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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » April 8, 2009
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From the Editor-in-Chief
April 8, 2009   
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The summit of summits and a momentous week. President Barack Obama's first visit to Europe and an unusual series of events. The G20 summit in London, the NATO summit in France (as it returns to the alliance's military structures) and in Germany, the EU-U.S. summit in Prague, the U.S.-Turkey summit in Istanbul. The world's top decision makers have been packing their diplomatic bags, boarding planes and rushing to their meetings. Everyone wants to see Obama, and Obama wants to see everyone, too.

Before this, the need to see the U.S. president with one's own eyes, and get one's picture taken in the process, was also widespread; there were always people lining up before the White House, including messengers carrying invitations, but this tops it all. Is it because this is the first non-white U.S. president in history, or is it about his uniqueness as a person, or is this perhaps a special moment in history?

It's probably the first, second, and especially the third. Obama and his wife Michelle are unique. But so is the moment. Twenty years ago, elections in Poland saw the end of the old era and the start of a new one, and as usual life was way ahead of theory. The Week of Great Summits attempts to make up for lost time.

Leaving the old era and entering the new is a fluid process, though not one without turbulence. It's hard to define a watershed. It won't be until many years down the line that we will be able to say whether the first week of April 2009 was such a watershed.
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