En disant “nos intérêts d’abord et qu’importent les autres!”

Macron used his Armistice Day speech to reject nationalism (and, tacitly, to spit in Trump’s eye).

His words during a solemn Armistice Day ceremony under overcast skies at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe in the heart of the French capital were intended for a global audience. But they also represented a pointed rebuke to President Trump, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and others among the more than 60 world leaders in attendance.

Speaking in French, Macron emphasized [that] a global order based on liberal values is worth defending against those who have sought to disrupt that system. The millions of soldiers who died in the Great War fought to defend the “universal values” of France, he said, and to reject the “selfishness of nations only looking after their own interests. Because patriotism is exactly the opposite of nationalism.”

“By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values,” Macron said.

He tweeted that bit.

“En disant ‘nos intérêts d’abord et qu’importent les autres!'” is a good deal livelier than “By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others.”

The powerful remarks came as the world leaders gathered here have sought to mark the 100 years since the war by honoring those who served and died. Among those who participated were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ahead of the ceremony, dozens of world leaders dressed in black strode shoulder-to-shoulder along the Champs-Elysees toward the Arc. Military jets streaked overhead, emitting red, white and blue smoke, the colors of France.

Trump and Putin did not participate in the processions. The group, which had first gathered at the Elysee Palace, had come to the Arc on tour buses along the 230-foot wide boulevard. Bells at Notre Dame cathedral tolled at 11 a.m., marking the signing of the armistice of a war in which 10 million military troops perished.

But Trump and Putin took their own motorcades to the event and made separate entrances a few minutes after the main group. A White House spokeswoman said Trump arrived separately due to “security protocols,” though she did not elaborate.

Bollocks. He arrived separately because he didn’t want to be one of a crowd, he didn’t want to walk, he didn’t want to wear black, he didn’t want to be shoulder to shoulder with anyone, he didn’t want to behave himself in any way. He wanted to be the pig at the ceremony, as usual.

Macron’s speech was full of literary allusions, including to the French poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Charles Péguy, both of whom served in World War I. (Péguy was killed in combat in 1914.)

Sunday’s address also contained a number of historical rebukes. He made a subtle reference to a well-known 1927 French book that decried the elites at the time, who embraced reactionary, nationalistic ideologies at the expense of a rational consensus.

Why not name the book? I think it’s Julien Benda’s La trahison des clercs.

The article specifies that Trump wore his usual blue suit. Rude enough yet?

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