Open Letter From Retired Military : A Plot Against the Republic?

May 5, 2021 in Columnists, News by RBN Staff


via: Lew Rockwell

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Yellow vests against globalization

In 2018, France was shaken by a vast popular movement, the “yellow vests”. Starting from a demand against the increase in gasoline prices, it very quickly appeared as a challenge to the sociological effects of the globalization of trade: disappearance of the Western middle classes, relegation to under-equipped countryside [ 1 ].

Two weeks after the protests began, unidentified groups entered the movement to sabotage it from within. Thus, while for 15 days, all the demonstrators proudly waved the French flag and sang the Marseillaise – which had not been seen in popular demonstrations for fifty years – hooded and black-clad thugs vandalized the Arc de Triomphe and especially the sculpture of the Marseillaise . The trial that followed showed that this group of unidentified provocateurs had no connection with the yellow vests who were, alone, arrested.

In the absence of a leader capable of condemning this intrusion, the movement of yellow vests slowly weakened for a year. However, his questions did not disappear.

In the old days, politicians created “Theodule Commissions” to drown out problems they didn’t want to see. President Macron invented a “Great National Debate” for the same objective, in the age of continuous news media. Everyone spoke, but no one received a relevant answer, neither from the Executive nor from the Assembly.

The police against the disintegration of the nation

A second alert has just taken place. This time the problem is the absence of the 3rd Human and Citizen Right of 1789 – not to be confused with “Human Rights” in the Anglo-Saxon sense -: security. That is to say, the capacity of citizens to exercise their inalienable rights of liberty and property. Indeed, we are not seeing a general increase in delinquency, but a growing geographic disparity. If the citizens of the 7th arrondissement of Paris do not feel threatened, those of the 15th arrondissement of Marseille can constantly fear being attacked by delinquents. At the same time, the police who should defend them have changed their function. She is reluctant to enter certain neighborhoods where she is attacked more and more often. Many police officers fear reasonably for their lives: a dozen of them die on duty each year. So some of them are slowly turning into agents of repression of the political opposition. Thus, in many cases, the police have made a disproportionate use of force against the yellow vests and, today, against opponents of health policy. While these cases are not that numerous across the country, they attest to the fact that this is not an accidental, but a deliberate orientation, supported at the top of the state.

For the moment, the police remain attached to a republican formation, that is to say in the service of all and not only of the political authorities. Their unions are increasing the number of alerts to this effect and denounce the conditions for recruiting their young colleagues. Today, people with a psychiatric history and petty delinquents are admitted to the police academy.

The 2022 presidential election

This second movement, after the yellow vests, comes as the country is preparing for a new electoral campaign: in May 2022, it will have to appoint the President of the Republic. Already, two thirds of voters do not want President Emmanuel Macron to stand for re-election.

Given the failures of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, both at the end of their first and only mandate, Emmanuel Macron can only hope to obtain a second mandate by responding to popular expectations. That expressed by the yellow vests against globalization and that expressed by the police unions against the decline of the Republic, that is to say of the general interest. Having no intention of subscribing to it, President Macron can also attempt an electoral maneuver:
- artificially multiplying the candidatures and discrediting the candidates likely to win the first round, with the exception of one he has chosen, so that he is facing him in the second round.
- organize a second round against Marine Le Pen whom he will have demonized and force the majority of his opponents to vote for him rather than for her in the name of a “republican front” against fascism.

This strategy had worked, in 2002, for Jacques Chirac (82%) against Jean-Marie Le Pen (17%). Today she is risky, Marine Le Pen not having the image of a fascist like her father, but of a Republican. The Élysée is therefore looking for opportunities to turn it into a foil.

The call of the former military

It turns out that some former soldiers wrote an “Open Letter to our rulers” in which they underline the current disintegration of institutions and denounce in advance a possible recourse to the armies, according to them inevitable, to settle the question of security. This call was published on their website, Place d’Armes , on April 13, 2021. The right-wing weekly, Valeurs contemporaine , took it up, not in its columns, but on its website on April 21. Marine Le Pen, who has long said to share the diagnosis of these former soldiers, then invited them to vote for her in May.

The Élysée judged that the occasion was the right one and sent, one by one, its ministers in front of the media to denounce a “quarteron of retired generals” who, according to them, call on their working comrades to carry out a coup. Military state. All pretended to date their appeal from April 21, and not from April 13, so that they saw it as a factious attempt fifty years to the day after the putsch of the generals of Algiers against the independence of Algeria. . Finally, they denounced the fascination of Marine Le Pen for “the noise of boots”.

Aware that he could hope to do better than Emmanuel Macron in the first round of 2022, the leader of rebellious France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, seized the public prosecutor to convict the “factious generals”. Indeed, Jean-Luc Mélenchon came in third position in the first round of the last presidential election (19% of the vote, against 21% in Le Pen and 24% in Macron).

The place of the military in the public debate

We invite our readers to read the text of this open letter [ 2 ] and see for themselves that it is much ado about nothing.

We call “state of emergency” the possibility for the government to request the army to maintain order. However, the soldiers are not trained for this and their intervention risks causing human losses in the face of which only the police and gendarmes are trained. In 2005, in 2015 and again in 2017, governments decreed it. Even today, nearly 10,000 soldiers may be required as part of “Operation Sentinel” in order to protect citizens against terrorist risks. The same is true in Belgium and the United Kingdom.

In addition, Article 36 of the 1958 Constitution provides for the possibility, as a last resort, of transferring police and law enforcement powers from the Ministry of the Interior to the armed forces. It is the “state of siege”. It was never implemented under the Fifth Republic, even during the coup d’état of the generals in 1961.

The Government and rebellious France stress that the Open Letter of former soldiers never mentions that they are within the constitutional framework and thus insinuate their putschist will. It is a very bad trial of intent. Nothing, absolutely nothing, allows these former soldiers to be accused of factious intentions.

All this noise will only have served to draw attention to this text. More than 10,000 former soldiers ultimately signed it, including around thirty generals. The question he asks is now evaluated by all and the inaction of the rulers – all parties included – is glaring.

Sanctions against whistleblowers

The Minister of Defense announced that she would sanction the signatories. The stigma intended for Marine Le Pen now affects the people she addressed.

The ace ! Only 18 out of 10,000 are still active. They risk being struck off for breach of the duty of confidentiality. Retirees, for their part, enjoy their full freedom of expression. They can only incur a blame for having sounded the alarm, but it would be at the very least astonishing if these 10,000 men were collectively sanctioned for their legitimate citizen expression.

The military, whether active or retired, are no longer subjects, but citizens like everyone else. Following the Algiers coup, President Charles De Gaulle initiated a profound reform of the armed forces. The soldiers who had refused to obey the putschist generals were indeed punishable for breach of orders. General De Gaulle, who had himself refused in 1940 to obey his superior Marshal Philippe Pétain and created free France, introduced the distinction between what is “legal” and what is “legitimate”. The Defense Codehas therefore been amended. It does not allow the soldiers to choose their side, but obliges them to refuse illegitimate or contrary to honor orders and to arrest their superiors if they engage in such acts. There is therefore no plot against the Republic. No factious conduct.

It is with good reason that the signatories of the Open Letter asked to “speak as equals” with their chief of staff who insulted them. Every soldier, active or retired, has such a right as a citizen. This right is the corollary of their obligation to Obey and Serve.

By qualifying the signatories of this Open Letter as “factious”, the Minister of Justice, Me Éric Dupond-Moretti, exposed himself to criminal prosecution. The former lawyer was not pleading in a courtroom. He is therefore responsible for his words.


The fact that some of the 10,000 signatories are members or close to Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Rally, itself the result of the historic one of the former collaborators of the Nazis and the Algiers putschists, the National Front, neither authorizes to condemn it, nor to condemn them collectively. In the Republic, there is no guilt by heredity, nor collective. All are full French citizens. Not only were none struck with national indignity, but there were many who served their country with glory.

In their diagnosis, the former soldiers did not content themselves with denouncing the woke rhetoric which inhibits the use of the public monopoly of violence, nor the ideology of political Islam. They also expressed their fear at the anti-republican use that the authorities have made of the police against the yellow vests. The state’s disproportionate reaction to their Open Letter shows that they have hit the nail on the head.

We are witnessing a reversal of values ​​which makes men judge in the media – and perhaps tomorrow by their military bodies – not for what they have done, or even for what they think, but because they make a diagnosis. to which all subscribe and which few dare to say aloud.

Political discourse has gradually moved away from realities. Today he is entering a troubled zone where, as in some Polynesian societies, what we do not master becomes taboo . Not only has the “circle of reason” [ 3 ] been trying for thirty years to prohibit contradictory opinions, but now it is trying to prohibit tackling certain subjects.

When the first three rights of man and of the citizen are lost – liberty, property and safety – the fourth comes into play: “resistance to oppression” (article 2).

1 ] “  How the West devours its children  ”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network , December 4, 2018.

2 ] ”  Open letter from former soldiers to our leaders  “, Voltaire Network , April 13, 2021.

3 ] In 1994, the lobbyist Alain Minc described the Saint-Simon Foundation of which he was a member as the “circle of reason” which he opposed to the demagoguery of Jacques Chirac.