Sunday, April 08, 2007

"What Do You Want Us to Do?"

So asked the Pentagon during the Iranian hostage crisis, (according to Matthew Yglesias quoting the Guardian), setting out a rich smorgaboard of military options to get that long-overdue war in Iran started.

Oddly enough, Britain just focused on getting her soldiers back diplomatically, instead of using it as an excuse to supposedly bomb Tehran into letting the MLK take over.

Odder still, it worked. Yes, Charles Krauthammer's complaining about it supposedly making the UK look bad and Iran look good. He's just pissed that, after the Iraq debacle, he's not going to be able to give his crackpot adoration of military force a second chance to work in the other "Ira" country. The sane people (including those running countries) have seen both the UK and Iran handle this reasonably well, sketchy British maps and against-the-wall Iranian intimidation tactics aside.

(Intimidation? Well, the soldiers reported that they were made to stand up against a wall, facing towards it, with the sound of weapons being cocked behind them. This is definitely not acceptable treatment of POWs- it's a coercion tactic plain and simple. I don't believe they were in any real danger, though, as that would have placed Iran itself in tremendous danger. I do wonder whether this has been influenced by the erosion of prisoner's civil liberties by the US and its allies, but it's hard to say.)

Krauthammer's vulgar "realism" aside, that the UK and Iran solved this diplomatically is a good thing.

Slight edits for clarity.

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