During NATO’s US-led intervention in Iraq, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair played the role of shotgun-riding sidekick to then-US President George W. Bush when the prime minister was in the best position to mitigate the headlong rush into war. Now, the role of enabler in the conflict ginned up by NATO against Russia in Ukraine goes to French President Emmanuel Macron. And it’s the people of Europe – including French citizens who are set to head to the polls on April 10 and 24 to decide whether Macron deserves a second five-year presidential mandate – who are on the verge of realizing just how much Macron’s kowtowing to the US is going to personally cost them.
In February 2019, Foreign Policy magazine claimed that “Macron is going full De Gaulle,” and that, “France’s president is pushing around Britain, Germany, and Italy – and going back to his country’s foreign-policy roots.” If it truly had been the case that Macron was acting like the legendary French president and former World War II era General Charles de Gaulle, then Macron would have stood up to the US as it pushed its NATO allies to arm and train Ukrainian fighters while recklessly and flagrantly ramping up antagonism and belligerence towards Russia.
President de Gaulle was so incensed by Washington’s willingness to have France’s armed forces come under US-led NATO collective control that he pulled Paris out of the integrated military command in 1966, at the very height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union that represented the military alliance’s entire raison d’être. De Gaulle shuttled between Moscow and Washington afterwards, armed with the credibility of having rejected strict alignment with either global superpower, and thereby allowing him to act as a truly honest and independent broker on both sides of the Iron Curtain. To further underscore France’s total independence, de Gaulle ratified a foreign affairs, science, and technology cooperation agreement that same year with the Soviet Union, which set France on a divergent course from its Western allies.