Donald Trump says terrorism, bureaucracy are threats to Western ideals
Warsaw/Washington: US President Donald Trump told a Warsaw crowd on Thursday that Western nations must stand up to the twin evils of terrorism and stifling government bureaucracies that squelch individual liberty—or risk perishing from Earth.
In a speech that sometimes echoed the dark tones of his inaugural address, Trump laid out a stark vision of a clash of civilizations and said it’s not clear that the West can survive. He argued that the West can prevail, but only if nations cling tight to the bedrock values of faith, family and freedom.
“As the Polish experience reminds us, the defence of the West ultimately rests not only on the means but also on the will of its people to prevail,” Trump told a cheering crowd that at times chanted his name. “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”
“Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield—it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls,” Trump said.
His attack on the bureaucracy equated it to the threat of terrorism in a way that Trump has never done so explicitly before, and in a way that might strike some listeners as an unusual juxtaposition. He did not use the term “deep state”, the notion of an entrenched “permanent government” bureaucracy that many surrounding Trump believe is attempting to thwart Trump’s bolder moves in the United States.
But the speech amounts to an attack on that notion, linking the government overreach of Communism suffered by the Polish people to the same oppression felt in Western societies today due to over-regulation, in Trump’s vision. It’s a view held by one of Trump’s top advisers, Steve Bannon.
Trump attacked “the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people”, arguing that these bureaucrats stand in the way of the democratic expression of the voters.
“The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies,” Trump said.
The speech was meant to challenge to Western nations, to ask whether civilizations are confident enough to protect and preserve what Western nations cherish most, said one aide who discussed the speech on condition of anonymity.
Trump stopped in Warsaw on the way to a Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, that promises to be contentious, as Trump is at odds with the leaders of the world’s largest economies on issues from climate change to trade.
The stop in Poland promises to be friendlier, as Polish President Andrzej Duda and Trump discussed the prospects for a permanent US military presence in the country. Poland also has refused to accept European Union quotas for admitting Syrian refugees, putting its leaders in sync with Trump’s approach to stiffening US immigration policy.
In his speech, Trump held up Poland as an model for other nations to follow, rising above its past struggles with Communism to become an exemplar of Western values.
“The triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship gives us all hope for a future in which good conquers evil, and peace achieves victory over war,” Trump will say, according to the excerpts.
“I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization.” Bloomberg
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