The call, which calls for about twenty retired generals, a hundred, most of them retired senior officers, and more than a thousand soldiers, Emmanuel Macron to represent patriotism, appeared in the right-wing weekly Valeurs Actuelles on April 21, the late President de Charles on the 60th anniversary of the attempted coup.
But in France, the issue of racism and the colonial past has been the subject of heated debate in recent weeks, highlighted primarily by younger, non-white French activists. The generals strongly criticized the movement, saying it “incites hatred between societies” by seeking to topple the statues of historical figures associated with the colonial era. And in their letter they denounced “Islamism and the hordes of the suburbs” that forced part of the country “under unconstitutional beliefs.” And they indicated that they are “ready to support politicians interested in preserving the homeland.”
French Defense Minister Florence Parly condemned the authors and signatories of the letter and indicated that the signatories to the crew would be punished as France is expected to remain neutral on political issues. He also stressed that the majority of the French army remains loyal to the state and politically neutral.
The fact that military commanders criticize the French leadership is an extremely rare, but not unprecedented case. Earlier, Pierre de Villiers resigned as chief of staff and criticized President Macron in protest against the army’s budget cut. The former chief of staff is also likely to run in the presidential election next year.
Soldiers were also assured of their support for Marine Le Pen, who currently has the best chance of entering the second round of next year’s presidential election in France and competing with Emmanuel Macron for the presidency. In this regard, Le Pen asked the protesting soldiers to join his election campaign and vote for him next year.
Cover photo source: Estelle Ruiz / NurPhoto via Getty Images