King and The American Friend
Donald Trump's Eiffel Tower chat with the French
establishment's new golden boy, President
Emmanuel Macron, culminated in a political M&A
By Pepe Escobar
- So what did Donald Trump and French President
Emmanuel Macron really talk about throughout
their effusive buddy-buddy Parisian act?This
being France, let’s start where things matter:
Yes, that dinner at Alain Ducasse’s overpriced
Jules Verne restaurant
at the Eiffel Tower. Cool window table with a
view. Only the principals, along with wives
Melania and Brigitte. The Macrons are fluent
English speakers. No leaks from the Elysée
restaurant is part of Ducasse’s sprawling
empire, managed by businessman Xavier Alberti,
who’s married to Audrey Bourolleau, who happens
to be the agriculture counsel to President
all in the family. And Macron’s extended family
is a virtual French who’s who. A serious
misconception prevails, especially in the US,
that Macron is an outsider, an
anti-establishment maverick. Nothing is further
from the facts.
is the French establishment’s golden boy. He has
been groomed/supported by a vast “pragmatic”
neoliberal galaxy, from the Saint Simon
Foundation to the Edmond de Rothschild Group,
the Montaigne Institute and the Terra Nova
think-tank, modeled on the Progressive Policy
Institute created by Bill Clinton and Joseph
Lieberman, and whose task is to let French
economic, political and social life be
fertilized by American modernity.
Macron’s political party – rebranded Republic on
the Move after the presidential victory – was
actually invented, out of thin air, only last
year, at the Montaigne Institute. Links abound
with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Aspen
Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy,
and the inevitable neocons and Straussians. But
most of all, Macronism mirrors the influence of
Les Gracques, a group of right-wing Socialist
Party civil servants and corporate managers bent
on having France going no-holds-barred
could not but envy Macron’s status, which only a
critical minority sees for what it is: a new Roi
Soleil (“Sun King”), who controls not only the
executive but also the legislative branch of
government, mainstream media and his own image
(Brigitte is always clad head to toe in Louis
Vuitton, owned by billionaire Bernard Arnault, a
staunch Macronist; the couple’s image is
supervised by wily Mimi Marchand, the queen of
the Paris paparazzi).
French oligarchy is Macronist all over the
spectrum. So Trump in fact is the outsider – not
only in Washington but even among the Manhattan
elite, who in essence despise him.
Pulling an M&A on The Donald
The Sun King, a specialist in mergers and
acquisitions, has had no trouble identifying and
jumping into a vacuum, embracing Trump as The
American Friend while the rest of the European
Union remains predictably paralyzed by the
ramifications of “America First”.
official Macronist spin is that Trump, after
pulling out of the Paris agreement, should not
remain self-isolated when it comes to Europe.
That’s a mere diversionary tactic. The real game
is that Macron is as frustrated as Trump when it
comes to Germany’s “very bad” trade surpluses –
and, from a French perspective, austerity
to add a few sleepless nights to Chancellor
Angela Merkel? You ratchet France’s defense
spending up to the Nato 2%-of-GDP standard; you
invite Trump to Paris and throw in a lavish
Bastille Day military parade (complete with a
band playing Daft Punk, much to Trump’s
puzzlement); and you position yourself as his
prime interlocutor in the EU. When a crisis
comes, any crisis, Trump will be dialing the
Elysée, not Berlin or Brussels.
Macron wants for Europe is a solid
capital-markets framework and a banking union;
this “restructuring” would arguably bring
trillions of euros into the Eurobond market. He
does not have much time to convince
austerity-obsessed Merkel this is the way to go.
then there’s the Big Asia Story.
– as well as the whole EU export machine – knows
the future is to Go East. EU trade with China,
India, Japan, South Korea and all of Southeast
Asia is already larger by US$300 billion a year
than EU trade with the US.
this is happening even before the EU has granted
“market economy” status to China, and before the
just-signed free-trade agreement with Japan.
Silk Roads, renamed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),
with their promise of total Eurasian
connectivity, are a certified win-win as far as
German industrialists and selected EU investors
are concerned. In contrast, in US Think Tankland,
the overwhelming tone of the analyses is to
deride BRI as a “scheme” destined to fail.
is very much aware of all these disconnections.
And he’s moving all across the spectrum, trying
to occupy any vacuum. He has identified that
Trump’s would-be, real Russia policy has been
strait-jacked by the US deep state. So he’s
actively talking to Vladimir Putin – and that
will certainly include business benefits along
not ostracizing Iran. On the contrary; he knows
future, massive European investment in the
Iranian economy – from energy to infrastructure
– trumps infantile demonization. He could have
convinced Trump that to go against the Iran
nuclear deal is a losing proposition. Most
likely he didn’t – because he knows French, not
US, companies will pick up extra business.
He’ll always have Paris
that brings us to what they actually discussed
in detail: Syria. Macron, a certified
national-security hawk, is now way beyond the
“Assad must go” dead-ender. And Trump could not
but agree when Macron stressed that the No 1
threat is Salafi-jihadi terror.
So now we have Putin, Trump and Macron
practically in sync. Macron has certainly
identified how the gloom-and-doom Syria
narrative is moving sideways – fast. Aleppo is
on itsjihadi-free future. China is already
thinking of Syria as a
officials spinning that without regime change,
even further on down the road, the union will
not finance Syria’s postwar reconstruction are
issuing a hollow threat; Damascus has already
announced that China, Russia and Iran will have
preference. Nato, after all, has been on the
side of regime change since 2011.
It’s unclear whether Macron has imprinted on the
mind of The American Friend that having Syria
jihadi-free, together, makes total business
sense – and opens the way to further business
deals, on all fronts. Of course, assuming the
current and future ceasefires
hold, and rogue deep-state elements do not
disrupt the scenario.
it’s back to the swamp – and the same old
hysterical Russiagate 24/7.
least he will always have Paris.
Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst.
article was first published by
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.