French President Macron Celebrates His Second Bastille Without Trump
The French are on a roll. Emmanuel Macron is methodically changing how the world looks at France. The French have a strong opinion about the way Macron is bringing attention to their country. Mr. Macron’s professionalism and warmness gave Donald Trump a warm and fuzzy cognac type of feeling last year when the two men put on a performance that was certainly Broadway Theater worthy. Trump appearance at the 2017 Bastille celebration gave the event a taste of American showmanship, but his antics didn’t sit well with most of the French. So this year Macron invited Japan’s Prime Minister Abe to the Bastille Day, but Abe sent a representative in his place. The leader of Singapore also received an invitation. The recent floods in Japan forced Abe to stay home, but Foreign Minister Taro Kono made an appearance.
The Bastille Day parade included more than 4,000 soldiers, 100 airplanes, and 220 French vehicles. This year’s guests of honor were Japanese and Singaporean soldiers. More than 100,000 security people guarded the event, and thousands of people lined the streets in the big French cities and in the small villages. But when two motorcycles collided during the demonstration, and when one of the planes in Air Force Patrouille de France acrobatic unit showed a wrong color flag during a formation flyover, some people thought that Trump was getting payback for not being invited this year.
Even though the Bastille Celebration is usually a one-day event, it may spill over this year if France beats Croatia and wins the World Cup. Winning the World Cup is almost as special as the1789 prison storm that is the foundation for the French Revolution.
President Macron is still scratching his over the recent NATO meeting in Brussels. Macron had to set the record straight when Trump said he was the catalyst that pushed NATO members to put up more money for defense. According to Macron, the increase in NATO defense spending is not immediate. The agreement was to increase spending by 2020. But Macron didn’t let Trump’s NATO banter ruin his second Bastille celebration. He knows what to expect from Trump when the beleaguered president is speaking in public. And he knows how to deal with Trump behind closed doors. The bromance between Trump and Macron is over, but Trump doesn’t know that yet. Trump is all about Putin this year and the world is waiting to see what that relationship looks like in public.
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