73 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 47 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/18/18

Le Bull In La French China Shop

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Message Eric Margolis
Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

From Smirking Chimp

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron in France
Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron in France
(Image by (From Wikimedia) U.S. Embassy in France, Author: U.S. Embassy in France)
  Details   Source   DMCA

Asked if President Donald Trump's highly critical tweets about French president Emmanuel Macron were unpleasant and inelegant, Macron elegantly replied, "you summed up everything."

Yes, they were unpleasant and inelegant, to put it mildly. Worse, Trump's tweet barrage came on the same day France was commemorating the murder of 130 Parisians by gunmen in 2015. A senior French press official claimed Trump "lacked common decency." Making matters worse, Trump refused to show up at a graveside memorial for American GI's killed in the bloody, 1918 Belleau Wood battle. He went the following day to another memorial closer to Paris.

A major faux pas, Monsieur le President Trump. You need some foreign policy pros instead of the amateur ideologues who have made a huge mess of the nation's affairs and image.

This row arose after Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg and called for a common European army to "complement" NATO.

Earlier, Chancellor Merkel stated that Europe could no longer depend on the US for its protection.

Merkel's frank talk was clearly a slap in the face to the prickly Trump, whose aggressive policies have put the US in confrontation with Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Cuba and much of the Muslim world.

In effect, Germany and France, Europe's two big powers, were declaring independence from US hegemony seven decades after the end of World War II. Many Europeans -- and certainly Germans -- consider their nations still militarily and politically occupied by the American Imperium. How else could the US National Security spy agency (NSA) get away with tapping Angela Merkel's cell phone with nary a German protest?

Given Russia's military and financial feebleness (a defense budget less than one tenth of the US), what reason is there for a major US military presence from Spain to the Baltic and Black Sea? There are still US military bases in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany (34 bases), Belgium, Holland, Britain, Turkey, Denmark, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo, Greece and soon Poland.

Large parts of Europe are still militarily occupied by the US. Amazingly, the European Union, the world's most important economic power, has very little self-defense capability. Instead, the US-runs and finances the lion's share of NATO. Just as during the old Cold War, the Warsaw Pact was run from Moscow, so NATO is directed by Washington, and is a major component of US global power.

Nations that do not have their own military forces have very little sovereignty. Costa Rica is one charming exception. Great powers like France, Britain and Germany must command a good portion of their own military forces or join them in a common armed force. This is what Merkel and Macron were proposing, to Trump's fury.

During the 1950's, Europeans agreed to NATO as much in fear of a recurrence of the horrors of two European wars as fear of Soviet invasion, though the latter was very real at the time. Even the Swiss built fortifications designed to stop an invasion by the Soviet Red Army, and France began work to up-gun and reinforce the Maginot Line defenses.

The angry Trump fired back by reminding France that it was rescued in two world wars by the United States, had major economic problems, and could not trust the Germans. This is a favorite theme of French-hating, know-nothing conservatives and neocons. I suspect their hatred of France comes from being mistreated as tourists by rude waiters in Paris restaurants and sneered at by snooty French as uncultured boors and rustics. Trump's core supporters -- Evangelical Christians -- mostly regard French and other Europeans as degenerate, godless, Christian-haters.

They conveniently forget, or don't know, that French soldiers and sailors delivered decisive victories over British forces during the American Revolution. A key cause of the French Revolution was national bankruptcy caused by King Louis' heavy spending on military help to the US war of independence.

When I'm in Metz, France, I always go to salute the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette who led French forces helping the American Revolution. Without French help, Americans might be today caught up in the ghastly Brexit mess.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Eric Margolis Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Contributing Foreign Editor/Syndicated Foreign Affairs Columinist -
Sun Media Group
(Pakistan's leading English language Newspaper)
Gulf Times (Qatar)
Khaleej Times (Dubai)

Frequent Commentator on foreign (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Russian Navy Is Back

Pentagon And CIA At War In Syria

Iraq: How We Were Lied into War

Tensions Mount As The New Saudi Prince Takes Charge

To Hell With U.S. Jobs, Let's Get Iran!

Hillary Haunted by Libya

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend