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Islamist Nukes: The French Connection By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 06, 2006

“No civilian nuclear program can explain the Iranian nuclear program. It is a clandestine Iranian military nuclear program,” French Foreign Affairs Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on government-run France 2 Television on February 15.

“The international community has sent a very firm message in telling the Iranians to return to reason and suspend all nuclear activity and the enrichment and conversion of uranium,” he continued. “But they aren’t listening to us.”


France should be applauded for its belated resolve in opposing the deceitful grab for nuclear weapons by Iran’s terrorist-supporting apocalyptic Muslim theocracy.


France might be on the side of sanity (for a change) when, this week, the superpowers take sides over bringing the issue of Iran’s Russian-supplied nuclear facilities before the United Nations Security Council for action.


But what of that other nation that poses a serious risk of deliberately or inadvertently providing nuclear weapons to Islamo-fascist terrorists?


This other nation was willing to give atomic weapons potential to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.


This other nation has both a large Muslim population and its own arsenal of at least 350 nuclear weapons.


This other nation that may beget a world of atom-wielding Ayatollahs is France itself.


At least three paths could lead to the French arming Islamists with nuclear weapons.


The first path to this doomsday nightmare came to public attention in June 1981, when Israeli warplanes destroyed a nuclear reactor 18 miles south of Baghdad.


This Osirak reactor was being built by the French for Saddam Hussein, who had already used nerve gas on his own people and on Iranians. Hussein had already described himself as the reincarnation of the ancient Babylonian king and mass murderer Nebuchadnezzer II who destroyed Jerusalem around 586 BCE.


Had Israel not carried out this preemptive act of Assertive Disarmament weeks before the reactor became operational, Hussein could have fabricated nuclear weapons from this reactor’s radioactive output by the time he invaded neighboring Kuwait in August 1990. The threat that Hussein could then unleash radioactive devastation on nearby Iranian and Saudi Arabian oil facilities might have made him too dangerous to attack.


(The world likely soon must decide whether, likewise, to preempt Iran’s incipient atom bomb factories to destroy this deadly serpent before it hatches.)


France is among the world's leading sellers of nuclear reactors and reprocessors and sellers of radioactive reactor fuel. Days after President George W. Bush struck a nuclear power deal last week between the U.S. and India, for example, a high member of France's National Assembly on Sunday quietly dropped the news to Reuters that France has agreed to help develop a "peaceful" nuclear power program for oil-rich Libya's dictator and longtime terrorism backer Col. Mohammar Qaddafi.


Amid the controversies over whether Saddam Hussein attempted to procure radioactive material in Africa, few bothered to note that the country at the center of this discussion is a former French colony, Niger.


One of the biggest uranium mine owners and dealers in processed uranium in Niger is COGEMA, historically 82 percent owned by the French Atomic Energy Commission and now a subsidiary of the French-controlled French-German consortium Areva, a major worldwide nuclear reactor manufacturer and seller.


Areva says that it abides by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation from the reactors it sells and fuels.


But, as nuclear scholar Henry Sokolski reported in 2004, “the French firm Areva,” like its international reactor-marketing competitors, has been “so eager to sell China nuclear-power plants that they and their governments are turning a blind eye to…a Chinese deal to sell Islamabad (Pakistan) a large reactor.”


Pakistan, the one Islamic nation that already has atomic weapons, has refused to sign the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Pakistan’s chief atomic weapons scientist secretly provided nuclear materials and nuclear bomb-making information to other Muslim states, but after brief imprisonment for this crime he was recently set free by his government.


The French government not only approved selling its Osirak reactor and ample radioactive fuel to Saddam Hussein but also threatened to use its veto as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to prevent Hussein’s overthrow.


It later came to light that several of French President Jacques Chirac’s closest political allies were being given millions of dollars worth of oil certificates by Hussein under the United Nations Oil-for-Food program that controlled Iraqi oil sales.


Was there also a secret deal with Hussein involving COGEMA, Areva, the French Government and Niger?


Can a French Government that was willing to put nuclear weapons ingredients into the hands of Saddam Hussein be trusted to keep such materials out of the hands of oil-rich Islamist fanatics? Is France again willing to sell doomsday weapon capability if the price is right?


(If the world were sane, of course, France would have forfeited its nuclear weapons and materials after the Osirak reactor it was building was destroyed. France has shown that it lacks both the morality and maturity to be trusted with these dangerous tools the U.S. and Britain gave it – along with a permanent seat on the Security Council – following the French complicity with Hitler during World War II.)


The second path by which France might deliberately or inadvertently provide nuclear weapons to Islamofascists is – not surprisingly for France – sexual.


Shortly after the year 700 Islamic armies from Moorish-ruled Spain began to invade France. Toulouse narrowly survived a Muslim siege in 721. These Saracens occupied the major French Mediterranean seaport city of Narbonne for 40 years, from 719 until 759 when the last Islamic troops retreated back across the Pyrenees.


The Christian hold on France was secured in year 732, when the knight Charles Martel, “The Hammer,” crushed the main Moorish army at Poitiers. Martel’s army turned back the Islamic tide that at its height ruled not only part of the French Riviera but also Spain, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.


But by the cosmology that fills Islamist minds, any land ruled by Muslims remains Muslim forever. This ideology divides our planet into two realms – Dar al Islam, “the House of Surrender” to the will of Allah, and Dar al Harb, “the House of War” destined to be conquered by Islam.


Radical Islamists regard France, like Spain, as a place where the once-and-future rule of Islam is to be restored.


(If Christians held this same kind of cosmology, then every land the Muslims took in the Middle East from Christian Byzantium, in North Africa from Christian Rome and Christian Europe, in Indonesia from the Christian Dutch and so forth must be restored to Christian rule. Indeed, a radical Christian might argue that the Crusades and the era of colonialism were merely legitimate efforts to restore Christianity to lands temporarily colonized by Muslim crusaders.)


The Muslim conquest of France, many believe, is now underway. Muslims are winning by making love, not war. Demographics reveal that the average traditional French couple is giving birth to less than 1.4 children, far short of the 2.1 needed merely to sustain their numbers. The average Muslim husband and wife in France, by contrast, are giving birth to almost 3.6 children.


In France – now the most Islamic of Western European nations – Muslims comprise up to 13 percent or more of the population. This proportion is rapidly increasing and by 2030 – less than 25 years from today – could make France 25 percent Muslim, easily enough to hold the balance of power in national elections.


France is committed to maintaining its nuclear arsenal in perpetuity. In the not-too-distant future it will be a majority Muslim nation. Therefore, if present trends continue, France itself is destined to transform into a nuclear-armed Muslim nation.


The third path by which France might deliberately or inadvertently provide nuclear weapons to Islamist terrorists follows from the second path, and from the fact that France prides itself on its egalite, its purportedly non-discriminatory belief in equality.


The French population today is approximately 13 percent Muslim. The French military – attracting recruits disproportionately from the lower socioeconomic classes as many other democratic nations do – is by one estimate 15 percent Muslim, nearly one of every six people in the French armed forces.


The United States military welcomes Muslim recruits, almost all of whom serve with honor as loyal and patriotic soldiers. American forces include Muslim chaplains. But early in the latest Iraq war, several U.S. soldiers were killed or wounded when a Muslim recruit rolled a hand grenade into their tent. This Muslim had been brainwashed into betraying his fellow U.S. soldiers by Islamist propaganda.


Israel has many Arab citizens, but Israeli policy has apparently long been to restrict Muslim access to the highest levels of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and certain militarily sensitive companies and research facilities. One rationale for this is that the possibility, however tiny, of a Muslim IDF officer becoming a turncoat is a risk too great to take.


The French nuclear weapons program is shrouded in secrecy. Experts estimate that today France possesses approximately 350 nuclear weapons, but the number and type is uncertain. France has no “tactical” nuclear weapons, but only because French military doctrine defines all its atomic weapons, regardless of size and type, as “strategic.”


In a speech on January 19, 2006, President Chirac declared that France was prepared to use its nuclear weapons not only against invaders of its territory but also “to safeguard our vital interests,” implying that these weapons could be used against terrorists and others who threaten French vital supplies and enterprises. Chirac also suggested that the French nuclear arsenal should be regarded as the nuclear deterrent of Europe.


What France now needs to tell its own citizens and the world is whether French Muslims hold positions of trust with access to nuclear weapons or materials in the French military, French nuclear weapons fabrication and fuel reprocessing facilities, nuclear laboratories, sensitive corporate entities such as COGEMA and Areva, and French nuclear reactor sites.


How many Muslims hold such sensitive positions in France? Where? Who?


What precautions are being taken to protect French nuclear weapons and radioactive materials from theft or terrorist detonation by Muslims in positions of trust or power?


What security checks has France taken to find out if French Muslims in such high-risk positions have been exposed to Islamist propaganda? Regularly associate with radicals? Or might become potential converts to the Osama bin Laden-like radical utopian vision that the whole world should be brought under the theocratic dictatorship of a single Muslim Caliph.


France, of course, officially does not even count people as Muslims in its census. It therefore cannot officially say whether the French Muslim population is 10 percent or 20 percent. France officially does not define people by race or ethnicity for purposes of quotas, set-asides, privileges, racial profiling or job exclusions. Officially, France does not discriminate against Muslims.


But when France in the 1960s abandoned its terror-torn colony Algeria after defining that North African land as a “department” of France itself, the official French policy was to leave behind as many as 400,000 Harkis (from the Arabic word haraka, “movement”), native Algerian French citizens who fought and worked on the side of the French. As many as 150,000 of these abandoned Harkis were killed, many by torture, by the radical Algerian FLN (National Liberation Front) that took control of the country.


(During World War II the German-aligned Vichy government in France used its national railroad to transport 76,000 French Jews to their doom in Nazi death camps. Virulent anti-Semitism is one of the ideologies many French share with their former Nazi overlords and Islamofascists. French treachery has not been limited to its Arab citizens.)


After World War II during the prosperous 30 glorious years the French remember nostalgically as les Trentes Glorieuses, workers were brought in large numbers from Algeria, Tunisia and other French African colonies to do the menial work no surviving Frenchman wanted to do. Neither they nor the Harkis who fled to France were treated as equals. As Georgetown University Professor Soner Cagaptay observed last July, Muslims comprise more than 10 percent of France’s population but not a single Muslim sits as a member of the French Parliament. (On the other hand, the 2006 designer shows in Paris introduced a surprising new “Muslim-ization” of French fashion, another level of cultural surrender to the soon-to-be-dominant Islamic culture.)


Children born in France to these North African immigrants were among the rioters burning thousands of automobiles in cities across France last fall. Their rage was not cooled by successful French government efforts to restore a measure of European Union funding for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in February 2006.


These French Muslims have been described as “a ticking time bomb.” The question the world now must consider is whether that time bomb might be nuclear.


American politicians now feel pressure to review whether the United Arab Emirate nation of Dubai can be trusted to run shipping facilities in American seaports. 

Surely the French Republic can and should feel similar political pressure to explain to its citizens and the world what, if any, steps it has taken to keep clandestine Islamists out of key nuclear positions. These are positions from which an evildoer could steal either French nuclear weapons or divert radioactive materials that terrorists could use to make atomic bombs.

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Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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