Monday, November 21, 2005

Thatcher Threatened to Nuke Argentina during Falkland War

According to author Ali Magoudi, French President Francois Mitterrand (1916 – 1996) made a stunning claim that during Britain’s Falkland Islands war with Argentina in the early 1980s, Margaret Thatcher (1925) threatened to use nuclear weapons. Unless Mitterrand gave the British the "deactivate" codes used by anti-ship missiles that France had sold to Argentina.

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HMS Sheffield

This stunning but uncorroborated revelation is a focal point of the new book "Rendez-vous: The Psychoanalysis of Francois Mitterrand,” written by Magoudi, Mitterrand's psychoanalyst from 1982 to 1993.

Two French-made Argentine jets attacked the Britain's destroyer Sheffield, which was on its way towards the Falkland Islands, On May 4, 1982, using a French-made Exocet missile. The surface-skimming missile hit the ship, resulting in 20 fatalities and 24 injured crew.

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A Dassault Super Étendard firing a French Exocet missile

The British were so afraid of subsequent Exocet missles sinking more of their ships and spoiling their mission to remove Argentina from the Falkland Islands, that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher threatened to use submarine-launched nuclear missiles unless the Exocet deactiviate codes were handed over to render their warheads useless.

Shortly after that, according to Magoudi’s unsubstantiated disclosures, Mitterrand told him during one of their sessions: "What an impossible woman, that Thatcher. With her four nuclear submarines on mission in the southern Atlantic, she threatens to launch the atomic weapon against Argentina – unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentinians.”

Magoudi said Mitterrand told him that he had ordered the Exocet codes to be handed over to the British at Thatcher’s insistence: "She has them now, the codes. If our customers find out that the French wreck the weapons they sell, it’s not going to reflect well on our exports.”

Mitterrand then complained to Magoudi: "To provoke a nuclear war for small islands inhabited by three sheep who are as hairy as they are frozen! Fortunately I yielded. Otherwise, I assure you, the metallic index finger of the lady would press the button.”

Mitterrand claimed that he would get revenge on Thatcher by pursuing the tunnel under the English Channel, the "Chunnel", thus further tying Britain to Europe, diminishing its penchant for isolation. The 50 km-long tunnel, connects Cheriton in Kent, UK, with Coquelles near Calais in northern France in a 20-minute ride. It opened in 1994, after seven years of construction.

The author freely admits that there is no way to back up his claims of what Mitterrand apparently said.

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HMS Conqueror returning from the Falklands War

The Timesonline claims that there were British nuclear weapons in the warzone. They also state that two years after the war, the Labour Party demanded an inquiry into a report that the Royal Navy had sent a submarine armed with nuclear missiles to Ascension Island, the staging ground for Britain’s naval task force, to be on standby for a nuclear attack on the Argentine city of Cordoba if the war went badly. However, British admirals deny the report.

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