Greenpeace and Thoreau

WE'VE previously criticized the French government's decision to resume nuclear testing. The reason is clear: Such resumption undercuts the effort of the so-called nuclear club to persuade the rest of the world not to acquire nuclear weapons, and to put pressure on those who are in some stage of doing so or trying to do so. That's the Four I's - India, Israel, Iran, and Iraq - plus Pakistan.

We agree with the general aim of Greenpeace, and the protests of Australia and New Zealand. But, like Henry David Thoreau, Greenpeace should be prepared to face the penalty for its acts. Protests of conscience work best when the consequences are faced honestly. Jail for Thoreau. Excommunication for Martin Luther. Ejection for Greenpeace. Then, let public opinion continue to pressure Paris.

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