The President of the United States is on his most important overseas trip yet, and is seizing center stage in Europe to make his views on Russia crystal clear. Russia, President Trump says, must join the global fight against terrorism and end its destabilizing influence over hostile regimes, like those of Syria and Iran.
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Trump spoke today in Warsaw, Poland and made many references to the country’s troubled history with the Russia. Poland will “never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy,” Trump said. And he vowed to support Poland through all challenges, including the “steady creep of government bureaucracy,” terrorism, and “powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence and challenge our interests.”
“To meet new forms of aggression, including propaganda, financial crimes and cyber warfare, we must adapt our lives to compete effectively in new ways and on all new battlefields,” Trump said.
Trump’s speech in Poland was well received, as was his direct rebuke of Russia. Poland, he noted, is strong. He called the country “the geographic heart of Europe.” The Poles emerged from Nazi occupation only to be taken over by the Russians. Their independence has been hard won. “In those dark days,” Trump said, “you have lost your land but you never lost your pride.”
Trump’s speech, made before a monument to the uprising in 1944 that overthrew the Nazis, was well received. His hard words on Russia and terrorism were met with standing ovations.
“The Polish experience reminds us – the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail,” Trump said. “Your oppressors tried to break you, but Poland could not be broken.”
“America and Europe have suffered one terror attack after another. We are going to get it to stop. 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.”
“To the citizens of this great region, America is eager to expand our partnership with you. We welcome stronger ties of trade and commerce as you grow your economies. And we are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy.”
All of this talk of friendship and unification served a larger purpose, though, as Trump is in Europe to remind many countries of their financial commitment to NATO.
“Words are easy but actions are what matters,” he said. “Europe must do more. Europe must demonstrate that it believes in its future by investing its money to secure that future.”
Part of that future will concern Korea. “I call on all nations to confront this global threat and publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences for their very, very bad behavior,” he said.
“To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment,” Trump declared.
And Article 5 means Poland would come to the defense of America, if the country were to be attacked, Trump reminded the Poles. “You were supported in that victory over communism by a strong alliance of free nations in the West that defied tyranny. Now, among the most committed members of the NATO Alliance, Poland has resumed its place as a leading nation of a Europe that is strong, whole, and free.”
“A strong Poland is a blessing to the nations of Europe, and they know that. A strong Europe is a blessing to the West and to the world.”
“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 will soon meet with Putin himself.