It must have been a welcome change of pace for U.S. President Barack Obama. His speech to a crowd of thousands on Wednesday in the Polish capital of Warsaw was very much a sermon to the converted. He did not need to convince anyone of U.S. strength or moral authority. He did not need to argue the importance of isolating Russia in response to its attack against Ukraine. No hecklers or protesters came out to jeer him, and Poland still felt like a sentimental devotee of the global order that emerged when the Cold War ended.
“History was made here,” Obama said in his speech on Castle Square, the scene of numerous protests against Russian rule that ended in civilian blood being spilled over its pavestones. “The victory of 1989 was not inevitable. It was the culmination of centuries of Polish struggle, at times in this very square.”
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