April 8, 2007

Successful Strategies Usually Get Repeated

If anyone expresses shock over the latest report from The Telegraph, they expose themselves as having no sense of history. The British newspaper reports that the Iranians plan more hostaging as a result of the successes they scored during the crisis over the last two weeks (via Memeorandum):

Hardliners in the Iranian regime have warned that the seizure of British naval personnel demonstrates that they can make trouble for the West whenever they want to and do so with impunity.

The bullish reaction from Teheran will reinforce the fears of western diplomats and military officials that more kidnap attempts may be planned.

The British handling of the crisis has been regarded with some concern in Washington, and a Pentagon defence official told The Sunday Telegraph: "The fear now is that this could be the first of many. If the Brits don't change their rules of engagement, the Iranians could take more hostages almost at will.

"Iran has come out of this looking reasonable. If I were the Iranians, I would keep playing the same game. They have very successfully muddied the waters and bought themselves some more time. And in parts of the Middle East they will be seen as the good guys. They could do it time and again if they wanted to."

People keep insisting that the Iranians didn't win anything in this confrontation. The Telegraph quotes other British sources that conclude that the Iranians lost ground with other nations that may have supported their right to the nuclear cycle. That analysis figures that Iran may have a more difficult time making enriched uranium if more nations disapprove of the mullahcracy.

That's simply ludicrous. Iran committed an act of war on the United Kingdom. It then violated the Geneva Convention on several occasions. For these acts, it received no negative consequences whatsoever. Britain pressed the US to reduce its military profile in the Gulf, and the British themselves stopped their interdiction patrols. In return, Iran released the hostages and made themselves look like moderates in doing so, and strengthened the political position of the hardliners at home.

Did the Iranians earn the disapproval of the global community? Hardly. Even the EU, of which Britain is a member, refused to stop trading with the Iranians. The UN offered a finger wag at Teheran and nothing more, and even that took a Herculean effort by Tony Blair and the US. Has anyone stopped trading with the Iranians as a result of their act of war and GC violations? Has any nation taken a new position against Iran's nuclear program?

People who think Britain won anything in this standoff need to re-read Winston Churchill's first volume of The Second World War and the first half of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer. The West has given the hardliners in Teheran a tremendous boost in their reaction to this hostaging, and they can expect more of it in the future.


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Comments (28)

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:07 AM

"People keep insisting that the Iranians didn't win anything in this confrontation."

as usual only a very few enablers at this site were of that opinion........

Posted by BarCodeKing [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:13 AM

A.D. 980-1016

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

--Rudyard Kipling

Posted by blueguitarbob [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:24 AM

"Hostaging"? That's a little awkward. How about "kidnapping," since that's already a word...

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:29 AM

thanks for the poem, Bar.......

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:33 AM

Speaking of the Third Reich...last week was just more evidence that the power of propaganda can trump the facts. The Muslim World will never see the end of the British sailors' story. Their "trespass saga" ends after "confessions" and happy handshakes at being pardoned. And of course, Iranians and other parts of the Muslim World may hear that those "evil Brits forced the sailors recant later....ah, too bad." Like the title of Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film says, it's a "Triumph of the Will." Last week Iran had "the Will," and the Brits didn't. If the Iranian's goal was to make the West look pathetic, it was a homerun.

Posted by TWood [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:43 AM

What a stupid shallow "analysis'. A few choice quotes from Wikipedia:

"Iran holds 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas. It is OPEC's second largest exporter and the world's fourth oil producer."

"Iran's major commercial partners are China, Germany, South Korea, France, Japan, Russia and Italy."

"As Prime Minister, Mossadegh became enormously popular in Iran by nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later British Petroleum, BP) which controlled the country's oil reserves. In response, Britain embargoed Iranian oil and began plotting to depose Mossadegh. Members of the British Intelligence Service invited the United States to join them, convincing U.S. President Eisenhower that Mossadegh was reliant on the Tudeh (Communist) Party to stay in power. In 1953, President Eisenhower authorized Operation Ajax, and the CIA took the lead in overthrowing Mossadegh and supporting a U.S.-friendly monarch; and for which the U.S. Government apologized in 2000.[36]"

There's a long history of bad blood between Iran and the US/UK, all of it revolving around oil. Which is what the Iraqi war is about too. So why is anyone surprised that militarily inferior (to the US) nations will use non-military strategems to advance their interests?

And look at that list of Iranian trading partners. Gee, do we really want to be held responsible for tanking their economies with an oil supply disruption from Iran? To echo the real estate mantra, we have three methods of working the Middle East: Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy.

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 11:33 AM


i think your own words said it best about your post

"What a stupid shallow "analysis'."

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 11:41 AM

IF the British are determined to stay in this battle, I hope they plan to train their soldiers on what NOT to do while captured. They can use this video to start their training.


This video should haunt and shame, not the soldiers, but the Country who trained them and the Countrymen that support them.

If this doesn't stiffen the spine of every UK citizen to fight this battle to win, then please, for the sake of their soldiers, pull out now.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 11:44 AM

Hardliners in the Iranian regime have warned that the seizure of British naval personnel demonstrates that they can make trouble for the West whenever they want to and do so with impunity.

Hmmm... What can we do to persuade them that this isn't a good idea?

(A) Apologize to the Iranians for being so mean to them in the past and immediately pulling everything we have out of the Middle East;

(B) Go to the UN and ask them to beg the Iranians to be nice;

(C) Urge the British to change their ROE and hope for the best;

(D) Move every spare CVBG we have into the Gulf region and tell Tehran to go ahead: make our day.

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 11:47 AM

It's more accurate to have said:

This video should haunt and shame, not the soldiers, but the Country who trained them and the Countrymen that "support" them.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 11:49 AM

Diplomacy is sterile without a military option just under the surface. Diplomacy is what you do when you have neither the will nor the wherewithal to fight. Everybody knows this except TWood and his little buddies.

They will never soil their hands on the little fights, so they doom themselves and all the rest of us, to die in the big ones.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 1:17 PM

I am still glad the sailors were released and we are not going into day whatever of the hostage crisis. I remember than when the Iranians held our hostages, the evening news would come on whatever talking head was on the tube would tell what day it was. In fact they used to put the number on the screen to make sure Americans were reminded just how many days the Iranians had held Americans.

I don't think the mullahs gained as much as the Captain seems to think they did. After all, this has been a tactic they have used in the past many times before this particular incident and they will probably use it again. But this time they caved and gave the people back. They did not try them or hang them or anything of the kind inspite of their threats.

Would you prefer a War? Because I doubt that the British people would and they are the ones Tony Blair has to convince before the shooting starts. In other words, I fail to understand exactly what people thought would happen. Were they looking for an apology? A promise to never ever do it again? That won't happen.

Instead the mullahs turn these people loose and then smart off and of course people just have to rise to the bait and claim the Mullahs the winners. All they have to do is act nuts.

What did they win? Exactly? It seems to me they have just reinforced the notion that they are not to be trusted and that they are capable of breaking any law to get what they want.

However, before we say that this was a big win for the mullahs and go after Blair the same way a lot of people went after Olmert, maybe there should be an alternative plan offered. One that actually had a chance of coming about.

And I still think that the proximity of the US Navy had something to do with the release. But these people are vain as peacocks, they will always have to claim they won whether they did or not. That does not mean we have to buy their propaganda.

In the future, the coalition forces need to make sure they are not this vulnerable again. The UK and Iran were not in a state of war when this thing happened, the Brits were carrying out a UN Mandate and they had specific rules of engagement under that mandate, that needs to change.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 1:26 PM

And btw, when Churchill was running things in Britain, British soldiers and sailors were known to {on occasion} surrender to the enemy. But that is a different situation entirely. There were in a declared state of war and it is highly unlikely that a small group of Brits would have been that close to German infested waters in a small boat armed with nothing but small arms going up against a hostile German navy. So the situation is not the same.

It could be argued that in the future the Brits need to treat as something more akin to war, but in this particular case we are talking about a handful of sailors on a patrol without ample support.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 1:30 PM

If the Greeks didn't just lose a passenger cruise ship; you wouldn't see the difference between the things that get captains' demoted. And, the soap opera Blair just played on Bush.

Here. The passenger ship hit rocks. And, it blew a hole in the hull. And, before the crew could "shut the doors" to make the ship "water tight" ... or "water proof," the darn thing capsized. and went down.

FIVE OFFICERS are in JAIL. In Greece. WIthout careers to look forward to, now.

While what did you just find out?

Well? You found out that Blair hates Bush. And, decided to do a stripey-pants dance.

You could have learned from last summer; when condi toodled off to do a few turns and whirls with Chirac; that we're really not up-front-and-honest with people, either.

Seems Bush is into giving the Saudi's much more than they deserve.

And, while news out of Iraq is scarce; it seems Maliki's problems was to cope with the terror delivered by the sunnis. Who are the saudi "proxies." And, done with "that" wealth.

While on the ground, Bush put Chalabi. (While Tommy Franks was still fighting.) Chalabi's goons were televised LOOTING. So, he had to go.

And, so, he went.

Later, so would the career of Judith Miller head south. Legal hanky panky? You care?

Paul Bremer was the WORST! And, still, Maliki SURVIVED.

Reminds me. Bush hates Olmert. More than he dislikes Blair.

And, Bush HATES Maliki!

So, you take all these pieces, and you try to make sense of the "puzzle."

Bush, however, is, in fact, stymied.

The Mideast is brewing "something." But for the House of Saud, the best we should be hoping for is that they FAIL.

Next? We should be hoping for the $8-billion the Saud's have ordered from our most modern military, also gets kaboshed.

The James Baker fantasy? (Which he has not been able to sell?) Israel's military will be used to "accompany" the Saud's into IRAN.

About as much chance of that to happen, as the Turks granted to Tommy Franks, when we did go in "to get Saddam."

Now, the Iraqis are trying their best to have their own country.

Same is true for Turkey.

And, from previous historical examples? You've got a lot of sick countries over there.

Are we ahead, yet?

Yes. We're learning first hand how to do militarily, in slums, what we can do in American slums.

And, I even know a secret. To help our marines in Iraq; after they've been trained to GO. The LA POLICE DEPARTMENT shows up. And, teaches them the nitty-gritty.

How will Iraq survive? The same way Israel learned to do. USE CEMENT! Build walls.

Or, in the Kurds' case; dig big deep trenches. No bridges. And, the arabs aren't welcomed there, either.

Did a deal go down that pleased iran? YES. They got back the one "prisoner" held by Maliki. NOT the prisoners collected, however, who came from Iran, to deal with Talibani.

When buying rugs, its the same thing. Don't trust the sellers to be honest. By definition, they can't be. They're arabs. And, it's against their religion.

Meanwhile, in the global economy we do provide the navy and air force that the iranian nut job has learned WON'T REACT the way the Brit's did.


Because our military has the eyeballs to view what's happening in GREECE. And, admirals. plus other officers, don't need to learn how to lose their carreers "by calling home."

The British soap opera is only gonna make 15 weak, affirmative action hires, a bit rich.

It's the same soap opera that makes Valerie Plame rich. (As if those types make any kind of troop you'd want to field.)

The soap opera, however, will serve a purpose. It will end the "affirmative action" crowd from taking prizes off the table. And, we need that! That's the best possible outcome for victory, ahead.

Ah. And, that's why our WW2 victory is not in sight, now.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 1:33 PM

And btw, when Churchill was running things in Britain, British soldiers and sailors were known to {on occasion} surrender to the enemy. But that is a different situation entirely. There were in a declared state of war and it is highly unlikely that a small group of Brits would have been that close to German infested waters in a small boat armed with nothing but small arms going up against a hostile German navy. So the situation is not the same.

It could be argued that in the future the Brits need to treat as something more akin to war, but in this particular case we are talking about a handful of sailors on a patrol without ample support.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 2:23 PM

There's a better history lesson out there. Because it starts in 1776. When George Washington had to deal with the perfidious Brits.

How so?

The Brits actually ruled the seas. Their shipping, protected by gun boats, sailed freely.

And, America, just starting out, depended on trade with Europe. Especially, england and france. Where we had long ties, diplomatically.

Thomas Jefferson, before becoming our 3rd president, sent years in france. As America's resident diplomat. He even had his wife's half-sister, the slave Sally Hemmings, with him. As a side story, in france she was FREE. Should could have "stayed free." But decided to return to Monticelo.

So not everything you gleen from history books, tells ya, EVER, the "whole story."

Anyway, it took 40 years. 4 Presidents. Till we reached James Monroe's 2nd term; when we FINALLY went and rescued the sailors who were taken captive by the Muzzies. Then, called "musselmen."

During those 40 years hundreds of American sailing vessels were captured by the muzzy pirates. The men were put into abject slavery. Sold. And, everything on board taken and kept.

While George Washington mistakenly believed that American patriots would not want to get involved "in another war."

And, the Brits? Thought we'd be defeated at sea. SO they could send the Red Coats back. (They never really did get over our rejection of their monarchy.)

But, the real problems manifested themselves in Congress. Where, at first, NONE OF THE STATES wanted a Navy! They saw the Navy as a handicap to States Rights.

But? Reluctantly, as the congress critters were no better then, than they are now. "Caved" and began building frigates.

JUST IN TIME! Napoleon got it into his head to send gun ships into the Caribbean. (While we teach out school children about the Lousiana Purchase; and how bright Jefferson was.) We fail to teach the lesson, that Napoleon wanted to take "things" back. By controlling the waterways in the Atlantic. Especially, the Caribbean.

Typical. We never brag.

But the first encounter for our navy was Napoleon's gun ships. Which we sent down in a few sea battles.

And, still? Thomas Jefferson, where he had the choice to go to war "from the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli," actually back-channelled.

Just as we were making headway to take on the pirates, too! Jefferson made his TRIBUTE deal in france. And, the Americans got to learn, early, that even the "best" politicians are capable of disappointing ya, something terrible.

And, the TRIBUTE? It was an annual event. We'd free "last year's lot," only to see knew ships, by the hundreds, interceded. And, dragged to ports in Tunis, and Tripoli. All the arabs were in on the problem.

Jefferson? He compared the costs. Paying tribute costs less than war. Even though we were giving the muzzies a million per Tribute. And, they had also taken to demand American GUN BOATS. We also, then, provided new ammunitions for this crap to steal us blind.

As I said. The story took 40 years. Where atfirst we didn't even have a navy! Not one single ship.

The reasons we use the term "marines" ... is that there weren't enough fighting sailors. So army personnel, put aboard ships, to fight in the Mideast, were called Marines. Now, you know.

You also know that once Americans began to fight, in earnest, we totally destroyed the pirates at their bases. (Ports.) And, their capitol cities.

We didn't depend on the Brits. Because? The Brits had other interests. And, diplomacy was always their "game."

Learn something new every day, if you're just willing to open your eyes.

As to the iranians "trying it again," I think they'd expose themselves to an American response, akin to what got dropped on their heads when our Marines adopted the song; FROM THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI.

As to the real problems in the Mideast? Began in 1918, as WW 1 closed. And, the french and the british took out their crayon boxes. And, some maps. And, drew the most nonsensical borders around hordes of different tribes. On par with making that mistake, here. Where there were lots of American Indian tribes. And, we were never made the mistakes of calling Mohawks, Tomahawks.

And, where technology, itself, brought us to the bored rifle. And, a much better "repeater" defense.

Not so much different, today. The technological genius is also ours.

While a few political perverts try to sell us all down the river. And, when they can't? They're still trying to take $8-billion dollars worth of the latest military hardware; and hand it to the goons in the House of Saud.

Don't believe me? All that's stopping James Baker's sale, is his fears, so far, that when this "deal" hits congress; there are 30 days where the deal could get kaboshed.

Is Bush waiting for congress to go out on vacation?

You never know.

But you either have a sense in your guts. Or you don't.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 2:35 PM


Remember the Trent Affair? That was during the Civil War when the Union boarded a British ship and took two confederate agents off that ship.

The British threatened war and Lincoln apologized if I remember correctly, because he was not in any position to fight the Brits and the Rebels. Public sentiment was running high in both countries, but war was averted.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 2:39 PM

terrye asked:

What did they win? Exactly?

They confirmed that neither the UN nor the EU nor NATO are going to do a damn thing to stop them from developing nuclear weapons.

Would you prefer a War?

I'd prefer, at a minimum, a policy of strong retaliation for acts of war.

The conduct of the British sailors is not the issue -- that conduct may be excusable because fighting back may not, in fact, have been a reasonable option for them at the time.

But there is no excuse for the lack of action by the British Government. Iran's seizure of British military personnel was an act of war. The appropriate reaction to such a thing is to retaliate and retaliate strongly enough to discourage future acts of war. The British could have done this by sinking one or more Iranian naval vessels or by destroying one or more of Iran's off-shore oil platforms. It's a target-rich environment, targets that Iran can scarcely afford to lose.

However, things should never have gotten this far because the American government should have destroyed the Iranian regime with air strikes long ago. The Iranians have been committing acts of war against the US since 1979. In any event, we certainly should have attacked Iran when we discovered insurgents and the Shiite militias in Iraq were killing our troops with advanced IEDs supplied by the Iranians.

There is absolutely no reason to tolerate any of this. The Iranians are in an extremely vulnerable position. Their economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. Gasoline is rationed in Tehran because they cannot refine enough.

It is completely immoral to tolerate acts of war by totalitarian aggressors such as the regime in Tehran. Such tolerance simply encourages further acts of war. And it is especially immoral to allow any such regime to acquire nuclear weapons.

The only proper, moral thing to do is punish Iran right now. I am not a military expert or tactician, so I will not pretend to know the best military options. But I don’t see a need to seek out and attempt to bomb all of their nuclear research and development facilities or invade and occupy the country. One good air strike that targets their naval forces and some key economic infrastructure -- such as gasoline production facilities and power plants -- ought to teach them a very painful lesson indeed.

Let the Iranians live without electricity and gasoline for a while; let them learn that such is the smallest price they can expect to pay for attacking America, Britain or Israel. Let them know that the price can go much, much higher if the attacks continue.

Until and unless somebody administers such punishment, Iran’s mischief will continue and grow.

Posted by KW64 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 2:49 PM

If Iran persists in kidnaping, it will give Bush an excuse and he likely would use it. I doubt if the Nimitz has turned around just because the British sailors have been released. Three carrier groups in the area could make hostage taking a risky enterprise.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 3:12 PM


You are overlooking a couple of factors: the British people and the American people are not prepared to tolerate a military reaction to something like this.

Not yet.

To say the Brits have no excuse is not really a judgment call for you to make. If Blair had done that the Iranians had killed one or all of those people, it would have worked far more to the advantage of the Iranians. We are assuming Blair could have gotten it done.The British people just wanted the sailors released, they did not want a war and that can not be ignored.

We did not get into another with North Korea when they took the USS Pueblo because the American people would not have tolerated it. That is when political viability enters the picture.

We have gotten into the habit that whenever these crazy people who run Iran claim a victory we believe them. They say they won, so they must have. Well, that part of the world is full of Baghdad Bobs, they run their mouths all the time. That is what they do.

It seems to me that I remember when Hezbellah took the Israeli soldiers the Israelis had what people called the moral high ground and so they pounded southern Lebanon.

When the whole thing dragged on and the soldiers were not returned, the world decided that the Israeli response was over the top, the conservatives abandoned Olmert and said he screwed everything up, Hezbellah claimed victory and so far as I know, they still have the soldiers.

My only point is that it was better to get the Brits out of there and end that thing. The fact that the Iranians are making threats only makes it all that much plainer that they are indeed thugs. And that can work for us.

As for saying we should have bombed them years ago, well considering the problems Bush is having getting funding for a war we are already in the middle of I doubt very much if the American people would have supported bombing Iran.

I do think that if it comes down to having to make a military strike of some kind to stop Iran from getting a bomb, the American people will be far more likely to support that if they see how little respect the Iranians have for international law or basic civilized norms of behavior.

However, I still think that going after the Iranians when they were holding the Brits might have turned into a huge PR disaster for Blair and might even have backfired.

For now, our navy is still there.

Posted by syn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 3:50 PM

I agree that the British population created the environment which allowed for their soldiers to give up so easily, why risk death for those who prefer to appease.

However, learning that all but one soldier will be raking in some big bucks to tell their tale of sticking their tails between their legs and cowering in fear is indefensible.

That said, the West in general will not fight on the level necessary to achieve victory until some nasty nukes hit their cities killing millions; then the real bloodbath will begin.

None at time leading up to WWII, particularily the British intellectual elites who cared not one wit about those Jews in Poland, listened to Churchill's warning for almost a decade until such devestation reigned down upon the British themselves.

Then they woke up just in time to realize they were in a horrific war against a brutal ideology that was conquering the entire continent: if only they had stopped Hilter in Poland.

This is how our future will be; it is inevitable that appeasement and cowering in fear to the enemy will lead to greater destruction.

The British soldiers came home but there is nothing good that came out of that event.

Isreali did not pound Lebanon they withdrew (Olmaet is a Leftist politico) and further, Isreal is releasing several captured Hezballah soldiers in return for Isreali kidnapped soldier.

Nothing will change until the West is so severely damaged that we are forced to change.

Appeasement is never a sign of force but this is the power Iran, for example has over the West: we appease the crazy peoples rhetoric.

Posted by syn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 4:02 PM

As for our own 444 days of hostage crisis with Iran, it was the day after Reagan entered office that Iran released the hostages precisely because Iran feared Reagan.

I am ashamed for having been such a self-indulgent narcissitic Modern Liberal during Reagan's Revolution because at the time all I ever heard about him amongst my own circle of self-indulgent narcisstic Modern Liberals was that 'Reagan caused Aids"

It took me having to watch from the roof top of my building two towers fall into dust for me to recognize just how naive I was to how dangerous was the rest of the world and that America is the exception, not the cause of all the world's problems.

I will Never Forget that day.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 5:44 PM


To be truthful I feel much the same. When those buildings fell I definitely changed my world view.

As for the sailors making money, well I saw a posting by a Brit about that and he said they should give any money to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

I just think that getting those people out of there was better in the long run, for the simple reason that I can see no realistic scenario with a better ending.

I saw this today, it is about Operation Praying Mantis, launched in April 1988 against Iran. It also mentions the downing of the Iranian passenger jet later that year which resulted in the deaths of 290 people. It is hard to believe that has been almost 20 years ago.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 5:50 PM


You seem to be saying that one should only advocate actions and policies that enjoy immediate, current public support – and, accordingly, that one should oppose actions and policies that the public would reject.

But why should that be the case? Surely it is obvious that public opinion can be wrong – very, very wrong.

The first issue is: what is the proper course of action for our government to take in this situation? The issue of what the public will support is a secondary issue. This doesn’t mean we can ignore what the public thinks, but it does mean that we do not abandon the advocacy of what we think is the right policy just because, at the moment, it appears that most of the people disagree with us.

Even if it is true that the majority of the American people would oppose my proposed policy of retaliation – and I am not convinced that is necessarily the case – that fact alone does not make it the wrong policy and does not refute the reasons I gave in support of it.

If your point is that we must forgive President Bush for not pursuing such a policy because the American people would reject it, well, I disagree with that also. A leader’s fundamental responsibility is to identify the correct actions and policies and implement them. He can then make his case for those actions to the public.

If the public disapproves, then they may be able to get Congress to force the President to change policies. If that happens, then, yes, I agree, we can’t blame the President.

But the President has an obligation to pursue the right thing, as best he can judge what the right thing may be in any given instance, regardless of its popularity at the moment.

To allow a hostile foreign nation to assist in the killing of our soldiers in the field – and do nothing to stop that nation or punish it – is a betrayal of our men and women in uniform. Bush should order both the destruction of the Iranian bomb factories producing the advanced IEDs that insurgents are using to kill our soldiers in Iraq and he should order punitive strikes against Iranian economic infrastructure. That – or something like that – is the proper thing to do – even if a pacifist public disagrees.

If the public “won’t tolerate it”, then Congress will overrule the President by denying funding for his actions and/or policy – and then Congress and the American people will bear responsibility for betraying our troops, not the President.

Posted by rvastar [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 6:09 PM

It took me having to watch from the roof top of my building two towers fall into dust for me to recognize just how naive I was to how dangerous was the rest of the world and that America is the exception, not the cause of all the world's problems.

Amen, brother.

As horrible as the towers' falling was, it woke up a lot more people than you think. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite horrible enough to shatter the leftists' ability to confuse and obfuscate. We've allowed them to gain absolute control over the 3 primary information mediums - education, entertainment, and media - and now, we're paying the Devil his due by witnessing the complete and utter devastation of any sense of cultural identity, moral rectitude, and plain-old honor.

But here's the bottom line: bombs make a bigger impression than bull****.

Unfortunately, too many others' dependence on the leftist Matrix is too great. They will excuse anything...overlook anything...rationalize anything...just to stay plugged into the utopian illusion. Sooner or later though, with the way the West is dilly-dallying around, something is going to occur that's going to make 9/11 look like a cheap B-movie stunt. And those who are still blissfully sleepwalking through the real world will find themselves blinking in pain, their eyes burning from the shock of actually seeing for the first time.

And that Awakening is going to finally immunize enough people against the diseases of Political Correctness, Moral Relativism, and Suicidal Multiculturalism that we will once again be able to call the truth, "the Truth", and to call evil, "Evil". And then maybe - just maybe - the West will once again remember that maintaining a civilization is a hard, serious affair: one that shouldn't be entrusted to soft, simpering fools.

Posted by ed_in_cda [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 7:12 PM

After reading some of the Western world's mixed reactions to this hostage-taking, I cringe to think of what stupid and unworthy opponents the Iranians must think all of us. Has anyone else stopped to ponder how different WWII might have turned out if Churchill and Roosevelt had been obliged to fight it in real time via the media?
We seem to have allowed the Fourth Estate to become the Only Estate. There comes a time when leaders must be trusted; that is after all, why there are leaders, isn't it?

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 9:37 PM

I think most people have seen drunken sailors staggering out of a bar. Because even in South Pacific, Broadway showed us interesting vignettes from our famous and successful 2nd World War.

Why get upset now?

About the TV production of a bunch of British sailors; including one fat dame; who got "taken." While, at the same time a British War ship, in the water, decided "not to escalate." But to call home. Tell Blair to put on his makeup. And, "play" at a soap opera event.

At least no one's head got lobbed off.

What did you really learn?

If the song in the background, sung to the tune of Maria; you just learned Tony DIDN'T love George, playing Maria.

We're years away, yet, from real conflict.

Business is good.

Oil prices that met the crises by climbing higher; have slid down.

And, for the first time, a bunch of ninnies, you wouldn't hire to play sailors and marines in any flick; MADE. IT. HERE. It's like the Can-Can. Without underwear. Which is the way the French dance it. And, you're shocked?

Where's the downside?

The fat chick stands to make $150,000 ... It may be more, if it gets translated into pounds. And, she didn't have to lose any. To don her uniform. Did you see that? She doesn't have a washboard stomach, ya know? And, at home? No washboard queen, she. She's been "accepted" to fight in a co-ed navy.

When the grades for this "flick and fleck" come back, you're gonna laugh your heads off. The only thing missing? Who will star as Tony Blair? Richard Simmons? Richard Simmons could wear a pair of shorts that would give the stripey pants dancers heartburn.

By the way, nobody stole the nuts. No squirrels. No men robbed of their manhood.

Just affirmative action.

Again. After last summer. When Chirac blew up condi's skirts. Even if she didn't wear bloomers, dancing with Chirac did not make her a star.

And, ya know what else? A-ham-a-nut has upped the ante! Just like the Oscars. Those goody bags grew and grew.

Now, when hostages come home? They'll have to call tax attorneys to take care of declaring their goody-bag's value; before putting this crap up to eBay, to sell.

Think of it. A horde of entertainment attorneys, meeting the ships coming home. Waving deals. As in? You, too, can become an Idol. What's your schtick?

You want the good news? Bush can't give away the store to the Saudis. There's too much reality to go around.

You want an easy bet? Tony Blair is not invited to the White House to share supper with the Bush's, any time soon. And, then? Never in Crawford. Never in Maine.

We were sold a bill of goods about the romance that didn't blossom between world leaders.

Bush brought more diplomatic abortions to the White House than any other president, ever. Dead relationships. Like fake flowers in vases.

Well, at least the fakes don't need to be replaced. Fakes don't die. And, some these days? Look more real than the real thing. (Which means in some areas there are copies better than the stuff hollywood tags as movies.)

It would be hard to do a musical about iraq. What would you hum?

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 8, 2007 10:47 PM

Terryre, we're NEVER on the same page!

All wars produce battles where the commanders have to think twice about the "value of the target."

And, it's a pretty good rule that the best commanders don't fall into traps laid by the enemy.

During the Civil War the south was STARVED. Lincoln was fast at cutting off trade by sea. And, sending diplomats to england, with strong messages NOT TO BUY AMERICAN COTTON.

Notice, I use the word AMERICAN COTTEN.

Lincoln labelled the rebels as performing a trick they couldn't do. They couldn't just pull down the American flag, and say they were no longer in the Union.

That was the SUBJECT at hand, to Lincoln. And, while all the rebelling seven states were SLAVE STATES; Lincoln made sure to focus on WINNING the war. Not doing diplomatic pants dances at sea.

Yes. The South sent diplomats to England, that got taken off their boat. Because we were good at that.

We didn't have to make a big deal out of the Trent Affair. It was more like fleas on a dog.

Where the real misery was on the battlegrounds, led by incompetents. Who grabs the reigns of power. While Ulysses S. Grant got marginalized. And, Lincoln felt the slaughter, personally. (That's why the Gettysburg address stands out as such a personal message.) Lincoln had no idea, after delivering it, that he hadn't failed.

While the Brits? Separate from the Southern diplomats, absolutely no ships when laden with cotton cargo to England.

So, sure. Hand our labels. Some sororities are good at that. But they're all quite shallow. Escaping them are the stuff that runs deep.

Currently? We're NOT at war! We're involved in a skirmish, started by Bush, for reasons he hasn't disclosed.

It won't matter!

Just like Truman, blessing the establishment of the State of Israel, in May of 1948. That his internal reasons came from a shallow man? Who cares?

It's not even discussed.

In the diplomatic world, pointing out the obvious, never works.

Some people just figure out reality, anyway.

And, the arabs? They understand the values of the oil. It's called a natural resource. Unlike the africans, where natural resources are stolen away; this has not been the case in the Mideast. Nor, for that matter, in Russia. Where hitler's germany began its end. He thought? Easy pickings.

The Man Upstairs? Different ideas.

That we've gotten the ball rolling, now? This is a good thing. That Americans aren't enthused? How in all heck do you get enthused between two teams? One, labeled sunni. And, the other, shi'a.

It's almost like watching cricket.

Where the British were once colonial owners, cricket; and soccer, took hold. It's just not the same crowd-drawer, here in America.

And, just to be funny, Mark Steyn, today, points out that the ah-ma-dama-ding-dong in iran would have run into worse troubles if he had tried to kidnap 15 soccer hooligans.

You can draw evidence from this, that Blair hasn't got much to celbrate. It's like watching the Brits, again. Going about their silly business. As they did during the Trent Affair. Confusing kicking America, with the reality that all they get on their honeymoon, are diplomatic pants dancers.

I'm tellin ya. A role for Richard Simmons playing Blair should happen. Because the movie could prove as popular as Borat. (And, Richard Simmons is a loveable clown.) I wish the Brits well, when this one toodles into theaters.

While we have our own Valerie Plame, filling up with the bucks that protrude from the soap opera producers. I've yet to figure out why, though.

I like to trade money for valuable things. Not flea-bittten rugs from my dogs to pee on. But then, there's no qualifying "taste."

On the other hand? I've seen people even become connoisseurs when purchasing wines. And, it all starts out as a hobby.

Because Bush had his own agenda. And, now he has James Baker and the rest of his dad's failed crew. At the helm of his White House. You can guess he's still a little short on talent.

Jimmy Carter's days were worse.

But then? We got a pretty good president in Reagan. And, the insiders never believed he even had a chance to win.

Politics. There's always a turn in the road that surprises ya. And, someone comes along who is not mediocre.

Still, we don't need a world war to solve the problems inherent in the persian complex. Arabs, too. By nature, cowards. More in line for monkey business than the real deal.

But we gotta learn. Learning is not just for the Israelies, ya know? We, too, have to push away the pipe dreams of peace with viscious tribes; who've turned turning AMericans over a barrel into a religious experience.

So far? Everything's still pretty even-steven.

The day the folks are Turtle Bay are told to leave; however. You'll know we're getting serious about changes in our future. That's also more important than wars.

More important than soap opera endings to hostages going on a grand tour of a country they never, ever, want to visit, again.

WHile ya know? There are flights now to Nam. Some countries have more to offer than others. That's actually also been true. And, it has nothing to do with diplomacy.

As to the Greek cruise ship that went belly up; five officers are now in jail. Do you think the Greeks are more serious about being sea worthy as a standing than the Brits? Who knew?