A Putin-Stopping Speech

 

Donald Trump obviously didn’t write his own speeches. And he was pretty bad at delivering them. But they are also clearly his – no one else would have dared to say the things he did. Because the speeches came, if not from his pen, from his heart, they were received as not mere words but an indication of what he, as President, would actually do, would have the US do, and would have his allies do.

So when Donald Trump stood in front of the monument to the Warsaw Uprising in Krasiński Square and said:

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.

or

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 [ed: see below…] and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.

or

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

you know he was taken seriously in Moscow. Particularly as these remarks followed a moving recounting of the history of the Polish nation.

For two centuries, Poland suffered constant and brutal attacks.  But while Poland could be invaded and occupied, and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts.  In those dark days, you have lost your land but you never lost your pride.

And when the day came on June 2nd, 1979, and one million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish Pope, that day, every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down.  They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II’s sermon when a million Polish men, women, and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer.  A million Polish people did not ask for wealth.  They did not ask for privilege.  Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words:  “We Want God.”

And it was at this point the Western establishment in general, and the US establishment in particular, spat the dummy. The values of the US, Europe, and the West that Trump was lauding were not diversity, inclusion, and equity, not George H. W. Bush’s open borders, open markets and open minds, but something more serious:

As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history.  Their message is as true today as ever.  The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out “We want God.”

You can’t say that!

But just as our adversaries and enemies of the past learned here in Poland, we know that these forces, too, are doomed to fail if we want them to fail.  And we do, indeed, want them to fail.  They are doomed not only because our alliance is strong, our countries are resilient, and our power is unmatched.  …  Our adversaries … are doomed because we will never forget who we are. …  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.

Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together, only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values.  We did not and we will not.  We will never back down.

A strong leader. A sense of purpose. An eye to the long term. And a vigorous policy of actions to back that up:

Americans know that a strong alliance of free, sovereign and independent nations is the best defense for our freedoms and for our interests.  That is why my administration has demanded that all members of NATO finally meet their full and fair financial obligation.

Words are easy, but actions are what matters.  And for its own protection … Europe must do more.  Europe must demonstrate that it believes in its future by investing its money to secure that future.

Materiel, and morale:

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.

The memories of those who perished in the Warsaw Uprising cry out across the decades… Those heroes remind us that the West was saved with the blood of patriots; that each generation must rise up and play their part in its defense and that every foot of ground, and every last inch of civilization, is worth defending with your life.

Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital, and demand no less defense, than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once … rested.  Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory.

And today as ever, Poland is in our heart, and its people are in that fight.  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.

So, together, let us all fight like the Poles — for family, for freedom, for country, and for God.

To Moscow, the message must have been clear: a leader not out to pick a fight, but not afraid to warn of the consequences, a believer in national self-determination and absolutely convinced that the West will win in the long term. Someone who would and could strong-arm putative allies into being actual allies, and who understood the strategic necessity of reducing dependence on Russian oil and gas. Someone who praised centuries of resistance to foreign invaders. The calculus was: don’t invade Ukraine and don’t court regime change; invade Ukraine, and anything is possible – and not just for the next news cycle.

The US establishment saw something different: The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump’s Warsaw Speech, screeched The Atlantic:

The most shocking sentence in Trump’s speech—perhaps the most shocking sentence in any presidential speech delivered on foreign soil in my [Peter Beinart’s] lifetime—was his claim that “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.” On its face, that’s absurd. Jihadist terrorists can kill people in the West, but unlike Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, they cannot topple even the weakest European government. Jihadists control no great armies. Their ideologies have limited appeal even among the Muslims they target with their propaganda. ISIS has all but lost Mosul and could lose Raqqa later this year.

Trump’s sentence only makes sense as a statement of racial and religious paranoia. The “south” and “east” only threaten the West’s “survival” if you see non-white, non-Christian immigrants as invaders. They only threaten the West’s “survival” if by “West” you mean white, Christian hegemony.

Or, of course, Trump might have been referring to the Russian military now actually coming from the east and actually invading a sovereign nation actually to their west. No white, Christian hegemony involved.

As the forces of the establishment submerged Trump and his message of hope, the view from Moscow changed significantly. No longer faced with a serious leader with serious thoughts and a serious commitment to serious things, the light was green.

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  1. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    I might also note:

    Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters.  It’s a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom. 

    The signs of this friendship stand in our nation’s capital.  Just steps from the White House, we’ve raised statues of men with names like Pułaski and Kościuszko.  The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington, and a monument stands to one of the world’s greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan.

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    genferei: As the forces of the establishment submerged Trump and his message of hope, the view from Moscow changed significantly. No longer faced with a serious leader with serious thoughts and a serious commitment to serious things, the light was green.

    I see this too. 

    • #2
  3. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    That was a great speech and you are most likely correct that he didn’t write it, but it has his weight behind it. Trump might never have expressed those ideals in those words, but e never would have spoken them if he didn’t beige they were true. That’s not true of most politicians who will give a speech that says anything if they think it will get them elected.

    As usual, the media looked at his words and turned them into what they were not because it suited their purposes. But what would one expect from the enemy. 

    • #3
  4. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Also, Trump’s negotiating skills, even on the international stage, far surpass anything available in the current administration. Biden/Harris can’t be gone soon enough for me.

    • #4
  5. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    Also, Trump’s negotiating skills, even on the international stage, far surpass anything available in the current administration. Biden/Harris can’t gone soon enough for me.

    I find it amazing that he gets zero credit for the Abraham Accords, for brokering the alliance of gulf states against Iran, for stopping Kim from more missile tests, for fencing off Putin, and perhaps most importantly for getting people to see China as our primary rival. 

    If history is looked at without ideological bias, he accomplished a ton in four years just with his foreign policy. Of course history departments are full of leftists who think that Obama was conservative. 

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oat! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oat!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Dbroussa (View Comment):
    If history is looked at without ideological bias, he accomplished a ton in four years just with his foreign policy.

    And then Biden undid it all in less than a year.

    • #6
  7. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    Also, Trump’s negotiating skills, even on the international stage, far surpass anything available in the current administration. Biden/Harris can’t be gone soon enough for me.

    There is seemingly an endless cohort of weasels ready and eager to take their place.  

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Everything he said there is the opposite of the truth for the Left. They don’t want God, they don’t value every human life, they don’t desire excellence (diversity, equity, inclusion. . . — see VP Kamala Harris). . . And therein lies the problem. We have utterly incompatible world views. The West is being dismantled from the inside. We don’t need no stinkin’ foreign invaders to do it for us.

    • #8
  9. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Everything he said there is the opposite of the truth for the Left. They don’t want God, they don’t value every human life, they don’t desire excellence (diversity, equity, inclusion. . . — see VP Kamala Harris). . . And therein lies the problem. 

    It’s not just the left. The establishment consensus has been that to allow talk in the public square of God, of natural law or natural rights, of anything that might undermine multiculturalism, leads straight to the gas chambers.

     

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    genferei (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Everything he said there is the opposite of the truth for the Left. They don’t want God, they don’t value every human life, they don’t desire excellence (diversity, equity, inclusion. . . — see VP Kamala Harris). . . And therein lies the problem.

    It’s not just the left. The establishment consensus has been that to allow talk in the public square of God, of natural law or natural rights, of anything that might undermine multiculturalism, leads straight to the gas chambers.

    Yes, I remember a former member who consistently talked of the dangers of “theocracy.” It’s a complete unreality in the West. What we have now is a demonocracy. Any society that kills and mutilates children is ruled by demons. 

    • #10
  11. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I recall that speech, and I remember how much I loved hearing it. Thanks for the reprint.

    • #11
  12. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    genferei (View Comment):

    I might also note:

    Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters. It’s a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom.

    The signs of this friendship stand in our nation’s capital. Just steps from the White House, we’ve raised statues of men with names like Pułaski and Kościuszko. The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington, and a monument stands to one of the world’s greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan.

    As I recall, he got a very loud cheering and clapping session from Poland after that speech – now they live in fear of a spillover of this conflict.  The West lost confidence in us after Afghanistan – what a mess……  You should read the book about Kuklinski – fascinating:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n3JAiglG0Y

     

    • #12
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Oat! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oat!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Oops. Wrong thread.

    • #13
  14. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    DrewInWisconsin, Oat! (View Comment):

    Oops. Wrong thread.

    Every contribution welcome (:

    • #14
  15. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    As I recall, he got a very loud cheering and clapping session from Poland after that speech

    The crowd goes wild.

    (Apologies for the WashPo YouTube link, but the top comments, even on that channel, are worth a quick glance.)

    • #15
  16. Patricia Jay Coolidge
    Patricia Jay
    @Patriciajay

    genferei (View Comment):

    I might also note:

    Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters. It’s a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom.

    The signs of this friendship stand in our nation’s capital. Just steps from the White House, we’ve raised statues of men with names like Pułaski and Kościuszko. The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington, and a monument stands to one of the world’s greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan.

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    Also, Trump’s negotiating skills, even on the international stage, far surpass anything available in the current administration. Biden/Harris can’t gone soon enough for me.

    I find it amazing that he gets zero credit for the Abraham Accords, for brokering the alliance of gulf states against Iran, for stopping Kim from more missile tests, for fencing off Putin, and perhaps most importantly for getting people to see China as our primary rival.

    If history is looked at without ideological bias, he accomplished a ton in four years just with his foreign policy. Of course history departments are full of leftists who think that Obama was conservative.

         I’m only shocked that Biden hasn’t revoked the Accords yet.

    • #16
  17. Patricia Jay Coolidge
    Patricia Jay
    @Patriciajay

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I recall that speech, and I remember how much I loved hearing it. Thanks for the reprint.

    I don’t remember it all–it was probably suppressed because it was so brilliant.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    • #18
  19. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Patricia Jay (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I recall that speech, and I remember how much I loved hearing it. Thanks for the reprint.

    I don’t remember it all–it was probably suppressed because it was so brilliant.

    Following the speech I wrote a piece, somewhere, expressing my enthusiasm for a strengthened US-Poland relationship with natural gas exports to Poland being an important part of that. I remember being immediately taken to task for it, someone pointing out that ugly antisemitism was on the ascent in Poland.

    I still have a soft spot for the Poles.

    • #19
  20. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    So do I. But to my taste his ad libs detracted from rather than enhanced his prepared remarks. 

    His performances at his domestic rallies were almost invariably awesome.

    • #20
  21. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    DrewInWisconsin, Oat! (View Comment):

    Dbroussa (View Comment):
    If history is looked at without ideological bias, he accomplished a ton in four years just with his foreign policy.

    And then Biden undid it all in less than a year.

    Well, not all of it, but that is the problem with accomplishments by EO as opposed to legislation and/or treaty. 

    • #21
  22. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    Patricia Jay (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):

    I might also note:

    Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters. It’s a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom.

    The signs of this friendship stand in our nation’s capital. Just steps from the White House, we’ve raised statues of men with names like Pułaski and Kościuszko. The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington, and a monument stands to one of the world’s greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan.

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    Also, Trump’s negotiating skills, even on the international stage, far surpass anything available in the current administration. Biden/Harris can’t gone soon enough for me.

    I find it amazing that he gets zero credit for the Abraham Accords, for brokering the alliance of gulf states against Iran, for stopping Kim from more missile tests, for fencing off Putin, and perhaps most importantly for getting people to see China as our primary rival.

    If history is looked at without ideological bias, he accomplished a ton in four years just with his foreign policy. Of course history departments are full of leftists who think that Obama was conservative.

    I’m only shocked that Biden hasn’t revoked the Accords yet.

    Well, since technically they are between two other countries…it would be hard. Not that he won’t try. 

    • #22
  23. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    genferei (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    So do I. But to my taste his ad libs detracted from rather than enhanced his prepared remarks.

    His performances at his domestic rallies were almost invariably awesome.

    One of his greatest strengths was his complete ad libbing of events on the campaign trail.. Kst pols deliver the exact same speech at every stop and have focus tested the heck out of it. Trump was off the cuff all the time. It was genuine and it showed. His Twitter was a window I to his mind and gave us a glimpse of what he was thinking all the time, moreso than any prior President, at least in real time. He didn’t focus test things, he said them and then if they didn’t land well, he changed and modified u til he found the resonating concept. He is more in th British Parliamentary style then the US style, though I doubt he would have much success over there because the pols there have to be able to do what he does naturally. Could you imagine a Questions session in the House with the Speaker having to take questions from the opposition? Heck, can you imagine any recent President other than Trump doing that? Especially with the jeering that accompanies them. 

    • #23
  24. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    He delivered speeches like a normal person, not a polished politician.  Compare how he was received by normal people with how they perceived the polished Ted Cruz. Cruz was so good that normals saw him as a sleaze ball politician rather than a conservative. I thought this was a bad rap. A bigger clue was how McConnell et al hated Cruz (why people should have recognized he, too, would shake up the establishment).

    • #24
  25. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    He delivered speeches like a normal person, not a polished politician. Compare how he was received by normal people with how they perceived the polished Ted Cruz. Cruz was so good that normals saw him as a sleaze ball politician rather than a conservative. I thought this was a bad rap. A bigger clue was how McConnell et al hated Cruz (why people should have recognized he, too, would shake up the establishment).

    Cruz’s problem was that he always sounded like he was the smartestnperson in the world. My brother used to say that about me when I was single digitsband he was about 20 and he hated it, especially if I was right about the topic. It’s one reason that I really like Cruz, he is super smart, and people hate him for it. He has gotten better at not sounding condescending and it’s paid him dividends in the Senate. It also helped that after Trump owned the outsider lane that Cruz started to work more with the rest of the party. 

    • #25
  26. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    He delivered speeches like a normal person, not a polished politician. Compare how he was received by normal people with how they perceived the polished Ted Cruz. Cruz was so good that normals saw him as a sleaze ball politician rather than a conservative. I thought this was a bad rap. A bigger clue was how McConnell et al hated Cruz (why people should have recognized he, too, would shake up the establishment).

    Cruz’s problem was that he always sounded like he was the smartestnperson in the world. My brother used to say that about me when I was single digitsband he was about 20 and he hated it, especially if I was right about the topic. It’s one reason that I really like Cruz, he is super smart, and people hate him for it. He has gotten better at not sounding condescending and it’s paid him dividends in the Senate. It also helped that after Trump owned the outsider lane that Cruz started to work more with the rest of the party.

    I have always liked Cruz. The way he was treated by establishment Rs told me all I needed to know a out why the left has made so many gains.

    • #26
  27. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    He delivered speeches like a normal person, not a polished politician. Compare how he was received by normal people with how they perceived the polished Ted Cruz. Cruz was so good that normals saw him as a sleaze ball politician rather than a conservative. I thought this was a bad rap. A bigger clue was how McConnell et al hated Cruz (why people should have recognized he, too, would shake up the establishment).

    Cruz’s problem was that he always sounded like he was the smartestnperson in the world. My brother used to say that about me when I was single digitsband he was about 20 and he hated it, especially if I was right about the topic. It’s one reason that I really like Cruz, he is super smart, and people hate him for it. He has gotten better at not sounding condescending and it’s paid him dividends in the Senate. It also helped that after Trump owned the outsider lane that Cruz started to work more with the rest of the party.

    Good analysis 

    • #27
  28. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    genferei: And he was pretty bad at delivering them.

    I think he made a lot of good speeches.

    He delivered speeches like a normal person, not a polished politician. Compare how he was received by normal people with how they perceived the polished Ted Cruz. Cruz was so good that normals saw him as a sleaze ball politician rather than a conservative. I thought this was a bad rap. A bigger clue was how McConnell et al hated Cruz (why people should have recognized he, too, would shake up the establishment).

    Cruz’s problem was that he always sounded like he was the smartestnperson in the world. My brother used to say that about me when I was single digitsband he was about 20 and he hated it, especially if I was right about the topic. It’s one reason that I really like Cruz, he is super smart, and people hate him for it. He has gotten better at not sounding condescending and it’s paid him dividends in the Senate. It also helped that after Trump owned the outsider lane that Cruz started to work more with the rest of the party.

    Given the intellectual prowess on display in the US Senate, Cruz can be forgiven for that.

    I can’t remember who said that when you first get into the Senate, you look around the chamber and think “how did I get here?” After six months you look around the chamber and think “how did any of them get here?”

    • #28
  29. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Cruz is better than most, but he shows signs of being worryingly house trained. I’m also disappointed that his Verdict podcast is now just part of the conservative-pillow industrial complex. Less lazy red meat and more outrage about election irregularities, please. 

    • #29
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