"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The 15 “Victims of a Misunderstanding”

From Time magazine comes an opener that is unfortunately expected:

“It's good to have the support of those close to you in times of crisis, and Tony Blair and George W. Bush have often given public succor to each other. But British diplomats involved in efforts to secure the release of 15 of their country's marines and sailors in custody in Iran since Mar. 23 may worry that the U.S. President's most recent gesture of amity recalls an old saw — with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

That damned Bush I tell ya!

John Williams who held the post of Director of News for the British Foreign Ministry and one that was involved in the 2004 Iranian taking of 8 “hostages,” said of President Bush’s referring to the 15 military people situation as “the British hostages issue,” as “utterly careless.”

It would appear that the preferred terminology is:

“victims of a misunderstanding that could be resolved."

??????????? That gets right to the root of the problem with silk gloves, which would raise my breakfast had I eaten this morning.

Not being the least bit sure of who is/was involved in the taking of the “victims of a misunderstanding,” The National Council of Resistance of Iran has claimed:

“to have information of a "meticulously concocted operation" to "win concessions from the international community and divert attention from [Iran's] nuclear projects."

Other possibilities abound as to who exactly is behind the nabbing of the “victims of a misunderstanding,” but quiet diplomacy is the remedy being used to resolve the stand off.

Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett is being careful to “avoid tough talk,” evoked this comment from the no nonsense John Bolton telling ABC News:

‘"the softly-softly approach of the British Foreign Office simply convinces the Iranians that's all there is to it."’

Former Foreign Office News Director John Williams, quoted earlier added, at least in the TIME piece:

"You can't just do low-key diplomacy when there's provocation, you have to calibrate your rhetoric against the interests of the service personnel."

This I imagine follows the Bolton remark in the article to give the Diplo-impression that ‘hey we can get tough and just might.’ As an example Tony Blair has warned the Tehrrorists in Tehran that we could be heading toward a “different phase,” including:

“a push for tougher and new sanctions.”

Uh oh!?.!? TIME reports regarding the British government and those in the public that responded to a poll (here) that – from Time:

‘“There is little appetite in Westminster or, according to opinion polls, among the British public, for any military intervention, or even for windy threats of reprisals. Sir Christopher Meyer, a former British Ambassador to the U.S., says that saber-rattling could be counter-productive. "Having taken your saber out of the scabbard, what do you do with it?" he asks. "There are a number of people out there calling for action but if you try to pin them down about what they mean, they haven't any clear ideas."’

Dear Sir Christopher Meyer, is this truly appropriate when the Tehrrorists have already been rattling their sabers? This bloodless battle (to date anyway) with “victims of a misunderstanding,” awaiting rescue IS a “saber rattling” occasion and should be responded to as such. Then consider having the nerve or metal to back it up even if you would rather not. You have already lost this “battle” whether you realize it or not.

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