Friday, February 02, 2007

Chirac Bumbling

Looks like the French are making a strong move to be considered even more out of touch with reality.
Jacques Chirac yesterday sparked a diplomatic controversy after saying that a nuclear-armed Iran would not be "very dangerous" and Tehran would be "razed" if it launched a nuclear strike on Israel. He later issued a humiliating retraction.

The French president's comments to journalists prompted speculation as to whether, aged 74 and in the waning months of his second - and probably his last term - he was losing his political touch or even his mental vigour. Some also questioned whether Mr Chirac had simply voiced a fear that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a foregone conclusion.

Paris has steadfastly opposed any attempt by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, with Mr Chirac recently accusing Tehran of "feeding the world's apprehension" with its atomic programme.

But the president told the three reporters: "I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb. Having one or perhaps a second bomb a little later, well, that's not very dangerous."

He said the danger lies in the chances of proliferation or an arms race in the Middle East should Iran build a nuclear bomb. The weapon would be useless for Iran because using it would mean an instant counterattack, he said. "Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200 metres into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed."

How clever. I was more worried about the Iranians using terrorists as delivery mechanisms rather than missiles. And why assume that Israel is their first target? That makes assumptions that must be qualified.

Maybe Jac had too many glasses during lunch.

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