Who's Who

Atolls and Atom Bombs: France's Colonial Design

France's colonies have existed to serve the greatness of France. Johnson examines France's treatment of its various colonies, including French Polynesia, French Indo-China, and Tahiti.

President Chirac was explaining to his audience that the nuclear tests he was planning in the South Pacific were perfectly safe and carried no risk to anyone. Then, asked someone, if these tests are so harmless; why not hold them in France? But, replied the President, we are holding them in France. Mururoa is part of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France.

This constitutional argument is always used. When it was said that the French were behaving with excessive violence as they rounded up the ships and the personnel of Greenpeace, the Foreign Minister, Herve de Charette, replied: naturally they must be repelled. They are invading France.

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