Blair and Bush, once again

This is just the sort of instance that the Bush administration will use to spiral things out of control as soon as possible. 15 British soldiers captured by Iran and being held:

"It seems much more than coincidence that it happened right before the U.N. voted," said Alex Bigham, an Iran expert at Britain's Foreign Policy Center. "One could say, that yet again Iran has badly miscalculated and this is only going to further damage its relations with the international community."
Iran has been getting hammered financially from Paulson and Rice tactics, provoked one could say. And now the Bank of England is freezing Iranian assets.

In June 2004, six British soldiers were captured by Iran and paraded blindfolded on Iranian television. They were released unharmed after three days and having admitted they had entered Iranian waters illegally. That would be a rosy scenario for this instance.

Tags: Bush & Blair follies, Iran, war (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

Re: Blair and Bush, once again

I'm mixed on this. I worry for the potential for over-escalation and abuse by Bush and his fellow war-hawks, but frankly, there is no excuse for Iran's behavior. Iran's actions are a violation of international law and every principal of responsible state behavior in the international arena. Britain is within it's sovereign rights to take reasonable action to retrieve its service men and women.

by blueflorida 2007-03-26 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

For all you know, the British marines were in Iranian waters, perhaps mining a harbor the way the US did in Nicaragua back in the 1980s.

If we have learned anything in the past five years, its that the governments of the US and UK cannot be trusted to tell the truth when it comes to the Middle East.

(I suggest you read up on the definition of the word "sovereign" and ask yourself if it includes incursions into foreign nations.)

(I'm really depressed to see a knee-jerk blame-the-Iranians post at myDD.)

by RickD 2007-03-26 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again


For all you know, the British marines were in Iranian waters, perhaps mining a harbor the way the US did in Nicaragua back in the 1980s.

If the British sailors had been mining the harbor,  then we'd have heard about it by now. The Iranians wouldn't have hesitated to bring that up.

If we have learned anything in the past five years, its that the governments of the US and UK cannot be trusted to tell the truth when it comes to the Middle East.

And the theocratic Iranian government is somehow more trustworthy?


(I suggest you read up on the definition of the word "sovereign" and ask yourself if it includes incursions into foreign nations.)

I suggest you read up on the history of Iraq-Iran relations. You'll find that for several decades now, Iraq and Iran don't agree on what constitutes the difference between Iraqi waters and Iranian waters. Sort of like the centuries old dispute between New York and New Jersey over control of the hudson river and new york harbor, except without the Port Authority.


(I'm really depressed to see a knee-jerk blame-the-Iranians post at myDD.)

Mine wasn't a knee-jerk anti-Iran post. Study the issue: Iran is in the wrong here.

by blueflorida 2007-03-26 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

Although we will need to keep pressure to make sure Bush doesn't behave recklessly here like he did with Iraq, let's not forget that Iran is not a victim here.  They have been resisting multi-national attempts, led by Germany, Britain and France, to limit their nuclear program.  It's highly likely they have been meddling in Iraq, and for years Iran has supplied funding and weapons to Hezbollah.  

This kidnapping of the British soldiers is outrageous behavior.  Strong international comdemnation and pressure is warranted in this situation.  The important thing is that Dubya, unlike Iraq, goes about it in a responsible way coordinating with allies.

The answer is not to condemn any US attempts to bring Iran to account, the answer is to make sure we do so in a responsible way this time.

by alhill 2007-03-26 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

"They have been resisting multi-national attempts, led by Germany, Britain, and France, to limit their nuclear program".

Yeah, cooperation worked really well for Iraq, didn't it?

"It's highly likely they have been meddling in Iraq,"

Jiminy Cricket, the US and UK INVADED Iraq on bogus claims of WMDs?  Do you think that might be viewed as "meddling"?  The US and UK have no moral or legal ground to stand on here.  What is the argument to be used, even if the forces were in Iraqi waters?  "I'm sorry, but only the US and UK are allowed to invade Iraq - you have to go home!"

"This kidnapping of the British soldiers is outrageous behavior."

Iran claims that the British marines were in Iranian waters, and were up to something highly suspicious.  They further allege that the marines have confessed to this.

Perhaps, perhaps, the UK is lying?  It seems particularly suspicious to me, given that we've all known for well over a year that the US and UK are trying to provoke Iran into taking an action that could serve as an excuse to start a war.

by RickD 2007-03-26 02:21PM | 0 recs
I disagree

I am much less certain of what is happening here than the previous commenters. We just don't have enough info to know if the Brits were in Iraqi or Iranian waters, and taking either side's word on it is extremely problematic for me as I can see both sides lying for their own reasons. I can't just blindly leap to the Brit/US version that these soldiers were "kidnapped" and that we should react accordingly.

Likewise I can't take the "meddling" by Iran in Iraq to be any sort of justification for overt hostility on our part. Of course the are meddling, and they have every right to do so if they see it as being in their national interest. It would ber the height of hypocrisy to say we have the right to determine Iraq's future to suit our interests but nobody else can do so. We may not like Iran's influence, and we can try to counter it, but let's not pretend they don't have any valid interests at stake here.

by NateP 2007-03-26 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

Couldn't have said it better.  

Unlike some, I'm not anti-war in the sense that I think war is never justified.  There are times when it is the only way to end aggressive, deadly action.  It must remain on the table as the LAST option.  

If that option is undertaken, however, it is important to move with speed and overwhelming force.  Here's what our Dear Leader hasn't understood to date: It is also important, as we have seen, to have a plan for winning the peace and a thought-out exit strategy.  The buy-in of regional powers and the international community helps too.  

One of the main problems with our misadventure in Iraq is the fact that it has destabilized the region and emboldened Iran, the true threat.

Make no mistake, Iran's actions are inexcusable and provocative.  They're like a cocksure 15-year-old playing with matches.  If this powder keg goes off, they will get burned worse than anyone.  

My concern is that an international military action against Iran will rally the population -- and especially the young -- around their current hardline leaders, killing the chance for a moderate, relatively bloodless transformation of the country.  

That is a cost that must be acknowledged, but I don't think it's sufficient to cause Britain to ignore such a hostile act.

If this brinksmanship continues, Humpty Dumpty appears headed for a fall.  Let's hope the pieces can be put back together again.

by TGOSH 2007-03-26 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

For clarity's sake, this comment should be housed under alhill's.

by TGOSH 2007-03-27 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

And RickD beat me to the punch...

by NateP 2007-03-26 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

I'm British, and I'm really worried about our sailors.  

I'm the most liberal guy out there, and I'm utterly opposed to the Iraq war.  I'm also a student of Middle Eastern politics.  I know Iran is just sabre-rattling, and we've got to try and play it cool, but it's difficult to play it cool when you have fifteen British soldiers locked up in what is essentially still a theocracy.

Try and be sensitive, and imagine how you'd feel if it was fifteen Americans, before you condemn any of our actions.

by Illustrious 2007-03-26 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair and Bush, once again

Truer words were never spoken, Illustrious.

Iraq isn't Afghanistan.  But Iran isn't Iraq.

Iran is in the wrong here.  

Our shared misgivings about the folly of Iraq do nothing to change this fact.

If Iran wants to start this fight, the West and the international community will surely finish it.

by TGOSH 2007-03-27 09:19AM | 0 recs

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