, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Russia was the first to exit World War I, signing a separate peace, and Putin was the last to arrive at the Arc de Triomphe 100 year commemoration ceremony of the end of World War I. He first shook hands with Macron and Merkel, then shook hands with Trump and “gave Trump a thumbs up“. Most of the leaders walked slowy together in the rain, but Trump and Putin did not, arriving at the Arc de Triomphe “separately in their own security detail…“. See “Armistice commemorations underway in Paris“, by Angelique Chrisafis, Updated at 5.34am EST https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/nov/11/armistice-day-centenary-remembering-end-of-first-world-war-100-years-on-live-updates Russia formally quit WWI on March 3, 1918, after the Russian Revolution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brest-Litovsk This is why some believe that Germany funded Lenin – to get Russia out of the war.

Are Trump and Putin really so fearful of water? Are they cats? Wicked Witches who would melt? Do we just need a bit of water splashed on them to make them leave the Presidency? Do they bathe? And/or did they have their planned Paris summit after all?The most likely explanation of Baum making water the Achilles’ heel of these witches is the long-held belief amongst major religions that water is effective for purifying the soul and combating evil.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Witch_of_the_West

Meuse Argonne Cemetery

By the end of the war, more than 116,000 American troops had died defending Europe. More than 14,000 are buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, the largest on the continent“.https://www.voanews.com/a/trump-to-attend-wwi-centenary-in-paris-as-france-warns-of-threats-to-europe/4651316.html

Centenary of End of WWI Marked with Paris Ceremony
November 11, 2018 5:00 AM, by Steve Herman
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — precisely 100 years after fighting halted in the first world war — leaders from 70 nations gathered at the Arc de Triomphe to remember the millions who died in the conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron and other heads of governments, including U.S. President Donald Trump, appeared at the moment combat stopped on Nov. 11, 1918.

Leaders from the majority of countries that sent troops or workers to the Western Front met at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the arch to light the eternal flame that is rekindled every night at the memorial engraved with the words: “Here rests a French soldier who died for the nation.”

The ceremony, under rainy skies, also features cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singer Angelique Kidjo of the African nation of Benin and a bugler to break the minute of silence for remembrance.

No soldier from the war is known to still be alive but their voices are present through high school students here reading their letters written at the front on this day a century ago.

U.S. Army Capt. Charles Normington wrote that “each soldier had his arms full of French girls, some crying, others laughing; each girl had to kiss every soldier before she would let him pass. There is nowhere on earth I would rather be.”

“Finally, the whir of the shells and the whistling of the bullets are over,” wrote French infantryman Alfred Roumiguieres.

“Today has been perfectly wonderful,” Charles Neville, a British officer, wrote to his parents. “We got news of the armistice at 9:30 this morning.”

The war’s four years of carnage was intended – as the British and Americans idealistically insisted — to be the “war to end all wars.” But little more than 20 years later global conflict would again erupt with casualties on an unprecedented scale.

Trump cancels cemetery visit

Trump canceled a visit to an American cemetery outside Paris Saturday.

A White House statement said the president’s visit was canceled because of scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather.

An American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford did visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial under gray skies and drizzle, paying respect to the nearly 2,300 war dead buried there.

The area was the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood in June of 1918. In addition to the 2,288 graves of American soldiers, the cemetery contains a memorial to 1,060 service members who went missing in action.

Trump was criticized on social media for remaining in Paris during the afternoon with no other scheduled events, as images were broadcast of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel holding hands at the site in the Compiegne Forest, north of the capital, where allies and defeated Germans signed the agreement that ended the war.

Some former U.S. officials suggested Trump could have visited the cemetery if he really desired.

“There is always a rain option. Always,” wrote on Twitter Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama, who explained he helped plan such foreign visits during the two terms of Trump’s predecessor.

Tense start

Earlier Saturday, Trump and Macron discussed their differences about European security. The meeting came soon after Donald Trump arrived in Paris and criticized his host via Twitter, calling Macron’s support for a European military force “very insulting.”

In the touchdown tweet, Trump suggested Europe first pay “its fair share” of NATO before contemplating a Europe-wide force.

Trump tweet:
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”
4:10 PM – Nov 9, 2018

As they began their meeting Saturday morning at the Elysee Palace, the U.S. president again called for better burden sharing for the cost of defending Europe.
“We want a strong Europe,” said Trump.

Macron replied: “I do believe we need more European capacities, more European defense.”

Trump and Macron avoided any criticism of each other in front of the media.
Macron, during a visit to the World War One Western Front at Verdun, told Europe 1 radio that in face of a revived threat from Moscow that Europe needed to “defend itself better alone” and Europeans cannot protect themselves without a “true European army.”

Macron, in the interview, also blasted Trump’s recent announcement that Washington will withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) limiting nuclear weapons that U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to.

The “main victim” of the withdrawal, Macron argued, is “Europe and its security.”
French officials, however, say — without elaborating — there was a misunderstanding by Trump about Macron’s comments, noting the U.S. president told his French counterpart in their Saturday meeting: “I think we are much closer than it seems
.” https://www.voanews.com/a/centenary-of-end-of-wwi-marked-with-paris-ceremony/4653587.html

Very interesting that Trump said that Europe needed to protect itself from the US, as well as Russia and China, when no one else did!

Trump’s mother was born and grew up in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, known for wind and rain. That’s probably why he still has hair, because he had double thick hair for the weather. For Highland Cows: “They have an unusual double coat of hair. On the outside is the oily outer hair—the longest of any cattle breed—covering a downy undercoat. This makes them well suited to conditions in the Highlands, which have a high annual rainfall and sometimes very strong winds.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_cattle
Does Trump really fear rain so much? Or, is fear of rain an excuse? An excuse to meet with Putin? Some mention was made of a scheduling problem, as well.