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France 'Would Use Nuclear Arms' (BBC Mews Online; Thursday 19th January 2006)

Well, would be ready to use them is more accurate. No definites about nuking someone else just yet! The article comes from a speech French President Jacques Chirac made in response to how France would react to a terrorist attack against it which was sponsored/oragnised by another nation.

What's more is that France would be one of the few countries, in my mind, that would carry out this threat. All you have to do is look at how their secret service has operated over the last few decades - carrying out some very tough jobs with ruthless efficency - and that's the only ones that have come to light. France's secret service is one that I'd put up there with the Israeli's for 'getting the job done no matter what' and not screwing things up in the same way that the Americans have (for example) over the last few years.

I believe France wouldn't hesitate to use nuclear weapons against a foreign state if they were attacked through terrorist means. They wouldn't do it lightly but I can certainly imagine them doing it.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
ian_wyrdness
Jan. 19th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
When I think of 'France' and 'state-sponsored terrorism' together, this is what comes to mind:
http://archive.greenpeace.org/comms/rw/pkbomb.html
angusabranson
Jan. 19th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
My Dad ended up helping Greenpeace to find a replaceent vessel after the Rainbow Warrior was lost.

I always found that a bit ironic as my dad was French too.

France has been involved with a lot of covert (and not so covert) incidents over the last fourty years or do which could be deemed as 'terrorism' under some lights. But then every act of spying, assassination, and promoting social unrest can be viewed in that light by the people/state that is being targeted.

It boils down to the fact that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom-fighter, etc.
meganintheuk
Jan. 19th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
I remember that well - being so close to Australia it made big big news at the time down there.

My parents lived in Vanuatu for a while too - lots of French expats there and when they were doing the nuclear testing in the south Pacific they flew in extra squads of gendarme to protect their citizens as the locals were none too pleased...

If the French want to do something they just do it or so it seems
angusabranson
Jan. 19th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
**If the French want to do something they just do it or so it seems**

That sounds about right.
oldson
Jan. 19th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
Sadly very true, but I wouldn't put their secret service up there with the other nations, in fact, I wouldn't put it anywhere really, I know of quite a few times that the french have been involved in things, and I'm no longer anywhere near the clearance that I should be to get that sort of information.

The only time you should know that a country has a secret service is when it messes up or if they're intent on making it public (Munich) The only reason everyone knows about Mossad is because some ex military type blabbed about it, bet no one (who isn't in or at some point been L1) knows their real name do they?.........

:)

Besides, last time I checked, state sponsored terrorism is called War....

As for using nukes in retaliation, well, that wasn't tremendously smart to say was it, all that means is that anyone planning to take on france will make sure that it's in no position to retaliate before they realise that something has gone wrong......

Empty Rhetoric, amusing, but ill advised.

No kick towards any french types here, I would say the same thing about any nation who's saying such things (Iran for example).
lareinemisere
Jan. 19th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)
**If the French want to do something they just do it or so it seems**
Having lived over there, I can confirm that this applies to the people even more than to the government. If the main stereotypical English characteristic is being placid and phlegmatic almost to the point of oblivious, the French equivalent is fighting like hell for what you want and screw what anyone else thinks. The French make no apologies for prioritising 'la belle France' over everyone and everything else, and expect their government to do the same. If a French government ceases to represent the people, the people don't wait until an election to do something about it.

That's why the French government backs down every time their farmers make a fuss about subsidies (English lorry drivers blockading refineries? Bunch of amateurs!). It's also why it didn't go to war in Iraq - because had it suggested this, there'd have been something a good deal more drastic than our polite crowd of a million or so marching and chanting and so on as if it would make a blind bit of difference. (And if you're wondering, yes, I was one of the polite marching ones. You have to at least try...)

Similarly, if you think the strikes on the London Underground are bad, you really don't want to see the Parisian system on a day when tubes, trains and buses are all hit by a co-ordinated strike.

On one level, you have to admire the French for standing up for what they believe in, however big the other guy is. On the other, I'm quite attached to old-fashioned 'English' things like fair play and democracy via voted representatives. I say 'patience and subtlety', he say 'nique ta mere', let's call the whole thing off...
mrmmarc
Jan. 19th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: **If the French want to do something they just do it or so it seems**
"If a French government ceases to represent the people, the people don't wait until an election to do something about it."

As long as the change is 'more of the same'.
The last time serious change hit France was May 1968.
It would have worked as well... until the French COmmunist party realised that if it didn't turn its back on the left-wingers on the street, they may actually have to support CHANGE.
So they betrayed the movement.

"That's why the French government backs down every time their farmers make a fuss about subsidies (English lorry drivers blockading refineries? Bunch of amateurs!)."

With genuine respect- this is because they are gutless.
May 1968- the French ended those riots. HARD.
The recent riots in the inner cities. They stopped them.
If they WANTED to get rid of the farmers, they would.
But everyone knows- the party which breaks the french farmers is the party who will NEVER be elected ever again.

"It's also why it didn't go to war in Iraq"

And also because they had the Germans who were willing to back 'em.
Without German support Chirac would NEVER have acted alone.

(SIGH!)
As shown below...
I LOVE France. Love who she is and what she represents.
But the current political climate lurches from crisis to crisis and no one wants to say the Emperor is naked and has a very small willy!
(shrugs)
mrmmarc
Jan. 19th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
What follows is a tirade of 'realpolitik'- it isn't personal but based purely on the way I see the world...

France would use nuclear weapons eh?
France as a super-power? I once read that France acting like a super-power is a bit like an ant crawling up the back leg of cow and promising that when he screwed it, he would go gentle.

Let's face facts- France is having a hard time of it; there is a CLASSIC and TOTAL misunderstanding of the recent riots (until that huge body of French politicans stop blaming rap music for the riots, there is NO hope).
They rejected the EU Consitution.
Paris didn't get the Olympic bid.
Economically they are unperforming. BADLY.
They need Germany to back 'em before they take out vetos on the UN Security Council.
Last time they held a presidential election a neo-nazi got down to the last two.

So, Chirac does what Bush would do... focus everyones attention on the war on terrorism, and makes everyone feel real good about being French (hey, if he did the EXACT same speech in America his audience would be punching the air and saying 'Whoo Rar!'.

What's worse- it's total and utter bullshit!
Seriously- France would use Weapons of Mass Destruction upon another nation? Is he insane? The international condemnation of such an act would be ferocious. France would be a pariah within the EU, forget the rest of the world.
This is not the dying stages of a global world war like the last time- this is the world with 24 hours news coverage images of the innocents caught up, the radiation, the destruction would go around the world... did you know France was the most popular tourist destination in the world?
Yep, it is. It gets more visitors than America. Do you think people will want to visit a nation who nukes innocent men, women and children?

France is undergoing a crisis right now. They stand tall as one of the great barriers against anglo-saxon capitalism... yet cannot escape the fact that Britain is going through a period of MUCH better economic figures, that culturally their role is shrinking (they are still in shock I think at the Japanese attempt to remove French from school timetables as it is a 'useless language'); they are finding certain things they tried to ban (McDonalds for example ) IS changing their culture; they have SERIOUSLY rejected their Roman Catholic origins and pride themselves on being a secular state, perhaps the only TRUE secular state on Earth, and yet cannot understand when their cities erupt in violence...

Chirac's speech, just like the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, looks like it, and smells like it, so you say it for what it is... a desperate act by a desperate nation; confused, lost and afraid!

And the real shame?
This is the goddamn Republic!!! This is FRANCE for God's sake!!!
Arguably the most important nation of the last 300 years.

Since De Gaulle her leaders have grown increasingly insipid and weak; France didn't need an army to feel pride- oh sure at times it had an army- but when the Corsican went, why didn't the nation diminish? because it didn't, because the Republic was something better... something more.
Even today French thinkers are serious engines in pan-European political debate.

But the acts of Chirac are the desperate acts of a useless president leading a diminishing and confused nation.

France wants to use nukes?
(blinks)
Go for your goddamn lives boys. Go ahead- don't talk about it!
just push the Goddamn button! launch you nukes you sad bastards! Go on LAUNCH THE DAMN NUKES!

Because bottom line- they know what would happen the second they did.
And I think he is just sounding good to distract from the fact he is unfit to lead his nation.

Gutless browbeating from an old, OLD man.

And this is supposedly the President of the REPUBLIC?

He sickens me.
THIS ladies and gentlemen, is the LOW point for France.

littlestkobold
Jan. 19th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
France, the original rogue state. At least until the US took it's crown.

(the previous one was me ... oopsy!)
exmoor_cat
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)
Also, why do they need 150 more warheads than us? Is that a measure of how much France is hated?
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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