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March 29, 2007


Hi Gina,

Looks like there's going to be even greater standoffs between Iran and the world in time to come. I didn't hear about Iran using the tantalising offer of bringing Americans in for money, and it seems that the Iranian governement really has a secret counter strategy up its sleeves.

By the way, I've just linked up to your blog, because it's the kind of news blog i want my readers to check out! My blog's a free beginner's guitar blog, for anyone, so you may be interested to add mine to your blogroll collection..

Till then, I look forward to your reply soon!


Granted the long history of lying by both the Iranians and the Brits, I don't see why you credit either side. Maybe the enemies of the bad guys are just another kind of bad guys or, more likely, both sides are acting with the bad faith characteristic of nation states. Leave the angels and devils bit to theology, please.

You write that the Iranians represent a "deadly threat of unprecedented proportions," which is just silly unless you really think that the Soviets were a paper tiger all those years. In fact, as an apocalyptic meance, Iran is just the soup of the day. In the last decade, the American right wing has represented China, North Korea, and even hapless Iraq in the same fashion. You guys need to be hysterical about somebody at all times, and you don't seem to notice that Iran is pretty piffling in real-world terms.

And how about just a teeny bit of historical perspective about Iran? Whatever the facts of the latest incident, the Iranians have excellent reason to distrust the British who have been interfering in their domestic affairs since before World War I and the Americans who backed Iraq back in the 80s when our ally Saddam inflicted a million deaths on the Iranians with our help. Don't forget that most of the poison gas attacks of that era were not aimed at Kurds but at Iranians, a fact very conveniently forgotten these days in Washington but not in Tehran.


Hostage taking is a millennia-old Middle East strategy that persists because it’s effective in disabling an enemy. The hostages will probably be well-treated (the Muslim hospitality thing), but the coming week is critical, because an immobilizing standoff quickly becomes a status quo, difficult to change, politically, diplomatically, and militarily. Historically, such hostages were held for years, and released after hostilities, with a ransom. This happened in Tehran in 1979, when Muslim fundamentalists overthrew the government, and sponsored ‘students’ to take dozens of US hostages. Jimmy Carter reacted slowly, became immobilized, lost the next election because of it, and Reagan, assuming power, quickly combined posturing, a no revenge policy, and a secret ransom to get them released in 1981. I was struck by the low morale in a US visit in 1980, they were chastened by Vietnam, and defeated by Iran. It took years and a new president to recover. The opportunity in this crisis is to confront it immediately, steadfastly, with planned, escalating steps, a three-day deadline, calling all allies to publicly condemn, emergency meetings of UN security council and NATO, sending aircraft carrier group to Gulf, call for all corporations trading within UK to cease all Iranian contracts, including Shell, Daimler-Benz, and the dozens more that stunningly, continue their Iranian businesses, or face sanctions/fines. In the Islamist vs democracy war, the allies are winning, but not without unremitting pressure, over decades, if necessary. Final steps include 12 GPS bombs dropped 100 feet from Assad’s (Syria) bedroom, insisting that he abdicate within 24 hours, and finally, abandon hope of retrieving hostages, use GPS bombs on Iran’s leaders homes, no ransom, ever. Militarily, Persians (Iranians) are inept cowards. Alexander the Great was outnumbered 10 to 1, and still won, chasing down the Persian king, while his armies scattered in the wind.

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