The former generals say that a military coup might be necessary to stop a potential ‘civil war’ in France. The open letter was signed by 20 generals and 80 other former military officers who have pledged to support Marine Le Pen, head of the National Rally Party, long dedicated to eliminating the Islamic terror threat and the Muslim strain on the economy, by stopping or severely reducing mass Muslim immigration.
Daily Mail (h/t Terry D) Twenty retired French generals have called for military rule if Emmanuel Macronfails to halt the ‘disintegration’ of the country ‘at the hands of Islamic extremists’, in an open letter published ahead of next year’s presidential election.
The lead signatory was Christian Piquemal, 80, who commanded the Foreign Legion before losing his privileges as a retired officer after being arrested while taking part in an anti-Islam demonstration in 2016. It was written by Jean-Pierre Fabre-Bernadac, a former officer, and signed by 1000 others who were in lower ranks.
The incendiary letter reads:
‘France is in danger. Several mortal perils threaten her. Even in retirement, we remain soldiers of France and cannot in the present circumstances remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country.’
The retired officers claimed that France was ‘disintegrating from the Islamic extremists and the hordes of the banlieue [suburbs] that are detaching large parts of the nation and turning them into territory subject to dogmas contrary to our constitution’.
In a chilling call, the letter claimed that the country would ‘explode’ into civil war if ‘nothing was done’, which would lead to the deaths of thousands. They also claimed they had broad support in the military and were ‘ready to support’ politicians who focused on the ‘safety of a nation’.
The declaration of support was seized upon by Marine Le Pen, who wrote on the site of the magazine where the letter was published: ‘I invite you to join our action and take part in the battle that is opening and is above all the battle of France. As a citizen and as a woman politician, I share your suffering.’
National Rally added that the letter reflected the views of ‘patriots’ like General Pierre de Villiers, former chief of the defence staff, who was sacked by Macron in 2017.
France‘s Armed Forces minister Florence Parly reacted with fury to the letter and said a coalition between politicized former military personnel and former presidential candidate Le Pen would be an outrage. Ms Parly said: ‘The irresponsible column published in Current values is only signed by retired soldiers, who no longer have any function in our armies and only represent themselves.’
Expressing her anger further on Twitter, Ms Parly said ‘neutrality and loyalty’ were two principles that were crucial to military conduct.
If Le Pen was to replace Emmanuel Macron as President of France following elections next year, she would become head of the country’s Armed Forces. ‘Madame Le Pen’s words reflect a serious misunderstanding of the military institution,’ said Ms Parly. Ms Parly said this was ‘worrying for anyone who wants to become head of the Armed Forces.’
Ms Parly continued. ‘The politicization of the Armed Forces suggested by Madame Le Pen would weaken our military capability and therefore France. ‘The military are not there to campaign, but to defend France and protect the French.’
There are some five million Muslims in France – the largest community of its kind in western Europe – and many have backgrounds in former colonies, such as Algeria.
The Rassemblement National (National Rally) used to be called the Front National (National Front), and was founded by Ms Le Pen’s father, ‘Islaamophobe’ Jean-Marie Le Pen.
In more recent weeks, however, the most fervent demonstrations targeting Macron have erupted far from Europe’s borders, in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are responding to his critique of Islam, his plans to regulate the way Muslims practice in France, and his defense of the Prophet Muhammad caricatures that deeply offend them. (In his effort to appeal to Marine Le Len supporters in the run-up to the election)