Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Iron Lady Wanted to Nuke Argentina

Looks like Bush hasn’t been the only one with a penchant for launching drastic attacks. According to a book by Ali Magoudi, Rendez-vous: The Psychoanalysis of Francois Mitterrand, the late French Head of State related that the former British PM, Margaret Thatcher, had threatened to nuke Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina during the Falklands War. Magoudi, a psychoanalyst, had attended to the late French president in the early 80's, and was privy to the latter's confidential affairs of state during those secret therapy sessions.

It seemed that the Iron Lady's ire was aroused when the British expeditionary force, sailing to the Falklands to wrest back the islands from the Argentinians, had one of its air defence destroyers, HMS Sheffield sunk by an Argentinian Navy aircraft, a French Super-Etendard. The naval jet flew low level over the seas towards the British Navy ship before releasing its air-to-surface Exocet missile dozens of miles away. Just for a million dollars worth of French missile, the Argentinian sank a US$400 to 500 million British destroyer.

Not only were the British terrified by the devastating effect of the sea-skimming cruise missiles, but all the big navies were shitting bricks in their pants, wondering how they were going to overcome such a deadly weapon. The USN was particular worried for their aircraft carriers as each was and still is an important as well as extremely expensive asset, with about 60 to 80 war planes and some 5,000 men on board.

The USN quickly developed the special Vulcan Phalanx anti-missile radar controlled cannon, a weapon which could rapidly spray zillions of rounds of heavy ammo against an incoming missile such as the Exocet.

But back to the story - Margaret Thatcher was so worried Argentina's French armaments would sink the expeditionary force that she threatened to nuke Buenos Aires with her nuclear submarines loitering in the area. Mitterand related to Magoudi after arriving more than 45 minutes late for his session on May 7, 1982:

"Excuse me. I had a difference to settle with the Iron Lady. That Thatcher, what an impossible woman! With her four nuclear submarines in the south Atlantic, she's threatening to unleash an atomic weapon against Argentina if I don't provide her with the secret codes that will make the missiles we sold the Argentinians deaf and blind."

"It was fired from a Super-Etendard jet. All the materiel was French. She's livid. She blames me personally for this new Trafalgar … I was obliged to give in. She's got them now, the codes."

Mitterrand, who described Thatcher as having the eyes of Caligula and the mouth of Marilyn Monroe, continued:

"One cannot win against the insular syndrome of an unbridled Englishwoman … But it's a good job I gave way. Otherwise, I assure you, the lady's metallic finger would have hit the button."

But Mitterand plotted that France would get its back against the Brits. he said:

" I'll build a tunnel under the Channel. I'll succeed where Napoleon III failed. And do you know why she'll accept my tunnel? I'll flatter her shopkeeper's spirit. I'll tell her it won't cost the Crown a penny."

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