or John F. Kennedy during the Cold War.

Back then, Poland was under communist control, its government a puppet of the Soviet Union and its people prisoners of a tyrannical regime. In a 1960 speech to the Polish-American Congress, then-senator Kennedy recalled his time in Poland in 1939, and Poland’s history fighting the Nazis during World War Two: “After the war, I visited the Polish cemetery in Italy. Some of you who have been there may recall that at the cemetery are written the words, ‘These Polish soldiers for your freedom and theirs have given their bodies to the soil of Italy, their hearts to Poland, and their souls to God.’”

He went on to address the oppression of Poland by the Soviet Union, saying, “we must never… recognize the Soviet domination of eastern Europe as permanent. We must never do it. Poland’s claim to independence and liberty is not based on sentiment or politics. It is rooted in history, and it is to history that we must address ourselves.”

Kennedy called not only for a defensive military buildup so that the Russians would know “that the route of military force can no longer be open to them,” but also for increasing cultural ties to Poland, saying the United States must “strive to restore the traditional identification which Poland has had with the Western European community, which goes back into history. It is tied by culture ties. Poland has always looked to the West, never to the East.” The Polish people, he said, “have not accepted the idea that their culture, their religious heritage, their traditions, can be destroyed by domination by a foreign power.”

Reagan Invoked God, Heritage, and History

Two decades later, Poland was still under communist rule, its government still a puppet of the Soviet Union, but things had begun to change. When Reagan took office in 1981, the Solidarity movement in Poland was building steam. Led by future Polish president Lech Wałęsa and supported by members of the Catholic Church and the anti-Soviet left, Solidarity organized as a free trade union in opposition to communist rule.

By the end of 1981, Poland’s authoritarian government would declare martial law in an effort to crush Solidarity. Reagan gave a speech on December 23 addressing the situation, and praised the Polish people for showing their resistance by placing lit candles in their windows. He said the exiled former Polish ambassador, Romuald Spasowski, had requested that on Christmas Eve a lighted candle burn in the White House window as a “small but certain beacon of our solidarity with the Polish people,” and urged all Americans to do the same that Christmas Eve, invoking God, heritage, and history:

Once, earlier in this century, an evil influence threatened that the lights were going out all over the world. Let the light of millions of candles in American homes give notice that the light of freedom is not going to be extinguished. We are blessed with a freedom and abundance denied to so many. Let those candles remind us that these blessings bring with them a solid obligation, an obligation to the God who guides us, an obligation to the heritage of liberty and dignity handed down to us by our forefathers and an obligation to the children of the world, whose future will be shaped by the way we live our lives today.

Six months later, in his famous Westminster speech to members of the British Parliament, Reagan cast the Soviet Union in the same stark terms that Trump today reserves for ISIS and North Korea. He warned of “totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms? Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?”

Reagan’s answer was an emphatic “no.” He again spoke of about Poland’s role in western civilization and its cultural lineage, saying, “Poland is at the center of European civilization. It has contributed mightily to that civilization. It is doing so today by being magnificently unreconciled to oppression.”

He closed that speech with language that would surely scandalize the progressives at Vox and The New Republic, calling the contest against totalitarianism “a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.”

Europe’s Political Elites Are a Threat to The West

Trump’s Warsaw speech should be understood in this historical context. The president rightly sees the contest between radical Islamic terrorism and the West as a contest between totalitarianism and freedom. He also rightly sees the growing tension between the European Union and the citizenry of European nations as a contest between authoritarian bureaucracy and representative, limited government. His remarks Thursday were aimed at ISIS, but also at a European elite that doesn’t have the inclination or will to defend its borders or cultural heritage.

That’s why Trump said: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

Trump isn’t just referring to ISIS when he alludes to those who would destroy western civilization. He’s also pointing to European political elites who undermine their own societies by cultural relativism and its resulting slavish and destructive adherence to open borders and mass migration.

Reagan and JFK understood that communism sought ultimately to destroy western civilization and replace it with something else. That’s why they often spoke of civilization and cultural heritage during the Cold War. Trump is saying something similar about the political elites who now rule Europe, and he’s not wrong. That mainstream media outlets like Vox and The Atlantic are scandalized by this is evidence not of Trump’s radicalism, but of their own.

John is a senior correspondent for The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.

President Trump in Poland

July 6, 2017

President Trump in Poland, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, July 6, 2017

President Trump’s visit to Poland — a great U.S. ally and a nation with strong personal links to ours — has become the latest pretext for Trump bashing by the U.S. media. The Washington Post (paper edition) tells us, darkly, that Trump “shares ideological affinities” with Poland’s right-wing ruling party. In particular, he shares its aversion to immigration by Muslims and its combative relationship with the press.

The Post also suggests that the visit is a slap in the face of European allies, especially Germany, who are estranged to some degree from the current Polish government. In addition, it tells us that Trump picked Poland because the ruling party will be able to bus in cheering crowds from rural areas. The folks in Warsaw are too sophisticated to like Trump, the Post assures its readers.

Thus, Trump’s visit to Poland serves as a perfect confluence of anti-Trump talking points. He’s a right-winger; he’s anti-Muslim; he’s anti-free press, he’s against the European alliance; he depends on rubes for support; he’s an egomaniac in search of adoring crowds.

But one key anti-Trump talking point cannot be enlisted — the bogus Trump-Putin collaboration theme. As the Post gets around to acknowledging, grudgingly, very late in its story:

Poland also remains a strategically critical European nation that is particularly sensitive to the threat of rising Russian power. Despite Trump’s efforts to pursue warmer relations with Putin, the Polish government expressed optimism that Trump remains committed to the security of Central and Eastern Europe.

“It’s important that the president will be there and he will hopefully confirm again the U.S. commitment to NATO and to our cooperation,” said Piotr Wilczek, Poland’s ambassador to the United States. “For us, his visit to Poland before meeting with President Putin sends a very strong message.”. . .

“Poles were really afraid that it would be President Trump having a very successful summit with President Putin and sitting at the table together with Putin and making divisions or [establishing] a new order for this part of the world — that was a real threat here,” said Michal Kobosko, director of the Atlantic Council’s Warsaw office. “This has not materialized yet, so Poles are looking with some optimism toward Trump.

(Emphasis added)

Actually, the opposite seems to be materializing. In the speech President Trump delivered today in Poland, he reaffirmed the bond between the United States and its European allies, calling their pact as “strong as ever.”

In fact, he expressly affirmed his commitment to Article 5, the collective security provision of the NATO treaty. Trump stated: “The United States has demonstrated not merely with words, but with its actions, that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment.”

These are the magic words, the absence from which in some Trump speeches has given the mainstream media fits. Yet, its presence in this speech doesn’t get a mention until the back half of the Post’s story.

In addition, Trump rebuked Russia:

We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in the Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran, and instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and defense of civilization itself.

This too isn’t mentioned until relatively late in the Post’s report. By then, the Post has complained about the speech’s “dark nationalism,” the supposed Trump rift with Germany, and even his unwillingness to say with certainty that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

The “darkness” of Trump’s speech is actually its virtue. Trump stated:

The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?

If Trump’s critics were serious about countering Russia and defending Europe, they would be asking the same questions (with the possible exception of the one about immigration, at least as applied to the U.S.). The left can’t have it both ways. It can’t be the case both that no one is out to subvert or destroy our civilization and that we must maintain our commitment to defending Europe, while obsessing over the Russian threat.

And after the Poland visit, it can’t be the case that Trump is under the sway of Putin. It’s still early in his presidency, but so far Trump is, I think, the hardest-line U.S. president on Russia/the Soviet Union since Ronald Reagan.

President Obama was the least hard-line.

In sweeping speech, Trump calls out Russia for supporting ‘hostile regimes’

July 6, 2017

In sweeping speech, Trump calls out Russia for supporting ‘hostile regimes’, Washington ExaminerSarah Westwood, July 6, 2017

(Please see also, Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Views from Central Europe.– DM)

President Trump applauded Poland’s commitment to secure borders, called out Russia for its activities in Ukraine and Syria and affirmed America’s collective defense commitment to NATO in a sweeping speech Thursday that set the tone for his visit to the G-20 summit this week.

“While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind,” Trump said before a large crowd in Warsaw’s historic Krasinski Square.

Unlike much of western Europe, Poland has resisted accepting large numbers of Middle Eastern refugees, and its right-wing ruling party has advocated for keeping Polish borders secure. Trump’s decision to visit Poland and deliver remarks about his worldview before moving on to Germany for the summit was widely viewed as a symbolic endorsement of Poland’s actions.

“This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism,” Trump said on Thursday. “There are dire threats to our security and to our way of life.You see what’s happening out there, they are threats. We will confront them. We will win.”

Trump pointed to the “steady creep of government bureacracy” as another threat facing Poland the U.S.

“The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies. Americans, Poles and nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty,” Trump said. “We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.”

“If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies,” the president added. “We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.”

Citing Poland’s historic mistrust of the Soviet Union, Trump went after Russia for its present-day conduct.

“We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran,” Trump said.

The president also voiced his support for NATO’s Article 5, the collective defense commitment Trump declined to endorse explicitly during his visit to a NATO summit in May.

“My administration has demanded that all members of NATO finally meet their full and fair financial obligation,” Trump said, referring to his push for NATO allies to honor their commitments to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. “As a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into NATO.

“To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the U.S. has demonstrated not merely with words, but with actions, that we stand firmly behind Article 5,” Trump said. “Words are easy, but actions are what matters.

“Europe must do more,” Trump added. “Europe must demonstrate that it believes in its future by investing its money to secure its future.”

Administration officials said the speech was intended to be “very philosphical.”

“The core theme of this speech is a defense of western civilization,” an official told reporters in Warsaw ahead of the speech. “But the basic question of the speech is, are we as a civilization confident enough in our own values to defend and preserve our civilization?”

Trump will head to the G-20 summit in Hamburg on Friday, where he will meet with a number of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s Warsaw Uprising

July 6, 2017

Trump’s Warsaw Uprising, PJ MediaRoger Kimball, July 6, 2017

President Donald Trump delivers a speech at Krasinski Square at the Royal Castle, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

If you want to know why Donald Trump will go down in history as a great president, listen to (or read, when it is available) his speech in Krasinski Square, Warsaw today.

Yes, there is a lot of the usual diplomatic persiflage: “Thank you, President Duda. Thank you, Poland.” But be an adult and distinguish the gem from the setting. While the anti-Trump press was busy running stories warning about “unease in Brussels” over Trump’s visit to Poland, Trump once again totally outflanked his critics.  Those who have ears, let them hear:

  1. The United States is absolutely committed to securing Poland’s access to alternative sources of energy.  Now, to whom do you think that was addressed?  What country would use access to oil and gas as political blackmail (do what we say or you can’t warm your homes, light your streets, run your factories)? Who would do such a thing?
  2. The United States is absolutely committed to its trans-Atlantic partnership. That partnership, said Trump in his aspirational mode, has never been stronger: suitably translated, that means that he wishes to assure that it will never be stronger.  It was a proffered hand.  Will the EU bureaucrats reach out and grasp it?
  3. Speaking of bureaucrats, Trump also—mirabile dictu—warned about “steady creep of government bureaucracy” that, left unchecked, saps a people’s will and makes the flourishing of individual initiative, the very marrow of freedom, impossible.  This was a direct kick against the administrative state: I like to see it. Darin the Swamp.
  4. Trump reaffirmed his absolute commitment to Article 5 of the NATO agreement — the bit that pledges members to “collective defense”: an attack on one member is an attack on all. He praised Poland for stepping up to meet its statutory financial commitment to NATO and urged other European countries to do the same. A strong NATO means a strong Europe.
  5. Trump reaffirmed his commitment to battle against “radical Islamic terrorism” and other forms of extremism and highlighted his call in Riyadh in May for Muslim countries to step up and help quash the violence of jihad.
  6. He noted other challenges faced by the West, including cyber-warfare and Russia’s “destabilizing activities” in Ukraine, Syria, and Iran.
  7. But the best part came about three-quarters of the way through.  After reminding his audience about the million people who gathered to hear John Paul II celebrate Mass in 1979, he asked: what did the people want? Answer: “We want God.” This led into the heart of Trump’s speech.  The prerequisite for the success of Western civilization is not material riches. Economic prosperity and military might on their own are not sufficient. The critical leaven is the confidence in core Western values: such things as free speech, the equality of women, respect for individual rights, the rule of law, the affirmation of faith and family.  Hence, the “fundamental question” facing Western nations today is whether the people continue to nurture the cultural self-confidence in those fundamental values. If they do, the West is unbeatable. If those values dissipate, the West is lost.  “As long as we know our history,” Trump said, “we will know how to build our future.” Trump spent a lot of time in his speech rehearsing Poland’s heroic resistance to Nazi atrocities in the Warsaw uprising and its equally heroic resistance to Soviet aggression during and after the war. Not since Ronald Reagan has an American president gone so clearly to the nub of what makes the West great and what threatens that greatness.