The Polish lesson

On a visit to Warsaw, Tom Friedman of the New York Times basks in Polish pro-Americanism and declares:

Poland is to France what Advil is to a pain in the neck. Or as Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins foreign affairs specialist, remarked after visiting Poland: “Poland is the most pro-American country in the world — including the United States.”

And he hits the mark when he writes:

No wonder then when young Poles think of America, they think of the word “freedom.” They think of generations of U.S. presidents railing against their communist oppressors. There is a huge message in this bottle. In the Arab world, because of a long history of U.S. support for Arab autocrats, who kept their people down but their oil flowing to us, America was a synonym for hypocrisy. In Poland, where we have consistently trumpeted freedom, America means freedom. We need to remember that. We are what we stand for.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that paragraph for any American policymaker who cares to pay attention.

(Via Kathy Kinsley.)