French President Jacques Chirac (R) and captain Goalou (L) visit “The Vigilant” nuclear submarine at l’Ile Longue military base, in northwestern region of Brittany. Chirac for the first time warned today that France could use nuclear weapons against states that launch or plan “terrorist” attacks against it involving weapons of mass destruction.
ASSociated Press: Chirac Nuclear Comments Draw Ire in Europe
President Jacques Chirac drew scorching criticism in Europe on Friday for suggesting France would consider a nuclear response to state-sponsored terrorism.
Chirac’s headline-grabbing comments in a speech Thursday sent a warning to countries like
Iran and sought to nip in the bud domestic debate about whether deeply indebted France still needs its expensive nuclear deterrent in the post-Cold War world.
The French leader, with his second and probably final term nearing its end, laid out an updated doctrine for France’s military might for the 21st century amid the threat of terrorism.
Previously from Flap’s Blog: Jacques Chirac Watch: France Will Respond to Terrorism with Nukes
Chirac seemed to draw little initial support abroad for his call for the European Union to pool its deterrent forces “in the perspective of a strong Europe.”
The volume of criticism could even set back that hope.
“Jacques Chirac is an idiot,” chided Belgian daily De Morgen in an editorial. “He lives in a time where France is no longer a world power, but he’s still acting as if prolonging a Napoleonic dynasty.”
Spain’s El Pais called the speech “radical and dangerous.”
“Such saber rattling in the face of the current crisis over Iran’s atomic weapons program is basically a false signal,” said Xanthe Hall of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in Berlin.
Eckart von Klaeden, a foreign policy spokesman in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said in an interview in Berlin.
Conservative Milan daily Il Giornale suggested the “pacifist sympathies” for Chirac over his opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq war had worn off.
French President Jacques Chirac comes aboard “The Vigilant” nuclear submarine, at l’Ile Longue military base, in the northwestern region of Brittany.
Ahhhhh Jacques Chirac…….simply restating the obvious. The Europeans are so weak and indecisive. It was about time that some country within range of an Iranian nuclear missle expressed concerns about their own defense.
Do you think the Iranians or Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are receiving insight?
But, the United States and Israel WILL PROVIDE IT.
French President Jacques Chirac visits the Naval Air Command base at Landivisiau.
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