Monday, 20 February 2012


France and Britain collude to advance nuclear contracts, (for civilian uses only, of course). No one (?) jumps up and down in fear. From the perspective of Paris (48 degrees North, 2 degrees East) and London (51 degrees North, 0 degrees East), this is normal, prudent, business co-operation as sensible European states create infrastructures that will contribute to energy security and independence for the future.

As former imperial powers, with rapacious reaches across the globe and appropriations of wealth that have contributed to making them powerful 21st Century nations, France and Britain both harness nuclear energy to drive their economies with atomic fission. And to arm their military with voluminous stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Neither of these states' leaders – Sarkozy or Cameron – blush for shame at the hypocrisy of their positions. France and Britain are entitled to generate electricity by atomic fission because they are sensible, advanced, liberal democracies with pro-market economies in place. They are, quite simply, not Iran.

Seen from the perspective of cities and towns in France and Britain, there is little shame or hypocrisy in any of this. There is widespread civic acknowledgement of state prudence, in the face of the imminent end of fossil fuels. The global flurry of fracking is evidence of that.

This civic acknowledgement is tinged with regret, because even the most selfish of currently sentient beings recognises the deadly legacy that storing huge amounts of spent atomic fuel from reactors bequeaths to future generations.

Images from Fukuyama (34 degrees North, 133 degrees East) in Japan, where a reactor recently failed in a tsunami event, send chills down the spines of citizens in France and Britain, but the drive for nuclear power surges forward.

How much of that drive leads to military uses is moot. 

Britain has a nuclear-armed naval vessel in the South Atlantic, near the Falkland/Malvinas Islands (51 degrees South, 59 degrees West). Should the people of Argentina be concerned? If the vessel was nuclear-armed and Iranian, would Argentinians have more cause for alarm? Why?

Seen from the perspective of Tehran (35 degrees North, 51 degrees East), Isfahan (32 degrees North, 51 degrees East), Shiraz (29 degrees North, 52 degrees East)  and other cities and towns in Iran, the answer is not clear.

Also on the agenda for the recent France-Britain summit was the development of drone weaponry. Such weaponry has been used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya in recent months, territories far away from either France or Britain, with populations struggling to form futures free from repressions. 

Will the new drones be armed with tactical nuclear warheads in the future?

Hague, the British minister in charge of foreign affairs, expresses concern that Iran's moves to advance its nuclear power capabilities, (for civilian use only,  of course), could trigger a new Cold War. He voices no such words of concern for the moves made by his European colleagues.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle!
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle .


And people wonder where French and British Islamist militancy comes from?

Alice Through the Looking Glass; Lewis Carroll; book; 1871

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