Twilight in Paris
Twenty French generals implore the government to take a firm hand against chaos.
In France this week, 20 retired military generals, 80 officers, and 1,000 lower-ranking soldiers signed an open letter expressing concern over “mortal dangers” they say face the Republic. President Macron’s government has instructed the army chief of staff to discipline the signatories for inciting insurrection.
The letter bears close attention on several grounds. Although the signatories warn they wish to act only after the outbreak of civil conflict, Macron’s response shows the government understands the situation has already deteriorated to a point where a true coup or uprising—an event quite unlike the shambolic ordeal in Washington on January 6th—might erupt at the slightest provocation. This fearsome possibility is made all the more apparent by Harris Interactive polling that shows 58% of the French people support the letters’ signatories. Despite strenuous elite attempts to delegitimize even thinking such thoughts, 84% of those polled can see that violence in the country is increasing daily. A full 73% agree France is in decline.
At the same time, the letter itself shows just what failures of statecraft and betrayals of representation run the inexcusable risk of provoking the kind of civil breakdown the signatories decry. Western governments that enable or appease self-proclaimed “anti-racists” fomenting racial hatred and hatred of country, or tolerate the growth of parallel societies based on beliefs and practices hostile or irreconcilable toward the regime, will increasingly find their survival at stake. We present the letter here in a translation by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. It is a cautionary tale for what could happen in America if our own ruling class continues to attack and betray our foundations. No one, least of all us, wants to see America pushed to the point at which civic tensions break into civil war. But we at The American Mind do, however, want to warn all Americans that history and reason show our government’s present path leads only to grievous consequences. No race or caste must stand supreme in America, but rather our principles, our laws, our people, and our way of life.
The letter was written by a former officer, Jean-Pierre Fabre-Bernadac. Its lead signatory was Christian Piquemal, who previously commanded the Foreign Legion.
Members of the Cabinet,
Members of Parliament,
The hour is late, France is in peril, threatened by several mortal dangers. Though retired, we remain soldiers of France, and cannot, under the present circumstances, remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country.
Our tricolor flags are not simply a piece of fabric; they are a symbol of tradition—the tradition of those who, throughout the ages, whatever the color of their skin or their religion, served France and gave their lives for her. On these flags, in golden letters, is inscribed the motto, “Honor and Fatherland.” Today, our honor rests on denouncing the crumbling-apart of our fatherland.
Crumbling-apart through a certain kind of anti-racism, which has an explicit goal: to sow malaise on our soil, up to and including hate between communities. Today, some speak of racialism, of indigenism, and of anti-colonial theories, but with these words, those hateful and fanatical partisans seek to foment a racial war. They despise our country, her traditions, her culture, and want to watch her dissolve by tearing her away from her past and her history. Thus, by attacking statues and analyzing words from several centuries ago, their true goal is to undermine our ancient civil and military glories.
Crumbling-apart through Islamism and the hordes from the Banlieues. Several patches of our nation have been detached and turned into territories put under submission to dogmas contrary to our Constitution. Every Frenchman, regardless of belief or non-belief, must be everywhere at home in France; there cannot and must not exist any city, any neighborhood, where the laws of the Republic do not have writ.
Crumbling-apart, when hate replaces fraternity during protests, when the regime uses police as jackboots and scapegoats, against yellow-vest-wearing compatriots who seek only to express their hopelessness. This even though ski-mask-wearing individuals infiltrate those protests, destroy businesses, and threaten the police. And yet, the police only follow the sometimes-contradictory policies set out by you, holders of political office.
The peril rises, violence increases every day. Who could have predicted, ten years ago, that a teacher could one day have his head cut off as he left his middle school? As servants of the Nation, who have always been ready to pay the ultimate price for our service, we cannot remain passive spectators of such actions.
Therefore, the leaders of our country must absolutely find the courage required to eradicate those dangers. To do so, it is often necessary only to apply existing laws without weakness. Do not forget that, like us, a great majority of our fellow citizens is incensed by your cowardice and your guilty silences.
As Cardinal Mercier, Primate of Belgium, once said: “When prudence is everywhere, courage is nowhere.” Ladies and Gentlemen, stop equivocating—the hour is late, the work ahead is immense. Do not lose time, and know that we are ready to support political leaders who would undertake the rescue of the Nation.
However, if nothing is done, heedlessness will continue to spread its poison throughout society, inexorably. In the end, there will be an explosion, and our comrades in active military service will be forced to step in and undertake the perilous mission of protecting our civilizational values and the lives of our fellow citizens.
It is easy to see that the time for hesitation is over. Otherwise, tomorrow, civil war will put an end to this growing chaos, and there will be thousands of deaths, of which you will bear responsibility.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.