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Norske3
01-20-2006, 09:10 AM
....large-scale by terrorists. :rolleyes: ...so how large is large?

Chirac threatens nuclear attack on states sponsoring terrorism
By John Lichfield in Paris
Published: 20 January 2006
President Jacques Chirac has dropped a political bombshell by threatening to retaliate with nuclear strikes against any state found to be responsible for a large-scale terrorist attack on France.

In the biggest shift in French nuclear doctrine for 40 years, M. Chirac revealed that the force de frappe - the French nuclear deterrent - had already been reconfigured to allow it to destroy the "power centres" of any state which sponsored a terrorist assault.

He also raised once again an idea that he first floated in 1995 that the British and French nuclear deterrents should be rededicated to the defence of the entire European Union. In future, he said, France should regard its allies and its sources of strategic supplies - in other words oil - as covered by its nuclear umbrella.

The President insisted that fundamental French nuclear policy would remain unchanged. There would be no battlefield use of nuclear weapons and no "first strike". Nonetheless, his speech yesterday at France's main nuclear submarine base, at Ile Longue, near Brest, in Brittany, took French defence policy into uncharted waters.

He appeared to imply that any large-scale, state-sponsored terrorist attack on France - whether or not it used weapons of mass destruction - would invite a closely targeted nuclear response from France.

"The leaders of states who use terrorist methods against us, as well as those who consider using in one way or another weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would expose themselves to a firm and appropriate response on our part," President Chirac said.

"This response could be a conventional one. It might also be of a different kind."

"Against a regional power, we should not have to choose between inaction and obliteration... the flexibility and reactivity of our strategic forces should allow us to respond directly against his power centres, against his capacity to act.

"All our nuclear forces have been reconfigured accordingly. To this end, the number of warheads has been reduced on some missiles on our submarines."

France's nuclear submarines were previously said to have 16 missiles, with six warheads each. Reducing the number of warheads implies the use of smaller nuclear charges, more easily aimed at specific targets.

President Chirac's motives appear to be a mixture of the personal, the electoral and the strategic. Opinion polls suggest that France no longer regards him as a significant player in world or domestic events, and his speech yesterday appears to be an attempt to thrust himself back into the limelight as an experienced world statesman with a finger on the nuclear button.

He may also calculate that the nuclear issue will play badly for his hated former protégé, the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who remains favourite to replace him in the presidential elections next spring.

M. Sarkozy is among a number of figures in France who have begun to question the cost of the French nuclear deterrent, which is estimated at €3bn (Ģ2bn) a year, or 10 per cent of the defence budget, at a time when French public spending faces drastic cuts to meet EU targets.

Beyond all that, however, M. Chirac was attempting to devise a new justification for a nuclear force which he regards as one of the components of France's global influence and one of the proudest achievements of the De Gaulle era.

He was also responding to those - at home and abroad - who suggest that France has no right to lecture would-be nuclear powers such as Iran while it retains its own weapons of mass destruction.

Some commentators suggested that M. Chirac's switch of nuclear policy could take France into dangerous territory. By talking of closely targeted attacks on regional "power centres", the President was making it sound as if the country's "never-to-be-used" nuclear arsenal might be used after all.

The Communist deputy Jacques Brunhes said M. Chirac's position was extremely dangerous: "It can only encourage states which have signed the non-proliferation treaty to opt for military uses of nuclear technology."

President Jacques Chirac has dropped a political bombshell by threatening to retaliate with nuclear strikes against any state found to be responsible for a large-scale terrorist attack on France.

In the biggest shift in French nuclear doctrine for 40 years, M. Chirac revealed that the force de frappe - the French nuclear deterrent - had already been reconfigured to allow it to destroy the "power centres" of any state which sponsored a terrorist assault.

He also raised once again an idea that he first floated in 1995 that the British and French nuclear deterrents should be rededicated to the defence of the entire European Union. In future, he said, France should regard its allies and its sources of strategic supplies - in other words oil - as covered by its nuclear umbrella.

The President insisted that fundamental French nuclear policy would remain unchanged. There would be no battlefield use of nuclear weapons and no "first strike". Nonetheless, his speech yesterday at France's main nuclear submarine base, at Ile Longue, near Brest, in Brittany, took French defence policy into uncharted waters.

He appeared to imply that any large-scale, state-sponsored terrorist attack on France - whether or not it used weapons of mass destruction - would invite a closely targeted nuclear response from France.

"The leaders of states who use terrorist methods against us, as well as those who consider using in one way or another weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would expose themselves to a firm and appropriate response on our part," President Chirac said.

"This response could be a conventional one. It might also be of a different kind."

"Against a regional power, we should not have to choose between inaction and obliteration... the flexibility and reactivity of our strategic forces should allow us to respond directly against his power centres, against his capacity to act.

"All our nuclear forces have been reconfigured accordingly. To this end, the number of warheads has been reduced on some missiles on our submarines."

[ 01-20-2006, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: Norske3 ]

uncas
01-20-2006, 09:15 AM
Now I wonder who is crazier...Bush or Chirac?

[ 01-20-2006, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 09:18 AM
Deleted in order to promote civility.

[ 01-20-2006, 09:49 AM: Message edited by: cedar savage ]

Tar Devil
01-20-2006, 09:20 AM
I see a great big BBQ coming!

Phil

JimD
01-20-2006, 09:20 AM
Chirac added that in the event of an earthquake, coastal flooding of French cities and towns, or a particularly harsh winter cold snap France's response would be immediate and total nuclear retaliation against oil producing regimes that did not comply with French energy demands.

Billy Bones
01-20-2006, 09:26 AM
Kinda puts 'Freedom Fries' in a new light, dunnit.

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 09:39 AM
Politically, Chirac has to be thinking along the lines of; "Irresponsible actions worked for that crazy Texas cowboy."

But for France to play the nuclear card against the wacko Iranians at this juncture is really strange. Unless they know something we don't. Given the lack of American intelligence capabilities in the middle east, this is entirely probable.

High C
01-20-2006, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
...Unless they know something we don't....They know plenty, about Iran in particular, that we don't.

[ 01-20-2006, 09:44 AM: Message edited by: High C ]

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 09:46 AM
I agree. The French experience in Algeria left them with a deeply embedded ability to gather intelligence from Muslim extremists.

martin schulz
01-20-2006, 09:50 AM
At least we won't get any faked WMD laboratory paintings.

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 09:54 AM
Hi Martin, what's the German spin on this? Some of the most vocal protests seem to be coming out of Germany.

PatCox
01-20-2006, 10:04 AM
Chirac carefully distinguished between the actions of an extremist group unconnected with any government, and the case of a terrorist attack which was funded and aided by some identifiable nation.

As Chirac himself said, he knows this will not deter suicidal fanatics. But it will deter the political leaders of arab nations from offering much support to suicidal fanatics.

Its no crazier than MAD.

In fact, its much less crazy than basing your strategy on the crazed, imaginary, fantastical scenarios dreamed up by a bunch of ivory tower ideologues, people who reject "the reality based community" and think they can create their own reality. And thats no hyperbole, the whole PNAC fantasy that we could march into Baghdad and be greeted with flowers as liberators, and that democracy would take root and spread throughout the Islamic middle east like a wildfire domino effect, and that our victory would be so world-changing, so heroic in the Homerian sense, that, as Richard Pearle said, our grandchildren will sing epic songs decribing our deeds, that entire fantasy was, and is, crazy, crazy stupid crazy.

[ 01-20-2006, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: PatCox ]

George.
01-20-2006, 10:11 AM
I don't know, Pat. What Chirac said is that if France had been the target on 9-11, he would have nuked Kabul.

On the other hand, it is interesting to speculate what drove him to make such a speech at this point. France has not been the target of terrorists, is not under threat, is not part of the COW. Could it be that he knows something no one else does?

uncas
01-20-2006, 10:12 AM
George...It is discussed in the article..Politics...and he is not doing well in the polls...

martin schulz
01-20-2006, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
Hi Martin, what's the German spin on this? Some of the most vocal protests seem to be coming out of Germany.Of course the CDU (christian democrats), SPD (social democrats) and the greens were not amused to say the least. Considering the current situation, the EU commitment to a peaceful solution to the Iran-problem, Chiracs domestic problems and the EUs US-omphalotomy efforts, perhaps this is just a careful arranged threat.

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 10:20 AM
A likely scenario along the lines of Chirac knowing something we don't goes like this...

"M. Chirac, I feel that we should inform you that we have found out that persons connected with our company have illegally sold Iran the following components (here follows a lengthy list)."

The list goes to Le Ministry Atomique and is put together with what they already know about the Iranian nuclear program and the response comes back; "M. Chirac, be afraid, be very, very afraid."

PatCox
01-20-2006, 10:28 AM
Well, george, Afghanistan's taliban rulers certainly did support al queada.

I think that might have been only for illustration, if the policy is not announced beforehand, it doesn't work as deterrent.

I have advocated dropping one right on the Kaaba if we are ever attacked again. The point is to announce this as our firm policy, broadcast pictures of the missiles to the muslim world, and thus provide every muslim alive with a big incentive not just to refrain from aiding terrorism, but to actually thwart it.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-20-2006, 10:29 AM
Perfect. The world is falling in love with weapons again. I think the people who get the virgins in heaven are winning.

Ross M
01-20-2006, 10:44 AM
Tell us - did it take weapons to bring you to heel?

Ross

Sea Frog
01-20-2006, 11:10 AM
Oh la la, does the ole boy take da turiss seriously.
Not a scoop actually, he'd already said that months ago.
Perhaps W asked him. Ya pretend to be an ally, ya ain't in Irak, so show em your nukes once in a while big boy.
And elections, yep.
I don't mind Ahmadin'jad, Syria and Saudi wackos being scared a bit but doncha tell anyone.
We're indeed, under constant teruss pressure with more than one bombing defused by police including one against US embassy.
We're in Afgnanistan, there was the veil controversy in state classrooms, we helped the anti-islamist junta in Algeria, we reportedly tip allies on teruss networks, what do I know.
Incidentally one explosion at a chemical plant in Toulouse a few years ago was cleared as accidental, just as the Brit accident this year, but you never know?
Deterrent means vocal bravado, mostly.

George Jung
01-20-2006, 11:20 AM
PatCox, everything I've read suggests such a threat would have little effect on the extremist element; Gods' will, and all. FWIW, my sentiments follow yours; but it seems futile, given the element needing 'reining in' doesn't have a country.

Seafrog; do you really think Chirac would do anything at the behest of the USA? All I've seen suggests he usually does just the opposite.

Sea Frog
01-20-2006, 01:33 PM
George,

I hope he won't do anything at the behest of a foreign power, but that pissing contest about Irak is the reason #1 why Chirac tends to cooperate on most of other topics, first of all on terrorism.
At least that's what he's been doing for years.
Otherwise he would loose a quite a chunk of the voters' support at home.

George.
01-20-2006, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by PatCox:
Well, george, Afghanistan's taliban rulers certainly did support al queada.

They certainly did.

Population of Kabul: 1,400,000.

How many of them were Taliban rulers?

As George Jung said:


...everything I've read suggests such a threat would have little effect on the extremist element; Gods' will, and all. How exactly would killing and/or radiation poisoning over a million people help deal with a bunch of religious freaks who think they'll end up in heaven with 72 virgins if they get killed by your nukes? How does it differ from bombing a village in Pakistan because the son-in-law of al-Qaeda's #2 man might be having dinner there?

PatCox
01-20-2006, 03:37 PM
How does the collateral damage deaths of 30,000 innocent Iraqis (thats the number that we admit to) help fight terrorism?

The point of the announcement is deterrence, I could see it making someone think twice.

Everyone knows Israel will use its nukes if it is so much as in danger of losing a conventional battle, noone's wringing hands over that.

George.
01-20-2006, 03:43 PM
I believe that MAD deterrence works - but only under certain conditions:

1) The aggressor must be clearly and unambiguously identifiable.

2) The aggressor must realize that.

In the case of a missile strike, both conditions hold. In the case of a terrorist attack, there is always plausible deniability - remember, the Taliban insisted that Osama hadn't done it. You may not believe them, but if they think that they might fool you, and they are a bunch of fanatical freaks, they might do it.

You need enough certainty that even a radical, somewhat irrational freak would have no doubt that he would be identified and punished.

BTW: fully irrational people do not make it to be national leaders.

carioca1232001
01-20-2006, 04:02 PM
I am only guessing...... but I fear Jacques Chirac has not been seeing Gina Lollobrigida for some time now :D :D

On a more serious note and following cedar savageīs remark on the French professing to know a thing or two about what is currently happening in Iran...

Well, the CIA was caught with itīs pants down as the the Iranian revolution of 1979 came into blossom...

The French were at the time playing host to - and actually nurturing - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was to fly out of his Paris suburban residence on a magic carpet..... to take over the reigns of the Iranian state

Did the US and/or the CIA ever know that a man called Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini existed, and that he had been exiled in France, while they were currying favour with Shah Reza Pahlevi ?? :rolleyes:

George Jung
01-20-2006, 05:21 PM
MAD requires one more, crucial criteria: One must be able to find the aggressor; I have no doubt that a 'strike' (maybe a large bunkerbuster, or perhaps a small nuclear weapon) would be placed if the cave inhabited by OBL was known. Hard to retaliate against thin air.

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 05:37 PM
Interesting, I'd forgotten that France allowed Khomeini to live there in exile.

Today's the 25th anniversary of the release of the American embassy hostages after 444 days in the hands of Iranians. The release negotiations took place in, of all places, Algeria - a former French colony.

Today the Iranians began withdrawing their holdings from EU banks. I heard the total might be 50 billion, but wasn't sure if they said euros or dollars.

george., when you say...


fully irrational people do not make it to be national leaders. ...you are seriously mistaken. It's the fully irrational ones who make the country they take over conform to their irrational world view. This new guy in Iran (Ah me i'm bad or whatever) is fully irrational.

carioca1232001
01-20-2006, 06:23 PM
cedar savage wrote:


.... This new guy in Iran (Ah me i'm bad or whatever) is fully irrational... First, full marks for admitting that the US ignored the existence of Khomeini, a leading oppositor of their ally, Reza Shah Pahlevi, Aryamehr, the Light of the Aryans .

Reza was the son of a horse thief, Reza Ali, who had gained prominence in Persia betwen WWīs I and II, for favouring British interests in the region. ;)

Now for "Ah me iīm bad", Mr. Ahmedi-nijad (makes it easier to pronounce his name) :D he is a populist, elected by his people - the BBC has an axe to grind, probably rightly, over the details of the Iranian democratic process through which he was elected .

How about the populist party of democratic India - the Bharata Janata Party, BJP, for instance - who won the elections in the mid-to-late 1990īs ?

They conducted powerful nuclear blasts (tests) on Pakistanīs doorstep, in Rajastahan Province, so as to proclaim their victory - and provoke their neighbour.

Pakistanīs response ? A few weeks later , nuclear tests in the Baluchistan hills bordering on Iran.

Who won the last elections in India ? The long-standing Congress Party, with their woman candidate Sonia Gandhi, widow of Rajiv Gandhi, born in Modena, Italy . La dolce vita, again ! ;)

Some BJP members ( read, scum ) threw a fit, protesting that it was an insult to Indian people, an Italian lady elected to run a country of a billion bretheren. smile.gif

So do take what Ahmedi-nijad says with a pinch of salt :D

cedar savage
01-20-2006, 07:13 PM
Ahh, carioca, I got a little lost when you took the side trip to India. But no matter.

I think to Americans, the Shah had all the glitz and glamour (nice uniforms, anyway) that we expect successful military dictators kept in power by ruthless secret police to show visiting dignitaries.

How, back then, could we be expected to take Khomeini et al seriously? Really, a cadaverous, humourless, religious fanatic? Who, in the America of the late 70's would think that religious fanatics could take over the entire country as quickly and ruthlessly as he and his supporters did?

George Roberts
01-20-2006, 09:32 PM
Just so we are clear here ---

I have advocated using nukes for several years.

... but my supply is low.

Meerkat
01-20-2006, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by George.:
I don't know, Pat. What Chirac said is that if France had been the target on 9-11, he would have nuked Kabul.
He might very well have nuked Riyadh, which would make more sense.

Meerkat
01-20-2006, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
A likely scenario along the lines of Chirac knowing something we don't goes like this...

"M. Chirac, I feel that we should inform you that we have found out that persons connected with our company have illegally sold Iran the following components (here follows a lengthy list)."

The list goes to Le Ministry Atomique and is put together with what they already know about the Iranian nuclear program and the response comes back; "M. Chirac, be afraid, be very, very afraid."John LeCarre has nothing to fear from you! LOL!

George.
01-21-2006, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
It's the fully irrational ones who make the country they take over conform to their irrational world view. This new guy in Iran (Ah me i'm bad or whatever) is fully irrational.In order to rise to become a national leader, and perhaps more important, to survive as one, you have to be quite rational, able to make calculations and pursue your self-interest. The true irrational man cannot hope to do so, unless he is just a puppet to others behind the scenes - in which case he himself is harmless.

Ahme I'mbad ( :D ) may sound irrational, but I doubt he would have become president of a country with politics as complicated as Iran by actually acting irrationally. And I doubt that, having gotten there, he wishes to go down in the nuclear flames that would surely hit him if he actually attacked Israel or the West.

Osborne Russel
01-21-2006, 06:06 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
Who, in the America of the late 70's would think that religious fanatics could take over the entire country Indeed.

cedar savage
01-21-2006, 06:37 AM
George, my view is that very large areas of the Middle East are populated by irrational societies. Societal hatred of Western culture is deeply ingrained. Rationalism and materialism are hallmarks of Western culture. In order to distance your society from the West, you almost have to reject Western rationalism, at least.

Islamic thinking has been perverted for generation after generation by irrational mullahs. How rational is it for mothers to send their sons out with C-4 strapped to their bodies? Glorious suicide equals everlasting paradise equals the mother is also blessed? I sort of think the Catholic condemnation of suicide is more rational, don't you?

So here we have irrational cultures that have been turned into democracies. Don't all politicians eventually become caricatures of the society that elects them? Are irrational societies really going to elect rational politicians?

You said:

And I doubt that, having gotten there, he wishes to go down in the nuclear flames that would surely hit him if he actually attacked Israel or the West. I ask, what if, in his culture, it's rational to hope for and attempt to bring about the great cleansing fire?

[ 01-21-2006, 06:40 AM: Message edited by: cedar savage ]

ishmael
01-21-2006, 07:16 AM
I'll mention a rumor that circulated in Washington several years back. It was in the form of a supposed threat, delivered behind the scenes to Bin Laden and his ilk. It went something like, "If you hit us with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons then Mecca is gone."

I have no idea if such a threat was made, but it would be a logical, if horrific, extention of MAD in the fight against fanatical Islamic terrorism. It's really the only logical extension of MAD in this era, which as noted is without defined state enemies.

A large portion of Muslim ritual and stricture is rolled up in the image: facing Mecca five time a day in prayer, the Kaaba, the Hajj. The destruction of Mecca would be akin to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, or, if such a thing could be accomplished, eliminating by force the Christian Eucarist

I'm not advocating it as policy, I'm merely pointing out that it would be a logical threat to make, given the circumstances.

Would it work? I think it would give Islamist wackos with the means to carry out a nuclear bombing pause for thought. However, as they are expecting--much like the wacked flavors of Jew and Christian--a messianic figure to come down and rescue a weak human plot, it could backfire. I can hear some crazy imam rationalizing the destruction of Mecca as the "Final Sign", and finding passages in the Quran to support his madness.

If it ever got to the point of implementation, "Okay, evacuate Mecca in three days, anyone left behind in the city will be incinerated." it would, by definition, have failed.

What a messy, sad place we live in today. :( Same as it ever was?

martin schulz
01-21-2006, 07:47 AM
To the religious fanatics and their clever seccular-thinking leaders a nuke threat won't be of any help, I guess:

...to the swimmer in the ocean the rain means nothing

George.
01-21-2006, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:

Islamic thinking has been perverted for generation after generation by irrational mullahs. How rational is it for mothers to send their sons out with C-4 strapped to their bodies? Yes, but my point is, you never hear od the mullahs themselves strapping C-4 to themselves or on their children.

The mothers are irrational, or perhaps just deeply ignorant and manipulated. The mullahs are quite rational - they are using cheap, ignorant lives and religious fanaticism in order to achieve their political objectives, which are quite rational.

Meerkat
01-21-2006, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by cedar savage:

Islamic thinking has been perverted for generation after generation by irrational mullahs. How about the perversion of Christianity by fundamentalist wackjob preachers with TV shows? You know - like Pat Robertson, for instance? ;)

cedar savage
01-21-2006, 05:46 PM
David: Folks like Pat Robertson are clearly beyond the pale. And Robertson has definitely gone way too far off the deep end and is being condemned by right thinking Christians everywhere. Thank God there aren't very many like him.

But think for a minute, or more, about the millions of Christians working for or contributing to eliminating some of the conditions that lead to war. The hundreds of millions who pray for peace at least once a week. And yes, I will preemptively state that we Christians could do more.

But what are the Jihadist mullahs doing, by the thousands? Praying for peace? How many Jihadist madrassas are there in the Islamic parts of the world? How many Christian Sunday schools have posters on the wall exhorting students to die for Allah in the war against the unbelievers?

Meerkat
01-21-2006, 05:54 PM
What about the 10's of thousands of mullahs that deplore jiihadism and the madrassas that do likewise?

It seems kind of hypocritical to suggest ignoring the christian fundinuts and then point the focus at the islamic fundinuts as though they were representative of all Muslims.

[ 01-21-2006, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Meerkat
01-21-2006, 06:06 PM
Oh yes - and I'd be far more appreciative of all those Christians working for peace if they didn't attach strings to their charity.

carioca1232001
01-22-2006, 08:20 AM
cedar savage wrote:


How, back then, could we be expected to take Khomeini et al seriously? Really, a cadaverous, humourless, religious fanatic? Who, in the America of the late 70's would think that religious fanatics could take over the entire country as quickly and ruthlessly as he and his supporters did Yes, but Europe (France) provided him with political asylum.....was it pure, simple altruism, or a razor-sharp astuteness ?

The Iranian civilian leader Mossadegh had been hanged in the early 50īs, for had he taken office as Iranīs Premier, the fate of British interests in the Anglo-Iranian oil company would have been at stake.

So arrives the puppet, with his self-proclaimed title of Aryamehr , to smother all democratic process and oversee a police state with a record of terror unparalelled in that whole region.

What were the Iranian people left with ? There were no civilian leaders around, the Aryamehr having made certain that any opponents be systematically eliminated.

Similarly in the case of Pakistan.

Had Pakistan not been created at all - which in fact caused a great deal of surprise when it came to be, to no other than Mohammed Ali Jinnah himself, the man who proposed the idea - you would have had in itīs place, a democratic India with a 400 million Muslim population, instead of the current 240 million.

The retreating colonials were in no way inclined to let Nehru and Gandhi, both educated in the West, to have their cake and eat it too. They had to weaken India.

Jinnah died shortly after 1947, leaving a political vacuum in Pakistan, which was snapped up by the military, with full support from the US.

Do you have rabid Muslims in democratic India ? Yes, of course, as you also do rabid Hindus, but within a society that lives by the rule of law.