Now that the 15 British sailors and Marines are back home after two weeks as POWs in Iran, and the debate has turned to their conduct while held against their will by the Iranians, we have to also ask ourselves "What was this all about?!"
Let's take a step back from the microscope now focused on their captivity and look at the overall situation.
First, a boatload of British military personnel is handling the somewhat routine task of investigating shipping in an international waterway - disputed though it may be - looking for illegal arms being smuggled into Iraq.
They are on board a cargo ship going about their duties when suddenly they are surrounded by armed Iranian coast guard personnel who take them captive without a shot, hustle them off to undisclosed locations, call them names and keep them in a state of duress for several days. No one is tortured on the level of what prisoners faced in other wars, but still it wasn't pleasant for them.
They are paraded in front of the media on a number of occasions, and then, nearly without warning, they are released.
The premier demand from the man who engineered their capture, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, better known as Green Bean Almondine, that the British government apologize for invading Iran's territorial waters, is never met. So I ask again, "What was this all about?"
Many pundits are saying the Iranians wanted to 'embarrass' the west, and succeeded in doing so. I disagree. That is diplomatic talk and it indicates an unfamiliarity with the street fighters' mindset. It might have been a welcome spinoff, but we should consider that Almondine is the guy who once held 55 Americans hostage for 444 days, and released them only when former president jimmy carter was kicked out of office and President Ronald Reagan was sworn in - along with a promise to take the gloves off regarding that situation.
Street fighters don't do things to 'embarrass' anyone. They consider an opponent duly 'embarrassed' when they have them on the ground groveling in pain, begging for the beating to stop.
I believe a more accurate answer could have been that there was something moving up that waterway that the Iranians wanted to get by the British and the best way to make sure it did was to create a diversion. That, however, is an easy read.
With all the hoopla that surrounded this issue, my gut feeling is that it was a diversion for something far larger, and more sinister.
I would take a good look at Russia first. We know that Russia has delivered advanced air defense weaponry to Tehran, and it isn't outside the realm of possibility that they were hoping to test the new systems if Britain and the US responded by launching air raids into Iran. Obviously, it is far better to test your latest defenses over someone else's territory than your own, and if Tehran was leveled rather than Kiev, so be it.
This concept works hand in glove with the other major defense issue we are dealing with, the theft of our stealth technology by the Chinese. I should point out here that I was reminded by a regular reader the other day that some of this technology 'theft' actually came in the form of technological 'gifts' from the Clinton administration.
So noted. Some of it also was stolen the old-fashioned way, by spies working inside the American defense and intelligence communities.
Regardless, the Chinese, still allied to some degree with their communist counterparts in Russia, certainly shared some of this treasure trove with the Russians, who utilized their new-found knowledge in developing anti-stealth weaponry. If it works it will play hell with our fliers who are sent on bombing missions that for the past two decades have gone off with amazingly light losses.
But again, this one is easy to figure out. As I watched this great international drama unfold there were a couple of things that came to mind.
Among them was the duplicity of the European Union, which trades heavily with Iran and refused to help the British. So much for 'unity.' And I don't want to hear any more garbage from John Kerry about what the Europeans, obviously nothing but a bunch of backstabbing fair-weather "allies" think of America.
Most of us, who unlike Kerry, didn't grow up in Europe, are here because our forefathers were sick to death of the European way of doing things anywhere from one to dozens of generations ago. Obviously the mainland European governments have continued to deteriorate to a point where they now have been relegated to the status of simpering pawns of anyone who even looks askance at them.
The Europeans tried to stay neutral in this, going only so far as to issue a mild statement. By doing so, however, they actually took sides with Iran, against Britain and America - again. But that again was obvious.
What is not so obvious, is what the Chinese were doing all this time. We heard virtually nothing about the Chinese, what with our attention focused on the non-stop coverage of un-breaking news.
Yet the Chinese most certainly have a Shar Pei in this fight. They haven't invested all this time, effort and money into neutralizing our military advantages just for peace of mind. Remember, the communist philosophy is very similar to the extremist Islamo-fascist philosophy, that being to continue the struggle until final victory is achieved, regardless of how long it takes or the cost.
So even though China is moving to a more capitalistic business model, its communist leaders are still dedicated to the ultimate communist victory. In their version of Utopia everyone but the leadership class is equal, and coincidentally exists on a level substantially below the leadership class. Anyone and everyone who disagrees or disapproves can be equally shot and discarded.
So I would look to the Chinese having a hand in this. But I still wouldn't stop there. Because down in South America we have You-go Chavez, who has been cozying up to Fidel Castro and the Persian Muslims under the pretense that they have a common enemy, us, or U.S.
The thinking here is that if they band together they can marginalize or even defeat the United States and its western democratic influences. Of course, this temporarily shelves the fact that the extremist Muslims have virtually nothing else in common with the communists, and that the communists' ultimate goal is to annihilate the Muslims too. And vice versa.
But that would come later, after the west is defeated. We have seen the communist tactics at work for nearly a century now, and the one thing that is paramount is the use of any ruse, any deception, to gain the confidence of the general public - the working classes and peasants in their elitist terminology - until they are no longer necessary. Then, once the real goal is attained, anyone who speaks up or disagrees is imprisoned and/or shot. Just ask the remnants of the Viet Cong, they'll tell you.
So it certainly is not beyond the realm of possibility that the South American communists have aligned with the Chinese and Russian communists, along with the Persian Muslim extremists in a convoluted conspiracy to get something past the US and Britain.
What this all boils down to is my belief that governments don't pull stunts like this hostage situation just for hah-hahs. There is a method to their madness. We should find out what that method is, and neutralize it, and we should do it ASAP.
Oh, one more thing. When the hostages were released, Green Bean Almondine said he was doing it as a show of "goodwill," and making a "gift" to the British.
As this was occurring British Prime Minister Tony Blair was assuring his country and ours that no quid pro quo had been involved, meaning that he and we hadn't given up anything to get the hostages back. But he also said he would be studying ways to make sure that a similar incident never occurs again.
I have a suggestion. How about, from now on, whenever British sailors and Marines are discharging their duties in international waters, the British Navy makes sure they do it under the watchful guns of a Royal Navy cruiser or destroyer. Then, if they suddenly see a flotilla of Iranian gunboats approaching the area where the sailors and Marines are working, they open fire and blast the Iranian gunboats to smithereens.
After the dust settles, Mr. Blair can make sure that the waters are searched for bits and pieces of DNA to deliver to Iran so Almondine's people can make positive IDs of the dead before discarding or disposing of them as they see fit.
Then Mr. Blair, or his successor, can send a telegram to Almondine saying that as a gesture of "goodwill" he has decided for the time being not to level Tehran and turn it into a glass parking lot. He can add that it would be wise for Almondine to keep his coast guard confined to the coast in the future.
That I believe, would be a tremendous 'gift' to the Iranian people, certainly on a par with Almondine's 'gift' of releasing the British hostages.
Sunday, April 08, 2007