Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Blame In On the Brits
by Lee

How typically French.

The French government tried to blame the British intelligence service MI6 for the sinking of the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, in a campaign of “misinformation and smears” that infuriated the Thatcher government, newly released documents have revealed.

French secret agents, on the orders of the government, planted bombs on the Rainbow Warrior in a New Zealand harbour, killing one of the crew. The scandal rocked the French government, which lied for more than two months, denying responsibility for the act of state terrorism. The documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Guardian, show how French attempts to incriminate M16 soured relations between the two countries.

Note how the Guardian refers to this as an act of state terrorism, which is wasn’t.  The Greenpeace ship was in New Zealand to interfere with French nuclear tests taking place in the South Pacific.  The French were protecting their own national interest.  Perhaps they didn’t go about it the right way, but this doesn’t fit under the umbrella of terrorism in any sense of the word.

The then French president, François Mitterrand, was in danger of being toppled, as politicians and officials struggled to avoid the blame and save their jobs.

Sir John Fretwell, the British ambassador in Paris, privately warned London that Mitterrand could be forced to resign in a Watergate-style scandal. He wrote: “The highest personalities in the land are fighting for political survival and even the fabric of the state is beginning to shake under the impact of repeated revelations, denunciations, attempts to acknowledge bits of truth while concealing others ... and the desperate attempts to find answers which will somehow satisfy public opinion while keeping the president above the melee.”

In other words, the French were denying for months their one successful military operation of the 20th century.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/05 at 07:49 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 11/29/05 at 10:16 AM from United States

I always thought that France should have taken credit for the operation from the start and stated matter of factly that anyone else that wanted to interfere in their nuclear testing program was going to get sunk as well - only at sea by a torpedo in broad daylight.

They needn’t make apologies for such actions.

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 11:16 AM from Europe

Note how the Guardian refers to this as an act of state terrorism, which is wasn’t.

I don’t know… a no-warning bomb attack on a non-threatening vessel in port.

How does it differ from the bombing of the USS Cole?

Posted by BKAY on 11/29/05 at 11:22 AM from United States

Patrick, GreenPeas’ was warned several times and the French even made a serious effort to account for all the peolpe on board before detonation, but one guy got past their intel, and ended up dead.

And since when has GreenPeas’ ever been non-threatening, they can be more violent the ELF.

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 11:26 AM from United States

"In other words, the French were denying for months their one successful military operation of the 20th century.”

Ha ha ha, great line!!!

Posted by Drumwaster on 11/29/05 at 11:30 AM from United States

If they wanted to blow up the RW, they should have just let them wander into the test area, THEN detonate.

End of problem, and they can claim plausible deniability, while back-channeling the message “See what happens when you fuck with France?”

But that would require more chutzpah than the whole nation of France possesses…

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 11:33 AM from Europe

I didn’t know that they made a serious effort to avoid casualties. If they did, then I guess that’s slightly more acceptable. I stand corrected.

Even so, I don’t think you can go around blowing up ships without “terrorist” being levelled at you from some quarters…

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 11:36 AM from United States

Hell, if it had been the Brits I would have supported it even more.  They day they diversified beyiond whaling they lost me.

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 12:44 PM from United States

Um… if some ELF fuckwad torched logging trucks while parked overnight no one would dispute that was terrorism. No casualties there either. Lee’s double standard is starting to show…

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 12:57 PM from Europe

hazehead, I don’t think it’s terrorism unless it’s an attempt to terrify. Burning a truck in the middle of the night doesn’t scare anyone. However, leaving a few UVBTs under the truck certainly would be terrorism, because every morning you’d be afraid it was going to blow up as soon as you got into the cab.

Maybe it’s splitting hairs, I don’t know…

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 01:08 PM from United States

Lee’s double standard is starting to show…

The French were trying to prevent interference with their military testing while the smelly, beard-plucking retard was trying scare a business into changing its legitimate operations.

Sounds different to me. There are things you can get away with as a military of a recognized state that you can’t get away with as a smelly, dillusional hippy.

I don’t agree with France’s actions, BTW.

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 03:20 PM from Australia

Note how the Guardian refers to this as an act of state terrorism, which is wasn’t.  The Greenpeace ship was in New Zealand to interfere with French nuclear tests taking place in the South Pacific.  The French were protecting their own national interest.  Perhaps they didn’t go about it the right way, but this doesn’t fit under the umbrella of terrorism in any sense of the word.

Are you fucking joking? They planted a bomb on a civilian ship which was legally stationed in a foreign port. Someone was blown to pieces.

The FBI defines terrorism as:

“the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Even if the French did make reasonable attempts to ensure that there were no civilian casualties (darn good job they did too), blowing up a ship that is protesting against your government is clearly an act of “force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a segment of the civilian population for political objectives”.

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 04:03 PM from United States

hazehead, I don’t think it’s terrorism unless it’s an attempt to terrify.

Tell that to the FBI who are trying to extradite Tre Arrow from Canada for eco-terrorism for doing this exact thing in Oregon a few years ago.

The French were trying to prevent interference with their military testing while the smelly, beard-plucking retard was trying scare a business into changing its legitimate operations.

Terrorism isn’t defined by what the goal of the action is fucktard, it’s defined by using force/violence to coerce someone to do something.

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 10:23 PM from United States

Nobody was right in this scenario.

Greenpeace shouldn’t have been farting around, trying to push in where they weren’t wanted.

But the French response was COMPLETELY out of proportion. I’d say someone was trying to show how tough they could be. This is the sort of thing you do to a ship carrying a boatload of Al Qaeda terrorists, not a boat full of morons who are stuck in the ‘60s.

That’s my take on it.

--TR

Posted by on 11/29/05 at 11:06 PM from United States

Oh yeah, you’re right. By paraphrasing both sides, watering them down, agreeing with both, and telling us we’re all wrong you somehow convinced me!

My aren’t we the little uniter-a-not-a-divider?

Posted by on 12/01/05 at 09:38 AM from United States

I’m not even sure what hazehead’s saying there, other than ‘You’re a mean person!’

Why this comes as a surprise to him is beyond me. I’m the one who used to dream of being a tyrannical despot who sent all his political enemies to work in the plutonium mines.

--TR

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