Obama: 'Governments Exist to Lift Up Their People'

June 5, 2014 - 5:28 AM

Poland US Obama

President Barack Obama speaks in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - Hailing Poland's embrace of democracy on Wednesday, President Obama offered his view of government's central role in the lives of all people.

"Here in Poland we see a vibrant press and a growing civil society that holds leaders accountable -- because governments exist to lift up their people, not to hold them down," Obama said to applause.

The president also wove his "fair shot" agenda into the speech he delivered in Warsaw:

"Our democracies must be defined, not by what or who we're against, but by a politics of inclusion and tolerance that welcomes all our citizens. Our economies must deliver a broader prosperity that creates more opportunity -- across Europe and across the world -- especially for young people. Leaders must uphold the public trust and stand against corruption, not steal from the pockets of their own people.

"Our societies must embrace a greater justice that recognizes the inherent dignity of every human being," Obama continued, as he called for a Europe that is "whole and free and at peace."

Seeking to reassure Poland, Obama said he'd come to Warsaw "to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Poland's security.

He specifically mentioned NATO's Article 5, which says an attack on one is an attack on all.

"And as allies, we have a solemn duty -- a binding treaty obligation -- to defend your territorial integrity. And we will," Obama insisted. "We stand together -- now and forever -- for your freedom is ours.

"Poland will never stand alone. But not just Poland -- Estonia will never stand alone. Latvia will never stand alone. Lithuania will never stand alone. Romania will never stand alone.  

"These are not just words," Obama said. "They're unbreakable commitments backed by the strongest alliance in the world and the armed forces of the United States of America -- the most powerful military in history."