President Obama “wasn’t ready” to lead the world’s dominant superpower when he was elected, former Polish President Lech Walesa said Sunday in an interview on “NewsmaxTV.”
The anti-communist crusader and Nobel Peace Prize winner called the American president “highly skilled and talented,” but said “he wasn’t ready to take on this big task.”
Obama had a wonderful opportunity to reform the United States and the United Nations, and everyone expected he would do so, Walesa said through an interpreter. “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.”
The man who co-founded Poland’s solidarity movement from its humble beginnings in the Gdansk Shipyards, and who shared the global stage with the likes of Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, was asked about the current crop of world leaders. Pope Francis was the right man for the times, Walesa said, adding of Vladimir Putin, “There were two of them.” One had to maintain an iron grip on Russia’s 80 different nationalities and try to improve the country. The other was intent on regaining lost superpower status, and the world knew to watch him very carefully.
The two politicians who disillusioned Walesa the most? “Myself and President Obama,” he said, adding that the United States had relinquished its global moral and political leadership. “They lost that power after getting involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”
Walesa bemoaned the lack of reform in the United Nations.
“We need a better organization to protect us, should those dangerous times ever come,” he said. “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.”
The former president expressed dismay about Obama’s decision a year ago to cancel the fourth phase of an anti-missile defense system on Polish soil.
“Psychologically, it gives us some sense of comfort,” he said of such a system. “But besides feeling safer, we can also profit from it economically. So those are pretty good reasons why Americans shouldn’t withdraw from our country.”
Walesa currently heads the institute bearing his name, promoting national heritages, independence, solidarity and political accountability around the world.
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