Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shut Up France, Gosh...

...with the 'gosh' said just like Napoleon Dynamite...

French President Jacques Chirac announced over the weekend that he will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons on any nation sponsoring terrorist activity against France. Crazy? Read on...

PARIS, Jan. 19 -- President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France was prepared to launch a nuclear strike against any country that sponsors a terrorist attack against French interests. He said his country's nuclear arsenal had been reconfigured to include the ability to make a tactical strike in retaliation for terrorism.

"The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would envision using . . . weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and fitting response on our part," Chirac said during a visit to a nuclear submarine base in Brittany. "This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind."
The French president said his country had reduced the number of nuclear warheads on some missiles deployed on France's four nuclear submarines in order to target specific points rather than risk wide-scale destruction.

"Against a regional power, our choice is not between inaction and destruction," Chirac said, according to the text of his speech posted on the presidential Web site. "The flexibility and reaction of our strategic forces allow us to respond directly against the centers of power. . . . All of our nuclear forces have been configured in this spirit."

At the same time, he condemned "the temptation by certain countries to obtain nuclear capabilities in contravention of treaties."

So let me get this straight. The United States--with the biggest, best, most well equipped, most superiorly trained military and intelligence force in the world--can't find UBL (as a side note, when did it become Usama and not Osama?), but France is going to find all the terrorists gathered in one place and nuke them? Gosh, Chirac, if it were that easy, don't you think we'd have done it by now.

Now I don't blame our good friends the French for their aspirations, or even for their threats, but they seem to be quite empty. I suppose that, on the one hand, it's good to remind evil-doers that 'civilized' nations (IE France, the United States) have nuclear weapons in our arsenals and that they have, in face, been used before. However, to spout off about blowing up states who "sponsor" terrorism with nuclear weapons is irresponsible and only further perpetuates nations such as Iran in their quest for the WMDs.

France, just shut the hell up. We've been doing the grunt work since 9/11. If it were a problem easily solved by launching a few "tactical nuclear weapons" we'd have already done this. But the problem is much more sensitive and requires a much more delicate approach--not simply refusing to go to war, then dropping a few nukes, then throwing up a white flag. Just Shut Up.


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