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Trump's nationalism vs. Macron's plea for strong alliance

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12.06.2019

By Trudy Rubin

I've just returned from a trip to Italy, Britain, and France, where I watched the struggle between far-right populist nationalists and those who believe in a united, democratic Europe. A democratic Europe allied with the United States.

That struggle was reflected in the contrasting tone of speeches given by President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in Normandy on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Both praised the heroism of those who stormed the beaches, including vets in their 90s who made it to the celebration.

But Trump never mentioned the postwar institutions the United States built to bind Western democracies together after World War II. That omission was clearly deliberate, given the president's disdain for almost any multilateral organization.

Macron, on the other hand, with a whiff of desperation, urged Trump to embrace the Western alliance, including NATO and the European Union, as guarantors of the freedoms those veterans fought for. "Being worthy of the promise of Normandy," said the French leader, "means never forgetting that free people, when they join forces, can surmount any challenge."

Trump's resistance to Macron's message will cost Europeans dearly. And Americans, too.

Even as Trump spoke, Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping were meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, strengthening an alliance........

© The Korea Times