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Emmanuel Macron did he have any choice but to force General Pierre de Villiers, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, who, at a hearing last week before the Assembly's Defense Committee, had harshly opposed the policy of budgetary savings implemented by the government under the authority of the Chief of the State - in clear the cancellation of 850 million euros of credit on the budget Defense in 2017? In the days to come, the best specialists on the subject - military and civilian alike - will undoubtedly have the opportunity to explain themselves and to oppose... At the Elysée and at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, we are content to let it be known that “in 2018, there will be the most significant budget increase of the last fifteen years and that the commitment [capital this one] of a Defense budget at 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 will be held”.

So, close the ban since in all republican and military legality, General de Villiers has immediately ceded place and function to General François Lecointre, 55 years old, exemplary career – “a hero”, it is already said –, concrete reputation… Certainly not since this affair of Villiers also concerns politics and an art related to politics, an art in which Emmanuel Macron had hitherto excelled, that of communication.

But from this confrontation, he does not come out victorious, neither in politics, even less in communication. A (small) event at the start of this rather badly conducted five-year term, and this, by almost everyone's opinion.

In the political arena, it is worth noting that, for the first time in a very long time, at least since the first round of the presidential election, the excellent editorial writer for Le Figaro, Guillaume Tabard, "hits" the president: “it is the Macron style that is in question (…). What was put to his credit begins to be put to his debit. His authority was hailed; his “authoritarianism” is now pointed out (…). The president gives the feeling of having made his first political mistake. Jupiter, brutally, returns to humans”. No surprise therefore that the choir not of virgins but of opponents, from the extreme right to the extreme left, from Marine Le Pen to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, without forgetting a group of Republicans (LR) and a ersatz socialists, sing without the slightest false note or hiccup an ode to General Pierre de Villiers who, without a doubt, deserves so much and even more...

Once this canticle has been sung, once the general has been sanctified and beatified, the "politicians" arrive at great speed. to an execution of the president who, apparently, is no longer “untouchable”…

-Benoît Hamon (ex-PS) who definitely has no intention of being forgotten: “the resignation of General Pierre de Villiers is Emmanuel Macron's new masterpiece”… Ironic with that…

-Louis Alliot (vice-president of the FN), on the line “Macron sells off the interests of France:” the ideological blindness of the president is finally demonstrated”…

-Hervé Morin (centrist UDI, ex-Minister of Defence), paternalistic: “a youthful sin on the part of Macron”…

-Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whom the voters of La France Insoumise did not know were so addicted to art and military stars: “I regret that Villiers is forced to resign on a public admonition by the self-proclaimed chief of the armies . The chief of the armies is the parliament”. Unpublished reading, at least original institutions and practice in the 5th Republic, but why not...

A small-scale political offensive

Note that the political offensive remains weak. The main tenors of the Republican right have remained silent – ​​Juppé, Raffarin, Wauquiez. Jean-Pierre Chevènement, “great” republican conscience and fond of things related to war, considered it useful to let it be known “that he has the greatest esteem for the general and regrets his departure”. The former minister of the armies was satisfied with the “minimum service”, as if he did not want to argue with this new president of whom he thinks and says rather good things. More embarrassing, the reservations of the deputy La République En Marche (LREM) Jean-Jacques Bridey, chairman of the Defense Committee at the National Assembly. First major crack in the Macron camp. The proof, at least, that the divergences can there also appear in broad daylight, that they are neither prohibited nor sanctioned.

So why has this Macron / Villiers affair taken on so much importance in these first days of summer slumber? Because, for once and on this occasion, Emmanuel Macron discovered in the person of General Pierre de Villiers a master in matters of…communication.

A 3-step operation

First sequence: speaking before the deputies of the Defense Committee, Cavalier Villiers lets himself go - voluntarily or not? “I will not let myself be fucked like that”, he asserts about the 850 million Euros cropped. The subject is immediately “exfiltrated”, reported without being distorted.

But who would seek to “fuck” a chief of staff of the armies so popular among his people and whom Emmanuel Macron has just renewed in his post, this CDMA with whom the head of state enjoys showing himself so much? Who did Villiers put in his sights? The Elysee? Matignon? Bercy? This whole universe dedicated to its vindictiveness? The president, and this is undoubtedly his psychological oddity, seems to take it for himself, first and foremost for himself.

Second sequence: speaking in front of the highest ranks of the military, including Pierre de Villiers, in the gardens of the Hôtel de Brienne as tradition requires on the eve of the July 14 parade, the president chose to reply, not to ignore the General's exit from the "guard room" as well as the rest of his remarks to the parliamentarians. Villiers hit hard. Macron will strike even harder without the slightest trivial word, cold, clenched jaws: “I consider that it is not worthy to spread certain debates in the public square. I made commitments [the famous 2%, the general's obsession]. I am your boss. I have a sense of duty. I have a sense of reserve. The commitments that I make to our fellow citizens and to the armies, I know how to keep. And I don't need any pressure or comments in this respect”.

In the mind of the President of the Republic, the “getting fucked” has not passed and does not pass!

Third sequence: mortified at having been “reframed in public and in front of “his own”, General de Villiers has no other choice but to leave. This is how he heard Macron's "message". But he will not “crush”, out of the question, even if he takes the trouble to let it be known that the “getting fucked” was aimed at Bercy. He knows how to benefit from the support of almost all of his military peers and he chooses to challenge the master of communication in his garden. Hence a chiseled press release formalizing his resignation and this sentence repeated everywhere, "the" sentence that hits the French head-on, inevitably: "I consider that I no longer be able to ensure the sustainability of the army model to which I believe to guarantee the protection of France and the French”.

At this precise moment, with this precise exit, Villiers 1-Macron 0! At least in public opinion. But Emmanuel Macron accepts this risk: there is no question of bending, and therefore of finding himself permanently hampered, on each “hot” file, like his two recent predecessors, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande. Even if it means paying the price, in particular pollster.

Next sequence: begin reconciliation between the military and the president. Let's bet that a (good) budgetary surprise could happen soon...


Source: ©  How Macron got roughed up by com pro Pierre de Villiers –

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