The letter, published in the conservative Valeurs Actuelles magazine late on Sunday, strikes a similar tone to the message published by the same outlet last month. Unlike the previous one, which was signed by 25 retired generals and active-duty soldiers, the new letter is anonymous and is open for signing by the general public. As of noon on Monday, it had attracted over 100,000 signatures.
The authors of the letter have described themselves as active-duty French soldiers, belonging to the younger generation of the military that saw actual combat over the past years.
“We are what the newspapers have called ‘the fire generation.’ Men and women, active soldiers, of all armies and of all ranks, of all opinions, we all love our country. These are our only claims to fame. And while we cannot, by law, express ourselves with our face uncovered, it is equally impossible for us to stay silent,” the letter reads.
The letter accuses President Macron of making “concessions” to Islamism on French soil, while the country’s military has been spilling its blood to fight against it in “Afghanistan, Mali, the Central African Republic or elsewhere.”
The authors have also indicated that at least some of them have taken part in the domestic Operation Sentinelle, launched after the devastating 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, and witnessed certain ethno-religious communities in France completely detached from the rest of the country.
For such communities “France means nothing but an object of sarcasm, contempt or even hatred,” the letter reads.
Like the previous letter, this new one warns the republic’s authorities of an impending “civil war,” with the very existence of France being at stake. “Once again, civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well,” the letter reads.
The authors of the letter have also voiced strong support towards the signees of the first one and harshly criticized the government’s response to it.
“To encourage the army’s senior officers to take a stand and expose themselves, before angrily sanctioning them as soon as they write anything other than battle reports, one must be quite perverse,” the letter reads.
The first letter, published on April 21 – on the 60th anniversary of a failed coup d’état against General Charles de Gaulle over his support in favor of independence for Algeria – caused an uproar among France’s top officials. Prime Minister Jean Castex branded the message “an initiative against all of our republican principles, of honor and the duty of the army,” while the military vowed to punish the active-duty signees.
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