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David Frum @davidfrum
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Some perspective on President Trump canceling his projected visit to the (spectacular, not-to-be-missed) Aisne-Marne memorial and cemetery:
It's not even 60 miles from central Paris to the monument. If the weather is too wet & windy for helicopters, a presidential motorcade could drive the distance in an hour.
On site, presidential advance could easily erect a tent to protect the dignitaries (and the the presidential hair-do) from inclement weather
Visiting the close-to-Paris monument is anyway already a climb-down from what any normally patriotic president would wish to do on the centenary of the 1918 Armistice: pay respects at the Meuse-Argonne cemetery, the large US military burying place in Europe.
It's incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary - and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow
Remember, there was no need for this trip at all. The president could have laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, then spoken a few appropriate words.
A truly appropriate ceremony would have united former combatants to speak of peace on the European continent - trickier project, since a considerable number of the ex-combatant states are now led by PMs it's probably best a US president not be photographed with
But bottom line: Trump willfully insisted on an unnecessary trip to France to mark the WW1 centenary -then once he got there shirked on grounds of weather the job of honoring those who fought and died in rain and mud 100 years ago…
None of this is surprising. Doesn't make it any less dismaying. 53,000 US combat deaths. 63,000 dead of disease. 320,000 wounded. These troops fought victoriously alongside allies with whom the US still stands today. It's worth a few miles in a limo, a few words from under a tarp
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