The Hostages

Another day, another day ticked off the calendar (and ticked off!) of hostages being held in Iran after a UN mission. (I suppose we can be lucky that the they weren’t shot like the African Union folks working for the UN in Darfur.)

Anyway – this weekend President Bush spoke up and today Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman blames Bush for antagonizing the situation.

any US remarks in support of the British government could worsen the situation, and thus he is advised to avoid illegal and improper remarks about the situation.

“Illegal”? Now Bush’s remarks are “illegal”?

So I’m thinking to myself that the longer this goes on and the longer you see quotes out of Iran as ridiculous as the one above, then the more people will see how outrageous Iran is. Right? Well sure. Even the editorial writer for the Arab News thinks that the Brits should be freed and the territorial dispute be worked out later.

Both countries say they can prove where the sailors were at the time of the capture and it will take time for what should be an independent inquiry to settle the matter one way or the other. Iran should, the British feel, (and the writer seems to agree) allow the sailors to return home until the matter is resolved.

In the meantime, Iran should allow a British delegation or a human rights organization to see the sailors and should consider granting consular access to them. Tehran should also stop televising some of the sailors allegedly confessing to, and apologizing for, their transgressions since this can only fuel anti-Iranian sentiments in Britain and elsewhere.

Yes, that would be how reasonable people work.

It’s sad to say but even this somewhat reasonable person on the left is suggesting a prisoner exchange!

But can anyone please explain to me how this penis-waggling exercise will actually be more likely to get these British soldiers released, more than, say, inking a prisoner exchange?

What we’re seeing on Iran’s part isn’t terrorism, and it’s a mistake to describe it as such. Rather, it’s more akin to Cold War diplomacy, where one side captures the other side’s people. In the Cold War era, whenever prisoners were taken, all sides involved would ink a quiet, diplomatic prisoner swap.

So in essence Insomnia is saying that when the UN sends a group on a mission and that mission may or may not have crossed 0.3 miles onto the wrong side of the line, that it’s then ok for the other side who is technically not in any war to go ahead and snatch these folks up, parade them on tv, force them out of uniform and into cultural clothing and threaten to put them on trial.

Instead just like in the Cold War when we had all of those front page news hostage grabbings (HUH?) we should just exchange a few of the 300 plus Iranians held in Iraqi prisoners under Iraqi law. (talk about the blame America first crowd!)

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston news thinks it through a bit better. In asking why there is so much more aggression lately on the heels of what has been a retreat, Jeff says:

The answer in both cases is that this is how totalitarian aggressors react to faintheartedness.
“In Middle Eastern warfare,” writes retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters in the New York Post, “a classic tactic has been to retreat in the face of strength, but to attack when your enemy withdraws or shows signs of weakness.” British troop pullouts and congressional cut-and-run votes prompt not fewer outrages and less mayhem, but more. The smell of irresolution doesn’t satiate the totalitarians’ appetite; it makes it keener.

I’m not a man but I suspect that in laymens terms, waggling penis’s don’t equate to starting a war as Insomnia seems to think. But when they waggle their’s it’s important to make certain they know just how big yours is before the next waggle.

UPDATE: Lost entry replaced.