President Donald Trump has questioned whether “the West has the will to survive,” during a speech delivered in Warsaw, Poland, a day before a meeting of G20 leaders in Germany. At the same time, a report in The Guardian has speculated whether the 2017 G20 summit could mark the end of the U.S. as the global leader.
Speaking in front of a receptive Polish audience on Thursday, ahead of the Group of 20 leaders summit on Friday, Trump used the opportunity to once again highlight his concern about “radical Islamic terrorism.” The president alleged that a failure to ramp up collaborative war efforts against Islamic extremism could result in the end of “our civilization and our way of life.” For Trump, the most “fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”
While fittingly standing in front of a monument that commemorates the 1944 anti-Nazi uprising in Warsaw, President Trump seemed to issue a clarion call to all members of the Western world to unite and to “summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization.”
The president invoked traditional Western values as he asked dignitaries to consider to what lengths they would go to defend those values “at any cost.” Trump brought up his agenda to strengthen America’s national borders in an attempt to inspire sister-nations in Europe to do the same. In this way, Trump believes Western civilization will be able to protect itself from “those who would subvert and destroy it.”
Trump also reinforced his calls for a reduction in what he views as unnecessary government bureaucracy in favor of strengthened individual sovereignty in the West.
According to a report in The New York Times, Polish Trump loyalists were allegedly bussed in to form part of the president’s audience in Warsaw’s Krasinski Square. In making a reference to Poland’s rich history of fortitude and resilience in the face of great adversity, Trump offered his audience words of encouragement.
“Poland will prevail. Poland will always prevail.”
President Trump later joined Poland’s president, Andrejz Duda, for a press conference. Trump took the opportunity to double-down on his threats of aggressive and concomitant action against North Korea if Kim Jong-un were to continue initiating long-range nuclear missile tests. While scant on details about what such action would entail, Trump confirmed that he was considering “some pretty severe things” to respond to Pyongyang’s provocations.
“We’ll see what happens — I don’t like to talk about what we have planned — but I have some pretty severe things that we’re thinking about. They are behaving in a very, very serious manner, and something will have to be done about it.”
In what seemed to be an acknowledgment of Poland’s concerns about potential threats of another Ukranian invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump took a more stern tone towards the superpower that straddles Europe and Asia.
“We are working with Poland [to deal with] Russia’s destabilizing behavior.”
Trump also referred to the alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. He said, “I think it was Russia, and it could have been other people in other countries. Nobody really knows for sure.”
Meanwhile, a report in the Guardian has alleged that the G20 summit could potentially indicate the end of the United States’ position as the leading global superpower. The speculation comes in light of President Trump’s recent moves to release the United States from a number of its’ international obligations. As a result, the world’s 20 biggest economic powers will have to consider whether they will still look towards America as a source of guidance and support in the future.
With the increase in adverse effects of climate change, North Korean aggression, the threat of a Ukraine invasion, mass migration and unrest in the Middle East, the 2017 G20 summit will likely be under increased pressures if it has to deal with a succession battle as well. If Trump does indeed signal an abdication of America’s world leader status, it is alleged that the position could be filled by Germany or China.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]