February 16, 2006


France steps up rhetoric on Iran (BBC, 2/16/06)

France has for the first time explicitly accused Iran of using its nuclear programme as a cover for clandestine military nuclear activity.

Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told French TV no civilian programme could explain Iran's activity. [...]

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says that Mr Douste-Blazy's blunt characterisation shows that, in diplomatic terms at least, the gloves are coming off.

France, the UK and Germany have had a key role in pursuing long-running contact with Tehran, in an effort to persuade it to give up its plans.

But the mood among the Europeans is sombre, laced with an element of frustration, our correspondent says - as Iran now appears intent on pursuing its nuclear research programme.

Meanwhile, China has expressed concern about the nuclear issue.

Let the French whip up the hysterics and then we do the heavy military lifting.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2006 6:15 PM

What's in this for their chicom overlords?

Posted by: Sandy P at February 16, 2006 6:25 PM

I'd be very intersted to know how much the Paris riots influenced this new French scepticism of the islamic bomb. Didn't they sell Saddam a nuclear reactor? Where was their 'concern' then?

I don't think they've developed a sense of decency or responsibility, I suspect they just want to stick it to some muslims in revenge for their humiliations at home.

But who knows.

Posted by: Amos at February 16, 2006 6:51 PM

Have you been waiting to use the words "French" and "whip" in a sentence together?

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 16, 2006 7:10 PM

If the French/EU countries lead the charge against Iran after hanging back on Iraq then maybe Rove does have a mind machine or something. And it will be very interesting to see what John "Global Test" Kerry has to say.

Posted by: AWW at February 16, 2006 7:56 PM

only dip belongs in a sentence with French.

Posted by: oj at February 16, 2006 8:18 PM

John F. Kerry is already on record that Iran is a much more dangerous threat to the US than Iraq ever dreamed of being.

The Democrats are in a smaller box on Iran than they realize - as Hillary's shrewish sniping at Bush a couple of weeks ago clearly reveals.

They cannot argue with containment and then removal of the nuclear catalyst. For three years they have been saying Iran became a threat because Bush did nothing. If he carpet bombs them tomorrow, he is doing something.

And with a European endorsement (plus Kofi's, which I presume will be loud and clear this time), they won't know what to do. But, inevitably, they will choose the most viable anti-American position out there.
American post

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 16, 2006 9:49 PM

Mmmmm--carpet bombing.

The Germans had a marvelous expression for the allied mass bomber formations we used to erase their divisions from the face of the earth--Parteitag-Geschwadern, "Party-day squadrons." The allusion was to the "million-man" formations at the old Nurenburg Nazi Party rallies. The Liberators and Lancasters were coming over in ranks and files which reminded them of parades in Triumph of the Will.

I wonder how one says that in Farsi.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 17, 2006 6:44 AM

Lou: They won't see anything. The B52s fly way too high for that.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 17, 2006 11:42 AM

I love the idea that the last sound they hear is the click-click-click of the steering fins of the GPS-guided bomb.

Posted by: ray at February 17, 2006 5:15 PM