French president warns of ‘old demons’ resurfacing
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism Sunday at a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I, in a pointed rebuke at some world leaders, including President Donald Trump, sitting just feet away.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.”
“I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death,” Macron warned at a ceremony in Paris. “History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again.”
Last month, Trump said at a rally in Houston: “You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, OK? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Use that word. Use that word.”
Trump did not appear to acknowledge Macron’s comments, and later Sunday, the president spoke at an American military cemetery in Paris, praising those “who gave everything for family, country, God and freedom.”
The rise of nationalism, not just in the U.S. but across Europe, has raised fears that the post-World War II order of multilateralism that has avoided another catastrophic world war is threatened.
More than 60 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, attended the Paris ceremony.
In an interview aired later Sunday, Macron appeared to jab at Trump again. “I always prefer having direct discussion or answering questions than making my diplomacy through tweets,” Macron told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, when asked about Trump’s tweeting habits.