As you know the 15 British Sailors who were engaged in interdiction in the Shatt el Arab waterway when they were kidnapped by the Iranians were released as an Easter President by the little Fascist, Ahmadinejad.
Of course, immediately after their release, to no one’s surprise, the sailors told of being held in solitary, threatened with death if they did not “admit” to the incursion into Iranian waters.
How embarassed must have been the female sailor, told that the men had all been released, forced to wear the “Hajib” and paraded repeatedly in front of the cameras to admit her “sins” against the Iranian people.
Let’s start with the analysis of the British actions. Tony Blair mouthed the correct sentiments, we will not negotiate, but at the same time began back channel discussions. IN fact, it seems that the decision to release them may have been inspired by the Iraqi’s releasing an Iranian diplomat taken into custody in Baghdad for providing support to the insurgency.
What the west continues to fail to grasp is that failure to act against this type of behavior is perceived as 1)weakness and 2) implicit permission to do it again.
The Arab world was hoping that the British would act decisively b/c this act by the Iranians was simply an exploratory move to both act with impunity generally, and to control the waterway, and thus access to the oil reserves of the Gulf.
At the very least, the British could have said simply this “If you do not release them we will surround your embassy in London and arrest every personnel in the Embassy.”
Of course, they could have also said, this a declaration of war, if they are not released immediately, Tehran will be bombed.
Ahmadinejad would not have allowed that to happen.
Unfortunately, as the taker of the American Hostages in 1978, his life experiences teach him that he can engage in hostage taking without repercussion. In fact, with his weakening domestic status, it could be argued that it helped him politically.
Here, in the States, we should have communicated to the British that we would support anything, but encouraged aggressive action.
If there is to be any hope in the Middle East, firm responses are needed, not mitigation and conciliation. It has not worked in 600 years, and will not work now.
Expect the Iranians to continue to act willfully.
In fact, my sources in the region fully expect Iran’s army, Hizbollah, to attack again this summer, perhaps with even more direct support from Syria this time.
Interestingly, Iran’s other shadow Army, Hamas, allegedly in a “truce” with Israel, has launched over 200 Qassam rockets into Southern Israel over the 90 days of this “truce”.
They are using the internal Israel political strife and alleged “truce” to rearm.
Additionally, they are using their “hostage” the Israeli soldier that was kidnapped last summer, Gilad Shalit, as bait for Israel to release over 1000 Palestinian terrorists.