Monday, May 10, 2021
France: Soldiers are writing open letters warning of civil war
Serving members of the French military have fired a second salvo at Emmanuel Macron’s government in an open letter accusing it of “cowardice, deceit, perversion”, just weeks after a first letter said the country was heading for “civil war”.
Like the first letter, it appears in the rightwing magazine Valeurs Actuelles. It was reportedly signed anonymously “by active military personnel” and is appended with a petition on the magazine’s website for others to sign.
The letter’s signatories refer to the seventh verse of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, that refers to the “avenging” slain elders or following them to “their coffins”.
It was published in support of the first letter, published on 21 April, the 60th anniversary of a failed coup d’état against General Charles de Gaulle over his support for Algerian independence.
Signed by a number of retired generals as well as at least 18 serving soldiers including four officers, it warned of the “disintegration” of France evoking what it called the “perils” of Islamic extremist and “the hordes from the banlieue”.
It also accused anti-racism groups of creating “hatred between communities” and cautioned that “lax” government policies could spark chaos requiring military action to “protect our civilisational values”.
Afterwards, furious ministers accused the signatories, who were supported by the far-right Rassemblement National party leader, Marine Le Pen, of breaking military rules and threatened legal action against them. The armed forces minister, Florence Parly, said: “The armies are not there to campaign but to defend France”, while the interior minister, Gérard Darmanin, accused Le Pen of having her father Jean-Marie Le Pen’s “taste” for the sound of marching boots.
The second letter, published late on Sunday evening, batted off threats of punishment and launched an all-out attack on the government, accusing it of “trampling” on veterans’ honour and “sullying” their reputation “when their only fault is to love their country and mourn its visible decline”.
Read the rest here.