After France promised legal action against soldiers who had signed a letter warning of civil war in the country, a new letter echoing the same sentiment has come to light. At least 1,45,000 people have signed another letter foretelling a civil war in the country due to the “concessions” given to Islamism under the current government.
After a group of retired generals last month hinted at the threat of a military uprising, this new open letter to the president on Sunday warned of “chaos and violence.” The first letter was signed — the latest one wasn’t, though it was attributed to unidentified serving officers by the right-wing weekly that published it, Valeurs Actuelles.
“We are not talking about extending your mandates or conquering others. We are talking about the survival of our country, the survival of your country,” said the letter, which was addressed to Macron and his cabinet.
They wrote that “(active duty soldiers) have offered up their lives to destroy the Islamism that you have made concessions to on our soil,” reports France24.
The letter, posted on the website of the right-wing Valeurs Actuelles magazine late Sunday, echoes the one published by the same publication last month but appears to have been written by an unknown number of younger troops still in active service.
It compared Macron, 43, and his government to the wartime Nazi collaborators and the officers who signed the first letter to heroic Resistance fighters.
Nonetheless, it would come as no surprise if this kind of generalised pessimism about the state of France were indeed the commonplace of barrack-rooms and officers’ messes the length and breadth of the country.
Most French civilians are also concerned about violence, drugs and Islamism, so for soldiers – by instinct more attached than most to tradition, law-and-order and authority – to share those views is hardly in itself of note.
“For some religious communities, France means nothing but an object of sarcasm, contempt or even hatred. If a civil war breaks out, the military will maintain order on its own soil, civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well,” they observed.
Interior minister Gerald Darmanin, a close ally of Macron, on Monday accused the anonymous signatories of the second letter of lacking “courage” while defence minister Florence Parly dismissed it as part of a “crude political scheme”.