April 7, 2007

US Offered Military Assistance To UK During Hostage Crisis

The Guardian reports that the Bush administration offered a series of military options to the Blair government at the beginning of the hostage crisis, but the British asked the Americans to hold off on any response. The exact list remains classified, but it included one option of "aggressive patrols" over Revolutionary Guard locations:

The US offered to take military action on behalf of the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, including buzzing Iranian Revolutionary Guard positions with warplanes, the Guardian has learned.

In the first few days after the captives were seized and British diplomats were getting no news from Tehran on their whereabouts, Pentagon officials asked their British counterparts: what do you want us to do? They offered a series of military options, a list which remains top secret given the mounting risk of war between the US and Iran. But one of the options was for US combat aircraft to mount aggressive patrols over Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran, to underline the seriousness of the situation.

The British declined the offer and said the US could calm the situation by staying out of it. London also asked the US to tone down military exercises that were already under way in the Gulf. Three days before the capture of the 15 Britons , a second carrier group arrived having been ordered there by president George Bush in January. The aim was to add to pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme and alleged operations inside Iraq against coalition forces.

At the request of the British, the two US carrier groups, totalling 40 ships plus aircraft, modified their exercises to make them less confrontational.

It explains the muted response from the Bush administration during the crisis. Except for demanding the release of the 15 sailors and Marines and endorsing a strong response from the UN, the US stayed rather quiet during the fortnight. The Navy moved a second carrier group into the Gulf, but those orders had come in January and they were expected to arrive at that time.

The report also explains why the Revolutionary Guard captured British personnel rather than Americans. The Guardian's source within the RG admitted that detaining Americans would have led to war, and the RG apparently wanted to push the line to somewhere short of that. It bolsters the case that the capture was ordered locally by an RG commander acting more or less unilaterally, who put the nation in a crisis its senior leadership hadn't sought, but who intended to make the best use of it once it occurred.

International pressure, including a note from the Vatican, seems to have played a part in Iran's release of the sailors, although the subsequent release of an Iranian agent captured in Iraq may have been a part of a wider deal. The Iraqi government also won consular access to the five Iranian agents captured in Irbil in January, which could signal their release sometime soon. If so, it will be hard to conclude anything other than the hostaging of the British sailors was a successful strategy by Revolutionary Guard commanders to get their own people released from American custody.


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Comments (27)

Posted by LamontP [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 10:57 AM

Fox News is most upset that there was no military confrontation. The first 30 to 90 days would have brought high ratings. Then like everyone else, they would have tired of the story as the war stretched into a year, 3 years, 5 years.

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 11:29 AM

Well, you don't have to look much further to see proof that the Dhimmis have taken over the UK. As Dean Bartlett was saying earlier, the Brits have gone from "Let's Roll!" to "Fighting Back Is Not An Option."

It really will take nuclear decimation of one of Europe's major cities, or more likely Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, before the EU, the UN, and the UK realize the folly of their ways.

When you negotiate with terrorists who have committed acts of war against you, they will only seek to do so again.

It will be too late to negotiate with Iran once they have the bomb. They will wipe Israel off the map and millions will die. Oil prices will quadruple. The world economy will collapse and millions more will starve as the mullahs hold the world hostage. This is their stated goal.

The Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick has the one of the best takes on what the British surrender means for the region.

Finally, the Wall Street Journal offers this excellent op-ed on why Pelosi can and should be prosecuted under the Logan Act.

Posted by Bennett [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 11:33 AM

It probably isn't much of a surprise that the US offered the UK whatever assistance it desired. It's also not surprising that the British turned us down. It would have only made them look even weaker than they already did, that we had to project force on their behalf. And Iran probably calculated this as well. From the moment the British sailors surrendered without so much as a by your leave the victory was Iran's to claim. Everything after that, all the humiliating pictures and laughing taunts, all that was Iran simply enjoying its triumph for all the world to see.

Somehow I don't think that in the years to come, the names of these sailor and marines will be in their flowing cups freshly remembered nor will they themselves remember, with advantages, what feats they did that day.

Posted by rvastar [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 11:34 AM

Wow. Fox News is upset? Why?

Ratings? But I thought their ratings were already pretty high. Hmm...weird.

And why would they get tired of reporting on a US-Iran war?

- Fox News reports the news.
- A US-Iran War would be news.
- Therefore, Fox News would report on a US-Iran war...regardless of how long it lasted.

Just like it continues to report on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I guess maybe you don't watch Fox News, since you don't seem to know that. And if you don't know something that simple, it makes me a little skeptical about putting too much stock in your comments.

Hey, maybe you should watch Fox News, then criticize what you've watched. Then I'll be sure to take your comments seriously.

Have a nice day!

Posted by Fight4TheRight [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 11:48 AM

Lightwave, thanks for your posting! Good, good points. You mention that perhaps an attack on Europe will show them the "folly of their ways".... I agree.

The most disturbing thing I have seen is the statement made by Israeli Intelligence that is in that article by Caroline Glick. They state:

"As the IDF's head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet on Sunday, Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and the Palestinians are all openly preparing to go to war against Israel and the US this summer."

I don't know about you but I have a heck of a lot more faith in Israeli Intelligence than anyone else's.

One last point. In my view, it would be DISASTROUS for our letting the 5 Iranian Quds captives in Irbil go - If we let those 5 go, I'll have to backtrack and retract every comment i've made about Britain "whimping out."

Posted by The Fop [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 11:51 AM

It's no wonder that the Europeans view America and Israel as the two biggest threats to world peace. As far as the Europeans are concerned, an acceptable way to keep the peace is to surrender to your enemies. Since America and Israel are amongst the few countries that are willing to fight their enemies, they are perceived by the castrated cowards as a threat to peace.

Posted by LamontP [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 1:37 PM

rvastar - Sure, Fox News talks about the war. They cover the domestic (US) political aspects. But they do very little actual reporting from Iraq. Some days, hours go by without any reporting, I really believe that things are beginning to turn around, but I'd like to see more coverage from "on the ground",

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 1:40 PM

Bush is discovering that being the Saudi Realtor has no "up-side."

He gets no commission, until the Saud's end up owning either syria. Or iraq. And, that's not gonna happen!

Let alone, Tony Baloney Blair stopped being a "dance partner," back in 2002. When he "halped" George Tenet say "slam dunk." And, there were no doughnuts in site. Nothing to dunk, after all.

Now, why would the Brits decide it was okay to play like flommoxed lommoxes, when you're dealing with arabs?

Way back in 1776. Showing you nothing much has been taught from history. It would come as shocking news to you, now. That America had no navy. But as a young nation, did have ships at sea; going back and forth. With "product." We did well, too. Because we grew cotton and tabacco. And, of course, the Brits sold us tea.

But then? The Brits would NOT protect the Atlantic shipping lanes. And, congress? Refused to build a navy! Why? Because politicians didn't see that "ships at sea" did anything except take voters off the land. And, that meant "less votes."

You just couldn't convince our congress critters to build ships! For how long? 40 yeras. We had no way to defend the ships stolen by the arabs. And, we heard the horror stories of the slavery conditions the arabs used, once they took our ships at sea, through piracy.

Even Thomas Jefferson, exposed too long to being an aristocratic diplomat in france; hugged the idea that it was cheaper to pay the tribute. Than to fight congress.

However, all was not smooth "over there." Across the pond. (The Brits aren't too good at doing long term planning.) While they hoped, following 1776, that we'd go under. And, our Republic would fail.

They also drink war beer.

And, they talk funny. What's been lost? I guess too many in England these days, can't hold a stiff upper lip.

While our 4th President, James Monroe, in his 2nd TERM, decided he wasn't going to give the arabs one-million-dollars.

He'd already seen Napoleon trying to grab the caribbean. So the few frigates we had, shot the pantaloons off the french navy. Giving us at least our own waters.

And, no friends in europe! What a whore house is over there! Go in with money. And, they're lying to you when they take it. What your getting? Maybe, relief. But it's a business transaction, none-the-less. And, because it's really illegal, no one pays any taxes. Some gains. Some relief. Isn't it better to have baseball?

Anyway, back to the lessons, learned.

In our response, finally, to the musselmen, we sent out the ships we had. And, they creamed the arabs. You could think of it as "300." Or, you could think of it as something to hum: FROM THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI.

There's been no country on earth (except Israel), willing to look more pathetic after military wins, than us.

So? We gotta hope diplomatic pants dancing idiots, who make tons of money taking graft; end up going the way vaudeville went.

We've gotta cut out the bad stuff. Where we increase the police (so they can attack you for growing tomatoes. Something you saw if you went to Glenn Reynolds, today.)

ANd, begin respecting the nitty gritty.

Do not expect the media to help you on this journey. They never did. That's why history's dustpans are full of their dust.

We get lucky. We did with Ulysses S. Grant. And, Lincoln. Who saved the Constitution by making it impractical to pull down our flag from states' flagpoles.

Perhaps, it's our fortitude? We outlasted the Brits who were sure we were going to fail.

While the Brits? Learned nothing at all. Through the years? Crown jewels fell out of their crown.

Lots of people around this earth are free of them.

Even though? Lots of people now speak English.

Well? All it takes is four years, if you start kids young enough, to learn all they need to know to compute, and read and write, in England. That's what's given us this, here, head start.

As to the Brits? I'm waiting for the 15 to sell their stuff on eBay. I'm curious to see what they can get for the stuff that was inside their pink bags. Plus, who would want to keep one of those ugly suits? Sans ties. (Because the iranians think ties are a Christian Crusaders symbol.) While I thought most men treated it as rags. Once kept in pockets for classrooms. Because of silly rules.

Every day just brings us more examples of silly rules.

More surprising to me is that you thought Tony Baloney Blair was a friend. While I thought he's skirting obscurity. One of England's lesser prime ministers. Like Calahan.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 1:55 PM

Two-bites of the apple

DEBKA's pretty worthless as a source. And, Caroline Glick is Netanyahu's water carrier. Where, in Israel, Netanyahu is still not in any driver's seat. He sits outside the government.

While Olmert is an interesting character. Because there are time Israel has unpopular men sitting in the prime minister's chair. And, the government doesn't fall. It had once been prone to fail. Which is why NOW to kick Olmert out, you need 61 knesset members, signing onto the idea that they ALL lose their seats.

I can still remember Itzik doing this. And, Arik Sharon didn't even want her in Kadima. But had to "accept" the "package deal" that came from Shimon Perez. Now? She sits in the presidency-house that's really Katsav's. As Israel's legal community attempts to create a whole new cloth! NO NEED TO VOTE! Schmears and scandals, instead. Just like in America. Where it gets much to expensive to serve. Leaving the field to the worst bastards.

While we await all the other diplomatic pants dancers "stuff" that makes most people want to puke. Maybe? A few will try numbers where they swing from the air? Using their teeth to hold onto the ropes? Makes about as much sense as anything else.

While Fight4theRight, and others think that the arabs are "looking" for a war with Israel this summer. Because they say so! Heck, they "say" Shalit is alive. But he's not.

And, from the words Abbas is making, that he wants to separate out the return of Shalit TO the return of violent arab criminals in Israeli jails ... I saw the trick. Abbas has no Shalit. But still wants to get terrorists freed.

Lots of luck.

One of the major things known about Olmert. Whose served for 50 years in the wide open of Israeli politics, is that NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS, he lies.

Words don't count.

Which is true for what you hear from most politicians.

But people, for some reason, believe the propaganda.

This summer? Expect no wars started by the cowards. They're big with speech, as long as they think they've got you fooled.

Heck, even Tony Baloney Blair stopped fooling me years ago. I don't trust the Brits! But I do say, and I do see, that they're getting to be unpopular in the Mideast.

To think that once (1918), it was the Brits and the French with their crayon box, that drew all the lines we currently see, around the tribes that in no way get along!

America had that once. We had about 500,000 American indian tribes. Once any group reach 50 people; they put on the war paint. And, they went to war.

And, then? Along came the communists, and erased these facts from our history books.

They also landed deep inside political bodies, where they have enormous influence. Haarvard, and crap like that. The newspapers which most of us no longer read. And, hollywood. Now producing dreck.

But ya still gotta follow da' money.

Did you see "300," yet?

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 2:47 PM

"It really will take nuclear decimation of one of Europe's major cities, or more likely Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, before the EU, the UN, and the UK realize the folly of their ways."

they may realize their folly but they will do nothing about it except cower. if they are not willing to sacrifice blood and treasure now to prevent the bomb they will definitely not risk anything when the stakes are dramatically higher.

i've said it before---we will be able to buy israeli glass on ebay and more than half the world will bid on it.

Posted by onlineanalyst [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 3:22 PM

You keep posting one variation after another about the House of Saud and how the Bush
Administration is beholden to it.

Note the most recent remarks (April 6) by John Bolton:

"DUBAI (AFP) - Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Friday that Saudi's King Abdullah was "mistaken" when he questioned the legality of the US military presence in Iraq and should "correct" his controversial remarks on the matter.

"'With all due respect to the King, it's a mistake to characterise the US presence in Iraq as illegal,' Bolton said in an interview with the US-based Arabic language Al-Hurra television station.

..."Bolton said the US was in Iraq at the invitation of its government and its presence was further sanctioned by a United Nations Security Council resolution."


Iraq attempted to deter the 2003's US-led oalition's goal to depose Saddam. The coalition went ahead in spite of this Saudi effort.

From what I have read, the Saudis are promising to protect the Sunnis In Iraq if a precipitate withdrawal of US forces creates a bloodbath in the resultant power vacuum.

Pelosi's mucking around in the ME and meddling with her inane efforts at "shuttle diplomacy" when she has no Constitutional powers to do so has jeopardized an already fragile situation, potentially harming not only Israel, but also Syrians, Lebanese, and Iranians that desire to throw off the yoke and threat of Islamic terrorism.

The only people that I see embracing the Baker ISG recommendations of engaging Syria and Iran in talks are the Dhimmis of the Left, and Pelosi is their champion of the moment.

I have never seen someone as fickle (and snarkily vitriolic as your posts reveal you when it comes to BDS. Are there perhaps some behind-the-scenes finessing that you just may not be aware of? Where are you getting the idea that President Bush "promised real estate in Iraq to the House of Saud"? That charge needs to be substantiated.

Posted by rvastar [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 3:34 PM

Sure, Fox News talks about the war. They cover the domestic (US) political aspects.

Funny. I watch Fox News everyday, and the Iraq War coverage I see includes reporting on the following (in varying degrees, on varying days):

- US offensives and initiatives
- Sectarian attacks
- Al Queda in Iraq attacks
- Civilian casualties
- US/coalition casualties
- Enemy casualties
- Iraqi political developments
- US political developments
- US/Iraqi government relations
- Strategic analysis by military experts
- Democrat opinion
- Republican opinion
- Polling

But they do very little actual reporting from Iraq.

I guess the question here is "compared to what other network?"

Over the course of the past 5 years, I've seen plenty of on-the-ground reporting from Fox News...in both Iraq and Afghanistan; as a matter of fact, compared to the other news networks I pay attention to (CNN - everyday, NBC and ABC - 3,4 days a week alternating between the two), my impression is that Fox News has done more on-the-ground reporting in both arenas. But that is my opinion because I don't have hard numbers to back that up, and I don't represent things as factual unless I have the data necessary to prove it.

Some days, hours go by without any reporting

Wow. I envy your ability to watch 2-3 hours of Fox News at a time.

Since your original post singled out Fox News for criticism, I guess that means that you then spend an equal amount of time watching other cable and network news broadcasts...who I assume do a better job of reporting in your opinion. Man, to get a good sense of that, you must watch at least 9-12 hours of news a day! Whew!

"I really believe that things are beginning to turn around, but I'd like to see more coverage from "on the ground"

IMO, it's too early to know if things are turning around. I have serious doubts about the prospects of true democracies taking hold amongst people with such a combination of repressive cultures and politically-based religion.

But Fox News' coverage won't really make a difference either way. If the sheer, depraved barbarity of the enemy we've seen in 9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq aren't enough to convince people that the only options are to fight or surrender, then nothing short of nuclear detonations in major cities ever will. And the more people sit around worrying more about what Brit Hume says than what Zawahiri and Ahmadinejad say, then that's exactly what we're risking.

Patrick - I enjoy reading your posts here, because they're blunt assessments of the utter stupidity and silliness being displayed by the West in the face of what has been a mortal enemy for more than 1,000 years. Sure there have been lulls in the fighting, but as long as one side doesn't forget, then nothing is over. And their side has certainly not forgotten.

I also understand your frustration at knowing that we're literally playing with fire - nuclear fire. And in the face of that looming threat, huge segments of the Western world take their cues from such waste of genetic material as Sean Penn and Cindy Sheehan and Nancy Pelosi.

But I think that when push comes to shove, somehow the West will find it's soul again...no matter how much leftist excrement has been piled on top of it for the past 60 years. And the good news is that when that happens, it will drive a stake through the bloodsucking heart of leftist thought...and it can be discarded on the ash heap of history as just another tragic mistake in the evolution of human society.

It really is a shame though, the horror that's going to have to come before that happens.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 4:21 PM

I wish I could recall who wrote it, but I saw a column (or perhaps only a blog post) that made this point:

Who has been Britain's firmest friend during this crisis? The United States.

The EU told them to get bent.

NATO did nothing.

The UN expressed alarm.

In contrast, WE followed their lead. We offered military assistance, then backed off when they asked us to. We played this exactly as Blair asked us to, and would have gone to the mat for our friends in Britain had they asked.

Yet, who do many Britons blame for this mess? Iran? Their own military policy?


They blame the USA.


Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 6:31 PM

Maybe the Brits did not accept the help because their vfirst concern was getting their people back, not a war.

I really do not think this was a a big coup for the Iranians, after all they did not take an embassy and hold its people for more than 400 days.

I do think that the Iranians were less likely to take Americans because Americans would have been less likely to go without a fight, after all our people did let them take the US embassy back in 79 and I doubt any American would let Iranians take him that easily today.

But there is something unseemly about being pissed off these young people are home safe. It is almost as if some people seem to think the only thing to do in a situation like this is to invade or something.

The Iranians blinked and let these people go. Or they could have held them for months and months. Or they could have hanged them on TV for the whole world to watch. Or Blair could have asked Bush to do some aggressive patrols, which might or might not have gotten them released.

Sometimes I think people want to have something to complain about, I really do.

Posted by burt [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 7:15 PM

"It bolsters the case that the capture was ordered locally by an RG commander acting more or less unilaterally..."

I don't see any case weak or strong.

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 7:22 PM

Stop the Brit baiting. It pathetic that you guys are so upset that this didn't develop into another war and that Britain was able to get its soldiers released.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 8:41 PM

Tony Blair can spit all he wants, he can't get the Brit's honor back, again. What happened? It will stick. Given that it provides a "face" to affirmative action. And, there are NO HEROES IN THIS STORY!

The big bathtub that's the Gulf? Nobody's gonna go to war, foolishly. Our ships are there to provide the means for oil to be shipped OUT of the Gulf, and towards all the customers far away. And, far, far away.

I think American Admirals also know their carriers would tank of they lost a crew to the iranian "hostage takers." Foregone conclusion; don't call home and expect sympathy.

The other place to look?


Which just had a cruise ship up-end. And, the five top officers are heading for jail.

You didn't know shipping was serious business? Why? You trust Tony Baloney? He's in about as good a shape as pelosi.

And, oddly enough, the lady drive into her own bumps.

While the 15 Brits who've made it home with goody bags and free suits, have only themselves to blame. While they take their crap to eBay. Just to see what they can get for it.

Souvenirs for sale.

No. I didn't think we were going to go to war to save the Brits. Sorry.

One thing fer shur. For the next two years, Bush gets to do less "travel." And, if you know how much work it is to travel for diplomacy, you'll see that he's shedding no tears.

That's just the way it is. While others have opened up their "commitments to run." And, they hope to raise money.

Did you know there was money in offering yourself up as a candidate?

How much could the Captian raise, if the Captain committed himself to run? We could bet on amounts, the way customers used to bet on "how many jelly beans are in the jar" ... that used to sit on the counters at the Rexall Druggists. Do you remember? Were there ever any winners?

It could have been worse. We could have watched the 15 British sailors and marines, snuffed, one by one. Glad they all got home.

A long time ago, in 1776, when the Brits stood down, so the musselmen could attack American ships, the outcomes were much uglier.

For courage, it's good to remember it took about 40 years. Before we fought back the first time. And, then what was refreshing? The europeans didn't know there was a different way than paying tribute that worked!


And, Winston Churchill said: Americans do the right thing, AFTER they do just about everything else.

Now, you know why Winston said that, don't cha?

Tony Baloney Blair is no Winston Churchill, either. More like Calahan. More like the usual breed of stripey pants dancers.

Whatever Winston was drinking, I'd like some.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 8:41 PM

No lexhamfox, you missed the point!

Nobody is disappointed that we didn't start a war, we're disappointed that the Brits found a way to pay the ransom and thereby validated the kidnapping, and by the way the kidnappers as well. So the net result is that the kidnappers have more credibility inside Iranian leadership circles, and are more likely to overplay their hand somewhere down the road. And also, they've validated the image of an "easy mark" for the UK military in other capitals and in the caves of Waziristan, a whole range of groups with a very high propensity to overplay their hand. Hence, by avoiding a small conflict now, the Brits have increased the probability of a much larger one later.

Take another look at Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" again, or better yet get a good diplomatic history of Europe in the 1930's. The process is very familiar and you should know it far better than I.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 9:27 PM

It all depends on what you read.

Yes, I think Bush is the Realtor for the House of Saud.

As a matter of fact, he just sent condi to "halp" re-invest in the Saud's 2002 BUST IN BEIRUT. Where the First Saudi "plan" was unveiled. The Jews were supposed to "go back to the pre-1967 borders. And, the Saud's would then have the Israelis able to do "business" with the arabs.

If you believe that, good for ya.

But Arik Sharon was then the prime minister of Israel. And, arafat was alive. He wanted to "go to Beirut." The city, Arafat got tossed out of. In 1982. When General Sharon tossed arafat's sorry ass to Tunis.

He also told Arafat, in 2002, that he could leave FOR Beirut. But there were no guarantees that he'd be allowed back TO Ramallah.

Arafat decided to "tele-commute" to that meeting. Made "famous" by Tom Friedman.

Do you remember that old story? Tom Friedman just happened to have been in Riyadh. When the prince's plans fell out of his desk. And, got published by the New yuk Times.

Condi is way out of her league.

Did Arik Sharon know what he was getting into when he did the Disengagement from Gaza?

You know, I think so.

He knew there were terrible pressures on Israel. Including demographic ones. And, when he pulled the Jews out of Gaza, he probably knew it would become gazoo. But it didn't stop Bush from telling Arik "to keep on pulling."

Alas, Arik stroked. And Olmert who gets headaches, as often as he gets "convergence." Can't do a thing. Bush is stuck on dreaming.

But, yes. in my disappointment (having voted for Bush in 2004), because I really did love Arik Sharon; is still just the Saud's Realtor.

And, his wife, Laura? She's hosted many DC parties for Prince Bandar.

I also read in THE PRICE OF LOYALTY, that Bush was "furious" with Bill Clinton. Because Bill Clinton tossed Bush #41 unceremoniously out of office.

Well, by the time Bush #43 goes home, it's going to be a familiar story. The Bush's in the Gulf doing stuff that doesn't really impress most Americans.

Yes. We are there.

Yes. Bush has tried to "connect" the reasons we're in Iraq, to the problems caused by Israel's existence. But Maliki didn't buy it.

And, Eygpt. And, Jordan. Cannot quite make the argument that the HOuse of Saud needs to sweep in sryia and lebanon into the mix.

While I doubt any of the 3 hostages are alive. I do know the fancy tricks arabs can pull. Especially when the want Israel to give up territory and prisoners.

Such an old and stupid game by now.

While, at least condi is no longer considered "presidential timber."

Not even if Cheney croaks.

Because? Bush is about as popular as Olmert.

And, also, because Glenn Reynold's mentioned it; it's worth noticing that KOH may be offered up to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy.

Bush has nothing left to lose.

Or can you keep tabs on the politics ahead?

Even in the swamps, politicians can go awry.

Yes, it's good to read John Bolton's views!

Good to know that the saudi's plans can run into trouble.

And, James Baker IS Bush's fella. Not pelosi's.

While James Baker's idea that the Saud's can buy $8-billion in the latest military technology ... has not, as yet, cleared the hurdles that bring it into congress.

It's in congress it gets to live. Or die.

Within a 30-day time frame.

While MERKEL stood with Israel.

Now, that floored me.

The germans are picking Israel.

Unlike pelosi. who is weakened by her trip to Assad.

Reading between the lines is like reading Braille. Every bump tells ya something new. Something you didn't know happened. When all you see is the deflated souffle.

By the way, Lew. Hitler really did build a rolling army. Full of planes and tanks.

The Saud's? Not unless their $8-billion-dollar deal goes through.

And, like a said, the Realtor doesn't get a commission unless the deals go through.

Learn from business. Most deals collapse.

Just like souffles that are missing a few ingredients.

Shirer's book covered real events.

The arabs are in no way close to building much else, except Dubai. And, like I said. It's on par with Euro-Disney.

And, ya know what? The 15 British kids got to go home. And, not blown to smithereens; like so many kids were in WW1. Shot by the machine guns that fired through the propellers of german aircraft; because someone figured out the timing.

And, the kids were stuck on the barbed wire. They couldn't cut themselves down in time.

Kids sent to die by commanders, just like the one commanding the Cornwall. Putting kids out on rafts, without backup. There's a lot Tony Blair has to be ashamed of. So, it's gonna be nice knowing he's not gonna get invited to our White House any time soon.

Bush's agenda now is to back General Patraeus. Who is working with Maliki. In Iraq. Curing one problem at a time.

What's it gonna take to get condi's hands out of trouble, however, I do not know.

The "Saudi plan?" It bit the dust back in 2002.

We get to have James Baker and Robert Gates during Bush's waning years in office.

All wars end. The trick is to make the diplomacy workabe. It's been Israel's learning curve since 1948. It's a mess and a morass out there; much more than you think.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 9:42 PM

How do we know that the Brits "validated" the kidnapping? and by the way, blaming the victim is not attractive...no matter who does it. How do you validate a kidnapping anyway?

For one thing there are over 300 Iranians in coalition custody in Iraq and chances are most of them will be released sooner or later. For another we do not know that the Iranian they released was someone they even needed or wanted to hang onto to longer. Maybe they intended to release him anyway, none of us are in a position to have that kind of information.

For another thing the fact that the Iranians get to talk some people in custody is not that earth shattering and for another for all we know they wanted a whole lot more but caved when they saw those aircraft carriers.

I like Krauthammer but there have been times when I thought he got way too big for his britches, one time was the Harriet Miers nomination, another was his insistence that Bush hop-to and fire Gonzales and now he is acting positively miffed that these people got back to GB in one piece without a war.

Charles can be as pissy as he wants, but he is not the one being held as a guest of the Iranians, nor is he the guy who is responsible for trying to get those people out alive. Easy for him to say in other words.

I am pro war, I have been called a chickenhawk and a fascist and war monger and God knows what else...but this is going to a long war, we do not need to create defeats for ourselves or victories for our enemies.

The Brits are home, the mad mullahs blinked and decided they would not "try" anyone. How many different better ways was this going to end. If you were waiting for the head honcho over there to beg for mercy, forget it, it ain't gonna happen. The man is crazy, crazy enough to hang those Brits if he felt cornered. Is that what we want?

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 10:15 PM


I don't think anybody's unhappy that the Brits came home quickly and safely. What we ARE unhappy about includes:

1. That Iran committed a gross violation of international law and got away with it. Worse, in some (liberal) circles, THEY are the good guys for acting with such "mercy" and "restraint";

2. That we don't know what (if anything) the Iranians got out of this. What did Blair offer them in exchange for his sailors?

3. That the British service people seem to have folded like cheap lawn chairs after a VERY short time in Iraqi custody. Natch, it's easy to criticize from the safety of my office chair, but I hate to think that US sailors and Marines would be smiling, waving at the camera and going through their goodie bags. Worse, their government is "proud" of their behavior.

The British have gone from "We shall never surrender" to "Fighting back was not an option" in less than a century.

Lew raises a good point, as usual. Compare the behavior of Britain in this crisis to the behavior of the frenchies when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in '36. The frenchies just sort of stood around, leaning on their guns, while an outnumbered and nervous body of German troops marched across the bridges in violation of treaty. Hitler was emboldened by the complete lack of response from the Allies; his generals (the "moderate" element), who'd counseled him NOT to provoke France and Britain, were cowed. We know the rest of the history: Austria, the Sudentenland, Czechoslovakia, Poland, World War II, fifty million dead.

No man can see the future, and one never knows the end of the road not taken, but it may be that Britain, by failing to put on a modest show of force now, has set in motion a train of events that will lead to many, many more deaths in the future.

Perhaps the Iranians know they came close to getting stomped and won't try anything stupid again... Or perhaps they learned that, once again, they can get away with mass kidnapping for ransom. Who will they try to grab next? And what will we do about it?

What does this all of this say to Britons in uniform? "Oh, if somebody tries to grab you, go ahead and surrender quietly. And spill your guts, too; say anything you're told to say, because (1) we ain't coming to get you and (2) we'll be proud no matter what you do."

Posted by KW64 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 10:36 PM

I understand that a third carrier left port on the day before the Iranians decided to release the hostages. This could have been motivation as well. Call it peace through strength.

I would have liked to bomb the Iranian factory that makes the shaped projectile mines they are giving the insurgents in Iraq as well as the printing presses we gave the Shah that they use to make counterfeit dollars; but we could not get out in front of Blair on this one.

Maybe they will give us another chance later.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 10:47 PM


They seemed to have folded like lawn chairs. That is nice.

The Americans don't have a lot of allies in the world that would take the crap the Brits have to stay with us, it would be nice if we did not call them cowards because they chose not to go out in a blaze of glory to make someone else somewhere else happy.

That is what you are saying.

During WW2 there were POWs camps full of soldiers who were taken prisoners. They did not all do what the Japanese did and strap grenades to themselves. As a general rule the Allies did not require suicide of their soldiers.

But it seems that has changed.

I am saying none of you people were there. Not one of you would have been in any danger at all and here you are all outraged because someone else did not get himself killed to make you feel better.

And then of course we are going to act like this is the end of the world. Western Civilization is in peril because of this incident. etc. We are all doooomed.

Well, what would you prefer? A war? Was Blair supposed to ask for a Declaration of War against Iran? Would he have gotten it?

I mean, in the real world how much better could this have ended? Even the Pope got into the act and it seems to be that when push came to shove it was the Iranians who folded.

I am really kind of bothered by the people on the right who are acting like Ahmadenijahd's PR people, talking about how cool he was and how came out on top and he won and all....he blinked is what he did. He went from threatening to try these people for something they could be hanged for to turning them loose. He got very little if anyting in return. And there is no one out there who can seriously say now that these people are rational. In the long run George Bush may have gained more from this than the Mullahs.

The only real victory I can see for the crazy man of Iran is that he has gotten Americans trashing Brits, that is probably a real hoot for him.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 7, 2007 10:55 PM

And if this was really a case of overwhelming odds and the soldiers felt like shooting at the Iranians would have gotten them nothing but dead, then perhaps it was better that they did not all get killed.

As for the pictures from Iranian TV, we all know what that was, these people have made it plain they felt threatened. In fact the woman said they seperated her from the men and then told her the men had been sent back and she was all alone.

No, it would be playing into their hands to try turn this into a victory for the mullahs.

Posted by Bennett [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 7:18 AM

Why are there only two choices: abject surrender OR total war? I think the point of most comments here is not the behavior of the British government or the conduct of the sailors and Marines after they were captured (and the 15 are now busily lining up book deals) but why the Iranians felt free to pluck them out of the water in the first place. As one commenter correctly noted, the Iranians would be far less likely to try this with an American boarding party because we would fight back. The Brits didn't and Iran correctly calculated that they wouldn't.

Once an enemy chances upon a successful tactic, there is no reason to suppose that he won't use it again and again. And others will as well. Britain may have retrieved these 15 people without a shot being fired but how many more of its citizens has it put at risk as a result? I don't believe anyone here has championed the cause of war. The point is that Britain's weakness may well lead to more not less provocations on the part of Iran (and others).

In the words of the immortal Winston Churchill (after Chamberlain signed the Munich pact with Hitler): "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war." Britain may never find itself in a war with Iran but it will certainly find that its people and its assets are at greater risk now and not just from Iran. If this is not a victory for the mullahs, it certainly is not one for the British either.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 7:40 AM


Nobody is more disappointed than I to be in a position of criticizing Great Britain in general and the RN in particular, as I've admired them since childhood. I suppose that this is what makes the behavior of Blair and the sailors so inexplicable.

I don't say that they should have died rather than surrender. This is not generally in the western soldiers' creed (though I understand that most Americans serving in Iraq have adopted that attitude; better to die fighting than have your head sawed off on al-Jazeera). There's not much shame in giving up when you're surrounded and resistance appears futile... though Chard and Bromhead (1), the "Old Contemptibles" at Mons (2), and Carne (3), among others, might disagree if we could ask them. Given that Nelson routinely attacked forces superior to his own - and thrashed them - I think we can guess HIS opinion.

But I do say that the British personnel seem to have folded pretty quickly, and that's a matter of concern. Iran got the propaganda it wanted courtesy of the smiling and laughing British sailors and marines. They got to humiliate the British (if we Americans, who admire and respect the British as among our best friends, are sneering, what kind of contempt can the rest of the world have?). We don't know what promises Blair made. The best we can hope is that the Iranians believe that they won't be able to get away with this again, because Blair has done nothing to prove it to them.


(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rourke%27s_drift

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mons

(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Power_Carne

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 8:58 AM

I know this is like talking to a foriegn country, but let's try one more time - YOU CAN'T RID YOURSELF OF THE DANE BY PAYING THE DANEGELD! He'll only come back for more when the spring melts the ice next year.

It is blatantly simple. It doesn't take a genius to understand. The surest way in the history of humanity to bring on a really big war is to show the world's bullies that you're unwilling to fight and win the really small ones. How hard is this to get?

When someone grabs your people on the high seas, your object is NOT to get them back in one piece. Your objective, if you ever want to be taken seriously, is to slap the living hell out of the kidnapper until he give's up NOT ONLY his hostages but the idea of kidnapping them to begin with. Soldiers are expendable - that's why we have them! The object is to spend them wisely and economically, but you MUST spend them!

Had the Brits taken themselves seriously, this would have ended with an IRANIAN apology and a promise to grow up and behave like a real country AND the delivery of the hostages with no conditions. Just because we don't know the exact details of the price, doesn't mean that we can't conclude that a deal was made.