During a ceremony in Paris commemorating the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I on November 11, 1918, French President Emmanuel Macron French turned his speech into a rebuke of a foreign policy closely identified with President Trump. Trump was present.
Trump has often described himself a “nationalist.” Although some have criticized his use of the term, during a news conference last week, he defended his use of it, saying: “You know what the word is? I love our country. You have nationalists. You have globalists. I also love the world and I don’t mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems.”
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to the Armistice Day events at the base of the Arc de Triomphe in their own motorcade down the Champs-Élysées. Most of the other world leaders were there when they arrived, having traveled together by bus from the Élysée Palace. The only other leader who traveled on his own was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who shook Trump’s hand, flashed him a thumbs-up sign, and patted Trump’s arm as he arrived. Trump responded with a smile.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump arrived after the group of Europeans because of “security protocols.”
Although he did not mention Trump by name, Macron’s condemnation of nationalism as he addressed more than 60 world leaders during the ceremony was seen by those present as a thinly veiled rebuke of the American president’s foreign policy.
“This vision of France as a generous nation, of France as a project, of France as the bearer of universal values was displayed during these dark hours, as the very opposite of a selfish nation that only looks after its own interest,” Macron said. “Patriotism is the opposite of nationalism.”
“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” he emphasized.
Later in the afternoon, Trump visited the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial just outside of Paris, where the remains of 1,541 American World War I veterans are buried.
“We are gathered together at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to the brave Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle,” Trump said at the cemetery.
“It is our duty to preserve the civilization they defended and to protect the peace they so nobly gave their lives to secure one century ago.”
Photo: AP Images