Since school is taking much more time this term than usual my blogging will be well below the normal slow-ish pace for the next three months. Probably mostly weekends now.
Without further ado, it would appear the British sailors and marines are still hostages. This one crisis sums up so much of what’s wrong with the world today. Iran makes an armed attack against the military of a sovereign nation in the territorial waters of another nation and no one, not even the British, care about the violation of diplomatic standards (written about here). If we are not going to require countries live by the rules of civil intercourse, excepting times of war of course, then why should Iran restrict itself by following them? The British resort to diplomacy with a country that doesn’t respect diplomatic norms not because it’s the best choice but because the weak and unsupported British armed forces lack the ability to provide any other options. Once again we are seeing the ineffectiveness of our European allies in international affairs due to their unwillingness to invest the requisite resources to maintain credible military forces (and the British are atthe top of the heap even).
The Ayatollahs only understand force and without the threat of it hanging over their head they have no need to release the Britons until they get what they want from Blair. At the very least they want Britain humiliated. I know many modern post-history lefties think such emotional aspects of international relations no longer matter but they do which is why the Ayatollahs desire it. I do hope Blair holds firm despite a large portion of his countrymen being perfectly willing to trade humiliation for the servicemen. I also hope that Bush is in close consultation with Blair and is willing to help our ally with other options if need be. Diplomacy didn’t get the US hostages freed until President Reagan arrived with a clear willingness to use force to free them if necessary. If it requires the threat/application of American force then so be it, Britain has been a loyal ally and deserves such support.
I also haven’t notice more outrage over the treatment of the British servicemen, the woman in particular. Admittedly, I haven’t been able to follow the news too closely with school and all so I may have just missed it, but does no one else care that they are video taping them and forcing her to wear a headscarf? This behavior is especially egregious in this case since these were combatants who were actually following the laws of war and were illegally captured. Then again as the former Navy commander during the Falkland Wars commented, the hostage aspect of this mess, and probably the entire crisis, could have been avoided if British soldiers were allowed to use their weapons. The Iranians tried this game against American soldiers and only got a few dead Iranians for their trouble (they should have gotten more dead Iranians if you ask me but that’s another post).
Lastly though, Iain Murray over at the National Review notes “Blair has made me ashamed to be British this week. My only consolation is perhaps it will make the British people realize how utterly useless the U.N. is.” Only about 7% of Britons seem to agree with him on the first part. On the second, hehe, fat chance. Oh, and what are US Democrats doing at this moment? Well Speaker Pelosi is giving aid and support to the Syrians and powerful Representative Waxman is berating Sec. Rice over Joe Wilson’s trip to the Niger 5 years ago. Good to see Democrats have their priorities straight.