The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Several deep breaths, Mr. Blair!

with 6 comments

Peoplesgeography at Reclaiming space has a post I wish I’d written.

Covering three keys of the capture of British sailors and marines by Iran, it urges a reflective response. I encourage you to read the whole short post. I think you’ll be surprised.

Here’s my synopsis of the three:

1. The map being waved about by the British (proving with such certainty that the sailors were in international waters) is a disputed mapFormer British Ambassador Craig Murray insists that “the Iran/Iraq boundary shown on the British government map does not exist.” The Brits drew it. See the post for details – but the ships were closer to Iran than Iraq.

2. While British leaders have bemoaned the supposedly woeful treatment of the prisoners, one can scarcely compare it with the Western way:

3. Don’t forget who’s been threatening whom here. British and American strike forces are poised just miles from the Iranian shore. Iran has not threatened others. Iran asks only for “an apology and the right to be left in peace.” Who’s the foreign power? Whose civilian population is in whose bombsights? How can we make governments stop doing this to all of us?

And don’t forget that wariness toward the US and Britain is well justified. The US Navy “shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3 1988—killing all 290 Iranians on board. After initially claiming it was self-defence [hope they never get near O’Hare!], the administration of Bush senior shushed it up … The US government paid reparations to Iran, eventually, but never apologized.” … Iran’s response was “a model of diplomatic restraint.”

More details and links to evidence at Reclaiming Space. I hope you’ll read it.

Of course the sailors and marines should be returned immediately. As always, the obedient sailors and soldiers at the lowest ranks are the victims of international foolishness. If their safety really mattered to Mr. Blair, they wouldn’t have been there in the first place.

And don’t let’s think the Iranians are proving themselves wild and unreasonable. Ordering sailors into disputed waters this close to the Iranian shore is utterly irresponsible. The British need to eat crow and get them home.

Related posts:
A brief history of Iran-US relations, We Are Citizens of Another Nation, Take Care of Our Children.

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Written by Monte

March 31, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Politics, Terrorism

6 Responses

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  1. Yes, Naj, I am indeed interested in your inside info – thanks! Great comment. Iran may have gained much international credibility by being at once firm and humane.


    April 2, 2007 at 10:19 am

  2. hi there, just thought you may be interested in a bit of inside information.

    It seems that the Brits have stopped stretching their muscles, and have announced that they will resolve this without getting into territorial dispute. In exchange, Iranians have agreed to no longer show the soldier’s confession videos. In fact, when I went to the fars news today, the link to the pictures of british sailors is no longer working!

    I am really happy with the way Iran handled this. I strongly suspect this was a trap set for Iranians to test them in two ways:
    1) how easily will they be bullied and how far can they push into Iranian territory without Iranian protest!
    2) to obtain evidence for Iran’s evilness by dramatizing the misery suffered by the soldiers!

    The tears of “oh our soldiers are used a propaganda” are all crocodile ones! I bet they would have been happy to see them handcuffed and held at gun point; than sitting in front of pink curtains, laughing, with gigantic bowl of flowers and fruits in front of them! If this is “illegal” propaganda, then what is showing the images of Saddam’s teeth and har being checked on camera?!

    Well, Iranians dodged the bullet! My hat goes off to them! and I hope the marines and soldiers will not be subject of British propaganda when they come home!


    April 2, 2007 at 9:58 am

  3. Naj, indeed, it seems bafflingly one-sided – even the western press coverage seems devoid of background. It is infuriating that western leaders keep setting the stage for conflict, then howling with outrage when it happens. I think I’ll go write an email to PBS.

    Ann – thanks for your kind words!


    April 1, 2007 at 12:45 pm

  4. Hi Monte,

    Thanks for the links, and for the record, you have many posts I wish I’d written, including your terrific A Brief History of US-Iran Relations. I might also take a leaf out of your book and designate only the latest 6-10 posts to display, rather than the latest 30 — I’m hoping that’ll make it easier, Naj.



    April 1, 2007 at 5:26 am

  5. By the way, I cannot go to Peoplesgeography, my computer hangs!


    March 31, 2007 at 6:31 pm

  6. Hi Monte,

    I had chosen to watch this quietly but I am increasingly infuriated by the way Blair is handling this. Iranians had every intention fo resolving this diplomatically. And Iranians have EVERY right to demand recognition of their territorial waters. Iranians simply CANNOT give in on this.

    In the very early news that has gone out of circulation, it was reported that Iraqi fishermen informed the Brits that their boats were entering Iranian waters.

    In the very early news that has gone out of circulation now, it was also reported that the UK was insisting on not just the release of soldiers but their equipments too. What was the fuss about the equipments, anyway?

    The British soldiers are well and are well taken care of, but instead of facilitating things, Blair is escalating it; makes me wonder if their was a deliberate attempt to provoke this whole event.


    March 31, 2007 at 6:30 pm

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