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Thread: Chirac: Nuclear Response to Terrorism Is Possible

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    Jun 2006
    US, Europe and Asia

    Default Chirac: Nuclear Response to Terrorism Is Possible

    Chirac: Nuclear Response to Terrorism Is Possible
    January 20, 2006 (Washington Post)

    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."

    AntiSpin: Was a time when this kind of talk was destined to send the world's leaders into fits of condemnation. If the leader of a nation took a "first strike" position, he'd be ex-communicated from the community of civilized countries. Not anymore. In a time of "preemptive war" why not "preemptive nuclear war"? If by "use terrorist means against us" does Chirac mean that if terrorists blow up trains in France the way they have in Madrid, London and Bombay that he will order nuclear weapons used against suspected host countries? If France suffers a 911 event, will he nuke Saudi Arabia? It's getting hard to make sense of the escalating rhetoric in the context of escalating violence. Sometimes the rhetoric is a safety valve that diffuses tension, and the tension subsides, as in the case of the war of words between China and Taiwan. Other times rhetoric stirs up greater tension and is a prelude to more dramatic events. Given the events in Middle East, Korea and India these past few weeks, there is reason to believe Chirac's words are not mere rhetoric.
    Last edited by FRED; 07-14-06 at 06:03 PM.



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