Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Still Wondering: Hugh Hewitt has a good roundup of links and speculation on Iranian motives and the fate of the captured British sailors. Are they trying to force a crisis? Hewitt recalls, as I did yesterday, the Falklands:
Bulletin to the mullahs: Blair ain't Carter. Nor is Bush. Remember the Falklands and keep in mind that a number of onlookers would love an excuse to reduce your nuke operations to smoldering ruins. Of course the reports on internal instability that flow out of Iran with regularity suggest that the powers-that-be (and which may-be-slipping) might need a summer drama to keep the streets full of their goons.
Perhaps the mullahs think a crisis will stir some bit of latent nationalism in the Iranian people, ending their love affair with the West. Not bloody likely.

This odd little situation is the story to watch.

More: Ralph Peters reads FauxPolitik:

It's a repertoire play, an attempt by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps — now a sprawling empire of repression — to recreate its greatest success on the world stage, the seizure of American embassy personnel a quarter-century ago . . .

By snatching the Brits from the waters of the Shatt-al-Arab, the Revolutionary Guards and their allies are trying to excite Iranian nationalism, to resurrect the passions of the past. It's a desperate measure behind a mask of bravado.

I was just guessing, Ralph. I'm still not sure why this isn't front-page, above-the-fold material.

1 comment:

Razor said...

This is all so au courant for me as I wind my way through "Whirlwind" by Clavell which is all about the fall of the Shah in Iran, and the rise of fundamentalism, all at the expense of the foreign (largely British) capital investments in the country.

Of course America is the "Great Satan" and Britain was viewed as somewhat of a lesser evil, even though all foreigners were considered bad. I imagine that the mullahs today are hoping to portray this incident as some act of imperialism, although one wonders how a couple of fishing boats and a rubber raft could do much of anything - those sailors probably didn't even have room for more than a few cases of bitter, much less a colonial edict.

The fundamentalists don't have much in the way of money; all they have is influence over the rest of the people that don't have much money. It's comforting to rely on the notion that Allah will reward you in heaven for standing up to those who have plenty on Earth.

Still, I can't see how this becomes much of a crisis unless the sailors are detained indefinitely, beaten, or accused of some trumped-up crime. The language coming out of Tehran hasn't been so inflammatory. As you said: bears watching.

By the way, my iced chai latte was way to bitter this morning.