French nuclear whale moves on
credit: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Obscured by news of a whale floating through Central London is the speech by Chirac about France's Nuclear Policy:
Jacques Chirac said yesterday that France was prepared to use nuclear weapons against any country that carried out a state-sponsored terrorist attack against it.Now this has had some bloggers think that Chirac is aiming his comments at Iran (e.g Shuggy) or Algeria (e.g. Dymphna). Both are wrong. The real target is Britain and America. Here is why...
In a speech aimed at defending France's €3bn-a-year (£2bn) nuclear arms programme, the president said the country's nuclear strike force was "not aimed at dissuading fanatical terrorists", but states who used "terrorist means" or "weapons of mass destruction" against France.
Now that the Soviet threat is gone what are medium-sized countries going to do with their rather expensive nuclear weapons? In global terms France is a fly compared to America's Russia's and China's Nuclear bears. France could just scrap them - but that would be like admitting defeat and inviting the nearest big power to come and roll over you.
Britain gave up the ghost long ago and franchised its bombs (and large parts of its foreign policy) to the Americans. France didn't and it is now the biggest country in Europe with its own independent nuclear deterrent. In European terms that makes France the big boy in the playground as Britain is stuck by the fence holding its mummy's hand.
Further, one should remember the war in the former Yugoslav republics. Nato led the European response - but above all America led the Nato response. America gave a very clear signal to Europe that it is completely unable to protect itself from the Milosevics of this world without US muscle.
Now Chirac is telling the European countries they can stuff Britain and stuff the American-dominated NATO.
Let Nuclear France protect your backyard for half the price.