The Real Masters of the Universe? Rifle-Carrying Jetpack Man Flies Over Macron’s EU Army Parade

A group of senior European politicians joined to watch a European Intervention Initiative force (EI2) military parade and flypast in Paris Sunday, which was joined by the appearance of a rifle-carrying man flying over Paris on a jet-powered hoverboard.

The parade of a 4,000 strong force which included contingents from 10 European nations including British and French soldiers is the brainchild of French President Emmanuel Macron who wants to create a joint European rapid reaction force. With the European Union stumbling over efforts to create its own army, the self-declared “Jupiterian” president went ahead and created his own — with the inclusion of the United Kingdom.

But the combined European military parade on France’s Bastille day was overshadowed — quite literally — by the appearance of Franky Zapata who flew above troops and armoured personnel carriers on a jet-powered hoverboard of his own intervention while carrying a military rifle with no visibly inserted magazine. Britain’s The Times newspaper reports the French armed forces are investigating the so-called flyboard as a “flying assault platform”.

The scenes were strangely redolent of the 1987 fantasy action film Masters of the Universe where the hoverboard-riding, rifle-carrying minions of villain Skeletor hunt down the heroes of the piece.

The creation of a European army has long been a controversial topic in the United Kingdom, where Eurosceptics have warned it is an aspiration for European elites. Europhile, former Liberal Democrat leader, and one-time deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg attempted to reassure British voters that they had no need to worry about a European army when considering whether to vote to leave the European Union or not when he called it a “dangerous fantasy” dreamt up by Eurosceptics looking for bogeymen in Brussels.

While the French ministry of defence has insisted a single European army would strengthen, not undermine the NATO alliance, President Macron has pursued a different line when he said the force could help protect Europe from the United States. The U.S. is the main guarantor of NATO and through it, the European security picture, which has been persistently characterised by chronic under-investment since the end of the Cold War.

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