Macron’s Armistice Speech Sends Message to Trump: ‘Nationalism Is a Betrayal of Patriotism’

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech condemning the rise of nationalism as dozens of world leaders—including President Donald Trump—gathered in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said. “By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.”

Macron delivered the address, with its historical resonance tied to the nationalist movements that gave rise to World War I, almost three weeks after Trump adopted the label of “nationalist” at a campaign rally.

“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much, and you know what, we can’t have that,” Trump said Oct. 22. “I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Use that word.”

Trump appeared alongside world leaders—including Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin—after missing a scheduled visit the day before to Aisne-American Cemetery and Memorial to honor American soldiers killed in the war. The White House said Trump missed the event due to the rainy weather, a decision that overshadowed much of Trump’s visit to France.

“I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death,” Macron said in his remarks at the Arc de Triomphe.

Macron didn’t mention Trump or the United States by name in his remarks, and his message was likely meant for several world leaders in the audience and listeners worldwide, given the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe.

The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I was marked by events around the world Sunday, including in New Zealand, Australia, and London.

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