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."
"The flexibility and reaction of our strategic forces allow us to respond directly against the centers of power. . . . All of our nuclear forces have been configured in this spirit."
Sometimes I wonder if I will be ashamed to speak in public in Italy where I live because my accent reveals me to be American. So far any hopes that this will happen have been frustrated partly by my need to talk and partly by Italians' weird Americanophillia. Still it's nice to know that Jacques Chirac is always around to balance the horror of Bush. This is part II because of something I wrote back when I could not quite understand that I desperately wanted a blog, because I didn't know what a blog was.
Chirac mon amour
I viewed the approach of the 50th anniversary of the bombings of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki with great aprehension. I expected that I
would be Made to feel personally responsible for the bombings. In
the event I was surprised to learn that one person and one person
only was responsisble -- Jacques Chirac. Chirac chose to blow up
a bomb almost exactly on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of
Hiroshima and almost exactly on the 10 anniversary of the rainbow
warrior I by French secret agents. Chirac was making final plans
for a trip to Japan when the bomb blew up so the Japanese had to
tell him that he was not welcome. Chirac's wife went to the
women's conference in Beijing (the capital of the only other
country which has not promised to refrain from nuclear tests) where
she waited in the rain while arguing that she should be allowed to
hear the speach by another first lady (ah la gloire). Today I
learned that the EU ministers declared their perfect syntony with
Eltsin on Bosnia and in complete (if not quite unanimous)
disagreement with the French proposal to Europeanize the bomb. All
ministers other than those from England (Hurd ?) and Germany
(Kinkel ?) went on to criticize the bomb tests. In other words
Europe says Eltsin good Chirac bad.
I was astounded to learn that Chirac had once been not only a
communist but a communist activist who sold l'Humanite on the
street. How things change -- or do they -- is Chirac an idiot ex-
communist rightist or is he a crypto-communist genius ? You got to
admit that it answers a whole lot of nagging questions.
As a result of all this I feel a warm glow of gratitude whenever I
see an image of Chirac, hear Chirac, or think of Chirac.
Jacques Chirac, still protecting my patriotism after all these years.