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Lech Walesa: Obama Doesn't Care If US Remains World Superpower

Image: Lech Walesa: Obama Doesn't Care If US Remains World Superpower

By John Bachman and Jim Meyers   |   Sunday, 16 Feb 2014 09:35 AM

Anti-communist crusader and former president of Poland Lech Walesa tells Newsmax that of all the national leaders currently on the world stage, the one who has "disillusioned" him the most is President Barack Obama.

Walesa also asserts that Obama "wasn't ready" to take on the task of leading the world's most dominant superpower.

And he calls for reforms at the United Nations so the world body can help fill the vacuum left by the United States' failure of leadership under Obama.

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Walesa played a key role in freeing Eastern Europe from the clutches of Soviet communism and ultimately in the breakup of the U.S.S.R.

In 1980, he co-founded Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union. Later in that decade he helped form the first non-communist government in the Soviet bloc, beginning the downfall of communism in Europe.

Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as Poland's president from 1990 to 1995. Today he heads the Lech Walesa Institute, which is dedicated to democratization and his personal legacy.

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Newsmax, Walesa discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, and more.

As for his views on Obama, Walesa declares: "Personally, I feel that two politicians disillusioned me the most — myself and President Obama. I prefer to skip talking about myself, but let's discuss why Obama has been such a disappointment.

"When he was elected, everyone hoped and expected that he would reform not only the United States but also the rest of the world. But he failed to implement any constructive reforms. Moreover, it seems like perhaps he doesn't even care if America is still perceived as the superpower it once was."

He added, with tongue slightly in cheek: "If that's the case and if the U.S. doesn't really want to be a superpower anymore, I'd say let Poland take over that leadership and we'd take care of the rest. I promise you, we'd know what to do."

Asked if the world has lost faith in the United States as the lone superpower and world policeman, Walesa responds: "The United States still holds the military leadership in the world, no question about it. But economically, I think you're much weaker. Most importantly, I think the United States no longer leads the world morally and politically. They lost that power after getting involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"So it's unsettling not to have the same world leadership anymore. We’re quite fortunate we haven’t faced any major international crisis so far, because who would defend us?

"We need a better organization to protect us, should those dangerous times ever come. And the responsibility of the United States as a superpower is to create those programs and solutions that would make the world a safer place. That doesn't mean to finance them but rather to use brainpower to initiate them and move them forward."

When Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, Walesa questioned that maybe it was too soon for him to win the award and it was perhaps undeserved. Asked if Obama has done anything to change his mind about the president's contribution to world peace, Walesa tells Newsmax: "He's a very talented president. But his problem is that he wasn't committed in his mind to leading a superpower.

"Despite his intelligence and ability to govern, he wasn't ready to take on this big task. And that's a shame, frankly, because out of everyone before him, he had the best opportunity to reshape things.

"But who knows? Maybe there is still a chance that he will suddenly snap out of it and change his way of thinking."

Reforming the United Nations should be "President Obama's initiative," Walesa opines.

"We need to reform this old organization," he says. "Better yet, transform it into the global parliament. Transfer the power of the Security Council to the global government.

"NATO should also be changed into the ministry of the global defense. Then we could have a big banner announcing: 'We, the generation of the 21st century, won't tolerate the following crimes against humanity: racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic cleansing, etc.' Should any nation break these rules, the new organization would take care of that.

"We would elect leaders for each sector who would be responsible for maintaining order. In my mind, these kinds of actions and initiatives are expected from the United States. They have always been the savior and the last hope for the world. Unfortunately, it feels now like we've lost that sense of hope and that's very unsettling."

As for the Obama administration's decision a year ago to cancel the final stages of the European missile defense system, Walesa says: "Poland would definitely benefit from the continued presence of the U.S. soldiers on its territory. Psychologically, it gives us some sense of comfort. But besides feeling safer, we can also profit from it economically. So those are pretty good reasons why the Americans shouldn't withdraw from our country.

"Also, their protection has a calming effect on the whole situation. So to leave now would be a mistake."

He adds, "As long as we still consider armed confrontations as our main solution, there are no winners, only losers.

"We had two big wars in the last century, plus some revolutions. My father passed away a long time ago, but if I were able to talk to him today and tell him, 'Dad, do you believe there are no borders in Europe, not even one soldier on the border between Poland and Germany?' I think he would have a very hard time comprehending it. He would probably have another heart attack and pass away again!

"For that generation it's still incomprehensible that we were able to accomplish this big change in such a relatively short period of time."

In his exclusive Newsmax interview, Walesa also:
  • Offers his views on Vladimir Putin and says the Russian president has his own "evil twin."
  • Recalls his initial clash with Mikhail Gorbachev over the Soviet leader's belief that he could "reform" communism and his realization that "shooting at protesters no longer worked."
  • Tells how Pope John Paul II played an enormous and pivotal" role in Poland's dismantling of communism.
  • Discusses his work with the Lech Walesa Institute and discloses his "futuristic" plan for ensuring political accountability.
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