Tony Blair: Carter Or Thatcher?

Tony Blair seems to grasp the disaster awaiting Britain if it takes the Jimmy Carter strategy on Iranian hostaging of its sailors and Marines. He warned Iran that anything less than an immediate release of British servicement would move the confrontation to a “different phase”, as the US quickly filled the Persian Gulf with warships:

Tony Blair warned Iran yesterday that the dispute over the 15 British servicemen seized in Gulf waters last week could move into a “different phase” if diplomacy failed to secure their release.
His words, immediately condemned by Iran as “provocative”, came as the US Navy began its biggest show of force in the Gulf since the invasion of Iraq four years ago, with manoeuvres involving two aircraft carriers, a dozen warships and more than 100 aircraft.
As tensions rose, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, had a robust telephone conversation with her Iranian counterpart demanding immediate consular access to the captured Britons.
In an interview on GMTV, Mr Blair said: “I hope we manage to get them to realise they have to release them. If not, then this will move into a different phase.”

Different phase — as in “outside of diplomacy”, a convenient euphemism for military conflict. Later, Blair backed down a bit from the challenge, his spokesperson saying merely that Britain would start producing the evidence which would clearly show that Iran snatched the group from Iraqi waters — but the point got made nonetheless.
So far, though, Blair has not exactly been Margaret Thatcher in his approach. When the Argentinians seized the Falkands in the early days of her government, Thatcher told Argentina that they had two choices: withdrawal or war. She made good her threat, despite widespread skepticism that the British Empire could still fight a colonial war — and she beat the Argentianians in their own back yard.
Blair has shown some steel, at least thus far, but Jimmy Carter made similar motions in the early days of the Teheran crisis. He just never followed through on them. It took him five months to attempt an ill-conceived rescue mission, far past the time when Carter had surrendered American prestige and power to a group of ragged students and a radical-Islamist theocracy. Not surprisingly, the same Islamists have decided to try it again with Britain, hoping that they will find a Carter rather than a Thatcher.
They may find an American Thatcher if the Iranians continue their provocations. George Bush didn’t send warships to the Gulf to allow sailors to get a tan. Quietly, Bush has conducted a new effort against Iranian power in the region, capturing its agents in Iraq and daring Teheran to respond. Iran tried an indirect response by capturing the British sailors. The Americans might try something more direct in the Gulf if the Iranians pull another stunt.

62 thoughts on “Tony Blair: Carter Or Thatcher?”

  1. I don’t see Iran’s Mullahs being too worried about our Navy, what with all that the Democrats have been up to in Congress.

  2. So far everybody is playing exactly as Teheran wants: tough words and no action (not that any is really possible). The British sailors and Marines are doomed and will not be released (this is strictly my personal opinion, based on similar actions of Hezbollah and Hamas), maybe even for a number of years. What do you expect from a terrorist president who succeeded with US diplomats before? To see the light?
    Iran needs spanking big time, but who is there to do it? Tony Blair, with 5milion Muslims in his own country, at least few thousands of them Iranian operatives? Nancy Pelosi? Who?
    In the meantime those centrifuges are spinning…

  3. “Tony Blair warned Iran yesterday that the dispute over the 15 British servicemen seized in Gulf waters last week could move into a “different phase” if diplomacy failed to secure their release.”
    whereas blair stands in the well of parliament giving speeching protesting iran’s actions his next phase will be on his knees crying and begging. iran took british soldiers because they knew this. on the bright side blair’s rosy cheeks will hide the continued slapping by the mullahs. as i said earlier the slapping will stop when the hand of the mullah in question starts to hurt–and not one slap before, no matter what the threats. all this without the “bomb”. just think how much fun it’s going to be when they have the bomb!

  4. PERFECT NICK!
    Best description I’ve heard yet.
    Iran holds hostages, but Blair is the one who is being provocative. That’s exactly what the moonbattus denialus claim-proving there is no depth or limit to their denial.
    I’m still wondering how long it’s going to be before there’s a series of “accidental” refinery and oil facility fires in Iran. Nah, commandos would never do such a thing.

  5. Here is a lesson that Mr. Blair can draw upon from the early days of the American Republic:
    On June 22, 1807 HMS leopard fired upon and then boarded the frigate USS Chesapeake and removed four British deserters from it crew. In the process the Chesapeake suffered 3 dead and 18 wounded. The American public was outraged at both boldness of the Royal Navy in violating US sovereignty and feeble response of the ship herself.
    Several years later in 1811, there was similar incident off the New Jersey coast the frigate HMS Guerriere stopped and board the US Brig USS Spitfire and seized a US citizen. The Secretary of the Navy ordered the 44 gun USS President in company with the sloop USS Argus to patrol the east coast. Captain John Rogers encountered a Royal Navy vessel that he mistook for the Guerriere and commenced a chase that eventually let to an exchange of fire between the much heavier President and HMS Little Belt. The Chesapeake had been avenged.

  6. Seems the Iranians are thinking of giving back the female sailor.
    – Why was a female sailor, a mother apparently as well, part of a boarding party?
    – Will they hand her back, clad in a burka?
    – Will she be holding hands with Jesse Jackson and proclaim “free at last”?
    – Will the Iranians bake a cake for her to bring back to Tony Blair?
    And now if the Brits are thinking of some sort of armed action against the Iranian kidnappers, why didn’t they think about “what next” before they allowed the ragtag Iranian “Navy”l rowboats to seize the sailors? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for the Brits to resist the capture at the time, which they most certainly should have been able to pull off, rather than elevate the entire incident to another level? Did they really think the Iranian kidnappers would listen to reason?
    Who is the Brits strategist here, Admiral Reid or Commodore Pelosi?

  7. ND:
    According to the New York Post, the Commander of HMS Cornwall’s request to open fire was turned down by some bureaucrat at MoD in London.
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03282007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/hostage_sailors____britains_impotence_opedcolumnists_arthur_herman.htm?page=1
    One of the downsides of the modern C3 environment is that a far away staff can intervene and override the on scene commander’s judgment. Lord Nelson would have turned a “deaf ear” to the MoD in London, blown the IRGC out of the water and apologized later.

  8. British hostages update

    Memeorandum has loads of links on the latest news involving the capture of 15 British soldiers by Iran.
    One of the hostages is a female, who the Iranians say they will release either today or tomorrow. She was interviewed by the UK Independent just …

  9. jerry,
    Yes, god forbid we “escalate” a situation where the US and the UK have absolute naval superiority and were most assuredly NOT operating in Iranian waters.
    Is there no end to what the west will do to placate the mullahs? When is one of those whiz-bang diplomats going to figure out that weakness is far more provoking than anything else, to these tyrants?
    I have the utmost confidence that our two carrier groups in the Persian Gulf could lay waste to the mullahs in an instant, but I have no confidence that they will be permitted to do so.
    Talking to the Iranian scorpions has really helped so many times in the past, I can see why our diplomatic elitists think it will help this time.

  10. Blair — Not Thatcher. Not Carter. Chamberlain. Remember which PM first sent troops to Europe without the commitment to full conflict.

  11. Still waiting for the outrage from our lefty friends on these fellows Geneva Convention violations.

  12. jm – don’t worry, I’m sure Joshua Marshall and Kos are putting together the talking points as we speak.
    Here is a sneak preview: It’s Bush’s fault. Elect Democrats.

  13. Tony Blair has a big problem. Under his stewardship, the Royal Navy has been neutered. It’s now only a little larger than the Belgian Navy. Gordon Brown has basically made it little larger than a Coast Guard.
    They will probably lose the next Cod War to the Norwegians. Less than forty surface combatants, methinks, worldwide.
    This is a hideous set of affairs for Britain, and will eventually force us to jettison her as a major ally. Without the RN, no one cares what Britain thinks. New Labour never thought of this.
    Fortunately, the Japanese have rebuilt the Nihon Kaigun. All that’s missing is the Kido Butai, the carrier striking forces, and the Japanese are laying the groundwork for that as we speak.

  14. I like this revival of the Nipponese Navy. They proved to be able sailors during WWII and this time they can help us, since Europe is pretty much worthless at this point.
    Instead of mothballing the USS JFK, how about giving it to the Japanese?
    This from CNN:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/03/28/iran.uk.sailors/index.html
    “hard-liners in Iran urged the government to charge the Britons with espionage and put them on trial.”
    Does CNN actually believe there are anything OTHER than “hard-liners” running Iran?
    Or does CNN think you can become a key decision maker in a theocratic, doomsday, deathcult state, only by handing out graft (like our own Democrats)?

  15. Oil oil oil oil. It’s not the mullahs that need to be respected, it’s the price of crude. It’s particularly infuriating since we’ve (am I making a mistake here in thinking that the State Department actually has a clear enough grasp of reality to look after the needs of the US?) known how the Arab world will use oil for political ends since 1974. The Saudis have been doing their best to keep the price low in order to fight Iranian economic leverage in the reigon. But the Saudi wells seem to be running a bit dry. Nevertheless, if Iran needs money the easiest thing to do is drive the price of crude higher. And and viola! It has been done.
    The problem in this nearly 30 year war (beginning with the Iranian revolution), is that the Arabs play a darn good game of chess while we can’t quite figure out checkers.

  16. naftali – as you probably know, Iranians are Persians rather than Arabs, not that I’ve noticed any difference in the Persian’s PITA quotient. They’re one race when it comes to being a PITA.
    And Iranians don’t have the refining capacity necessary for domestic consumption, so they have to by over half of their oil on the market, same as us. So if the Ayatollahs drive the price of gas sky high, their teetering economy will feel the effects long before ours does.
    So I say: Bring back the Ayatollah t-shirts:
    “Marge: Can we get rid of this Ayatollah T-shirt? Khomeini died years
    ago.
    Homer: But, Marge! It works on any Ayatollah: Ayatollah Nakhbadeh,
    Ayatollah Zahedi…even as we speak, Ayatollah Razmada and his
    cadre of fanatics are consolidating their power.
    Marge: I don’t care _who’s_ consolidating their power.”

  17. Even IF Tony Baloney Blair put on a pair of women’s undies. And, then carried Margaret Thatcher’s pocket book; he is NO MARGARET THATCHER! Instead, he’s afraid of SHADOWS.
    Let alone the “breakout” of THEATER! It’s like watching fireworks displays, off the coast of Iraq/Iran. With the french, sending in the DeGaulle, to “halp.”
    Reasonable people could assume this was meant to “terrorize” the nut in a dinner jacket; BUT IT WON’T WORK!
    While for some reason Bush decided to step back into the past. To 1978. To see if he can “re-live” the Jimmy Carter “experience.” Since he’s not running for election in 2008? James Baker figures “why not?”
    The arabs have gotten together. And, condi is over “there” now; trying to “force” Israel to give the palestinians their own state! OR ELSE! (Um. Or else what? Well, the arabs say if Israel “refuses” then they’ll just turn the matter over to the “war lords.”) And, you know what that means, don’t cha? Even more sewer water flows in gazoo. Because? Well, they have “priorities.” And, hating Jews is tops on their list.
    ANd, Bush? Is in Bandar’s pocket.
    Not that things are going well for the idiot in the White House. Who could have cut to the chase, long ago. But then? The Saudi tents would have been flapping mad at him.
    While you can choose.
    Do you think all this water “theater” in the gulf will amount to a hill of beans? Or do you think it’s on par with farting, hoping to make the sails fill up, so this charade then moves along?
    We’ve got two more years to go! And, after it’s over? This Bush’s performance may go below that of Jimmy Carter’s. Where the donks learned to operate even though they had an idiot in the White House, making so many Americans screaming mad.
    As to condi? I think Harry Belefonte actually got her number down pat. She, thinks, in her mind, she can push the Israelis to do James Baker’s will.
    And, that didn’t even happen last summer!
    While Lebanon? About as big a disgrace as gazoo.
    But in gazoo? They had the sewage spill because, wouldn’t ya know it? The idiots were stealing SAND!
    Hello. Those arabs live ON SAND. Why did they pull the sand away from the cesspool?
    And, why is it that Bush can’t get a leg up?
    Because he’s a moron. We could, of course, bet. Does Gonzales “quit,” or do the Brits get back 14 of their sailors? Seems the mom-sailor has been given her freedom. Probably because the nut in a dinner jacket didn’t want to be accuse of rape. Just in case “something flies.” Or more sand banks are removed from cesspools.
    We’re not dealing with military geniuses in this picture.
    As to bush? There’s no competence. So his pants stay up? So what? So did Jimmy Carter’s!

  18. Naftali. You’ve got it right1
    Iran needs money. And, figured out a way to INCREASE the per barrel price of oil. Which is now rising, again. Above $64 per barrel.
    While we get increases, anyway, going into the summer.
    While Bush diddles.
    And, worse still. Blair holds this ball! It’s not even America’s play. And, Blair isn’t gonna do much except allow silly THEATER in the water. Until the cows come home.
    Plus? The arabs have gotten together and “told” the moron in the White House that American “can’t use the United Emerates, or Kuwait, should it decide to attack Iran.
    Is there a window of opportunity? Sort’a. The idiots in congress are going on “recess.” Which actually “halps” … since Bush can’t plunge any lower, in popularity, anyway.
    Well? He might just waste opportunities all over again? Heck, with the “recess,” what if Gonzales “quits.” (Finally understanding how costly this boob is to Bush’s own reputation.) And, then? With congress away who’d Bush choose who’d take the job, now? Bush can’t handle “domestic” and “foreign,” together, in any given month.
    Let alone how happy it makes the saudis to see the price per barrel of oil, going up.
    To make this possible? They also cut back on production. Such nice “allies.” They love it when we put idiots in the White House. And, James Baker will block just about everything else.

  19. I’m not so sure I would use the Falklands as an example of British military superiority.
    Look at who they were fighting and look at the losses on both sides. The brits lost the Sheffield, a modern destroyer! The argentines lost the Belgrano, a ship built BEFORE Pearl Harbor was attacked.

  20. If I recall correctly, it took Thatcher a little time to finally decide to send the RN to take the Falklands back from Argentina. Perhaps Blair is simply doing the same.
    Or, perhaps, he realizes that the RN couldn’t stomp a dinghy full of coked-up Greenpeace activists.
    This is not intended to be a slur on the qualities of the British sailor (who has proven over the centuries to be almost the equal of our own bluejackets), but rather a lament about the fact that the British have at last done what their ancestors for centuries avoided like the pit of hell:
    They haven’t bothered to keep up their fleet.
    The Royal Navy, that kept Britain free from invasion since 1066, that kept the Ogre trapped on the Continent, that stymied the Kaiser and then Hitler, is now in the lamentable state of being unable to deal with the pissant Iranians.
    Sad, sad, sad.

  21. Jerry:
    The problem is that the RAN captain did not immediatley take action. Circumstances` be dammed. With sailors out why wasn’t the helicopter ready to go.

  22. I know I am not the first one to have thought about this, but I wondered if this had anything to do with the continuous success of the surge. Are the coalitions and Iraqis about to show the world concrete evidence of Iran meddling in the so-called Iraq “civil war”? Is there furious “backdoor negotiations” with our State Dept and Maliki’s government right this minute? Under UK pressure?
    I will be very (VERY) disappointed if State Dept cave in, but won’t hold my breath if they do. It is just another one of those events the State Dept undermining our own government’s effort. However, do they even think about the consequences of caving in? Next time how many hostages are going to be sacrificed to appease these crazies?
    Where does it end?

  23. Davod:
    He apparently was ready to go but he was done in by the miracle of modern real time coms and the decision was taken out of his hands

  24. According to the blog “Cold Fury”, an article called “Recent Travels”, indicates that the British public by a margin of 51% believe that the U.S. is a greater threat to world peace than Iran.
    The British blog EU Referendum is getting the largest response in it’s history from people suggesting that the British government has emasculated the British military and that they are basically defenseless.
    With a similar anti-American feeling in all of western Europe, with the Germans hiding in their redoubts in Afghanistan to avoid harm to it’s soldiers, there is now a wise course of action that the U.S. should take.
    The U.S. should announce the withdrawal of American troops from Europe. This would serve as a massive wake up call to western Europe. They could and should begin to realize that their misspent resources on social programs instead of military forces has some consequence.
    They might also realize that friends are precious and much more difficult to gain than to lose.

  25. Ray:
    Wishful thinking. The Europeans only want us there to pay some bills and maybe keep the peace in the Balkans a little while longer. If we leave they will just shrug it off and continue on the path to slow surrender and extinction. I bet there are a horde of retired Soviet Generals rocking themselves into oblivion at their retirement dachas thinking that all we had to do is tell the Euros that we are coming in two weeks and they would have folded.

  26. “Please don’t worry about me. I’m staying strong. Hopefully it won’t be long till I’m home to get ready for Molly’s birthday party and with a present from the Iranian people.”
    This is just precious. Two of my predictions are already proved to be true:
    – She’s been forced to wear that stupid hibab
    – She’s going to bring back a cake
    When will Jesse Jackson appear?
    And where is our lefty dictator apologists today? We are in dire need of Joshua Marshall/Kos take on this.
    Is Starfleet Dude lost in space?
    Is dave out peddling pills?

  27. Some of our allies have been cost shifting for years and some tipping points are awfully close. They know that in any treaty with the U.S. that they will need provide mostly public support and little tangible support. That allows a populace to escape the exceedingly expensive obligation that is national defense, particularly one that requires assets off domestic soil. If you’re a socialist country and invested in nanny-stateism, it allows you to dedicate more resources into the nation’s butter and not its guns. How do you get away with it? You have a treaty with the U.S. and proclaim alliance. We are the Western world’s insurance policy and Europe, particularly, is defaulting on its premiums.
    Yes, moral support against a non-ally is useful but it isn’t always enough. Furthermore, we seem not to be getting even that as much of the world publicly excoriates us despite the fact that we help their homelands in their own defense.
    Observe the trend in England, for example. A majestic and powerful navy is getting reduced to a shell of its former self. The Royal Navy is on order to get halved – ships mothballed as they go “green”. (Never heard the term used before, but that’s what I heard an expert who has been tracking the state of the British military this morning.) Who will be picking up the slack for both humanitarian and military support around the globe? The U.S. In fact, how many nations cannot even move troops to the battlefield? Their soldiers, not to mention required logistics, depend on the U.S. to ferry war tools by sea and air.
    Ultimately, the constituents in these weakening Western powers get to vote for more social welfare, against the expense of national defense, and appear self-righteous condemning us for fighting wars while privately enjoying the fruits of their “ally’s” labor.
    WRT Blair, he’s been a strong ally but he is getting limited support at home. We see it here from our Democrat Party and Liberals who burn effigies of soldiers, defecate on Old Glory, vandalize government (i.e. the people’s) property, and undermine our troops during war and after it. How much Blair is involved in destroying (or the slow deterioration of) his nation’s military infrastructure I do not know. But his party has. He is now reaping what the nation is sowing… and so will we.
    I like Blair, but he is no Thatcher. As PM she really had b*lls. God bless her. And may Blair grow a bigger pair despite the vice that his constituents have placed on them.

  28. . . . the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran “that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost.”
    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070327/62697703.html
    Has General Pelosi been informed of this?
    The Democrats better hotfoot it over to Brussels and ready their pre-emptive surrender strategy, otherwise the mullahs might go to see Allah, sooner than they planned.

  29. NoDonkey,
    I’m new here. Even though I know that Iranians are Persian I don’t know what PITA means. But I think that Persian explosives work pretty much the same as Arab explosives. I suspect that’s your point though.
    But even if Iran has to import gasoline, they aren’t exactly Silicon Valley when it comes to generating income on a mass scale. They’ve got only one play in the playbook. Nor do I notice any great sense of empathy between the ruling party and the general populace. Think Gaza cesspool. (And by the way let us all thank the Palestinians for giving us a metaphor that will outperform ‘witchhunt’ in the coming years. I say this because in Salem there were no witches, but in Gaza and the West Bank…but I digress.)
    Carol_Herman,
    I don’t think Bush is diddling at all. This is the most difficult problem in this country’s history–how to win a war without causing a worldwide recession/depression. In WWII Germany’s great contribution to the world was knowledge–their chemical industry, their engineering. Germany’s problem was a lack of natural resources. Here, the problem is the opposite. The Arabs have the resources and political control over far more than they possess. Any questions of how much control should be referred to the UN, which at one time was a noble enterprise (Look! Another opportunity to use a Gaza cesspool metaphor. It’s almost too easy. Years ago I had to walk five miles through the snow to find my best metaphors.) The world economy is fragile. Alan Retired Greenspan makes a vague comment about something vague and the stock market drops 500 points.
    I think Bush is playing the hand that he’s been dealt about as well as it can be played. If the US actually adopts a common sense policy on energy exploration/generating/refining etc., it will be a winning hand. Until then, hold your bets.

  30. RE: naftali (March 28, 2007 01:36 PM)
    “If the US actually adopts a common sense policy on energy exploration/generating/refining etc., it will be a winning hand.”
    The single most profound and untapped resource that we’ve abandoned for too long. Uncouple our dependence on foreign raw materials for energy production and the Earth will move.
    Our continued dedication to the current path borders on insanity. Where is our contemporary Manhattan Project/Apollo program for energy independence?

  31. naftali
    PITA = pain in the . . .
    The regime in Iran is hated, especially by the post-revolutionary youths under 30. They riot there regularly and the Iranian regime brutally puts the riots down.
    Not that our worthless media will tell us about it. Apparently, Eason Jordan’s rules have been implemented all across the MSM, trading truth for “access”.
    What remains of the Iranian middle/upper class is spiriting billions of dollars out of the country.
    You’re right, to an extent, the mullahs don’t care what the people think, but I still don’t think sky high oil prices are going to be any large help to the regime.
    And I agree with your last comment. To those suffering from BDS, everything is his fault. Even radical Islamic ideaology, which has been building up during the last 50+ years and didn’t just appear out of nowhere, the day President Bush was elected into office.

  32. Somebody please straighten me out.
    Iran claims the Brits were operating in Iranian waters. The Brits claim the RN was operating in Iraqi waters under a UN mandate and have the coordinates from at least two sources to prove it. No one is claiming either side was in international waters.
    So why aren’t the Brits taking the offensive against Iran operating in Iraqi waters?

  33. Barnestormer
    Looking at close up Google map/satellite pics of Hormuz Straights, there are no international waters. A line (invisible of course) divides the narrow channel between the two countries. Each side would obviously cross this line in the normal course of events.

  34. I have provided the Brits with a solution to this mess, but have as yet, recieved no response.
    Solution:
    Make all Navy and Marine combatants female. Dress them in cute little skirts, give them IDs showing they are mothers, and if captured, any adversaries will return them within a few days.
    This is much less expensive than aircraft carriers and battalians of hardass marines.

  35. NoDonkey,
    Here’s how you win this friendly dispute over oil revenue. Tell me how Iran is managing to fund Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas, various terror cells around the world and keep a standing army and develop nuclear weapons, and pay black market and over market prices to the Russians without oil revenue, since you say the middle class is funneling funds out of the country. And do you think there might, just might be a connection between rising crude prices–which they are instigating–and the fact that they aren’t making payments to the Mafia, I mean Russia? And that Russia is withholding the, uh, goods–you know, farm equipment and things, like… farm equipment, that the IAEA doesn’t need to see since it’s only farm equipment.

  36. Jerry:
    That’s not the point. The issue is why he didn’t just go.
    I know its tough but they are his people. What does it say to your people that you will not protect them.

  37. The commander should have had an “oops, my radio doesn’t work moment” and got his people out.
    If anything happens to his sailors, I don’t know how he will live with himself. To surrender his sailors/marines so impotently to a bunch of inept pirates, is far worse than losing them in battle.
    And the female sailor, paraded before the cameras in her fresh new hibab, confessing to the lies put forth by the Iranians. British Naval history just went into the wastebin.
    But at least the Brits traded their ability to defend themselves for lousy, state supplied health care and welfare benefits for lazy, hostile immigrants.

  38. Iran parades British hostages

    Well, we all knew that this was coming. Here’s video of the hostages from LiveLeak (commentary in Arabic). One question: don’t these people get some type of SERE training? The female Marine already seems to be writing letters admitting guilt

  39. Ray,
    I tossed in “International waters” as only a theoretical third possiblity. The real point of course is, if the Brits are correct, why are they playing defense? They should be charging Iran with violating Iraqi territory, with all that implies legally, diplomatically and otherwise.

  40. Cut off the gasoline imports to Iran.
    Despite their petroleum production, they have only enough refining capacity to supply about 2/3 of their domestic consumption. Cut off their imports of refined gasoline, and the place will be in chaos in short order.

  41. Carol is right. Iran is laughing all the way to the bank as this crisis unfolds.
    Yes this scenario is far different than the Falklands. Argentina isn’t exactly an enemy of the United States nor is it a terror state. Iran is clearly both. This is a confrontatoin between Iran and the West. The relative silence of Bush is both telling and troubling. I guess this is what it feels like to be the 800 lb humiliated gorilla. The situation is so tenuous in Iraq that the US is less than excited by the idea of a confronatioin with Iran, even when our closest ally is under assault by this inexcusable Iranian behavior.
    I don’t see Iran’s Mullahs being too worried about our Navy, what with all that the Democrats have been up to in Congress.
    You really don’t understand world events, do you. There’s still a divide between what you’d like to believe and what’s actually happening in the world. It’s not the Democrats that have been losing the war in Iraq, hurting the nation’s image abroad, increasing the power of Iran, enriching oil producing nations, or lessening our diplomatic and military power.

  42. bayam said:
    It’s not the Democrats that have been losing the war in Iraq, hurting the nation’s image abroad, increasing the power of Iran, enriching oil producing nations, or lessening our diplomatic and military power.
    As far as “losing the war in Iraq” is concerned, it is the Democrats, aided by their stooges in the media, who have made it much harder to win in Iraq by giving al Qaeda and the insurgency every reason to believe that all they have to do is hold on and we will eventually get discouraged and quit.
    As far as “increasing the power of Iran” is concerned, it is the Democrats who have consistently blocked any effort to increase domestic oil production, thereby increasing our dependence on foreign oil and helping to enrich countries like Iran.
    As far as “reducing our military power”, it was the Democrats, specifically Clinton, who drastically reduced the size of our armed forces such that now we have trouble maintaining 150,000 soldiers in theatre — whereas prior to Clinton, in 1991, in the first Gulf war, we were able to field over 550,000 troops against Hussein.
    And as far as “hurting our image abroad” is concerned, it is the Democrats who are doing almost everything in their power stage a repeat of the horrors that befell our allies in southeast Asia in 1975. Just as millions died after the Democrats cut off support for our allies in South Vietnam in 1975, so they are determined to cut off assistance to our Iraqi allies who have bet their literal lives on America’s support. Indeed, it is the Democrats who have created the “image abroad” that America is only a paper tiger that may be attacked at will. We paid dearly for that “image abroad“ on 9/11 — and we will pay again in the future.

  43. Davod:
    I understand where you are coming from but officers are trained to obey orders even if they don’t like them. It is much harder be Horatio Nelson these days.
    What surprises me is that the British were surprised by Iran’s actions. Iran, through its proxies in Lebanon, have been doing this to Israel for years. They should have been better prepared after we have arrested Iranian operatives in Iraq. This should teach the Brits and everyone else a fundamental fact of life. Israel and the West fight the same fight. But that won’t happen the British ultimately will blame Bush and the Joooos for this. The Mullahs and the Jihadists will win this fight because the Bayams of the world want them to.

  44. I’m no brainiac but how did the dems get blamed for Iranians seizing 15 British sailors? Or do we just get blamed for everything? Yes, we could bring Iran to its knees in a week. But their going to block the Strait of Hormuz, oil will hit at least $100/barrel, and a major recession will hit the US. I know this will be a first, but I agree with AnonDrivel in that why don’t we become energy free? Manhattan Project part 2. Hell, go into Anwar, its better than dealing with nutjobs in the ME. And if anyone thinks Saudi Arabia is our ally, King Abdullah said today that we are “illegitamely occupying Iraq.” Jerry, wasn’t Nasser in Egypt in the late 50’s…..early 60’s advocating Pan Arab Nationalism? Correct me if I’m wrong on this, it occured to me after you said T.E. Lawrence’s take on Arab Nationalism was a myth.

  45. Mikey,
    You’re long on grandstanding but short on facts.
    No single party is responsible for the US dependency on foreign oil. In fact, the easiest and only real way to cut back or even eliminate our dependency on the Middle East would involve modestly increasing CAFE standards. But no one has the guts to do that, and as the WSJ has pointed out, Bush is all talk and no real action when it comes to reducing our oil habit.
    As for the invasion of Iraq 4 years ago, the inadequate troop levels were a consequence of the Bush team’s terrible planning and arrogance. At least that’s what Perle, Adelman and most other neo-cons have all publicly stated. To blame this incompetence on Clinton is an exercise in pure ignorance or a pathetic attempt to hide from the truth.
    As Carol pointed out, it’s not our dependence on foreign oil that’s so painful, it’s the skyrocketing cost of oil- another miscalculation by Cheney and co. who predicted that the invasion of Iraq would lead to lower oil prices. The result has been a global enriching of our enemies at a high price to the average American- a massive flow of dollars to the sheiks.

  46. CD:
    Yes, Nasser tried to create an “Arab” nation which really was an alliance of Baathist led countries. Egypt may have been Arabized and Islamicized but it can trace its roots back 5000 years. Nasser’s real objective was to create Greater Egypt and not a greater Arab empire.
    I recommend a book called “A Peace to End All Peace.” It covers WWI and its aftermath. It explains how the psuedo-Arab nations were created by Britain and France out of pieces of the Ottoman Empire. The basic Arab political unit remains the Tribe and not a greater entity.

  47. CD — it is Dem’s fault because from Carter onward they have embraced weakness and failed to hold GWB’s feet to the fire. Dems consist of Pelosi (surrender deadline) and the Peace Movement (defecating on a burning flag in Portland, chanting obscenities at the troops).
    Iranians believe (accurately IMHO) that Dems will simply appease any act of aggression. Engage in Jimmy Carter like grovel. Cleverly, they picked on weak Tony Blair to force him to beg and grovel (those sailors are never coming home) and block sanctions, any military action against Iran.
    Look at Britain — emasculated into a neutered, cringing and begging posture towards the third rate Iran because they followed Dem principles: all butter and no guns.
    It is Dems fault because they are inimically hostile to the military, military action, and self-defense. Dems live in a world where all conflict can be solved through lawyers, all problems solved by writing checks, and everyone is reasonable.
    For Iran, for the hard men of Waziristan, or Sudan, or Somalia, Democrats have no answer. Terrorism is to be “tolerated as the price of a multicultural society,” we “over-reacted to 9/11” and terrorism and nuclear threats are to be solved by apologies and half-hearted criminal indictments that never go anywhere.
    By rejecting military options in all cases and tying itself to the Peace Movement (aka surrender at all costs) the Democratic Party has invited dangerous Iranian (and Al Qaeda) aggression.

  48. Weakness Is Not An Option, But An Inevitability

    Hey, I said he talks a good game. Talking a great game would dispense with diplomacy altogether and would go something like, “Return our fifteen sailors unharmed immediately or we will transform your country into a parking lot”. Sure, that’s not real…

  49. It’s odd that many of the Dems who are against the war have actually served in the military and even are decorated.
    Yet on the flip side, we see little to no military experience in the White House. Chicken Hawks?
    Anyhoo, I think it’s a gross mischaracterization to claim that Dems are automatically against military action. If that were the case, then can you explain why they voted for the AUMF as so many here are quick to point out?
    Would it be a fair argument to say that Repubs think that everything can be solved by bombs?
    In other words, the arguments presented here are oftentimes so incredibly binary that likely little to no consensus could ever be reached.
    Lastly I ask, did the IRA get bombed into submission? Diplomacy, it *might* have a place.

  50. TyCaptains wrote (March 29, 2007 12:56 AM):
    It’s odd that many of the Dems who are against the war have actually served in the military and even are decorated.
    Yep, SanFran Nan, Joe “Mr. Clean” Biden, Teddy Kennedy, and Dingy Harry practically can’t walk from the weight of the medals they won during their military service. (/sarcasm)
    I’m sure you’re thinking of al-Murtha and Hanoi Johnny (who won’t release his full military records; wonder why). With regard to those two clowns and their records, I’d simply like to point out that Benedict Arnold was also a very highly decorated American soldier… right up until the time he betrayed our country.
    Yet on the flip side, we see little to no military experience in the White House. Chicken Hawks?
    Just like Abraham Lincoln and FDR, no?
    O’ course, Grant’s military experience made him a real bell-ringer as president.
    Or are you arguing that no man should ever be elected president without at least a Purple Heart and Silver Star?
    Anyhoo, I think it’s a gross mischaracterization to claim that Dems are automatically against military action. If that were the case, then can you explain why they voted for the AUMF as so many here are quick to point out?
    Two words: Mid-term elections.
    Would it be a fair argument to say that Repubs think that everything can be solved by bombs?
    Like our plans to bomb Mexico because of our differences over illegal immigration, or to bomb Canada to steal their oil, or bomb Venezuela because we don’t like Chavez, or bomb Belgium because they wanted to try Tommy Franks as a war criminal? Ooops, we’ve never called for those things.
    I must say that this is a strange argument given Slick Willie’s propensity to bomb countries while he was in office… usually right about the time that he was supposed to testify or there was other embarrassing news about his shenanigans.
    In other words, the arguments presented here are oftentimes so incredibly binary that likely little to no consensus could ever be reached.
    Yeah, it’s funny that the world sometimes works out like that. Iran wants a Bomb. We don’t want them to have it. Not much room for compromise there.
    Lastly I ask, did the IRA get bombed into submission? Diplomacy, it *might* have a place.
    We never know the end of the road not traveled, but one wonders if “the Troubles” might have ended much sooner had the English been totally brutal. I refer you to the history of the English and Scottish, or the earlier history of the English and the Irish. I’d also refer you to the history of Rome and Carthage: Rome’s problems with Carthage ended not when Rome worked out a diplomatic solution, but when they destroyed Carthage and salted the earth where it stood.
    War, it *might* have a place.

  51. docjim505 wrote (March 29, 2007 07:59 AM):
    Yep, SanFran Nan, Joe “Mr. Clean” Biden, Teddy Kennedy, and Dingy Harry practically can’t walk from the weight of the medals they won during their military service. (/sarcasm)
    Gee, like “Mr 6 Deferment Cheney”, “Mr Pappy Got Me a Spot in the TANG”, “Mr I Got a Cyst On My Ass I Can’t Go Limbaugh”? Yea, I’m sure THEIR medals sure are a heavy burden too. Snicker…
    The *fact* is that it’s always *easier* to gamble when you don’t have your own money on the table.
    docjim505 wrote (March 29, 2007 07:59 AM):
    Or are you arguing that no man should ever be elected president without at least a Purple Heart and Silver Star?
    No, I’m saying warriors are the first to desire peace. They have been there and have a better understanding of the true costs.
    docjim505 wrote (March 29, 2007 07:59 AM):
    Like our plans to bomb Mexico because of our differences over illegal immigration, or to bomb Canada to steal their oil, or bomb Venezuela because we don’t like Chavez, or bomb Belgium because they wanted to try Tommy Franks as a war criminal? Ooops, we’ve never called for those things.
    Apparently you missed my point. My *rhetorical* question was Jim’s argument turned upside down. In other words, NO, I don’t think it would be fair to claim that Repubs believe bombs are always the solution.
    docjim505 wrote (March 29, 2007 07:59 AM):
    I must say that this is a strange argument given Slick Willie’s propensity to bomb countries while he was in office… usually right about the time that he was supposed to testify or there was other embarrassing news about his shenanigans.
    Oh you mean those attacks that got praise and support from the Republicans in Congress? Maybe my rhetorical question has legs then?
    docjim505 wrote (March 29, 2007 07:59 AM):
    We never know the end of the road not traveled, but one wonders if “the Troubles” might have ended much sooner had the English been totally brutal. I refer you to the history of the English and Scottish, or the earlier history of the English and the Irish. I’d also refer you to the history of Rome and Carthage: Rome’s problems with Carthage ended not when Rome worked out a diplomatic solution, but when they destroyed Carthage and salted the earth where it stood.
    And yet once the IRA was involved in the political process, it clearly signaled the end of open hostilities.
    The goal should be to *splinter* the tribal Middle Easterners that are anti-American – not unite them against us. We continue to give them a common enemy and that only strengthens their resolve.
    Or are you arguing that we should nuke the whole area? Is that what you’re saying? Go on, be honest now.

  52. TyCaptains,
    I bow under the weight of your eloquence and wit. “Yeah, well, REPUBLICANS DO IT TOO!” is an unassailable argument.
    /sarcasm
    Let’s try working through this. Think hard:
    John McCain (combat vet) thinks we should stay in Iraq until the job is done. John al-Murtha (combat vet) thinks we should run like hell ASAP.
    George Bush (not a combat vet) thinks we should stay in Iraq until the job is done. Dingy Harry (not a combat vet) thinks we should run like hell ASAP.
    Do you see the pattern here? Or lack thereof?
    Soldiers don’t have some magic insight when it comes to setting military policy, nor does a Purple Heart make for a pacifist. Curtis LeMay saw a good bit of combat and was quite bellicose, as was his contemporary Lyndon Johnson who’d seen little or no combat (the record isn’t entirely clear). Lincoln had virtually no military experience but was a far more able “commander” than was McClellan, who was considered one of the brightest soldiers in the Army of his day. JFK was awarded the CMH but did much to lay the groundwork for our involvement in Vietnam. Woodrow Wilson, one of the most imperialistic of any of our presidents, had no military experience at all.
    And consider Adolph Hitler, a “warrior” who was proud of his record as as frontkampfer in World War I. He obviously didn’t want peace other than a piece of France, a piece of Russia, a piece of Britain… You get the idea.
    What’s obviously going on is that your liberal mind, enfeebled by BDS, can’t deal with anything beyond the simple stereotypes of Republican / civilian / draft dodger / chickenhawk / bad and democrat / vet / pacifist / good.
    No, I don’t want to nuke the ME. We need their oil, and fallout is messy. I simply point out that idiot liberal ideas that diplomacy is some kind of magic bullet are exactly that: idiotic.
    Diplomacy works when the various parties all have a tacit agreement that (1) they don’t want to fight; (2) there is room for compromise; and (3) they have at least some slight level of trust. When this situation doesn’t obtain, then all that’s left is a pesky binary solution set:
    Fight
    or
    Give in
    In the case of Iran, I can’t see any room for compromise (either they continue with their nuke program or the don’t, another binary solution set). Further, if one takes Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric seriously, he WANTS a war to bring back the 13th ghost or 12th imam or whatever. Finally, I don’t trust that son of a bitch, and doubt he trusts us Zionist Great Satan infidels.
    Not a good basis for diplomacy at all. So, we either fight him, or we acquiesce to his eventual possession of nukes and wonder down the road how the hell we were ever stupid enough to let a madman like him get his hands on them.
    But you libs have already got that eventuality covered:
    IT’S ALL BUSH’S FAULT!(TM)

  53. Doc:
    There are as many Republicans veterans who support the war as there are Democrats who are veterans who oppose it. Republicans just don’t brag about it. People who brag about it are the ones who didn’t see much action. For example the often mentioned heroism of John .Murtha is a bunch of BS. He was a battalion S-2 (intelligence) in Vietnam and never saw any real action. As is often the case, staff officers who serve in a combat zone always seem to walk away with medals. Murtha was what frontline infantrymen call a REMF.
    It seems that folks like Ty want to set up a hierarchy of the population to determine who gets a say in the debate and are entitled to determine if we should fight a war. So how do you rate the President who flew a dangerous aircraft in CONUS in the TANG versus someone who served for a few weeks under the Gulf of Tonkin in a submarine? General Patton once told his troops that
    “When your grandchildren ask you what you did in the great World War II you won’t have to say you shoveled s**t in Louisiana.” The problem is some one has to shovel the s**t so does that make his service “inferior” to a combat soldier’s?
    JFK did not win the CMH. The only President to win the CMH was Theodore Roosevelt and it was awarded only recently.
    Ty:
    You should learn a little history. Here is a list of Presidents who presided over the nations wars and their military sevice:
    Thomas Jefferson – Barbary Pirates — none
    James Madison – War of 1812 – none
    James K. Polk – Mexican War – none
    Abraham Lincoln – Civil War – three weeks with the Illinois Militia (NG) Blackhawk War…no exposure to the Enemy.
    William McKinley — Spanish-American War – Civil War (cook)
    Woodrow Wilson – The Great War – none
    Franklin Roosevelt – World War II – none
    Harry Truman – Korean War – The Great War (Artillery Officer)
    Dwight D. Eisenhower – Korean War – World War II (never saw combat or command a combat unit)
    John F Kennedy – Vietnam War – World War II (PT boat commander)
    Lyndon B. Johnson – Vietnam War – World War II (highly suspect decoration)
    Richard M. Nixon – Vietnam War – World War II (naval staff officer)
    George H. W. Bush – First Gulf War – World War II (Naval Aviator)
    William J. Clinton – Balkan Wars – none
    George W. Bush – GWOT – USAF/TANG (Fighter Pilot)
    So as you can see America’s most destructive wars were led by Presidents who did have military service. It was only the WW I/WW II generation of Presidents that had significant military experience. Your Chickenhawk meme is just Copperhead like name calling.
    By the war what is your military service?

  54. jerry,
    Well, I’ll be damned! I thought JFK was awarded the CMH, but I was wrong.
    Learn something new every day… Thanks for setting me straight.

  55. Doc,
    Once you begin to frame the argument as “anyone with a D at the end of their name is a traitor and should be hung” is just further evidence that my point about seeing things only in black and white is spot on.
    Furthermore, I have openly stated that I support Petraeus, the surge, and we all should give it time to work so I’m not sure why you’re bothering to argue against a strawman, i.e. something I never said.
    Oddly enough, when questioned about nuking the ME, you only cared about Oil and collateral damage. Funny, where did the compassion for their civilians go?
    I humbly bow down in face of your rancor that liberals should be shot.
    Jerry,
    Your list is very impressive indeed from a historical standpoint but does little to nothing to refute my statement about this current adminstration. Being in the TANG, never deployed, later removed from active flight status hardly is a paradigm of military service. And nevermind the other names I brought up.

  56. Ty:
    It has everything to do with your statement. Bush served in the military whether he deployed or not. During that era the ANG was primary interceptor force defending the United States. They continue in that role today. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld also served in the military. He flew sea based maritime patrol aircraft in the 1950s. I guess that doesn’t count either. The only time that wartime Presidents had military service of any real kind was in the Cold War. The only reason that happened was because this is the generation that fought two World Wars with universal service. The Bush Administration is the historical norm. It has more military experience then any Administration that presided over our major wars and most of our median sized ones.
    In essence you are arguing for a hierarchy of service where one exposure to combat determines your status for debating the issue. OK, I’ll buy that let’s nominate an “American Eagle” and go with what he says. Well who is the American Eagle? None other then John McCain so I guess that settles the argument doesn’t it?

  57. Jerry,
    Rumsfield I left out purposely because I knew he did actually serve in the Navy.
    Feith? Wolfowitz? Perle?
    My only point is that “it’s easier to gamble with other people’s money”. Therefore I think having a true military background provides a better and deeper perspective when it comes to pulling the trigger. Am I saying that the military is the *only* factor in determining the validity of leadership? Of course not.
    I look at the attempt to redefine Article 3 in the same light. Those who had served steadfastly refused to go along with it often had long and distinguished military careers. Those who hadn’t, didn’t think it would put our troops at risk but they had never risked anything in the first place.

  58. Ty:
    I hope you come back because I have several examples that refute your premise.
    Abraham Lincoln was better Commander in Chief then Jefferson Davis despite the fact the Lincoln had no military experience and Davis was a West Point Graduate, hero in the Mexican War (serving under a President who had no military experience), and Secretary of War in the Buchanan Administration.
    Franklin Roosevelt was a better Commander in Chief then Winston Churchill despite having no military experience while Churchill fought in the Sudan and in Egypt in North Africa and after resigning as First Lord of the Admiralty after his failed operation at Gallipoli went to his regiment a served as battalion commander on the Western Front.
    Roosevelt, who chose to use his family connections to a former President to get job in the Navy Department instead of serving in the military in the First World War, was a better Commander in Chief then his axis rivals who had extensive or very personal front line experience in war, i.e., Tojo and Hitler.
    Your claims to the contrary, if anything Presidents without military experience seem to better CINCs then other war leaders with extensive military backgrounds.
    All your post show is that you don’t really that much about military history and not a whole lot of the real military either. Let me explain to you something about Don Rumsfeld’s military career. The Navy Maritime Patrol community is sort of like a flying club. Up until a few years ago they got paid per diem while on deployment unlike other naval officers who actually pay a nominal price for their meals aboard ship. They don’t go to sea when they deploy and spend every night in quarters on land. They also fly back home on maintenance check flights periodically so they can continue to receive all their allowances. Do they do an important mission? Yes, and arguably they were the most important arm of naval aviation during the Cold War because they kept track of Soviet SSBNs operating off the our coasts. However, just because Rumsfeld flew in the regular Navy doesn’t make his service superior to Bush’s ANG time. For that matter I consider Bush’s service to be at least as good as the time I spent deployed on a submarine. Flying F-102s (do you know what that is) was very hazardous. Three of his squadron mates died in Class A mishaps during his active flying career. Out of a crew 80 we suffered one casualty when a sailor slipped on a wet ladder when coming off bridge watch and ended up with concussion and a couple of broken bones. He went on to recover.
    You, and those like you, should stop embarrassing yourself with your prejudice and ignorance about military affairs and history. You don’t even know enough to know that you don’t anything.

  59. jerry,
    More excellent points. However, it doesn’t really matter. As I wrote before, TyCaptains, like most libs, suffers from BDS to the extent that his higher brain functions are impaired. Hence, he can’t see beyond simple stereotypes / syllogisms:
    Bush / no combat record / got us into war / bad
    Murtha / combat record / wants us out of war / good
    Four legs good / Two legs baaaaadddd
    If Bush had five hundred hours of combat air time, a CMH, three DFCs, two Silver Stars and a Purple Heart, TyCaptains would rail about civilian control of the military and how we should NEVER elect vets to the presidency because they’re too quick to go to war:
    Bush / combat record / got us into war / bad
    Reid / no combat record / wants us out of war / good
    Four legs good / two legs beeeetttteeeerrrrr
    If TyCaptains didn’t suffer so badly from BDS, he’d realize that history demonstrates that there isn’t any real correlation between prior military service and performance as a wartime president. Unfortunately, that would tend to undermine the cherish liberal “chickenhawk” meme, and – like the sheep of “Animal Farm” – libs just can’t understand the world except in the simplest terms.
    FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD, was inscribed on the end wall of the barn, above the Seven Commandments and in bigger letters. When they had once got it by heart, the sheep developed a great liking for this maxim, and often as they lay in the field they would all start bleating “Four legs good, two legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!” and keep it up for hours on end, never growing tired of it.
    George Orwell
    “Animal Farm”
    Substitute “Bush” or “Neo-cons” or “Halliburton” for “two legs” and I think you get a very clear picture of liberal rhetoric at its most sophisticated.

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