"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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Interesting Points on the Tehrrorists of Tehran

Little bits and pieces that I’ve perused this afternoon (and were not hard to find, just the time), that I find extremely interesting and thought provoking on the “15 victims of a misunderstanding,” and their release by the “Tehrrorists of Tehran.”

The Editors at NRO:

“If there is a glimmer of hope in this shameful denouement, it is the possibility that the sheer brazenness of the kidnappings will shatter some of the widespread naïveté — particularly in the British and American diplomatic corps — about the nature of the Iranian regime. It has never been reasonable to think that this regime, whose guiding purpose is to export its particular brand of Islamism, could be made to act in accordance with the West’s interests. Its latest exercise in hostage-taking-as-foreign-policy underscores the unreasonableness of that view.”

David Frum:

“Some may sigh with relief at the release of the captives: "Well, at least we averted the risk of war."’

“My fear is that we have now moved closer to war than ever. The EU response to the detention of the capitves makes clear that there is almost zero hope of gaining European cooperation for an effective sanctions regime upon Iran. If they won't impose comprehensive sanctions after an act of piracy like this, they sure cannot be expected to do it merely because Iran has moved another step closer to completion of a nuclear bomb. By refusing to consider meaingful nonmilitary pressure, the Europeans have steadily reduced the number of peaceful options. As things are going, those options will soon be reduced to two: acquiesence - or air strikes. That is not success.”

Victor Davis Hanson:

“While the Iranian theocrats understand that the entire world, including many of their own citizens, is turning against them, they also know that this could change if a Western nation would just attack them. Their strategy seems to be to find a way to provoke someone to drop a few bombs on them, on the naive assumption that such an assault would be of limited duration and damage. Such an attack, they may figure, would earn them sympathy in much of the world.”

David Pryce-Jones:

“Behind the scenes, diplomatic letters were exchanged between Prime Minister Blair’s foreign-policy adviser, and Ali Larijani, a hardliner who negotiates the nuclear issue. Whether some kind of deal has been struck remains unknown. There is speculation that Iranian officers held in Iraq may be part of a bargain, and if that proves to be the case, Iran will find confirmation for its view that the balance of power in the world is now in its favor. In the first place, though, Iran evidently let the 15 go because it had milked the hijacking for all its worth, and nothing more was to be gained. The British navy had been exposed as operationally unprofessional. Its ships and helicopters and radars were taken by surprise. In no position to defend themselves, its sailors and marines went meekly into captivity. In its predicament, the British government was helpless, turning for support to the European Union and the United Nations, which both limited themselves to verbiage, watered down at that. The whole West can expect to pay a high cost for such open weakness and humiliation at this juncture of the war on terror.”

New York Daily News Opinion:

“Then again, why should this particular group of young people, pawns on the global stage, be called upon on to do what no one else in the world is doing: stand up to Iran?

Why should they be expected to stare Ahmadinejad down when their elders in the capitals of the world, and in the halls of the United Nations, refuse to get serious about a nation that exports terror, that openly calls for the annihilation of Israel and is progressing toward nuclear weaponry?

Why, indeed?”

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