Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Donald Trump’s highly disturbing Warsaw speech

President Trump’s Warsaw speech, laden with apocalyptic “Clash of Civilisations” rhetoric and pandering of Polish nationalism, will not only worsen Poland’s already difficult relations with Germany and Russia, but threatens a further deterioration in the international situation.

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

4,613 Views

US President Trump kicked off his trip to Europe to attend the G20 summit with a stopover yesterday in Poland.

That was neither wrong nor inappropriate.  Since he became US President Donald Trump has been short of friends in Europe, with the public of all the big European states – Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain – all to a greater or lesser degree hostile to him, and with his personal relations with the G20 summit’s host – Chancellor Merkel of Germany – already extremely difficult.

It is in no way surprising therefore that President Trump should precede what is likely to be for him a difficult G20 summit – his first as US President – with a trip to Poland, the one relatively big European state where he can be sure of a warm reception.

However if President Trump’s trip to Poland was neither wrong nor inappropriate the same unfortunately cannot be said about the speech he gave there.

A word of warning at this point is in order.  The speech – like all the other pre-prepared speeches US Presidents make – would have been written for Donald Trump by a speech writer.  It is not certain that it fully reflects his views.   That it perhaps does not may be indicated by the interesting fact that the White House website has chosen to publish only highlights from it.  Strikingly, the anti-Russian passages and the words of support for Ukraine are excluded.

Nonetheless Trump must have read the speech in advance, and must have approved it, and the fact that he chose to deliver it is disturbing enough.

Firstly something must be said about those passages in the speech that touched on Poland’s recent history with Russia.

In 1920, in the Miracle of Vistula, Poland stopped the Soviet army bent on European conquest. Then, 19 years later in 1939, you were invaded yet again, this time by Nazi Germany from the west and the Soviet Union from the east. That’s trouble. That’s tough.

Under a double occupation the Polish people endured evils beyond description: the Katyn forest massacre, the occupations, the Holocaust, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the destruction of this beautiful capital city, and the deaths of nearly one in five Polish people. A vibrant Jewish population — the largest in Europe — was reduced to almost nothing after the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Poland’s Jewish citizens, along with countless others, during that brutal occupation.

In the summer of 1944, the Nazi and Soviet armies were preparing for a terrible and bloody battle right here in Warsaw. Amid that hell on earth, the citizens of Poland rose up to defend their homeland. I am deeply honored to be joined on stage today by veterans and heroes of the Warsaw Uprising……

From the other side of the river, the Soviet armed forces stopped and waited. They watched as the Nazis ruthlessly destroyed the city, viciously murdering men, women, and children. They tried to destroy this nation forever by shattering its will to survive.

Donald Trump is almost certainly unaware of the extent to which the historical narrative that he has set out here is contested.  Few historians today would agree that in 1920 “Poland stopped the Soviet army bent on European conquest”.  Most Russians would say that the Russian-Polish war of 1919 to 1920 was triggered by Poland’s aggression against Soviet Russia, with brought the Red Army to the gates of Warsaw as the result of a counter-attack.  The idea that Soviet Russia in 1920 – wracked by war, Revolution, social breakdown and famine – was in any condition to conquer Europe is absurd.

However it is the subsequent passages which appear to equate the USSR with Nazi Germany which are by far the most disturbing and contentious.

The vast majority of Russians and many historians would dispute Donald Trump’s description both of the events of 1939 and of the 1944 Warsaw rising.  Vladimir Putin is on record as taking strong issue with the description of the events 1939 that appears in these words.

What cannot be disputed however is that the Soviet liberation of Poland in 1944 and 1945 brought the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews in Poland to an end and led to the restoration of the Polish state, albeit in a Communist form allied to the USSR.  By contrast Nazi Germany aimed for nothing less than the physical destruction of all the Jews of Europe, of the Polish state and ultimately of the Polish nation as well.

This is a vital distinction which makes any attempt to equate the USSR with Nazi Germany wholly wrong and inappropriate.

The trouble is that there are strong forces within Poland, including especially within the currently governing Law and Justice Party, which deny this, and which insist in defiance of historical fact that such an equation of Nazi Germany and the USSR is appropriate.  Moreover this goes along with a particular narrative of Polish victimhood (or “martyrdom”) and a wildly over ambitious foreign policy reviving the so-called Promethean policy associated with Poland’s pre-war leader Josef Pilsudski, which aimed at securing Poland’s place in eastern Europe by weakening Russia by drawing the republics of the USSR away from Russia and into a constellation around Poland.

This was a disastrous policy before 1939, setting Poland and Russia against each other, and making impossible their joint alliance against the common enemy Nazi Germany, and it is a disastrous policy today, setting Poland and Russia once again against each other, and committing Poland to an anti-Russian policy which is far beyond its strength.

The proper policy for Poland, and the one which should be urged on it by its friends, is to seek a rapprochement with Russia, not conflict with it.  At no point in recent history have conditions for that been objectively better than they are now, but instead of encouraging Poland to take this course Donald Trump has just done the opposite.  In the process he has also given further encouragement to Poland’s dangerous entanglement in Ukraine.

However other comments in Donald Trump’s speech are more disturbing still.  Consider for example these passages

As 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 and be successful and get what you have to have. 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?….

These words – with the pointed reference to “protecting our borders” – are Donald Trump’s slap both at his liberal Democratic opponents in the US who have obstructed his travel ban Executive Orders and his border wall, and at Angela Merkel, who in a moment of folly back in 2016 threw open without any advance consultation the EU’s borders to refugee flows from Syria and the Middle East.

These comments were however also unwise.

Firstly they align the US with Poland’s Law and Justice Party and its leader Jarosław Kaczyński in an internal EU conflict with Chancellor Merkel and Germany.  In this conflict Kaczyński and the Law and Justice Party have resisted Merkel’s and Germany’s demand that Poland ‘shoulder the burden’ by taking more refugees.  Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of this question, for Trump to take sides in an internal EU quarrel is bound to anger the Germans, with whom his relations are already fraught.

Beyond this however there is the unmistakeable and frankly disturbing ‘clash of civilisations’ aspect to this rhetoric.  Consider for examples these further words

We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as 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 and be successful and get what you have to have. 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?

We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive (Applause)….

Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty. 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……

We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

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 we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.

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. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.

(bold italics added)

This is inappropriately apocalyptic language, equating civilisation with the West and talking as if the physical survival of “civilisation” depends not on wise policies but on the maintenance of traditional European social mores.  At a time when the rising powers in the world – first and foremost China – are not European this is an impossibly narrow outlook, more likely to isolate the US from the world community rather giving the US the means to lead it.

In addition one has to wonder who Donald Trump was referring to when he spoke of the forces “from the South or the East” who supposedly threaten the West?

Presumably the “forces from the South” are Jihadi terrorism about which in his speech Trump had much to say.  But who are “the forces from the East”?  Perhaps this too was intended to refer to Jihadi terrorism, or perhaps the country Trump had in mind was North Korea.  However an audience in Warsaw assembled by the nationalist Law and Justice Party will unquestionably read into the words “the forces from the East” a reference to Russia.

On the subject of Russia, it is striking how Trump’s references to Russia in the speech are fitted into this “clash of civilisations” rhetoric

Today, the West is also confronted by the 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 cyberwarfare, we must adapt our alliance to compete effectively in new ways and on all new battlefields.

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

Obviously some of this language (the reference to cyber warfare in particular) was intended to provide Trump with political cover prior to his meeting today with Putin.  However the words “join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself” straightforwardly place Russia outside that “community of responsible nations” and make Russia joining that “community of responsible nations” conditional upon Russia dropping its friendship with Syria and Iran.

Not only is that never going to happen, but it fundamentally misunderstands Russia and its foreign policy.   Though it is now a commonplace that Russia is a conservative society, the conservatism of Russia’s foreign policy is rooted in realism, international law, concern for the balance of power, and respect for state sovereignty.  “Clash of civilisation” thinking has no part in it, and the Russians emphatically reject it.

In no sense will they let themselves be enlisted as a foot soldier in some great apocalyptic struggle for the “defence of Western civilisation” led by the US.  If Trump’s often expressed wish for good relations with Russia is based on a hope that he can recruit Russia to such a struggle then that hope is forlorn.

It is to be sincerely hoped that this fiery rhetoric is not intended seriously, and was meant purely to please Donald Trump’s Polish hosts.  Whenever Trump speaks about foreign policy unscripted – for example in interviews – he comes across as intelligent, realistic and transactional.  That is the Donald Trump who appointed the arch realist Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State, and hopefully it is the real Donald Trump.

The Donald Trump who spoke in Warsaw was however a radically different creature: ideological, apocalyptic, confrontational, talking the language of certain fringe elements of the US extreme right rather than the language of realism with which he is more often associated.  If these opinions are Donald Trump’s own then hopes of a rapprochement with Russia will be stillborn, and international tension will increase further, probably exponentially.

Whether Donald Trump really does hold these opinions remains to be seen.  In the meantime the speech has already done harm, sharpening divisions within the EU between Poland and Germany – two of the US’s friends – and further exacerbating the already extremely difficult relationship between Poland and Russia, in a way that threatens to involve the US in their quarrel.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Deep State insurrection defying POTUS Trump’s order to release unredacted FISA docs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

Deep State officials like ex-CIA chief John Brennan are in panic mode.

Deep State DOJ tool Rod Rosenstein refuses to comply with Trump’s executive order as afforded him by the US Constitution.

Establishment Democrats are all over the mainstream media channels calling the act of releasing documents criminal.

The US President wants every American citizen to see the full, unredacted version of the FISA documents used to spy on Carter Page. Trump is simply asking for full transparency, in what has become a two year, multi-million dollar witch hunt, to find collusion where there is none.

This is all you need to know about the hoax that was and is Trump-Russia collusion and the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the insurrection taking place at the US Department of Justice, as Democrats, ex-Obama officials, and DOJ directors are doing everything in their power to make sure the truth, about how the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page was obtained, remains hidden from the eyes of the American public.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel

Via Zerohedge


Despite President Trump’s Monday order for the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. –Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on.

“When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. “The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order.”

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified “sources and methods” pertaining to the Russia investigation – which will put them in direct conflict with Trump’s order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own.

Trump’s order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency.

The FBI’s spy…

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump’s request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Showdown?

Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers “express profound alarm” at the decision to “intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him.”

“Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us.”

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials “to anyone at the White House.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Trump Weighs In On The Single Worst Mistake In American History

Trump hits Bush: Invading Iraq ‘the single worst decision ever made’.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


In a wide ranging interview with The Hill on Tuesday conducted in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked to give his take on the biggest mistake in American history.

Considering just how open-ended a question that is, it’s perhaps surprising that he merely went back less than a couple decades into the Bush presidency, though Trump’s base will certainly welcome it as it hearkens back to his “America First” foreign policy vision of the campaign trail.

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” the president during his interview with Hill.TV.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country,” he said.

Trump explained the reasoning behind this choice, and why it wasn’t something like the civil war or another defining and devastating event reaching far into American History.

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, ‘oh gee, let’s not do it. Seven trillion, and millions of lives — you know, ‘cause I like to count both sides. Millions of lives,” the president explained.

Some scholars and humanitarian groups estimate that over one million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. A 2008 Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll, for example, found that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war.

“To me it’s the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, civil war. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”

Various estimates on the Iraq war’s cost have put the total taxpayer bill as low as near $2 trillion, but none dispute that it is in the multiple trillions, and estimates will vary widely depending on if veteran care is factored into it.

The comments echo things Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. For example during one of his first major foreign policy speeches then candidate Trump said, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.” And referencing the famous quote of John Quincy Adams, he said during the same speech, “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”

He had previously shocked pundits for being the first Republican nominee for president to trash George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and has more recently likened it to “throwing a big fat brick into a hornet’s nest”.

All of this is a hopeful sign considering the extremely heightened and dangerous tensions over Syria this week, and given Trump seems to have vacillated between “bringing the troops home” and getting more involved. On Monday Trump hinted that a decision on the U.S. role in Syria is coming soon.

Commenting on the over 2,000 troops now in Syria ostensibly as part of the “anti-ISIL” coalition campaign, Trump indicated this mission could end soon: “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said. He followed with: “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.”

We consider it a hopeful and a good sign that Trump is possibly revisiting his “America First” foreign policy pledges by identifying the Iraq War as the worst mistake in US history.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Brett Kavanaugh eleventh hour smear begins to fall apart (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

US President Trump is urging the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh to testify and be heard.

Trump said he wants to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, noting that it would be “unfortunate” if she does not testify before a Senate committee. Trump told reporters Wednesday as he left the White House to view hurricane damage in North Carolina…

“If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that would be very interesting.”

From Trump’s lips to God’s ear…Blasey Ford came out to issue a statement essentially saying that she will not testify to Congress, either in an open or closed door session.

Furthermore it appears that Ford will not even allow Senate investigators to fly to California and obtain her statement from the comfort of her own home (as Senator Grassley has offered to do).

Ford is demanding an FBI investigation into an allegation with no date, time or place attached to it. 

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the dangerous game of identity politics being played by the establishment, Democrat left, and their mainstream media minions.

The premise that a four decades old accusation is all that is needed to destroy a person’s entire life, threatens to tear down the most basic foundational values adhered to from within the US Constitution, and propel the United States of America towards a fascist state where censorship, citizen surveillance, and evidence free accusations are used to keep the establishment left in power and the American population cowered in fear.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

According to Zerohedge, Democrats’ Hail Mary play to stymie the confirmation of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh is beginning to fizzle out. As angry Dems demanded that a Monday hearing on the allegations against Kavanaugh be delayed until the FBI has a chance to investigate, turncoat Republicans (on whom the Dems had been depending for votes) instead withdrew their support and fell in line after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley declared that he would not honor Democrats’ request. Grassley revealed his intention to stand firm late Tuesday after lawyers for Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey, who is claiming that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her 35 years ago when the two were 17-year-old high school students, said their client wouldn’t be wiling to appear at Monday’s hearing.

According to the HillGrassley said Tuesday that there was “no reason” to delay the hearing now that Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly. However, while Ford’s attorneys have insisted that their client has taken a polygraph test and “deserves to be heard”, Ford has bizarrely insisted that the FBI should have an opportunity to investigate her claims before she appears before the committee in order to spare her the “trauma” of confronting her alleged assailant.

Ford’s lawyers conveyed her request in the form of a letter sent to the committee, a copy of which was obtained by CNN.

Senator Grassley said he would refuse this request as several Republicans who had appeared to be on the cusp of defecting said they wouldn’t support further delays should Ford prove unwilling to testify.

Via the Hill…

“Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who was one of the first Republicans to call for the Judiciary Committee to hit pause on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Sunday.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) told reporters earlier Tuesday that Ford’s lack of response to the committee about testifying was “puzzling.”

And GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who had threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if Ford wasn’t given the chance to be heard, told CNN that he expected the committee to move on if she doesn’t appear.

“I think we’ll have to move to the markup,” he told CNN. “I hope she does (appear). I think she needs to be heard.”

Via Zerohedge…

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations and insisted he didn’t attend the party where the physical assault allegedly took place. Patrick Smyth, a fellow former Georgetown Prep student whom Ford alleges was also in attendance during the party issued a statement via his lawyer standing up for Kavanaugh. And in a separate letter to Grassley and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, not only does Smyth repudiate Ford’s allegations, but he adds that he doesn’t remember this party even taking place.

Of course, Feinstein – who admitted last night that she couldn’t say for certain that Ford’s story is entirely truthful – sat on Ford’s allegations for three months before referring them to the FBI and sharing them with other lawmakers (who purportedly “leaked” it to the press). President Trump on Tuesday said that he “feels sorry” for Kavanaugh, adding that he doesn’t want to “play into [Democrats] hands”, presumably by giving them more time to drag out the confirmation process.

“They should have done this a long time ago, three months ago, not now. But they did it now. So I don’t want to play into their hands,” Trump said.

Without the support of their Republican allies, Democrats will lack the votes on the committee to hold up the nomination past Monday. Though bizarrely, Kavanaugh himself hasn’t said yet whether he would or wouldn’t testify, which begs the question: If neither Kavanaugh nor Ford appear at the hearing, what exactly will lawmakers discuss?

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending