Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Not their finest hour

Charles Krauthammer on Iran’s "pointed humiliation" of Britain with the capture and release of the British sailors and Marines. Here are some key quotes from the captives’ press conference. I think the whole thing is deeply embarrassing, so does this Brit. More info here.

Discussions - 5 Comments

NewsMax asserted that the Iranians caved in when they learned the Nimitz was steaming toward the Persian Gulf. I have my doubts. Some lefty and centrist papers in Europe (and here too, I suppose) are hailing the release as a victory for quite but firm diplomacy. Personally, I’m confused...why did they release them so quickly?

I had read that some people believe that the Ayatollah of Iran believed that this crisis, combined with the nuclear crisis and new UN sanctions, had gone on long enough and told the Iranian President to release the prisoners now.

Personally, I think the entire thing was a disaster. It both humiliated the West and let Iran think they can attempt strong-arming powerful Western nations without the West doing anything in response. Something should have been done as soon as they were kidnapped and taken hostage. I don’t know what, but something should have happened to let Iran know that they can’t push Britain and the rest of the West around.

I am disappointed, too. There was no bombastic, self-righteous threat to blow Iran to smithereens. No guard dogs snapping at exposed genitals. No forced homoerotic displays in front of the camera. No explosions. All Britain achieved was getting their sailors back without starting a war. They had a perfectly good opportunity, and they blew it.

Haven’t they learned anything from their association with us?

Perhaps something was done by the UK and/or the US that made the Iranians know that it would be very bad to hold onto them much longer. Although right now, the egg is on Britain’s face big-time. Although as Krauthammer explains, the biggest loss of reputation may have been sustained by the EU, which was asked by the UK to flex "soft power" against Iran but refused.

This is more than embarrassing ... it’s very disturbing. It is cause to question one’s hope that ultimately we shall prevail in this contest of civilization versus the new barbarians.

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