Prenez garde! It is Emmanuel Kissinger who now intervenes in global geopolitics, as the President of France, unable to venture out in public in his own country for fear of violent protests, turns to foreign affairs and assumes his latest fantasy role as a pound-shop Talleyrand. If there was one remaining toxic ingredient that a crisis-stricken world urgently did not need it was this fallen Jupiter desperately attempting to scavenge a legacy by opportunist intrusion into global tensions.
Of course, in striking out on his own, Macron is by no means forging a new, untrodden path in French diplomacy; on the contrary, he is predictably following the timeless traditions of Gallic foreign policy. French diplomacy was chauvinistic centuries before Nicolas Chauvin lent his name to it in the 19th century. Think of French kings aligning with Ottoman sultans, against the interests of Christendom; of Cardinal Richelieu enhancing Protestant power in the Thirty Years’ War; even Louis XVI’s ill-fated intervention in the American Revolution, which provoked a copy-cat revolt in his own realm.