Joined: 28 Feb 2007
Location: Northern Ontario
Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:15 am Post subject: Ezra has it right.
"Freed sailors no victory
By EZRA LEVANT
It was just chance that the seizure of 15 British sailors by Iran exactly coincided with the 25th anniversary of Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands. Both were acts of war against Britain.
Twenty-five years ago, Argentina invaded the Falklands -- they called the islands the Malvinas -- on April 2nd. By April 5th, a British flotilla of more than 100 warships and nearly 30,000 men set sail as a response.
Diplomacy was given a hard deadline: It would have to work by the time the warships arrived at their destination, some 8,000 miles away.
The Falklands were not strategically important. They had a population of just 1,800 and a marginal fishing and farming economy. But to the prime minister of the day, Margaret Thatcher, they were as integral to the United Kingdom as Piccadilly Circus.
After a month's fighting, the Argentines surrendered. Two-hundred-and-fifty-five Brits had died in the fight as did 655 Argentines. The Falklands were liberated, but a much more important fact was established: The United Kingdom proved it would run to the ends of the earth to protect its citizens.
Those 255 British lives likely saved many more than the Falkland Islanders.
For a generation, memories of the dramatic, around-the-world battle dampened the enthusiasm of any rogue who came up with the bright idea of harming British interests overseas. That's called deterrence.
British deterrence is now dead. The Iranian kidnapping of 15 British servicemen -- legally in Iraqi waters on a UN-sanctioned mission, no less -- was as much an act of war as the Argentinian invasion. But instead of meeting war with war -- launching a raid to seize the hostages, or striking at military or strategic sites in Iran, or even attacking Iran's nuclear facilities -- Prime Minister Tony Blair did nothing but wait.
Iran paraded the hostages on TV -- including dressing up the female sailor in the Muslim hijab. The Geneva Conventions forbid using captured prisoners of war for propaganda purposes like that. Imagine if captured Iranian-backed terrorists were forced to dress up for the cameras, including wearing a Christian cross around their necks. Don't wait for Amnesty International or the UN's International Criminal Court to utter a peep about such lawlessness. All the while, Britain, the European Union and NATO stood by silently. Only when Iran chose to let them go were they let go.
To call that a victory for Britain is to lie. The only thing more demoralizing was watching the hostages fawning over Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, thanking him for their kind hospitality -- and accepting his parting gifts.
Time was, captured troops defied their captors. When John McCain was shot down over North Vietnam, he was tortured. When the Viet Cong offered to let him go home early -- because his father was a senior military official -- he refused to leave without the rest of the POWs. A hundred years earlier, British Private John Moyse famously refused to bow to a Chinese warlord who had captured him during the Second Opium Wars; he was murdered as a result.
No-one asked the 15 hostages to do unusual acts of bravery like that, especially with their own leaders so mealy-mouthed. But was it necessary to so thank their captors, on television?
Fifteen hostages are now back home. On paper, that looks better than 255 dead British troops in the Falklands. But now 60-million Brits the world over are at risk, easy pickings for anyone who knows the British navy is no threat to anyone other than its own sailors."
Blair blew an opportunity to deal with Iran's nuclear aspirations. I wonder what sort of calamity it is going to take to stop the western world's capitulation to Iran and others.
Iran rolled the dice and the world blinked.
Iran paraded the hostages on TV -- including dressing up the female sailor in the Muslim hijab...Imagine if captured Iranian-backed terrorists were forced to dress up for the cameras, including wearing a Christian cross around their necks.
Better yet, how about miniskirts and thong underwear?
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