Nuke France

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Before I explain why it is imperative that President Bush nuke
France, I should make clear that I harbor no ill will whatsoever
toward the French. Indeed, some of my dearest friends are French,
and I will be deeply saddened to bid them adieu. But it’s
got to be done. The real puzzle is why the Bush administration
is taking so long to appreciate the gravity of the threat that
France poses to US national security.

For some time, the administration’s Hitler du jour has
been Saddam Hussein. Although Saddam is certainly no mother’s little
angel, the threat he constitutes to the American people has been
greatly exaggerated, whereas the menace posed by the diabolical
Jacques Chirac has gone nearly undetected until recently. Certain
parallels, of course, have been too obvious to escape notice: both
of these heads of state, for example, operate from palaces, although
the Elysee Palace undoubtedly outshines the gauche edifices
that Saddam inhabits.

Only in the past few weeks have FBI and CIA sleuths combined their
data banks to discover that Chirac’s activities as a dedicated
anti-American terrorist began half a century ago when he disguised
himself as a student and ordinary worker in order to gain access
to the critical Anheuser-Busch facility in St. Louis, where he
posed as a fork-lift operator, and to a highly classified Howard
Johnson’s, where, serving as a soda jerk, he was able to scope
out US stocks of carbon dioxide and other noxious chemicals in
our WMD arsenal. Since those days of working as a member of a Gaullist
cell hidden deep within the vast recesses in our all-too-welcoming
country, he has continued to strive relentlessly to augment his
power, his single goal being the complete domination of the United
States and the subjection of its freedom-loving, English-speaking
people to French lessons and haute cuisine.

Unlike Saddam, who worked in harmony with US officials for many
years prior to 1991 and expressed only pacific inclinations toward
this country, Chirac has always insisted insanely on putting the
interests of France above those of the United States. Nor has he
kept his bellicosity under tight wraps. Only a few days ago, in
an exclusive interview given to reporters for Time, the
iron-fisted tyrant known in his own country as "Le Bulldozer" said, "France
is not a pacifist country." Few could miss the implied threat
to US security in that naked declaration. Nor could anyone mistake
his hostile intentions when he declared: "Regarding America’s
role as a sole superpower: Any community with only one dominant
power is always a dangerous one, and provokes reactions."

Unlike Iraq, which lacks effective capacity to deliver WMDs to
the United States even if it possessed them, France has not only
developed a panoply of such devastating weapons, but it has built
and deployed high-tech missiles, aircraft, surface vessels, and
submarines to deliver warheads powerful enough to wreak unimaginable
destruction on the United States. According to the Bulletin
of the Atomic Scientists (July/August 2001), French spending
for nuclear forces has been running at 15.8 billion francs ($2.3
billion) per year, roughly equivalent to 40 percent the entire
GDP of Iraq. Each of the French Triomphant-class submarines
— note well the intimidating name
— carries sixteen M45 submarine-launched
ballistic missiles (SLMBs), each missile with six TN 75 nuclear
warheads. France is developing a new SLMB, the M51, which will
replace the M45, carry as many as six warheads each, and possess
a range of 8,000-10,000 kilometers (in contrast to Iraq’s ridiculous
Scuds, which are little more than flying tin cans of limited range
and highly dubious accuracy). With its inventory of 288 nuclear
warheads for its SLBMs, 50 for its Mirage 2000N bombers, and 10
for its carrier-based Super Etendard aircraft, France is effectively
positioned to blackmail the United States and the world unless
George Bush exercises the fortitude required to knock out this
potentially catastrophic threat before the pitiless Chirac unleashes
it on unsuspecting Americans.

Lest anyone doubt the capacity of the cold-hearted French supreme
leader to use his nuclear weapons against the United States, we
would do well to recall how he defied world opinion in 1995 when
he carried out nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific,
provoking Australian Acting Prime Minister Kim Beazley to characterize
Chirac’s actions as evincing "an arrogant disregard" for
the UN General Assembly resolution demanding a halt to the tests.
Saddam Hussein has submitted to UN conditions and admitted scores
of UN inspectors to verify that he has no WMDs. Jacques Chirac,
however, continues to defy world opinion and to maintain a nuclear
arsenal primed to destroy anyone who obstructs his ambition to
dominate first Europe and then, of course, the entire world.

Unlike the chickenhawks who occupy the higher reaches of the Bush
administration, Chirac is a battle-hardened soldier who fought
and was wounded in the brutal Algerian conflict during the 1950s.
If that experience itself does not demonstrate sufficiently the
ice water in his veins, one might bear in mind that he also graduated
from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), the elite training
academy for Europe’s cruelest bureaucrats. Clearly, he is a man
who will stop at nothing.

Thus, the gauntlet has been thrown down. All that remains is to
see whether George W. Bush will accept the challenge. Will Bush
understand that whereas Iraq might well be left to rot away for
years before requiring serious US attention, France constitutes
at this very instant a monstrous threat — a danger that can only
be described as massif — to all Americans and their
way of life, especially their indulgence in fast food and their
ignorance of la gloire de la France. Against Iraq, a US
attack might be, at best, preventive; against France, in stark
contrast, a US attack would be, without a doubt, preemptive. The
Franco-threat is real: the steely-eyed Chirac has the means, and
he has the motive. Will George Bush do what must be done, or, for
us Amricains, will this be la fin?

22, 2003

Robert Higgs [send him mail] lives and writes in Covington,
Louisiana (formerly a French territory). A native of Oklahoma,
though reared for the most part in California, he speaks no French.

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