Donald Trump's Warsaw Speech 'Will Not Go Down in History'
US President Donald Trump has made a keynote speech in the Polish capital, Warsaw on Thursday, June 6. He warned against the twin threats of "terrorism and extremism" and appeared to send a warning to Russia.
But Clive Chamberlain, a speechwriting expert, said Mr. Trump's performance was not on a par with John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech or even Ronald Reagan's famous speech in 1987 in West Berlin, when he told President Gorbachev to "tear down that wall."
Mr. Chamberlain, who has written speeches for a number of people, including the former head of the Police Federation, said it probably played well to Polish and American audiences but would not resonate beyond Mr. Trump's supporters.
"It was a statesmanlike speech that was well-crafted," Mr. Chamberlain told Sputnik.
"It spoke a lot about history, but it didn't really talk in any detail about what his plans really were, and there aren't any key phrases that ring out in it that will become well-used soundbites or go down in books of quotations.
"There wasn't anything in it that will resonate and be used and used again," Mr. Chamberlain said.
He said Mr. Trump had a reputation as a "maverick," who was fond of ad-libbing, but on this occasion he seemed to have stuck to the script.
The president also spoke of the North Korean crisis, but without offering any concrete solutions.
"He also touched on North Korea and said we need to confront it, but he was deliberately vague about how they were going to deal with it.
In fact in an interview beforehand he had said there 'weren't any good options,' and he was very non-specific in the speech about how they would deal with North Korea," Mr. Chamberlain said.
The US president is in Poland ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where he is due to meet Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
But there was no sign of an olive branch from him.
"We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere… and its support of hostile regimes in Syria and Iran," Mr. Trump said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr. Putin did not accept that Russia had been destabilizing the region.
"This is exactly why we are waiting for the first meeting of the two presidents," Mr. Peskov added.
Mr. Peskov said the meeting between both presidents, scheduled for Friday, July 7, would enable them to understand each other's "true approach."
In Thursday's speech, the US president also insisted that he had forced other NATO countries to come up with billions of dollars to take some of the burden of the cost of the alliance off the United States.
"As long as we know our history, we will know how to build our future.
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.
"As a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into NATO. In fact, people are shocked.
But billions and billions of dollars more are coming in from countries that, in my opinion, would not have been paying so quickly," Mr. Trump said.
He praised Poland for buying Patriot missiles from the US and "saluted the magnificent example" of Poland.
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz confirmed on Thursday they had signed an agreement to receive US Patriot missile systems to Poland.
Mr. Trump actually began his speech by saying: "America loves Poland, and America loves the Polish people."
He also paid tribute to those who died during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, when 150,000 were killed by German soldiers.
Mr. Trump also mentioned the recent delivery of liquefied natural gas from the US to Poland.
"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," he said.
"The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive," he added.
Mr. Trump mentioned in his speech the American, British, Polish and Romanian soldiers who joined him on stage.
"Poland is the geographic heart of Europe but more importantly we see in the Polish people the souls of Europe," he said.
"The story of the Polish people is a people who have never given up hope," he said.
"Your borders were erased for centuries and your country was only recreated a century ago," he added.
Mr. Trump described the invasion of Poland in 1939 as "tough," as he said that one in five Poles died during the war and the Jewish population, which was one of the most vibrant in Europe, was virtually wiped out during the Holocaust.
He claimed the Red Army deliberately waited on the outskirts of Warsaw during the uprising, leading to the deaths of thousands.
Mr. Trump then moved on to more recent events, but was at time drowned out by Polish nationalists who chanted: "Donald Trump!"
He claimed that during communist rule there was an attempt to wipe out the "very essence" of Poland's culture.
He also praised the millions who greeted the first Polish Pope in 1979.
"The Polish people said three simple words, 'we want God.' We can still hear those voices that echo through history.
The people of Europe still cry out 'we want God,' " he claimed.
"A strong Poland is a blessing to Europe and a strong Europe is a blessing to the West and the world.
This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism… but there are dire threats to our society and to our way of life," he said.