CANCELLED: The future of the West: A conversation with Bernard-Henri Lévy
Europe and the U.S.: The old order faces a new world
The French and German elections and post-election America
What [Macron] was looking for was showcasing his proximity to Trump, but at the same time, that he’s still capable of voicing differences, including in a public way… He did step in the direction of Donald Trump by repackaging his ideas under the label of a new [Iran] deal… On Syria, Macron seems to believe he was able to convince Donald Trump that a framework for stability needs to be developed, whether or not Trump decides to pull out troops… We should pay attention to what’s going on with Merkel now, to see whether Trump extends a minimum of respect and welcome to the German chancellor… [The relationship] brings prestige to both [Macron and Trump]. Trump needed to have a strong European ally that would give him respect… Vice versa, it looks good for Macron that he’s the one seen as being close to Trump.
The Democrats see Macron as someone who can talk Trump into maybe changing his mind on some of the most global issues. And the Republicans see France as a valuable military ally who brings respect for their embattled American president.
[French voters are] very pragmatic. The only thing they’re asking is, even if Macron can’t change Trump’s mind, he needs to state their differences and not appear as an enabler... [Macron] wants to talk to everybody—Trump, Putin, Xi, Erdogan.
There are areas where the French/American cooperation can be strong and immediate, especially when they share a common, precise goal like in the small, punitive strikes on Syria. But overall they won't have the same approach on a number of things.
Among those in the current US administration, President Macron is perceived to be a solid partner. Not only do Macron and President Trump have personal chemistry, which was seen by all during Trump’s trip to France last summer, but Macron’s decision to team with the US and UK in striking Syrian chemical weapons facilities recently demonstrated solidarity on a key security priority… Getting the United States to stick with the Iran nuclear accord will be Macron’s top priority during his visit to Washington but the prospects for a major breakthrough are unclear… It’s helpful that Macron and President Trump have personal rapport. It’s uncertain, however, if this will be enough to overcome the hardline posture Trump has taken towards Iran.