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Sisyphus

British sailors taken by Iran

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I don't really get the the whole protesting thing, here. Iranians protesting at the British embassy in Iran? There are people that angry? That doesn't make sense even if you believe the version of events the Iranian government is telling the world. What the hell are they being told?

 

There's a very small chance that the protests where not arranged by factions within the Iranian government.

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After watching Tehran tap dance through the UN's uncommonly light-hearted sanctions, i thought they had gained enough international clout to maintain a largely unsupervised nuclear power program and/or nuclear weapons facilities ( an international list or 10 or 12 i believe).

Now, Ahmadinejad is coming off far less charismatic and much more like a potential target.

Regardless if their status is hostage or detainee lets all hope the heads of these sailors' remain attached and we dont get drawn into anymore major troop deployments.

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You got it Ecoli. (Hmmmm, that doesn't sound too good does it?)

 

But if the West doesn't make threats, then it really takes the wind out of your sails.

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Betina I can agree with half of this "I don't see it that way. I see Iran as a bully and the UK caving in by apologizing for being in international waters under a U.N. mandate." There's no question they are being bullies but I don't think the UK has apologised at all for this (and, of course, nor should we).

 

Wherever they ship was, Iraq lost any plausibility when it first complained about the Brits being in Iran's waters. The location they gave was in Iraq's territory; our presence there may be questionable but it's not Iran's business to try to do anything about it. Since the Iranian forces didn't seem to know where they were...

 

BTW, does this

"You capture some British soilders, regardless if they actually did anything wrong. PArade them around and present them as an enemy threat. Suddenly, Iranians don't feel as safe. Moderates are pushed towards supporting the radicals out of fear. You milk it a little more by getting the West to make threatening remarks... you play clips of Western leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong."

remind anyone of gitmo?

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Unfortunately true. Nothing promotes nationalism like a common enemy.

 

You capture some British soilders, regardless if they actually did anything wrong. PArade them around and present them as an enemy threat. Suddenly, Iranians don't feel as safe. Moderates are pushed towards supporting the radicals out of fear. You milk it a little more by getting the West to make threatening remarks... you play clips of Western leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong.

 

True: the Iranian leader has played Bush and Blair like a fish on a line. and continues to do so.

 

Iran has zero military capabiity in the greater context. All they have is political clout. A bit like a vampire gaining strength by drinking blood...Iran isn't strong enough to take the blood by force ( a la Dracula) but is being offered a pints of it at a time by Bush and Blair on a platter. The Iranian nubar's status only comes from how seriously he is taken by the West...his status grows in the eyes of the Muslim world.

 

It doesn't matter if Iranian military capability is destroyed. It has no value and can't be used by the nutbars. If Iran is attacked, the nutbar's status raises multifold among Muslims from Karachi to Jakarta. The 'us and them' of the Axis of Evil insane policy gives crazies more status than they could have ever deamed of.

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BTW, does this

"You capture some British soilders, regardless if they actually did anything wrong. PArade them around and present them as an enemy threat. Suddenly, Iranians don't feel as safe. Moderates are pushed towards supporting the radicals out of fear. You milk it a little more by getting the West to make threatening remarks... you play clips of Western leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong."

remind anyone of gitmo?

 

Hmm..let's see...

 

We capture some enemy combatants, instead of shooting them like the others and assume they're a threat. We don't parade them around anywhere - unless you're going to continue to milk the same cow over and over again....which shouldn't matter anyway since OUR government doesn't condone it, but rather admits mistakes and punishes for it.

 

But, Iran is far more ethical than us right? Do you admire terrorism on the west? By your posts, you seem to be charged up by slamming "the west"...

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Recently one of those so called enemy combatants was released without charge because there was no real evidence against him so I guess it's nice that nobody shot him; btw he was picked up on a business trip in Gambia so shooting him might have been a bit embarrassing.

Nobody paraded the inmates of Guantanamo bay which is why none of us has any recollection of the kneeling prisoners in bright orange jump suits.

 

I think the rest of the quote was something like this.

Suddenly, things like the homeland security act come into force and are accepted by the public as a "wartime necessity" (IIRC income tax was one of those too).

You milk it a little more by getting the West to show the pics of OBL making threatening remarks.

you play clips of leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong."

 

 

I didn't need to change much.

 

It's not that I condone terrorism; I've been too close to being a victim to do that. It's just that I also don't condone governments telling lies to their people about Saddam's WMD being 40 minutes from launching an attack. I don't condone restricting the freedoms of ordinary citizens of the US or UK in the name of a fake "war" on terror. I'm not saying that Iran's government is more ethical than mine, yours or anyone else's.

I don't see the point in ignoring the fact that the other guys have a point of view. They didn't get out of bed one day and start screaming "death to the West" because they are stupid. They do that because they see the West as an oppressor. OK, they have been galvanised into action by political leaders who are after power. Locking a few up without a trial didn't help the West there, but it's great propaganda for recruiting terrorists. Invading a country to get rid of a tyrant (who we put there in the first place) didn't help either. I can't help thinking it would have been better to get a broader international consensus there. As it stands it looks, at best, rather like trying to grab the oil; at worst it looks like cultural suppression.

 

You can hardly blame their political leaders for doing something with rather strong parallels with the behaviour of Messrs Bush and Blair, like taking random individuals as prisoners in order to bolster local support. After all- it worked.

I'm not trying to slam the West; just trying to see both sides. You might want to try that too.

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Recently one of those so called enemy combatants was released without charge because there was no real evidence against him so I guess it's nice that nobody shot him; btw he was picked up on a business trip in Gambia so shooting him might have been a bit embarrassing.

Nobody paraded the inmates of Guantanamo bay which is why none of us has any recollection of the kneeling prisoners in bright orange jump suits.

 

I think the rest of the quote was something like this.

Suddenly, things like the homeland security act come into force and are accepted by the public as a "wartime necessity" (IIRC income tax was one of those too).

You milk it a little more by getting the West to show the pics of OBL making threatening remarks.

you play clips of leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong."

 

 

I didn't need to change much.

 

It's not that I condone terrorism; I've been too close to being a victim to do that. It's just that I also don't condone governments telling lies to their people about Saddam's WMD being 40 minutes from launching an attack. I don't condone restricting the freedoms of ordinary citizens of the US or UK in the name of a fake "war" on terror. I'm not saying that Iran's government is more ethical than mine, yours or anyone else's.

I don't see the point in ignoring the fact that the other guys have a point of view. They didn't get out of bed one day and start screaming "death to the West" because they are stupid. They do that because they see the West as an oppressor. OK, they have been galvanised into action by political leaders who are after power. Locking a few up without a trial didn't help the West there, but it's great propaganda for recruiting terrorists. Invading a country to get rid of a tyrant (who we put there in the first place) didn't help either. I can't help thinking it would have been better to get a broader international consensus there. As it stands it looks, at best, rather like trying to grab the oil; at worst it looks like cultural suppression.

 

You can hardly blame their political leaders for doing something with rather strong parallels with the behaviour of Messrs Bush and Blair, like taking random individuals as prisoners in order to bolster local support. After all- it worked.

I'm not trying to slam the West; just trying to see both sides. You might want to try that too.

 

I hope your not comparing The U.S. and the U.K. with Iran. If you want to go one on one your going to lose big time. Bush and Blair aren't nutjobs like the Iranian president.

 

EDIT: If Iran is that daring without nuclear weapons, what will happen when they get one. You see how fast Tony is caving in.

 

Bettina

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I hope your not comparing The U.S. and the U.K. with Iran. If you want to go one on one your going to lose big time. Bush and Blair aren't nutjobs like the Iranian president.

 

EDIT: If Iran is that daring without nuclear weapons, what will happen when they get one. You see how fast Tony is caving in.

 

Bettina

 

Wasn't he specifically not saying that Iran is acting better?

 

I actually agree with that post for the most part. Justifying one's actions by comparing them favorably to a crazy, aggressive, oppressive theocracy isn't really worth much. "You're better than Iran. Congrats!" And the fact that they use the same justifications for their crazy stuff that we do for ours should give us pause. And even if we do, as is quite possible, convince ourselves that we are completely in the right and they are completely in the wrong, it is naive to think that that is all that matters. It DOES matter how it looks to everyone else. In fact, in the long run, that might be what matters most of all.

 

And how has Tony Blair caved? They haven't apologized. They've condemned it unambiguously. Yet they're still trying to diffuse the situation, as they obviously should. Seriously, how would starting an unnecessary war prove their moral superiority?

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And how has Tony Blair caved? They haven't apologized. They've condemned it unambiguously. Yet they're still trying to diffuse the situation, as they obviously should. Seriously, how would starting an unnecessary war prove their moral superiority?

 

indeed. i'm not sure were you're getting this from, bettina: britain has specifically refused to appologise :confused:

 

----------

 

with reguards to the soldures 'confession': might it be an idea to make our policy simply be that soldures should say whatever their captors want them to? i.e., no bothering with trying to avoid co-ersion, just 'admit' to whatever they tell you to.

 

that way, as long as we make it clear that this is our policy, our soldures can avoid having to go through any torture/coersion/etc by just saying whatever, and we can just deny it by pointing out that they're instructed to say whatever their captor tells them to?

 

i.e., any 'admissions' gained from captives will be completely hollow.

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Its simple to see that this was a test instigated by Iran. They capture British soldiers in international waters like pirates and the British give up their men and their ship without firing a shot. That ship was there legally under a U.N. mandate yet the British let it be boarded.

 

Tony Blair, acting diplomatically, is laying concessions whether you see them or not and he's showing the mideast that the U.K. is made of paper. Thats what makes me mad, and I'm not even British.

 

Watch what happens in the next few weeks. Iran and the U.K. will come to an "agreement" where the British will no longer condemn Iran for that action and Iran will claim a victory. Just watch.

 

Ahmadinejad wins.

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It's not that I condone terrorism; I've been too close to being a victim to do that. It's just that I also don't condone governments telling lies to their people about Saddam's WMD being 40 minutes from launching an attack. I don't condone restricting the freedoms of ordinary citizens of the US or UK in the name of a fake "war" on terror. I'm not saying that Iran's government is more ethical than mine, yours or anyone else's.

 

I agree. I don't like or agree with any of those things either. But they happened. Now what? Give up and say oh well, I guess they win? Can't trust anybody so just lie down and relax and let whatever happens happen?

 

I don't see the point in ignoring the fact that the other guys have a point of view. They didn't get out of bed one day and start screaming "death to the West" because they are stupid.

 

Yes they have a point of view. Shit man, they've got several great points in their POV in my mind. But none of it condones murdering masses of innocent people. Dude, I have good reasons to be pissed off at my government and corporate business, which I feel is selling america out and eventually lead to our demise - but I don't bomb people over it.

 

You're not supposed to target innocent people - that line is supposed to be ugly and unacceptable by all with no excuses.

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Its simple to see that this was a test instigated by Iran. They capture British soldiers in international waters like pirates and the British give up their men and their ship without firing a shot. That ship was there legally under a U.N. mandate yet the British let it be boarded.

 

britain is undisputably stronger than iran.

 

however, the iranian navai forse in the area was undisputably stronger than the british naval forse in the area. when you're out-gunned, surrender is the best option. unless you'd rather have seen the british sailers martyrd.

 

Tony Blair, acting diplomatically, is laying concessions whether you see them or not and he's showing the mideast that the U.K. is made of paper.

 

the only 'consessions' that he's making are that, possibly, iran is genuinly mistaken. we're not apologising, and i doubt that any of irans desired 'assuranses' that this'll never happen again will be forthcoming, as that'd be out-of-line with our official stance that it was their fault.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6523729.stm

 

In comments before No 10's statement, Mr Blair said the UK had two aims - firstly to make Iran understand that "the pressure is there" and secondly to ensure the "door is open" to diplomacy.

 

He added if "peaceful, calm negotiation" was not possible, the UK would have to take "increasingly tougher decisions".

 

see, we're not being as pusy-footed as you think. the 'increasingly tougher descisions' bit, imo, isn't overtly aggressive, but definately hints at the possibility that we'll take some kind of military action if they don't give them back.

 

Watch what happens in the next few weeks. Iran and the U.K. will come to an "agreement" where the British will no longer condemn Iran for that action and Iran will claim a victory.

 

well, it is possible that iran are genuinly mistaken, and it's only fair to grant them the benifit of the doubt. imo, it's certainly not clear that they knowingly entered iraqi waters to yoink our troops.

 

somewhat relatedly, i'm interested where the 'making a public spectacle of the troops was in violation of the geneva convention' aspect will go; wether, and how much, we'll critisize them for it.

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You can hardly blame their political leaders for doing something with rather strong parallels with the behaviour of Messrs Bush and Blair, like taking random individuals as prisoners in order to bolster local support. After all- it worked.

I'm not trying to slam the West; just trying to see both sides. You might want to try that too.

 

I do actually. Frequently I switch sides for the sake of argument and poke things a little. I didn't get my opinion from the news. I didn't get it from Rush. I didn't get it from any prepackaged opinion piece, but rather by asking questions and reading.

 

I don't think my country is the man in the white hat, believe me, we make plenty of mistakes and I don't agree with half of Bush's decisions. But the lengths at which we are blamed for everything from terrorism to hurricanes, I can't get to it. It's prejudice, to me, the international attitude on america. It has been for decades, long before terrorism reached us.

 

with reguards to the soldures 'confession': might it be an idea to make our policy simply be that soldures should say whatever their captors want them to? i.e.' date=' no bothering with trying to avoid co-ersion, just 'admit' to whatever they tell you to.

 

that way, as long as we make it clear that this is our policy, our soldures can avoid having to go through any torture/coersion/etc by just saying whatever, and we can just deny it by pointing out that they're instructed to say whatever their captor tells them to?

 

i.e., any 'admissions' gained from captives will be completely hollow.[/quote']

 

It's not a bad policy just to keep doubt heavy in the mix. But that doesn't stop torture altogether. They could just use torture to be sure they're telling the truth - or it could cause torture to last longer, with more intensity, to eliminate doubts. But I still like the idea.

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I heard people arguing the other day that they should be giving, name rank and number, BUT they are NOT prisoners of war, officially, which is what that normally applies to, so if you do that you just piss your captors off, and there's no secrecy to what they where doing.

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"Iran's president says British sailors are pardoned and will be freed." - BBC News Online

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/

 

Nothing else yet

 

Wow. That's a huge relief. Also, kind of surreal. It was handled well. Iran backed down, everybody is safe, and neither side apologized or admitted any wrongdoing. Britain continues to call it like it is without sabre-rattling or getting rhetorically ridiculous about it (as I'm sure Bush would have), and Iran has backed down to calling British actions "an accident that they won't admit."

 

Just goes to show you that not immediately shooting stuff up is NOT the same as a "concession" or an "appeasement" or whatever else you want to call it.

 

Nice to see things de-escalating once in a while.

 

Most likely it was related to the envoy getting access to the Iranian prisoners of the US in Iraq, true, but that's not much of a concession. That's a courtesy I would expect in any case. They weren't actually released, were they?

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Am I missing something? Where did Iran back down? Iran giving Britain "a gift" is not backing down.

 

Iran...... Ahmadinejad said he had pardoned the sailors as a gift to the British people and to mark the birthday of Islam's Prophet Muhammed and Easter.

 

Iran...... I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people -- with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial -- forgave those 15,"

 

 

Iran got what they wanted...... plenty of PR and to watch the U.K. cower down.

 

Tony..... To the Iranian people I would simply say this: We bear you no ill will. On the contrary, we respect Iran as an ancient civilization and as a nation with a proud and dignified history.

 

What dignified history does Iran have.

 

Bettina

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What dignified history does Iran have.

 

Bettina

That statement amazes me. Iran, formally known as Persia has a rich history of well over 7000 years. Don't believe me check, it out? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Iran

Persia was the 1st nation by far to ever have a recognisable bill of human rights and the UN has acknowledged this since the 70s. (Sorry for the rant, but this is partly because of my disgust at how Persia was portrayed in the film 300)

 

You really need to stop seeing the world so back and white...

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What dignified history does Iran have.

 

Well, they're quite dignified in how they oppress women and endorse racism and hatred. The KKK has a lot to learn from them...

 

nice to see common sense prevail. lets hope this sets a trend.

 

Yes, let's hope they capture sailors and free them over and over again. Obviously no one is going to hurt them for kidnapping folks - just as long as they hand them back after a few days of humiliation and PR advancement.

 

 

Honestly, I'm glad it ended without those sailors getting hurt - if it still ends that way. But I'm not glad Iran is given a free pass. This is a dangerous trend that will no doubt look great in the beginning but will lead to terrible consequences down the line. I'm afraid the democrats love this kind of approach and are going to echo an even more soft sided appeasement to terrorism and terror sponsor states.

 

This will look and feel great to them. Then after a few years we'll reap what we've sewn. Terror recruitment will be as high as it is now if not higher as their cause gains legitimacy. With that will come more terrorism since we've shown no gumption for force or time, but rather laying down and "understanding" them. The grand pendulum swings from one end to the other...never resting in the middle.

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That statement amazes me. Iran, formally known as Persia has a rich history of well over 7000 years. Don't believe me check, it out? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Iran

Persia was the 1st nation by far to ever have a recognisable bill of human rights and the UN has acknowledged this since the 70s. (Sorry for the rant, but this is partly because of my disgust at how Persia was portrayed in the film 300)

 

You really need to stop seeing the world so back and white...

 

I agree on the whole persia thing actually. But there's nothing dignified about being a proud racist. That's more disgusting than the hollywood spin on 300.

 

That said, I'm really sick of hollywood distorting the truth to make things supposedly more "interesting" or easier to follow who's wearing the white hat and who's wearing the black one. Wouldn't it be more interesting to tell the story as accurately as possible? And imagine the turmoil trying to figure out who's really right and wrong in a given conflict. Far more interesting - but not cookie cutter black and white like hollywood prefers...

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And imagine the turmoil trying to figure out who's really right and wrong in a given conflict.

Problem is conflicts really have very little to do with right or wrong, in fact I cannot think of any that are really based on that. Nations, empires, whatever you call them have since the dawn of time have always served their own self interests, or their ruler's or political class's interests(to different degrees depending on the political system).

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Am I missing something? Where did Iran back down? Iran giving Britain "a gift" is not backing down.

 

Yes, it is. They didn't harm the sailors. They didn't dare turn it in to a "death to the west" situation. They didn't get any meaningful concessions out of Britain - not even an apology. In fact, Britain has maintained through the whole thing that they were essentially kidnapped. Iran, on the other hand, backed down to the point where the only spin they could still manage was that "the British made a 'mistake', which they should really apologize for but haven't, but we're going to be nice to them anyway." That the crazy fiery rhetoric was cowed into reconciliation and "gift-giving" is a HUGE act of backing down. The UK comes out looking strong and reasonable, and Iran comes out looking weak, petty, and irresolute. Yes, you're missing something.

 

Iran got what they wanted...... plenty of PR and to watch the U.K. cower down.

 

Hardly. The UK didn't cower - they did. What the hell would you consider "not backing down" on the Brits' part? Seriously, I want to know. Full-scale invasion? That's ridiculous. Strength is revealed in not having to use it.

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Problem is conflicts really have very little to do with right or wrong, in fact I cannot think of any that are really based on that. Nations, empires, whatever you call them have since the dawn of time have always served their own self interests, or their ruler's or political class's interests(to different degrees depending on the political system).

 

And that's kind of what I mean. It's difficult to see the good guys and bad guys in real life. Usually they're both a little of both. Like you said, self serving.

 

Same with the current middle east conflict and America. We're all serving our own interests. That's why I don't understand why the middle east gets excuses manufactured for them and America isn't allowed any excuses. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when everyone is serving their own interests, they despise the more successful at it? Kind of like how rich people are not trusted and are despised by the masses...even though they're just looking out for their own interests - not targeting someone else's...

 

Sorry, but I can't help but to see the class envy we experience between the rich, middle class and poor - on the global scale as well.

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