Friday, March 21, 2008

Keep 'Em Guessing

Before meeting with John McCain, Sarkozy will launch Le Terrible, a new nuclear submarine, in Cherbourg and deliver a speech on French nuclear doctrine. Instead of listing French vital interests that might justify the recourse to nuclear weapons, as Chirac did, Sarko is returning to the traditional ambiguity. Yet he will also indulge in one of his favorite pastimes, la fuite en avant, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say la surenchère (though one doesn't like to think of "escalation" and nuclear weapons in the same breath): dissuasion is soooooo 1950s, whereas "total planetary disarmament" does "the vision thing" in spades and is sufficiently utopian that the failure to deliver is a foregone conclusion rather than a potential disappointment, unlike the failure to deliver on, say, the reduction in the size of the bureaucracy or the increase in purchasing power. So the speech will emphasize what Le Figaro calls the "pacific" aspect of things. It's always best, when launching a vessel with the potential to obliterate 16 cities, to divert attention to more cheerful things.

2 comments:

Boz said...

Each missile actually carries 6 reentry vehicles, meaning you're talking about a possible total of 96 different targets. As you say, all the more reason to change the subject.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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