March 29, 2007

I Was Wrong: Blair Will *Not* Negotiate With Iran
— Ace

Getting a little Churchillian:

Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday that Britain would not negotiate over British sailors and marines held hostage by Iran. In an interview with ITV News, Blair again called for the unconditional return of the 15 Royal Navy personnel who were seized by Iranian authorities last week.

Britain's Sky News meanwhile said Iran had released another letter by captured sailor Faye Turney, this time calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq

"The important thing for us is to get them back safe and sound, but we can't enter into some basis of bargaining," Blair said. "What you have to do when you are engaged with people like the Iranian regime, you have to keep explaining to them, very patiently, what it is necessary to do and at the same time make them fully aware there are further measures that will be taken if they're not prepared to be reasonable.

"What you can't do is end up negotiating over hostages; end up saying there's some quid pro quo or tit for tat; that's not acceptable," he said.

That's the official position, and I'm surprised at the toughness of it. I still expect there actually is some "negotiating" going on backstage.

Let me channel Andrew Sullivan and say it reflects well on Blair's character if he chooses to negotiate for the freedom of the 15 seamen, but it also refelcts well on his character if he chooses not to.


Allah reads this as a valiant refusal to negotiate while backing that up with threatening language about more talking should the Iranians not comply.

I don't think that's quite it. Blair is choosing his words carefully, obviously. He just promised "a different phase" in the crisis should the seamen not be released promptly; now he says the Iranians must be made "fully aware that further measures that will be taken if they're not prepared to be reasonable."

Sure, spokesmen immediately rush out to say he's not talking about military options. But the words themselves suggest the possibility of a military option, and they have been selected to as to imply just that.

The Rules say that Britain cannot go to war, except reluctantly. He's abiding by The Rules.

America just sent a fairly impressive tidal wave of naval might into the Persian Gulf. While some officials say off the record it's a show of force hastily ordered in response to the kidnapping of the British seamen,

the Bush administration would not say publicly that this is the case.

So we're doing the same thing, sort of. A big part of diplomacy is just plain old lying.

Also from Hot Air -- the female sailor's letter didn't just claim Britain had strayed too far into Iranian waters. It also went on to opine that Britain had strayed too far onto Iraqi soil:

Iran has published another letter allegedly written by Leading Seaman Faye Turney in which she supposedly calls for British forces to withdraw from Iraq.

Well! She's certainly become a little chatterbox, hasn't she? Suddenly deciding to announce it was time for Britain to withdraw from Iraq. And she came to this conclusion without being coerced by the Iranians at all, whom she claims are treating her quite nicely.

I guess she just needed some time off to really think about the issues, huh?

So the Mullahs are now bullying a woman into propagandizing for them.

That should win them friends -- on the left, that is. Amanda Marcotte, I'm sure, will praise the Iranians for helping this misguided woman finally "find her voice."

Posted by: Ace at 10:07 AM | Comments (51)
Post contains 614 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Isn't Andy ALWAYS negotiating for the release of seamen?

Sorry. Too easy.

Posted by: red speck at March 29, 2007 10:10 AM (Lc9rf)

2 Britain's Sky News meanwhile said Iran had released another letter by
captured sailor Faye Turney, this time calling for the withdrawal of
troops from Iraq

Turney did not write these letters. A Brit on the radio pointed out to some of the language she used, e.g., house of representatives -- Britain doesn't have one.

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 10:13 AM (pPek3)

3 We demand a timetable for Tony Blair to make negotiations for the release o fthe hostages. How long should we allow this standoff to continue? It's a quagmire; it's time to negotiate.

Posted by: The Democrats at March 29, 2007 10:13 AM (UYMpr)

4 good one, red speck!

Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at March 29, 2007 10:15 AM (JefgB)

5

Negotiation of my dreams - return hostages in 12 hours or the Iranian landscape will be getting  a complete British makeover. 


Posted by: Nurse Cheri at March 29, 2007 10:26 AM (cz6lG)

6 Personally I see hostage soldiers a bit differently than hostage civilians. While it is really harsh, I think we ought to consider a soldier who is held hostage as a casualty: they should prepare to be considered as such. If we can rescue them fine, if not, let them die with their captors.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at March 29, 2007 10:32 AM (wmgz8)

7 I am sure that British servicemen and women around the world are comforted to know that should they be captured, their government will exhaust all options, from talking to um, er, talking sternly, to secure their release.

BTW- According to Powerline, Pelosi won't allow a resolution of support for the Brits come to the floor of the House. 

Thanks Bitch!

I am starting to hate Democrats.



Posted by: Drew at March 29, 2007 10:32 AM (gNyUT)

8 I say, let 'em die!

Posted by: typical stupid fucking moonbat at March 29, 2007 10:34 AM (MHgrV)

9

"Turney did not write these letters."


Thanks Red, for pointing that out--I find it hard to believe that she actually wrote those letters.  She may have-anything is possible, under those circumstances, but it's suspicious.  I find it curious that the lone female is the one the Iranians have been dangling as bait for the international press, first as the only one they'd release, then as the only one interviewed ("confessing", of course), then they refuse to release her because of Britain's "misbehavior" and now she is the one who supposedly wrote a letter calling for England to leave Iraq.  Are they trying to play upon our sympathies by using a female soldier in this way, or does she really happen to be the weakest link? 


Using a soldier or other victim to entreat the coalition forces to leave Iraq betrays some weakness, in my opinion.  It's been done throughout this war.  When has it ever worked?


Posted by: michelle at March 29, 2007 10:37 AM (Veym3)

10 We see this so very clearly, due to the sad proliferation of case studies.

If you reward kidnappers, you reap more kidnapping. If you respond with overwhelming force, you generally buy yourself some peace and quiet.

I like peace and quiet.

Posted by: Mastiff at March 29, 2007 10:39 AM (TUuB+)

11

I am stating the obvious here, but let me rant. Britain is comming of so fucking weak on this. It just staggers my mind that they are sending out Pretty Vicious Rants and Important Action Alerts at this moment in history.


This is the final straw. This is the moment in history when the Iranians hve finaly crossed the line. And we (the west) sits in a corner jerking off and crying.


Posted by: Max Power at March 29, 2007 10:43 AM (q177U)

12

http://www.startribune.com/562/story/1086014.html


Meanwhile, an editorial in the Minneapolis Star & Sickle written by a Brit journalist flatly states that it's better that Brit seamen were taken instead of "Yanks" because they didn't fire back, where the "belligerent" American seamen would've actually fought back, which would- you know- lead to violence or something.


She compares the theoretical American response to the "equally belligerent" Israelis who fought back when their soldiers were taken, instead of just handing over terrorist prisoners like good little peaceniks.


Un-fucking-believeable, except I suppose it really isn't anymore.


Posted by: Hollowpoint at March 29, 2007 10:47 AM (plsiE)

13 Easily solve. Publicly announce in 48 hours a total sea embargo on the Iranians. Then say nothing. 48 hours and 1 minute, start the embargo. Iranians will either shit or get off the pot. If they start shooting at British ships, then under NATO we have the right to destroy their military, starting with their Navy. OF course, some errant centrifuge bombings might happen, and a bomb run on a reactor.  just sayin.

Posted by: Dick Nixon at March 29, 2007 10:47 AM (/2xR+)

14 She may have-anything is possible, under those circumstances, but it's suspicious.

Well, if she did write the letters, she is deliberately including mistakes that any Brit would pick up on. I believe all soldiers are taught how to behave if captured under these circumstances and how to signal coercion.  

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 10:52 AM (pPek3)

15 I hear you Max, but I have to ask what you think they should do. I mean, letting their guys get snatched was a huge error, but what would you have them do now?

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 29, 2007 10:54 AM (uSomN)

16
Sure, spokesmen immediately rush out to say he's not talking about military options.
But the words themselves suggest the possibility of a military option, and they have been selected to as to imply just that.

How long do you give it before the "diplomatic community" starts trying to force Blair to promise to take all military options off the table?

Posted by: Alex at March 29, 2007 10:56 AM (fgyj8)

17

She may well have penned the letters, under duress, and included obvious references to things that aren't so as a message. 


Recall the "Great Speckled Bird" forced confession of the US Navy guys who were captured in N Korea. 


.


Posted by: The Machine at March 29, 2007 10:59 AM (L/jMX)

18

fwiw, Prince Harry, Cornet Wales, is set to deploy to Iraq in May.



 


Prince Harry will be deployed to Iraq in the summer as a "normal troop commander" of a Household Cavalry reconnaissance unit without any special treatment, the Ministry of Defence and Clarence House insisted yesterday.

The 22-year-old prince, third in line to the throne and known in the army as Cornet Wales, will lead a troop of 12 men in four Scimitar armoured vehicles.

"There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country," he said in an interview to mark his 21st birthday. "That may sound very patriotic, but it's true." ...


The role of Household Cavalry armoured squadrons is as front line scouts - seeking out other hostile forces and reporting back to the brigade's base camp. A four-vehicle patrol from the regiment is at the centre of the dispute with the US over a friendly fire incident in southern Iraq soon after the March 2003 invasion. Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull was killed when the pilot of a US A10 aircraft mistook the patrol for an Iraqi one.

Mr Brown confirmed to MPs in a written statement that 1 Mechanised Brigade, including Prince Harry's squadron, will replace 19 Light Brigade in southern Iraq. British forces will hand over a number of bases in Basra to Iraqi control. Their main base will be at the city's airport.


...


Give 'em hell, Harry.


 


Posted by: BumperStickerist at March 29, 2007 10:59 AM (e72PW)

19

Is Tony Blair showing genuine resolve against the Iranians, or is he deflecting attention away from an imminent paternity suit of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter?


Tune-in tonight to Larry King Live. Our guests will be Larry Burkhead's attorney, Christianne Armanpour, reporting live from the lap of Ahmadinijiad, and Liza Minelli.


Posted by: Larry King at March 29, 2007 10:59 AM (UYMpr)

20

A look at a supposed direct copy of the actual letter reads, "House of Commons". 


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=444500&in_page_id=1811&ct=5


Anybody have a link to it saying "House of Representatives" somewhere?


 


.


Posted by: The Machine at March 29, 2007 11:06 AM (L/jMX)

21

TM:  I heard it on KABC. They do a simulcast with a british radio host, Mike Mendoza, once a week. He said it several times. So, I don't believe I misheard him. Maybe, he didn't check his facts?

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 11:10 AM (pPek3)

22

I am hopeful that the aftermath of this debacle will lead to us having rules of engagement more like those of the US - that if ourtroops are attacked, that we place a DUTY on Commanders in the field to protect their own troops before ANY other consideration.


This has been the only topic of conversation at work today - and nobody had any inkling that our Navy had this pacifist agenda.


The newspapers (well the non moonbat ones) here are asking some hard questions.


Posted by: Chris Allen at March 29, 2007 11:15 AM (mGSdZ)

23

I watched the Iranian navy guy's video (SkyNews) where he points to the maps with dots and lines and he's babbling some Arabic jibberish and right in the middle I clearly hear "G-P-S."


It always warms my heart when these Dark Age barbarians are forced to use InfidelSpeaktm because they have no freaking word for the modernity they loot from us.


Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at March 29, 2007 11:19 AM (JefgB)

24 Prince Harry, Cornet Wales, is set to deploy to Iraq in May.

Its good.  They have an heir, a spare, and one to dare.

Tob

Posted by: Toby928 at March 29, 2007 11:21 AM (ATbKm)

25

If the Republicans were smart, and they're not, they would gather up all those soundbytes of Democrats imploring the president to engage Iran (and Syria) in talks to resolve the Iraq insurgency.


Setting aside the fact that Iran is a major and direct contributor to the violence and mayhem in Iraq, they have shown the world exactly what they would bring to the table in a summit -- the immediate withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq. Gee, I wonder why Iran wants us to leave Iraq?


Democrats want to engage the terrorists for negotiations. But the Republicans are too stupid to explain this to the American people. Another slam-dunk political opportunity for us down the drain.


Meanwhile, Stenky Hoyer is lying his ass off on the floor of the House today, revising history about deficits and budgets. And the Republicans sit there with their thumbs up their asses and watch.


 


While Hoyer was speaking, this should have been playing in the background.


Posted by: Bart at March 29, 2007 11:25 AM (UYMpr)

26

Red--good points.  I obviously haven't read the letter.  I didn't know that her training could include making obvious mistakes to show coercion.  But aren't these mistakes (re: "house of representatives") known to her captors?  If Americans and others caught them, wouldn't the Iranian government?  In my earlier comment, I wondered aloud if Turley wasn't indeed the group's weakest member, and that was a possible reason she is being used.  But if what you are suggesting is correct, then she is more on top of it than I give her credit for.  I just wish the British government would show that kind of moxie, instead of whining to the UN to "condemn" the Iranians-pathetic.


Meanwhile, an editorial in the Minneapolis Star & Sickle written by a Brit journalist flatly states that it's better that Brit seamen were taken instead of "Yanks" because they didn't fire back, where the "belligerent" American seamen would've actually fought back, which would- you know- lead to violence or something.


Thanks, Hollowpoint, I've been waiting to read some idiocy like that!  Damn right the Americans would have fought back!  What's more, I think President Bush still has some fight left in him, and the Iranians know that very well.  I think this whole episode is an exercise:  Iran would not dare make such an overt assault on US soldiers now, so they pick on our ally to see how we would react and what kind of force we may have available.  Will we back up our allies, and with what?


 


Posted by: michelle at March 29, 2007 11:26 AM (Veym3)

27


BTW- According to Powerline, Pelosi won't allow a resolution of support for the Brits come to the floor of the House. 


 


Tough luck, chumps....there's a new Congress in town.


Posted by: Cowgirl Nancy at March 29, 2007 11:32 AM (CX6/b)

28 Where the heck is "bomber" Harris when you need him?

Posted by: BattleofthePyramids at March 29, 2007 11:33 AM (4ne0/)

29

Hollowpoint,


What do you expect from a newspaper that caters to a state full of people who couldnt get enough of Paul Wellstone and who decided to start electing Muslims to congress five years after 9/11?


The whole state is pink - and im not talking about Feisty. Fridgid commie pinko Scandies the lot of 'em.


Watch it, oh Amish of Many Names.  We ain't all Lutefisk-eating commies... though we have our fair share.  Many of us know that the Red Star is best used to housetrain puppies.  We also elected Norm Coleman, who ripped Kofi Annan to shreds.


And Amish... that name sounds pretty Scandi to me:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amish


Like some Mennonites, the Amish are descendants of Swiss Anabaptist groups formed in the early 16th century during the radical reformation.


Posted by: Hollowpoint at March 29, 2007 11:42 AM (plsiE)

30 nah buddy, the Swiss are Mountain Krauts. You're thinking Swedes.

Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at March 29, 2007 11:47 AM (JefgB)

31

I think this whole episode is an exercise:  Iran would not dare make such an overt assault on US soldiers now, so they pick on our ally to see how we would react and what kind of force we may have available.  Will we back up our allies, and with what?


I don't know, but instead of worthless pieces of paper it should involve several hundred tons of things that go boom.


There's this reluctance to use force against Iran, in part, because of the concern over antagonizing the Iranian people, many of whom are pro-freedom.  However, they've had over 25 years to kick out the Mullahs, and except for the Kurds, they've barely lifted a finger.  The notion that they'll come around if only we're nice to them is absurd and has been disproven again and again.


Fuck 'em.  These backwards, corrupt, backwards-ass people aren't even close to ready for democracy or freedom, and their governments only respect force and the willingness to use it.  Just as that Qaddafi guy in Libya calmed down when our F-111's sent his family to Allah, so should it go with Iran.  Every high-ranking government building in Tehran should've been leveled by now- preferably when they're fully occupied.


Posted by: Hollowpoint at March 29, 2007 11:58 AM (plsiE)

32

nah buddy, the Swiss are Mountain Krauts. You're thinking Swedes.


Pffft, like there's any difference. 


Posted by: Hollowpoint at March 29, 2007 12:01 PM (plsiE)

33 Michelle:  I don't know if that is her signal or if it is something else. I do know that the N. Koreans were not familiar with the Hawaiian Good Luck Sign:   <a href="http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/captivity/goodluck.html#photo">Link</a>

Personally, I would view any cooperation by the Brits as a result of coercion. 

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 12:07 PM (pPek3)

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 12:09 PM (pPek3)

35

<blockquote>I am starting to hate Democrats.


Posted by: Drew at March 29, 2007 03:32 PM</blockquote>


That may be the funniest thing I've read all day...heh,heh,heh


Posted by: franksalterego at March 29, 2007 12:13 PM (qQ55q)

36 Hmmm...someone fergot t'tell me, blockquote tags don't work in this format.

Posted by: franksalterego at March 29, 2007 12:15 PM (qQ55q)

37 You want to see some good crazy, go to the Huffpo and click the comments on the article about this.  The common theme is Iran=good, US, Britain, Israel=bad.  They think the easy solution is just for Britain to apologize and get the troops back, they were probably in Iran waters, and their were naked Iraqies photographed in Abu-Graib so that justifies all.  THEY ARE ALL FUCKING NUTS.

Posted by: Judd at March 29, 2007 12:22 PM (CHpAu)

38

.....


Yah so I'm watching History Channel and they're blathering on about african or caribbean zombies or something or other.


Then they have this PhD asian guy with squinty eyes and glasses come on and say the guy pimping this story is complete and utter fraud, knowingly fraudulent, scientifically verifiably wrong, utter crap.


So then they cut to the white guy who did the study on the zombification, and he says it's not his job to produce zombification in labratory rats or figgure out the science. It's his job to understand the ethnographic, political, and philosophical ramifications of this amazing cultural phenominon of zombification.


So..yah. He's a fraud. And a tool.


Posted by: Entropy at March 29, 2007 12:59 PM (Uh5fR)

39 That doesn't really have anything to do with anything I just felt compelled to decry him as a douchebag.

Posted by: Entropy at March 29, 2007 01:00 PM (Uh5fR)

40 Cuffy, you stoner, Iranians speak Farsi, not Arabic.


Posted by: sandy burger at March 29, 2007 01:11 PM (Uuy++)

41

Entropy:


You're saying the "Sepent and the Rainbow" thing is fake?


And Now Back to Our Story--


So who's making bets on when the Brits come home? I was checking Tradesports but they don't have a ticket for it.


Posted by: Max Power at March 29, 2007 01:33 PM (q177U)

42 You're saying the "Sepent and the Rainbow" thing is fake?


My first clue was the guy having sex a few hours after having a railroad spike through the ballbag.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at March 29, 2007 02:07 PM (wmgz8)

43 Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" while reaching for your shotgun.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is, in turn, reaching for their shotgun.

If there's any spine at all left in the "international community", Smilin' Used Car Salesman Ahmadinejad will discover that once his latest double-dog-dare comes to fruition, it's his own tongue frozen to the flagpole.

Posted by: PCachu at March 29, 2007 02:33 PM (r2Oug)

44 Tough luck, chumps....there's a new Congress in town.



You say that as if it were a good thing...

Posted by: Scott Crawford at March 29, 2007 07:52 PM (Erboo)

45 PCachu I'm stealing that line about diplomacy.

Posted by: CapitalistPiglet at March 29, 2007 09:16 PM (/MRpt)

46 Isn't Andy ALWAYS negotiating for the release of seamen?




Sorry. Too easy.


Posted by: red speck at March 29, 2007 03:10 PM (Lc9rf)

In Andy's defense, all guys are always negotiating for the release of seamen, as long as it is their own seamen.  It's not a gay thing, it's a guy thing.
 


Posted by: sean at March 30, 2007 07:49 AM (liq+Z)

47 wtaeicn qxtyhb qmokb kqtuvdpif xydipku jqmokhye ovjfnmd

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