Margaret Thatcher Threatened to Use Nukes During Falkland Islands War

Nov. 22, 2005

French President Francois Mitterrand made a stunning claim to his psychoanalyst during Britainís Falkland Islands war with Argentina in the early 1980s:

Margaret Thatcher threatened to use nuclear weapons unless Mitterrand gave the British the "deactivate" codes used by anti-ship missiles that France had sold to Argentina!

That never-before-revealed scenario is disclosed in the new book "Rendez-vous: The Psychoanalysis of Francois Mitterrand,Ē written by Ali Magoudi, who was the French presidentís psychoanalyst from 1982 to 1993.

Magoudi insists that all the quotes attributed to Mitterrand are genuine, but he cannot vouch for the truth of what the president said, the Sunday Times in London reports.

On May 4, 1982, two French-made jets in the Argentine air force attacked the British destroyer Sheffield as it steamed toward the Falkland Islands.
A French-made Exocet missile struck the ship, killing 20 crewmembers and injuring 24. The destroyer was scuttled and British naval officials feared that the Exocet was so effective that it jeopardized the entire operation to dislodge Argentine occupiers from the Falklands.

Shortly after that, according to Magoudiís 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 Ė unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentinians.Ē

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

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.Ē

But then Mitterrand vowed to get revenge on Britain and its feisty prime minister Ė with a tunnel under the English Channel.
"I will have the last word,Ē Magoudi said Mitterrand told him. "Her island, itís me who will destroy it. Her island, I swear that soon it will no longer be one. I will take my revenge. I will tie England to Europe, despite its natural tendency for isolation. I will build a tunnel under the Channel.Ē

Is Magoudiís account credible?

Itís known that there were British nuclear weapons in the Falklands conflict zone, according to the Times. And two years after the war, the Labour Party demanded an inquiry into a report that Britain had sent a Polaris submarine to Ascension Island, the staging ground for Britainís naval task force, to be on standby for a nuclear attack on the Argentine city of Cordoba if the war went badly.

But the admirals who had been in charge of the Royal Navy during he war flatly denied the report.

"Was Thatcher bluffing Mitterrand?Ē the Times asks. "Or was he exaggerating her ruthlessness?Ē

As for the Channel tunnel, Thatcher and Mitterrand reached an agreement to construct it in 1984. It opened in 1994 at a cost more than twice what had been projected, and has proven to be a financial black hole for both Britain and France.

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