The Real News from Poland
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published July 9, 2017 by The Washington Times.
Unless you went to some lengths to access President Trump’s stunning address in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday instead of relying on media coverage, you missed a remarkable event.
Garnering repeated applause and even chants of “Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!” the president declared his and America’s admiration for the Polish people, made a commitment to ensure their liberty, and promised to eradicate terrorism and preserve the West.
The reason you may have missed this is that the media continues to paint Mr. Trump in the worst possible light. Their zeal to produce fake news about him is shameless and laughable.
Here’s an actual headline from AOL.com’s news site: “President Trump left hanging after Polish first lady appears to reject handshake.”
Seriously. The video shows Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser-Dudaturn take a step and reach across to Melania Trump first and then, a moment later, turn to the American president and shake his hand. It was a blip of fake news, not a news story.
Meanwhile, on CBS, Major Garrett complained that at a press conference, Mr. Trump “eagerly criticized the U.S. media and former President Obama.” The correspondent added, “American presidents traveling abroad typically uphold American values, such as press freedom and the institution of the presidency. Mr. Trump, for his own reasons, did not.”
I like the take on this by the Media Research Center’s Scott Whitlock: “By critiquing the press, CBS’s official position is, the president didn’t ‘uphold American values?’ Seems pretty obvious why Americans no longer trust the press.”
And, for comparison, there’s a video mash-up over at thefederalist.com in which Barack Obama “talked smack about America” 15 times while in other countries —- to no media objection.
Mr. Trump again: “Poland is the geographic heart of Europe, but more importantly, in the Polish people, we see the soul of Europe. Your nation is great because your spirit is great and your spirit is strong. (Applause.)
“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. (Applause.)”
Over the next 30 minutes, Mr. Trump gave a sweeping summary of Poland’s violent history at the hands of its neighbors —- Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union —- the Warsaw uprising, and Poland’s eventual liberation from communism. Looking on was Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity movement who, with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Great Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, helped bring down the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain.
Contrasted with Mr. Obama’s international Muslim apology tour in June 2009, Mr. Trump celebrated the shared Judeo-Christian values sustaining the two nations. In fact, he referenced God 10 times.
Here’s a sample: “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. (Applause.) 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.’ (Applause.)”
In an editorial criticizing Mr. Trump for defending “the West,” The Washington Post declared that “human rights, freedom and the dignity of every individual” spring from no particular culture. “They belong to people of all colors, all sexual orientations and all —- or no —- religion.” Which would be news to America’s founders, who credited “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” with the notion that “all men are created equal” and thus deserving of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Post editorial went on to give Mr. Trump an additional smack for urging “us all to fight like the Poles, for family, for freedom, for country and for God.”
While the fake news media portrayed President Trump as a jingoist and bumpkin, he was delivering lines like this: “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.” He praised Poland for committing more funds to NATO, welcoming U.S. troops, and accepting a U.S. missile shield.
A lot of people have urged Mr. Trump to act more “presidential.”
In Warsaw this week, he did just that. And the media cannot stand it.