On the day that Russia was marking the victory of the Soviet Union and its Western allies over Nazi Germany, the unelected president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, thought it would be a good idea to head over to Kiev, where neo-Nazis have recently been re-emerging in Europe.
“Nazi defeat day” is an odd occasion for a Western figurehead to go praise Ukraine as “the beating heart of today’s European values” considering the country integrated neo-Nazi fighters into the military and welcomed Western countries in training and equipping them. Perhaps next year’s Paris Olympics can introduce a new event for Queen Ursula to showcase her world-class mental gymnastics skills.
Von der Leyen then praised Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for rebranding May 9 as Europe Day, just like in the European Union where countries mark Victory Day on May 8, the date to which Zelensky also moved Victory Day this year. Suddenly, Victory Day in Ukraine wants to self-identify as Europe Day and it’s a done deal with the simple stroke of a pen.
European leaders treated Victory Day in Russia like it was the birthday of an ex who lives full-time and rent-free in their heads. Speaking at the European Parliament, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that “2,200 kilometers north-east of here, in Moscow, Putin is parading his soldiers, tanks and missiles today. Let us not be intimidated by such outward manifestations of power!”
Right, because Russian President Vladimir Putin was totally trying to scare Scholz and not at all just hosting an annual historic commemoration of the 78-year-old victory of the Red Army over fascism. Maybe if people are intimidated enough by a ceremonial parade, they’ll conveniently forget all about Nazi Germany.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter with a lengthy ode to Europe that mistook stated ambition for actual reality.
“During the pandemic, it was our democracies that took the necessary steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens. It was our open societies that looked to science to develop, manufacture and provide vaccines to the entire world,” Macron said, in celebration of the jabs that enabled people to catch and transmit Covid enough times for governments to stop caring, while ignoring that lockdowns, mandates, and government-mandated QR codes to access basic venues of daily life were anything but open and democratic. He also failed to mention that rather than actually just protecting the most vulnerable, everyone else was also made more vulnerable as a result of government action that controlled their basic rights of work, travel, and freedom of movement.
“We drew a line under European dependence on Russian fossil fuels,” Macron said, conveniently omitting the fact that they’ve switched out that energy security for an over-reliance on pricy American fuel – over which Macron himself has lambasted the US. Not to mention that Europe is still actually buying Russian fuel, except that it gets effectively laundered through third countries such as India which conveniently allows the EU to keep up virtue-signaling appearances.
Macron tweeted on about Europe boasting “the most ambitious climate plans.” Nothing says climate ambition like firing up coal plants as the bloc’s economic engine, Germany, did in the wake of effectively cutting itself off from cheap Russian gas. “By 2050, we will have achieved carbon neutrality,” Macron added. So be sure to mark that down on your calendar for 27 years from now so you can see if he kept his word.
“It is together as Europeans that we will preserve our ability to decide for ourselves,” said the French president. Too late. You had that chance, but decided to hitch yourselves to Uncle Sam’s regime change bandwagon and be dragged along for the ride. Chalk it up to a lack of courage when it mattered.
It’s one thing for Macron to talk a good game about strategic European autonomy, as he did recently en route back from China. Or for German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to underscore the need for Europe to carve out its own independent trade agenda, but every time such words get put to the test when it counts, European leaders fail. Instead, they end up finding refuge in their own propaganda and revisionism. Burrowing out from under their own nonsense and doing the heavy lifting to match their actions with words takes far more courage.