French President Emmanuel Macron chose a solemn occasion to make a critical distinction this weekend. On the centenary of the end of World War 1, beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in front of about 90 world leaders, he recalled how Europe “almost committed suicide”. He said “old demons” were resurfacing and history was threatening to repeat itself, and that was threatening Europe’s recent history of peace. And then the distinction: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” he said. “Nationalism is its betrayal. In saying ‘Our interests first and others don’t matter’, we erase what is most precious to a nation, what makes it live, what makes it great, what is most important: its moral values.” The comments were obviously directed at US President Donald Trump, particularly since in the speech he also decried “the selfishness of countries that regard only their own interests”. Macron made the comments in the context of a growing sense in Europe that the US has “deserted” th...

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