The Settling Darkness, Part 1 - France Says It May Nuke "Terrorist States":
The Rude Pundit realizes that miners, kidnapped reporters, and Bin Laden are important news. But when the President of France says that "terrorist states" should not have doubts "about our will and our capacity to use nuclear arms," while at the same time Syria says that Iran's nuclear pursuits are a-okay, is it not time for concern and perhaps a moment or two in the mainstream media to look up and say, "What did you just say, Jacques?"

Jacques Chirac was speaking at the L'Ile-Longue Submarine Base when he made the shift in France's defense doctrine, a way of saying to critics that he was not about to give up its nuclear arsenal, no matter how much it costs the cash-strapped, but still romantique, nation. As a way of outbastarding George W. Bush, Chirac said that nuclear protection was for "vital interests," including allies and "strategic supplies," which anyone paying attention took to mean "oil." This is mauvais, tres mauvais. In Washington, the White House reacted with, "What a minute-we could maybe just nuke some dark people for oil? Fuck, that'd save time."

Actually, so far the reaction in Washington has been along the lines of, "C'est la vie." At yesterday's State Department briefing, when spokesperson Sean McCormack was asked about the speech, he responded straight from Scott McClellan's script: "[D]ecisions and actions that involve use of force and the military are the greatest decisions any leader can take in defense of a country and defense of a people. But those decisions are for that country to make and those leaders to make." McCormack said he hadn't seen or heard about the speech, so it would have been easy to say, "Dunno." But then he wouldn't have been offering an ass slap to the administration's policies.