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May 25, 2004 4:26 PM   Subscribe

The French Pro-Nuclear Proliferation Lobby "...I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country (France) pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force..." -- Paul-Marie Couteaux, Member of the European Parliament
posted by kablam (25 comments total)

 
"Kids, I'm not touching this one with a 10 foot pole"

-Chef
posted by Grimgrin at 4:33 PM on May 25, 2004




I care because...?
posted by delmoi at 4:38 PM on May 25, 2004


OMFG!
posted by caddis at 4:42 PM on May 25, 2004


Where would he get such an idea?

Yes, MAD applies here because nuclear weapons in Arab nations have a *very* low chance of falling into the hands of terrorists, and even then, we all know that terrorists would never sacrifice their own precious lives to murder as many people as possible.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:35 PM on May 25, 2004




The guy who wrote this is clueless: An ally of Pasqua's party is socialist???? In what distorted universe of the far-right does this happen? Actually it's even worse: this guy is running with the extreme-right faction of De Villiers who splintered off of the RPF a while back...
The EP group: These people are "Euro-sceptics": EDD is "...open to people who are critical of further European integration and centralization." Other parties in that same group include Dutch Biblical Fundamentalists (live and learn!), Hunters and Fishermen, and the merry band of Thatcherites that is the UK Independence Party.

Paul Marie Coûteaux is apparently a monarchist as well - as the de Villiers connection might have hinted.

Most of this came up - mind you - with a cursory knowledge of the EDD's existence and political whereabouts - and five minutes of googling... and knowing who Pasqua and de Villiers were...
The original source (of whom it can assuredly be said that he doesn't represent that many in France), invents for the occasion the nonsensical term "right-wing socialist", because, you know, everything bad must be socialist. This is so ludicrous a description - and so out of touch with the European historical experience that it is enough to cast doubts on the true origin of that particular Francophone...

------------

Having said all that, Iraq did not use its nuclear capability (which it had if one believes this right-wing nut) even when attacked by the US in the 90s, despite the presence of the most violent thug in the Arab world at its helm. Apparently the terrorists didn't get any nukes from him either... so Krrrlson, it seems that MAD worked after all - that is if we believe Coûteaux to begin with...
posted by talos at 6:03 PM on May 25, 2004




Case Reveals Nuts and Bolts of Nuclear Network, Officials Say

As they race to dismantle a global black market in nuclear weapons components, U.S. authorities are focusing on an unusual case: an Orthodox Jew from Israel accused of trying to sell nuclear weapons parts to a business associate in Islamic Pakistan.

Asher Karni, 50, currently a resident of South Africa, was arrested at Denver's international airport as he arrived with his wife and daughter for a New Year's ski vacation. Friends and family have been pressing for his release, describing him as a hard-working electronics salesman just trying to earn a living.

However, federal authorities contend that Karni is something more: a veteran player in an underground network of traffickers in parts, technology and know-how for the clandestine nuclear weapons programs of foreign governments.

The Karni case offers a rare glimpse into what authorities say is an international bazaar teeming with entrepreneurs, transporters, scientists, manufacturers, government agents, organized-crime syndicates and, perhaps, terrorists.

Authorities say the case also provides a classic illustration of how illicit nuclear traffickers operate — readily skirting export bans, disguising the real use for products, using middlemen to buy from legitimate manufacturers and routing shipments through several countries.

Such traffickers have flourished amid little effective response by the United States, its allies or the U.N. watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, despite repeated warnings, authorities say.


Ironies evidently abound.
posted by y2karl at 6:23 PM on May 25, 2004


This post is an absurd PR ploy.

As Karl just pointed out, there is a flourishing nuclear black market. One major hub has been Pakistan, and North Korea is in the loop. Some Israelis are as well.

Meanwhile, funding to protect existing nuclear weapons and weapons material in ex-soviet nations has declined considerably in the past few years.

Also - quite unfortunately, the Afghan heroin production boom is now filling the coffers of Al Qaeda : "Heroin boom in Afghanistan overwhelms border nations.......DUSHANBE, Tajikistan - Heroin producers in Afghanistan, some of the principal financiers of al-Qaida and other terrorists, have never before been so brazen or so wealthy. ....With a bumper crop of opium poppies under cultivation, Afghan narco-barons have begun stamping their brand names on the 2.2-pound bags of heroin they smuggle out of Central Asia to buyers in Moscow, Amsterdam, London and New York. "

Furthermore :

"Al-Qaeda 'spurred on' by Iraq war

US forces in Iraq present al-Qaeda with "iconic" targets, the report says

The occupation of Iraq has helped al-Qaeda recruit more members, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The influential group's annual report says the network has reconstituted itself after losing its Afghan base.

It adds that Osama Bin Laden's followers have set their sights on attacking the US and its close allies.

They would ideally like future operations to make use of weapons of mass destruction, it reports.

The institute quotes conservative intelligence estimates as saying that the group has 18,000 potential operatives and is present in more than 60 countries.

Recent attacks in Spain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia show its renewed strength, it says.

The report finds the network's finances are in good order. "


In other words, the real action is elsewhere - and this post serves as a fine distraction.
posted by troutfishing at 8:00 PM on May 25, 2004


But, given that a rather broad cross section of Washington pundits, insiders, mouthpieces, and analysts have declared likelihood of a pre-November election terrorist attack - which an unnamed White House official suggested would lead to a cancellation of the election so that the US wouldn't "go the way of Spain"......

Well now. How convenient that might be.

It seems to be tentatively penciled in on the calendar.
posted by troutfishing at 8:10 PM on May 25, 2004


troutfishing: an absurd PR ploy? An MEP stands up and states that Arab nations should be given nuclear weapons, *and* confesses that France tried to give Iraq nuclear weapons in the past. (That were fortunately blown up by Israel.)
No matter how much we might condemn illegal, black market and underground transfers of nuclear technology, it is far more serious when a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation agreement not only tries to proliferate, but wants to do so with the full understanding that such weapons may be used aggressively.
If nothing else, nations have far more resources to do this with, and for France to do it out of what? Damaged pride? A desire to restore itself to the glory of empire? A bitter hatred of the United States or Israel?

And above all, this man is a representative to the European Parliament. A right wing kook, definitely, but how representative is he of the French regime, not just extremist but mainstream? Should people like this be permitted anywhere near nuclear policy? How is this man still allowed to be in government at all?
posted by kablam at 8:54 PM on May 25, 2004


MEP:s aren't representantives of their regimes.
posted by mr.marx at 9:06 PM on May 25, 2004


"But, given that a rather broad cross section of Washington pundits, insiders, mouthpieces, and analysts have declared likelihood of a pre-November election terrorist attack - which an unnamed White House official suggested would lead to a cancellation of the election so that the US wouldn't "go the way of Spain"......"

If that happens, there will be VERY BAD THINGS happening in America. A cancelled election will bring out some crazy mofos.

Notice that most of the crazy people who decide to take the law into their own hands and kill other people are on the Right? Abortion clinic bombers being the example formost in mind.

But if the election is cancelled, many formerly mild mannered people on the Left will get really freakin' pissed off and I am quite certain that A) it would lead to violence and revolution in America and that B) it would effectively mean the end of America as a world power.

I don't mean to be a Cassandra, but that's what I see happening if such a thing comes to pass.
posted by geekhorde at 9:16 PM on May 25, 2004


Another gem from kablam's link.

As I've written before, National Socialism is not neccessarily always a Bad Thing (tm).

Note the bandwidth stealing pictures, too.

Pitiful.
posted by y2karl at 9:47 PM on May 25, 2004


kablam - thank you.

You've inspired me to do a post. I had been holding off, but your post made mine, somehow, unavoidable (though painful).

Now, my soul hurts.
posted by troutfishing at 10:53 PM on May 25, 2004


geekhorde - certain people are feeling the water. If that water seems to hot, then....

no go.
posted by troutfishing at 10:58 PM on May 25, 2004


Having said all that, Iraq did not use its nuclear capability (which it had if one believes this right-wing nut) even when attacked by the US in the 90s, despite the presence of the most violent thug in the Arab world at its helm. Apparently the terrorists didn't get any nukes from him either... so Krrrlson, it seems that MAD worked after all - that is if we believe Coûteaux to begin with...

Of course MAD can work for nations... the problem arises if (hopefully not when) terrorists *do* get the bomb. As for Iraq, I doubt it had full-fledged nuclear capability.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:47 PM on May 25, 2004


Kablam fortunately the European parliament is, for all intents and purposes, merely a talking shop composed of people whose prime motivational force seems to be the accumulation of travelling expenses. All of this is being funded by the unfortunate taxpayers of Europe. European elections here in the UK are a practical demonstration of apathy in action, which is extremely unfortunate.
posted by johnnyboy at 1:27 AM on May 26, 2004


please, please, please: how in the world just another warblogger's ill-informed rant about a Google-translated lame-ass unknown EU politician's speech is FPP-worthy? doesn't stuff like this comes a dime a thousand in warblog-land nowadays?

Pakistan already has the bomb. end of the "Nuclear Islam" discussion.
not to mention, when/if an actual nuclear device is detonated on US soil, I'm willing to bet that it'll be black-market former-USSR material, not Pakistani's.

I don't really think that Muslims -- even deranged Wahabi terrorist ones -- would actually try to blow Israel up, nevermind stupid propaganda. remember that some of Islam's most treasured holy places are in Israel. in New York or DC, instead, there aren't any.

As for Iraq, I doubt it had full-fledged nuclear capability.

it's just too funny!
posted by matteo at 5:54 AM on May 26, 2004


I don't really think that Muslims -- even deranged Wahabi terrorist ones -- would actually try to blow Israel up, nevermind stupid propaganda. remember that some of Islam's most treasured holy places are in Israel.

Yeah, kind of like how they don't put weapons caches in their mosques...
posted by hadashi at 6:12 AM on May 26, 2004


At the heart of Jerusalem is the Noble Sanctuary, Al-Haram al-Sharif, enclosing over 35 acres of fountains, gardens, buildings and domes. At its southernmost end is Al-Aqsa Mosque and at its centre the celebrated Dome of the Rock. The entire area is regarded as a mosque and comprises nearly one sixth of the walled city of Jerusalem.
The Noble Sanctuary is one of the three most important sites in Islam

posted by matteo at 10:39 AM on May 26, 2004


As for Iraq, I doubt it had full-fledged nuclear capability.

it's just too funny!


Doesn't change the fact that Iraq could have developed in due time, or the possibility that the evidence of such development could have been smuggled abroad before the war. But of course, since I am an official representative of the American government, your links to statements made by the administration discredit my argument immediately. Good job.


I don't really think that Muslims -- even deranged Wahabi terrorist ones -- would actually try to blow Israel up, nevermind stupid propaganda. remember that some of Islam's most treasured holy places are in Israel. in New York or DC, instead, there aren't any.

Yes, for as we all know, terrorists are rational people who would never let treasured holy places or innocent civilians in their own nation, much less foreign ones, be hurt in the quest for murder. I guess it's time for more appeasement! Also, what hadashi said.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:18 PM on May 26, 2004


I just notice that he says "consider". Careful consideration will reveal that such a plan is not feasible. However if Iraq developed into a the free-market, democratic oasis that it might one day become, I see no strategic reason why it shold not have a nuke problem to keep it safe from Israel, with its large arsenal and proven territorial ambitions, and Iran, with its developing nuke program and history of conflict with Iraq and the Arab world.

Of course, on the macro level I am opposed to nuclear proliferation, but we live in a real world where nations that have threats on or near their borders need to defend themselves. So to say that one should consider a nuclear balance in the Middle East is not loony-bin stuff, although given the current climate it's close. But give Iraq some time to develop into a democratic country and it might be an issue that is worth revisiting in the future.
posted by chaz at 3:01 PM on May 26, 2004


I guess it's time for more appeasement!

-please refrain from making such lazy analogies, appeasement is not a word in the current administrations lexicon. And as for blair, he certainly has little grasp of recent history, the falklands this certainly isn't, possibly more akin to the debacle at suez.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:21 AM on May 27, 2004


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