Trump's muscular message gets a warm reception in long-brutalized Poland


National Post, 7 July 2017

With the G20 in Germany, Trump’s decision to first come to Poland signals a shift in American foreign policy: away from a united Europe dominated by the Brussels consensus

President Donald Trump was full of praise for Poland’s noble past on Thursday in Warsaw, but his presence here ahead of the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, is an attempt to shape a different European future, where the eastern countries have a larger role.

The Polish visit was largely portrayed as an occasion for Trump to get a friendly reception from a Polish government that is sympathetic to Trump’s populist, nationalist politics. By attending to the summit of the Three Seas Initiative — which moved its meeting from Wrocław to Warsaw to accommodate the American presidency’s bloated entourage — Trump was highlighting that the hostility he faces in western Europe is not shared equally in the east.

Sixteen years ago, George W. Bush included Poland on his first European trip, full of praise for Polish heroism during the Cold War — and for centuries previous. Trump did the same.

“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,” Trump said. “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”

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