Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by JD Heyes
POTUS Donald Trump’s latest trip to Europe over the Veteran’s Day weekend didn’t go quite as he had planned, but frankly, he is not to blame for it.
After arriving in France, he was criticized for skipping out on visiting the Aisne-Marne American cemetery outside of Paris, where scores of U.S. soldiers killed during World War I are buried. The president blamed poor weather and visibility, along with bad logistics, for failing to attend.
By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetery in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
As he said in a tweet after missing the initial event, he gave a speech there the next day in “the pouring rain.”
But even before the Aisne-Marne visit, POTUS Trump was heavily criticized by French President Emmanuel Macron over the former’s “nationalism,” while the country’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called on Europe to become an “empire” to compete with the United States.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” Macron said, as reported by The Hill. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first … we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace, and what is essential: its moral values.”
“It’s about Europe having to become a kind of empire, as China is. And how the U.S. is,” Le Maire told Germany’s Handelsblatt.
In the sense that POTUS Trump uses the word ‘nationalism,’ he uses it to describe his “America first” domestic and foreign policies, which he equates with patriotism. To him, thinking of America first — being nationalistic in that sense — is what defines patriotism. It’s not the “opposite” of patriotism. And if the French head of state and his top officials are not looking out for their own country’s interests first and foremost, then they are not the right people to lead it.
It didn’t stop there.
Macron went on to repeat earlier calls for the formation of a “real European army” to protect the continent from China, Russia — and the United States, the latter of which seems odd since Americans saved the European continent from itself in two world wars last century and the U.S. has never had any imperialist designs on Europe. (Related: Report: China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea prepping space-based EMP attacks against U.S.)
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Macron said, according to Agence France-Presse.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” he added in reference to POTUS Trump’s intention to quit the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
Unsaid by Macron is the fact that Trump and his national security team want to leave the treaty only because Russia is already in violation of it and because China, which has a substantial missile force that falls within the treaty’s ranges, was never a signatory.
“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” Macron added. “Faced with Russia, which is on our borders and has shown that it can be threatening, we must have a Europe that defends itself more alone without depending only on the United States,” the French president added.
Le Maire noted further regarding the building a Euro-empire: “I use the term to raise awareness that in the world of tomorrow, it will be about power. Power will make the difference: technological power, economic, financial, monetary, cultural power will be crucial. Europe should no longer shy away from displaying its power and being an empire of peace.”
About 116,000 American lives were lost defending France and much of the rest of Europe during World War I.
During World War II, the figure was more than double that in the European theater.
Throughout the Cold War the U.S. formed the bulk of NATO to defend Europe and continued to do so after the Soviet Union collapsed.
Macron and Le Maire are as ungrateful as they are short-sighted.
Read more about NATO and U.S. national security at NationalSecurity.news.