Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Iranian Roulette

The Daily Telegraph says: Remember the Falklands, Mr Blair; simultaneously condemning the Iran aggression (and European media lack of aggressiveness on the issue), but calling for calm and diplomacy.

There must be a widespread sense of distraction in Britain at the moment, or conflict fatigue, otherwise it's hard to understand why this newspaper was the only quality one yesterday to lead on the plight of 15 British sailors kidnapped in the Shatt al-Arab waterway south of Basra.

Even if you think, as I do, that Britain has no real business being in Iraq in the first place, it is maddening that a neighbouring power should simply choose to abduct servicemen and women as if they were not human beings but ciphers in a vast political game.

On a similar note, The Belmont Club reflects on "prisoners."

Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay.

Meanwhile, Iran's ostensible allies China and Russia called on Iran to comply with new United Nations security council sanctions. With American and British forces well within striking distance of Iranian shores, the mullahtocracy is playing a dangerous game. It is unclear how long Tony Blair's government will tolerate this injustice. The British surely feel they will have the backing of the United States in this matter. Of course, the safe return of the sailors is paramount, any action should ensure their release. However, every country has a threshold when it comes to national security, political embarrassment and diplomacy. In this sense, Iran is playing roulette.

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