Thursday, January 19, 2006

German Media's French Amnesia

The German media is making a big fuzz about French President Chirac's allegedly sensational speech on the possible use of French Atomic weapons in retaliation for attacks by "terrorist states." As usual, journalists are apparently suffering from a bad memory. What is said to be a historic turning point in French foreign and nuclear policy was already stated by French Minister of Defense Michèle Alliot-Marie in an interview with Berliner Zeitung on July 5, 2004 - and in no uncertain terms:
For us, Atomic Weapons are the ultimate protection against outside threats. There is an increasing number of states who are - to put it mildly - not spotless democracies and are trying to acquire Atomic weapons. Such states could one day be tempted to use their missiles against France or its neighbors. To such a country we can say: Beware, if you are following through with your threats, we are going to destroy you, and without you being able to defend yourselves. For we have submarines and airplanes that cannot be detected.

(Für uns sind die Atomwaffen der ultimative Schutz gegen eine Bedrohung von außen. Es gibt immer mehr Staaten, die - um es vorsichtig zu sagen - keine makellosen Demokratien sind und versuchen, sich Atomwaffen zu verschaffen. Solche Staaten könnten eines Tages versucht sein, ihre Raketen gegen Frankreich oder seine Nachbarn einzusetzen. Einem solchen Land können wir sagen: Achtung, wenn ihr eure Drohung wahrmacht, werden wir euch zerstören, und zwar ohne dass ihr euch dagegen wehren könnt. Denn wir haben U-Boote und Flugzeuge, die nicht aufzuspüren sind.)


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