The socialist Emmanuel Macron, one of the most regrettable rulers in Europe today, has made some statements that have outraged Ukraine.
Macron asks "not to humiliate Russia"
In an interview with La Dépêche du Midi, the French president asked "not to humiliate Russia", that is, Putin, the tyrant who has invaded Ukraine and is deporting and murdering Ukrainian civilians, "so that the day the fighting we can build a way out through diplomatic channels." That is, so that Macron and Putin can continue playing chess with Europe through their phone calls, as they have been doing until now.
What is Macron suggesting with that regrettable statement?
Macron has said this at a time when Russia has illegally and violently occupied 20% of the territory of Ukraine, something that is far from the objectives that Putin set on February 24. One wonders what Macron wants Ukraine to do so that Russia does not feel humiliated: give in to the invader? Surrender? Simply hand over a part of its territory and the Ukrainians residing in those regions, and forget about them?
The precedents of Daladier in 1938 and Pétain in 1940
It must be said that Macron is not the first French president to try to appease a tyrant. The socialist Édouard Daladier already did something like this at the Munich conference in 1938, handing over Czechoslovakia to Hitler, for fear that the German dictator would start a new world war involving France. Finally that war broke out, and with Germany reinforced by the Czechoslovak arms factories and the territorial conquests achieved thanks to the cowardice of Daladier and his British counterpart, Neville Chamberlain.
Two years after the shame of Munich, another French president, Marshal Philippe Pétain, ended up humiliating France by surrendering to Hitler, giving up continuing the fight against the invaders despite all the military resources that France had both in the metropolis as in their colonies. Pétain ended up leading a regime in the south of the country, that of Vichy, which collaborated with the nazis, acting as a puppet state of Germany.
What history teaches us about the effects of appeasing totalitarians
When Macron says that Russia should not be "humiliated", perhaps what he intends to do is become a modern Daladier, willing to sacrifice the freedom and independence of another country to appease a tyrant, perhaps without realizing that that would imply encouraging Putin to continue with his imperialist policy. Giving in to totalitarians always entails encouraging them to ask for more. France should be the European country that should have learned that lesson the most, but perhaps it has forgotten its own history and, what is worse, the sacrifices of so many foreigners (Americans, British, Poles, Canadians...) to liberate France of the Nazi yoke in World War II.
Macron's cowardice and the very different attitude of Poles, British and Balts
With his behavior in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Macron acts like a coward, and as such he does not admit that the courage of others exposes him. And there are already too many who expose him, starting with Ukraine itself, and also including the European countries that have really committed themselves to supporting the Ukrainians, especially Poland, the United Kingdom and the Baltic republics. Macron has no right to decide with Putin the future of Ukraine. That decision only corresponds to the Ukrainians, and they have made very clear their refusal to give in to the invader, with their admirable resistance against the Russians.
The solution that Macron can adopt if he wants to give in to Russia
Of course, the country over which Macron does have control is his own. And if you believe that for Russia not to feel humiliated there must be a country that gives up part of its territory and part of its sovereignty to the dictator Putin, there is a solution: Macron only has to explain what part of France he would be willing to hand over to Russia so that Russia does not feel humiliated. An island or two, or a loose province, is not enough. Remember that we are talking about 20% of the territory of a country and the inhabitants of that part. The total area of France is 675,417 square kilometers.
Thus, we would be talking about giving up some 135,000 square kilometers of France. Macron could deliver all the western regions of the country: New Aquitaine, Loire and Brittany (cutting some of the regions a little, so as not to go overboard), an area with more than 13 million inhabitants.
France surrendered to Hitler in 46 days: Ukraine has been resisting Putin for 101 days
Obviously, no Frenchman who feels an iota of love for his Country would accept such a thing. If Macron even thought to suggest it, he would be branded a traitor and possibly he would have to flee the country for fear of being lynched. Is that what Macron expects Zelensky to do, betray his country and his compatriots? If something like this would be inadmissible for the French, it is also inadmissible for the Ukrainians. With one difference: France surrendered to nazi Germany in 46 days, despite the French fighting on its soil alongside the British and Poles. Ukraine has been resisting alone for more than 100 days against the powerful Russia, which is still far from achieving its objectives. Macron should take careful note of the lesson the Ukrainians are giving him.
Original photo: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters.
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