Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why oh why were British soldiers taken prisoner?

This morning when I woke up, I immediately turned on the TV to watch the latest BBC world news report on the British naval personnel who were captured yesterday morning, but I ended up watching a totally different program first, Francesco da Mosto’s travel journey to explore the history, culture, and modern-day life of Italy. He sets off heading south to Sicily. Francesco da Mosto’s journey is my favorite travel show. He finished this program by saying "Our country is not to be explained, but to be experienced and felt. I really think you can say that about Iran too.

But experiencing it lately means feeling a lot of pain.

Have you ever had a time when nothing is going well for you? Yesterday’s capture of the British Navy personnel by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Naval Corps is just another bad thing at a time when most Iranians feel nothing is going well for them. Considering Iran’s situation, one would think that we would do everything to improve its position in the world, and would do everything possible to make sure that the UN Security Council would not pass another damaging series of economic sanctions against it. But that is when you are rational and you are not looking for crises.

I still don’t understand what happened yesterday. But since yesterday I have been trying to figure out why Iran captured British Navy personnel at the moment when every eye in the world is upon us.

A couple of things came to my mind:

Iran is desperate to show the world and the west in particular that we are able to protect and control Iran’s territorial waters. Why we want to do this by capturing 15 British sailors is not clear to me just yet. The idea may be to have something to exchange for the 5 Iranians who were arrested last January in northern Iraq. This is also a bit strange since the 5 Iranians are held by American forces, not by British forces. It is not even clear those 5 want to come back to Iran.

Another idea is that perhaps Iran wants even more attention. Here are a few more notions that I have been considering:

1) We Iranians cannot read maps very well and got confused about where our territorial waters are.

2) Iran's Revolutionary Guard navy corps did not have anything to do on a boring Friday morning.

3) Iranians like to deal with multiple problems at the same time: a new UN resolution is just not enough for us to deal with when we can handle so many more crises at the same time.

4) The new Iranian Navy exercise in the waters off Bushehr province went berserk.

5) We know Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary will say "We have asked for a full explanation on what has happened and we are leaving them in no doubt that we want the immediate and safe return of our personnel and their equipment."

6) Our president needed a reason for not traveling to the US to give a speech at the UN.

What do you guys think?

20 comments:

Vince P said...

I've saved these two quotes from news reports out of Iran last year.. the motivation seems clear to me. Are the Iranian people going to sit by passively while this plan is executed?


"an advisor to the new Iranian govt says his country’s objective is the destruction of the evil in the world perputated by England and the nations derived from England"

"The [Iranians] President’s chief strategist, Hassan Abbassi, has come up with a war plan based on the premise that “Britain is the mother of all evils” – the evils being America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the Gulf states and even Canada, all of whom are the malign progeny of the British Empire. “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization,” says Mr Abbassi. “There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them… Once we have defeated the Anglo-Saxons the rest will run for cover.”"

Anonymous said...

and you don't have the slightest doubt that they were not within Iranian Waters...

ET said...

Vince P,

Listen, Iran will not destroy the Anglo-Saxon west. It's ludicrous.

You write:
"Are the Iranian people going to sit by passively while this plan is executed?"

What would you have the Iranian people do? Rise up in yet another ill-fated revolution; embark on yet another bloody war? See more of their relatives imprisoned, killed, executed? (Not just by the regime: there was an 8 year war here in recent memory.)

You really should visit Iran. The reality on the ground here would shock you. You would find a country overwhelmingly filled with moderates.

Iran is not Nazi Germany. Get a grip everyone!

Vince P said...

et: It's not relevent to me whether or not Iran has the capiblity of destroying the west.

What matters to me is that the Government of Iran accepts those statements. The people of Iran accept those statements.

What am I supposed to do? Take your word for it that the words the govt says are not to be taken seriously? When the stakes of ignoring those words is the destruction of my own country?

Are you asking me to be stupid? Why would someone say such incredibly threatening and serious things if they are not serious?

Sorry.. but everything Iran does has to be evaulated in terms of what Iran states what its intentions are.

Almost everyone in America holds to the view that the Govt of Iran is hated and not supported by the population. I too hold to this view.

But so what... if the people are unable to influence the government then why should I care that the people ofIran dont want to destroy the US when its the Govt of Iran that would be the party to actually do the destroying.

You people better ask yourselves where your govt is taking you. And its not me that should be taking advice from you... Iran is a broken place what I have to learn from you? Learn from us.. you better take control of your govt or else it will lead you and others to destruction.

papillon said...

This is a mere military action. We would hardly get enough information so to be able to discuss it. And it is not like [the] invading an embassy so to be so anxious about. It doesn't go to war like some commenters demand. I honestly am not urged by the event.

I only know about Uncle Napoleon, but it might not be much far from the truth? Iranians are dim and British must be vicious.

+++

Vince! We try to ask them! Believe me, we do!

papillon said...

(I meant "some commenters" on the BBC Web site)

jay said...

Vince... Yes, I can see the results of having a controlled government unwind in Iraq. You don't own your govenment or control it. Politics are shaped at decade scale or more, not per few years. The point reached now has been building up for decades. The people are ultimately not part of the decision making process. Owning a government is a practical illusion, to which many fall. You get your few choices, and are happy, but to control things you have to be the choice.

Vince P said...

>Politics are shaped at decade scale or more, not per few years

No kidding... The Islamic govt of Iran has had decades to do its thing... and the fruit of its efforts are its destablization of Gulf States, Lebanon, Gaza... the use of terror proxies to kill Americans and Jews the world over.

>Owning a government is a practical illusion

No, its not. Owning the government is the natural right of a free people who are willing to make the sacrifices to make it work..

>The people are ultimately not part of the decision making process

Ultimately they are because the minute some tipping point is reached, the people stop doing the bidding of the govt and that's what we call revolution.

Iran deseprately needs yet another one.. very soon.

jay said...

Vince, so we can conclude that the clandestine actions US government has taken were in your control. The conflict in question is the result of such actions. Essentially, your population has been ineffectual in controlling and owning your government. It seems that in the end you are dissatisfied with your own government and ultimately with the people, who have let the situation arise.

If you, the people own and control the government, isn't it then justified to blame the people of all what the government undertakes ? It clearly seems you have made serious mistakes.

I'm not Iranian myself. I live in a state where we are free to choose from multiple effectual political parties. I know the US isn't really a two-party system, but laws protect the parties and make it hard for third options to ever be practical.

I undestand change in Iran will take time. There are huge amount of people born in the 80s, and they eventually will be in governing positions. I don't think they will see, in many senses, the US government today as an good example.

Vince P said...

Jay: I'm not interested in whatever Anti-Americanism you hold.

What I am interested in is how determined is Iran to cause the return of the Imam Mahdi.. how many people does Iran think must die for this to happen.

Anonymous said...

And Bush and co. aren't intersted in seeing the Rapture? Jeez get a grip. This is posturing plain and simple. Iran wants to show it is strong before the UN hands down more sanctions. They also want a bargaining chip in getting back their captured agents in Iraq. This isn't some plan to destroy the west. Thats the last thing anyone wants to do. Our oil money keeps the middle east afloat.

Vince P said...

Anonymous , you should at least know about the topic you blather about.

In Christian eschatology, there is nothing a Christian can do to alter God's soverign time line.. so if Bush wants a Rapture or he doesn't, it doesn't matter. A christian is to act as if the end can happen at any time, because indeed, we all die and none of us know when that will be.

The Shitte Muslim believes that before the Imam Mahdi returns that the earth must first undergo some hugely catalysmic war .. so Iran's efforts since 1979 have been in getting this war started.

This has nothing to do with the United States or its president.

You should try to put your arrogant attention on the things that truely matter and not that which satisfies your mental masturbatory marxism/nihilism.

danielspengies said...

The sad thing is that governments all over the world so closely control the psychology of their populous that they can pull almost anything out of the blue and have it fly with at least some portion of the public. Iraq is a good example of this. There were no justifications for our brutal imperialistic invasion three years ago, but a semi-large portion of our population bought into the idea, at least at one point in time.

I doubt Iran is much different. The truth of course is that the US and Britain have indeed had their hand in shaping Iran's current anti-western behavior. In many ways said behavior is understandable and justified, since the west has caused untold suffering in the region for many decades (operation Ajax anyone?) However feeding in this cycle of destruction isn't going to do good for anyone. The politicians are simply crowing to justify their own power, and probably to expand their base of support. Acting tough is sometimes very popular with the common civilian society. But it can also lead to horrible things...

Both sides, western and Iranian, are guilty of the same behavior. Thus we get this stupid cat and mouse game that has been played since the revolution.

Vince P said...

I have an update on the first item in this post that I pasted.. those quotes about attacking the west.

This is from today:

Iran’s secret plan if attacked
codenamed ‘Judgment Day’
8 Islamist groups funded to strike
U.S. military, economic interests

Tehran has recruited and funded eight Islamic fundamentalist organizations to undertake retaliatory strikes against U.S. and British military and economic interests across the Middle East – and perhaps in the U.S. and Europe – in the event Iran’s nuclear facilities are attacked, reports a London Arab daily, Asharq Al-Awsat.

The plan, which has been heavily funded and was created by a number of experts in guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, includes suicide attacks against U.S. and British targets in the region as well as their allies. According to information gleaned from a senior source in the Iranian armed forces’ joint chief of staff, logistical support for the groups that would participate in the plan comes from Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani of the of the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds Brigades.

“Most of Iran’s visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hezbollah cells in the Persian Gulf and Europe and North America were asked, when they met with the Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: ‘Are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution and vilayat e faqih (rule of the clergy)?’” the source said. “‘If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?’”

The leader of one of the Iraq groups that is part of the “Judgment Day” plan told the Iranians his men would turn Iraq into hell for Americans in the event of an attack on Iran. The Revolutionary Guards’ military training camps have been made available to Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Al Sadr has received more than $20 million from the Iranians.

Street-fighting training has been given in Isfahan, Iran, to members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as large sums of money and large quantities of arms.

As reported by WorldNetDaily, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recruited Imad Mugniyah, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, to oversee retaliation against Western targets following any U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Officers sent to southern Lebanon last month are in command of more than 10 thousand rockets aimed at Israel’s cities. It is believed they’ve been given control of Hezbollah’s missiles to attack Israel if Iran’s nuclear sites are hit. U.S. officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Mugniyah is in charge of these operations.

“When and if the Iranians decide to hit the West in its soft belly, Imad will be the one to act,” a Western intelligence source said.

Approximately 80 members of Hezbollah received training last year in ultralight aircraft and undersea operations in order to carry out suicide attacks.

Implementation of the plan is set to begin immediately following a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and would progress in six stages:

U.S. bases in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region to be struck by Iranian missiles.
Suicide attacks in a number of Muslim countries against U.S. embassies, military bases, economic and oil-related facilities tied to U.S. and British firms, and targets in countries allied with the U.S.
Attacks by Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi insurgents loyal to Iran against U.S. and British forces in Iraq.
Hundreds of rockets launched by Hezbollah against pre-selected targets in Israel.
If U.S. military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be launched against Israel and 50 terrorist cells in the U.S., Canada and Europe will be given approval to launch attacks against civil and industrial targets in those countries.
Maximize civilian casualties with germ agents and “dirty bombs.”

Anonymous said...

ihr habt doch den knall nicht gehört im iran. wacht endlich auf und schickt die arschlöcher in eurer regierung in die wüste...

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Firstly if you actually listen to the whole speech of Dr Abbasi, you will realise that his talks about destroying Anglo-Saxon race is only a response to the crap some US strategists and officials had said about destroying the roots of Iranian nation.

Shia Islam is not going to sit ideally while pagan aggressors (infidels) invade our lands step by step and kill our people. We will remove all those who do not belong to the region from the region or die trying so, further we will dispel the illusion of liberalism and democracy.

American imperialists have visions for the future, so do we!

We will continue our Islamic revolution and will establish an Islamic utopia. If ever aggressors attack Iran, even if all the nationalists, democrats, liberals, communists and others refuse to defend this country and its religion, in the name of Allah(swt)Shia presence alone will be sufficient to drive the beast back.

و عدو الهم مستطعتم من قوه

ET said...

Anonymous Shia Utopian,

It's funny to me how all utopian visions involve the blood of millions. You are not unique in thinking that by killing enough people, you can achieve the perfect society. Here's a news flash: it doesn't work. Utopia is just another word for hell.

Anonymous said...

It is said that all ideologies will come and will have a chance to rule over people, God would not hasten his plan so that in the end people may say: “we never got a chance to rule the earth if we had we would have brought justice too.”. Patience! Even Zionist have got their chance.
By the year 2030, a few years less or more, we will make a city in Iran fully functioning by systems compatible with Islam, this will be a prototype and its blueprints for the future of all earth. First starting with Iran and gradually outward, advertising it globally and wining the hearts and minds in a world where people have become tired.
If west can not tolerate such movement then there will be more and more blood.

ET said...

Trust me, anon, You are closer to creating the first truly secular population Iran has ever seen. Congratulations on your success.

Achieving your dream means a never-ending stream of blood and not that of westerners: That of your own people who will never be perfect enough for your distopian dreams.

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