In Poland, President Trump Should Begin Draining the Foggy Bottom Swamp
Jettisoning The Current Ambassador to Poland, Paul Jones, Who Typifies The State Department Career FSO Globalist Swamp Dweller, Would Be A Strong Start
On the evening of July 5th, one day following America’s Independence Day, President Trump will arrive in Warsaw, Poland for a series of geopolitical meetings the following day and culminating in an open-air speech in Krasinski Sqaure- the site of the Warsaw Uprising Monument and a spot that holds major emotional and historic significance for all Poles. Nothing would demonstrate his commitment to “draining the swamp” of Washington’s global tentacles than using this occasion to jettison the current Ambassador to Poland, Paul Jones, who typifies the career foreign service office ideologically aligned with Obama/Clinton/Kerry leftist globalism.
It is of paramount importance to note that this marks the first visit of the President to a European capital for the express purpose of meeting with European sovereigns (the President took part in a NATO summit in Brussels earlier this year as well as a visit to Rome after Saudi Arabia and Israel in visiting the triumvirate of holy sites). The importance of the symbolism that this visit represents, in visiting a Central/Eastern European capital ahead of Western European capitals such as Paris, Berlin, London, Brussels, Amsterdam et al cannot be overstated. This marks a conscious effort to send a message to the globalists of these EU anchor weights that political and philosophical alignment is heightened with the conservative Eurosceptic nations of Central Europe rather than the Eurocentric leftists of Western Europe.
The political battles waged in Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, and Bratislava against the European Union’s encroachment of the post-Soviet satellites’ nation state sovereignty closely mirror the issue-based battles that President Trump built his political platform, and won his mandate, on. Populist nationalist conservatism with a view that culture matters and borders need to be enforced is an analogue that gained prevalence in both the United States and Central/Eastern Europe during these recent election cycles. This flies in the face of the EU’s progressive centralization of power project. President Trump’s visit to Warsaw solidifies this.
The visit is also being structured around a summit called the “Three Seas Initiative” whereas the dozen EU member nations, comprising the Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia), the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia), and the five others that lie within the geographical footprint bordered by the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic Seas (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and Slovenia) are creating a trade bloc built around energy infrastructure to secure themselves against the political self-interest of the Western power structure (Brussels, Berlin) and the Eastern one (Moscow) who has the potential to holds them geopolitically hostage through control of their primary energy spigot given the regions current lack of source diversity. This bloc, should it materialize and develop successfully, would serve as a strong counterweight to these competing power dynamics that bookend their geography. The White House sees the opportunity for expanding commercial energy ties with the region. Free trade does after all encourage peace, and to that end LNG just began being delivered to a new Polish facility a few weeks ago, which serves both American economic interests as well as Polish/ CEE ones (diversification of its energy supply). Moreover, with American infrastructure investment the incentive to guarantee the security of these nations positioned on the NATO periphery also achieves higher priority.
All this is fine and good and serves to illustrate why the President will be visiting this week but what of his formal emissary on the ground, Ambassador Paul Jones? Poland is swiftly becoming the anchor of the region in political leadership as well as in international trade as the (post-Brexit) fifth biggest economy and nation state (by GDP and population respectively) in the EU and now the largest not to have adopted the common currency (to its fortuitous benefit). It is also the largest of the Eurosceptic (self-proclaimed “Euro-realist”), nationalist, and conservative EU nations that desires to see secured borders and rational immigration policy for the sanctity of their citizenries (who have fully agreed on this priority as they have proven at the ballot box). The European Commission has even launched a legal case against Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in migrants in response to Brussels’ bureaucratic diktat. This has only firmed the resolve of Polish leadership to adhere to its commitment to its citizens. Mr. Jones propagates a world view that is completely at odds with Polish political priorities and is wholly out of sync with the evolving politics and policy on the ground in Warsaw and in the Central European region writ large. His words and actions have demonstrated this time and again.
To those who watch our federal government closely the State Department has always been a haven for those on the far left who subscribe deeply to progressive, elitist, and establishmentarian ideologies. Historically, foreign services everywhere, staffed by an academic elite with a sanctimonious self-view of their own noblesse oblige have demonstrated these overweening and prideful character flaws. Ambassador Jones has demonstrated this level of elitist arrogance in dealing with his host country Poland, as it has shifted to the right, in spades. A career member of the foreign service since 1987, Jones was Obama’s appointee to the Ambassadorial post in Malaysia and was sworn in by Hillary Clinton in 2010 (while in Malaysia he aided Bill Clinton during her tenure at the State Department when Bill visited Malaysia as a paid promoter for the for-profit Laureate University) and then appointed Ambassador to Poland in 2015 and sworn in by John Kerry. He replaced Ambassador Stephen Mull in Warsaw when Mull was appointed by Kerry to lead the United States coordination of the Iran Nuclear Implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka: the insane “Iran nuclear deal” that has so defined Obama’s feckless and America-undermining foreign policy). The career foreign service ranks are filled with those who believe in this Obama-Kerry example of “America-last” policy and defend it openly. Samantha Power and Susan Rice typify this damaging leftist/globalist worldview that permeates the ranks of the career foreign service. Jones is no exception.
As a fully ensconced member of the “bubble class” of academes, career government liberals, and media elite; Jones was convinced Hillary Clinton would win the American presidential election handily, a view he did not hide even up to the moment of the election when he held an all-night election viewing party in November 2016 at the Warsaw Westin and he had to despondently accept a different reality. This after being none-too-friendly to some of the party’s sponsors who were dressed in loud pro-Trump attire.
Up to that moment he was clearly guided by the assumption that he would have support in world view from Washington and Foggy Bottom in perpetuity, and as such, the condescending tone he used in admonishing the early actions of Poland’s conservative Law & Justice (PiS- Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc) government was far less than diplomatic. The rhetoric showed blatant disregard for the mandate the recently democratically elected conservative nationalist government received from the Polish people, the clearest one in modern Polish history (Andrzej Duda, a PiS MEP, won the presidency in May 2015 and then his party routed the parliamentary elections five months later in October giving them an unprecedented coalition-free rule in the Sejm- the Polish legislature).
As this author has described in depth for Breitbart London throughout 2016, PiS went about reforming corrupt post-communist structures with gusto. This caused much consternation among the Brussels-based leadership of the European Union (which is at its fundamental core hostile to nationalists), the post-communist Eurocentric Polish looter elite that comprised the recently turfed-out opposition (Donald Tusk’s/Radoslaw Sikorski’s party- Civic Platform), and the left leaning globalists of developed-nation foreign services- including the American State Department and even including some United States senators (both Republican and Democrat). Jones, as the American emissary in Warsaw, was more than pliant, perhaps even enthused, to play the role as “tip of the spear” in making frequent condemnation of the new Polish government, often trying to use a “carrot and stick” approach to diplomacy to get the government to stop “backsliding on democracy” (a frequent fallacious slur by the globalist elite against the new Polish government). This approach was especially pernicious in dealing with the close Polish ally and felt acutely by Polish leadership as the American-Polish alliance is integral to Polish security and to Poles feeling thereof. As of late he has even attempted to muddy the waters for the upcoming Presidential visit by suggesting to the White House that the faux “rule of law” issues should be addressed by the President instead of the focus on shared cultural values and the Poles’ brave fights for freedom throughout the ages.
Jones and his fellow groupthinkers of the globalist cohort have used the “rule of law is under attack in Poland” frame when highlighting the radical (and necessary, as discussed in previous Breitbart London articles) reform of the judiciary and the fair rotation of conservatives sympathetic to the new government into the public (read: state-controlled) media complex. This transpires in the public-sector media after an electoral inflection in power similarly in dozens of other developed nations (including many EU member states). His concern for Polish media dynamics is especially pronounced when it comes to his lobbying efforts for the Knoxville-based American media conglomerate Scripps Networks Interactive, which owns the largest private sector television network TVN. TVN is where those fired from the public media after the election (for continually hostile dissemination of fake news, reaching a fevered pitch during the election period) all landed. Now TVN serves as a cross between CNN and MSNBC in both pretending at times to be unbiased as well frequently not even trying to maintain such pretensions. Jones is very concerned about their position in the market and should he “leave” the foreign service this correspondent would not be surprised to see him working directly for Scripps soon thereafter (in government relations of course).
This author has had first-hand experience in directly seeing the Ambassador’s openly pronounced sentiments regarding the Polish government. One year ago, the first week of June 2016, at the Wroclaw Global Forum your correspondent met Jones in between forum sessions and asked his opinion about the controversial judicial reform (known in Poland as the Constitutional Tribunal reform) to which the diplomat did not mince words in his condemnation of an action that he perceived was anti-democratic and undermined rule of law. Calmly and rationally expressing disagreement with this take and disclosing, upon being queried on journalistic affiliations (a reasonable question given a visible conference badge that displayed “media” on it), affiliation with two Polish newsweeklies and ad hoc contribution to Breitbart on Poland, a visibly disgusted Ambassador exclaimed that this correspondent “does not understand what is going on with these issues” and proceeded to walk off in trailing mid-sentence. Apparently, Ambassador Jones, unlike President Trump, is not an appreciator of Breitbart News.
The Ambassador’s frequent condescending proclamations regarding rule of law have so irked Polish leadership that many will not meet with him or will only do so when there is such necessity that there can be no avoidance of such meeting. This is hardly an effective dynamic in diplomatic engagement especially with such an important ally that sits on the NATO peripheral border and to where the United States and NATO have recently deployed troops on a full-time rotational basis. His positioning as “chief relationship manager” between these two great and historic allies is made even more egregious when it comes into focus that the nation-state focused populism that delivered both President Trump and Law & Justice their respective democratic mandates is so congruent that the alliance should reach new heights of bilateral harmony which can lead to accelerated developments in trade and joint security. Jones compounds the inappropriateness of his remaining in the post with proclamations (especially right after the election) that he will indeed remain in the post as the new government “has no one,” he is (as a career FSO) “one of their best,” and that Poland “is not a priority.” It is time to prove the diplomat wrong on what he has surmised.
Ronald Reagan famously and accurately proclaimed that “personnel is policy.” In no branch of government is this truer than the foreign service since those in the executive branch in Washington cannot be everywhere. A president’s ambassadors on the ground, especially in the far-flung capitals of our most important and loyal allies, need to reflect the values and philosophy of the president they ostensibly serve. As most honest Poles (ie: not those on the far left) can attest, whether they be citizens or members of the government, Jones does not represent or support Trumpian populism (his disdain is not well masked) or the nationalist conservative populism of the Polish government (his disdain is telegraphed openly) even as the citizenries of both nations prove that they do. It is time to begin to drain the foreign service swamp and given the symbolic significance of the upcoming visit to Warsaw, and the optical alignment between the two governments who share so many analogous views, career foreign service swamp dweller Ambassador Paul Jones should be drained immediately.