The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

Celebrating the Storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the bloody reign of terror!

Sunday, 18 August 2019, 09:03 Last update: about 2 months ago

It certainly is ironic remembering, feasting and commemorating an event – the 14th of July and the storming of the Bastille – while the liberators of the Bastille were the same perpetrators who established, by their atrocities, a reign of terror and the introduction of ‘Madame guillotine’, beheading untold thousands of innocent people, who they described as ‘the enemy of the state’, royals, priests, nuns and even ordinary citizens.

One of the darkest periods during the French Revolution was the massacre of thousands in Vendee Provence in 1793. The famous words ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fratenité’, which were later enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, had been baptised in rivers of blood. During this reign of terror, a quarter of a million people were slaughtered. ‘O liberty what crimes are committed in thy name’ said Madame Roland, on her way to the guillotine.

Thus the French monarchy was turned into a republic, no longer a king as the head of state. Yet it was not very long before the French again found themselves ruled by the will, ambition and egotism of one man, who became and crowned himself ‘Emperor Napoleon’. Napoleon Bonaparte had tried to unite Europe by force – waging wars in the heart of Europe and Russia by cleaning up their Monarchies, thus bringing havoc and devastation. The French Empire, controlled by Napoleon, stretched from the Atlantic to the heart of Europe –making a family business to rule it. His brother Joseph was crowned King of Naples, and later King of Spain. His brother Louie was crowned King of Holland. Jerome was crowned King of Westphalia, Germany.

All these puppet kings took ‘Napoleon’ as their last name to indicate loyalty to the Emperor. This was nepotism of the highest order, when the scope of the revolution was to make France a Republic. This year’s celebrations – and the inviting of foreign dignitaries with pomp and pageantry and the regalia of a military parade in the boulevard of the Champs-Elysees – are, in my opinion, an insult to those suffering under totalitarian regimes worldwide.

 

Francesco Simon Mercieca

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