March 29, 2007

Iran Demands Admission of "Trespass"
— Ace

Seems to me this is something of a fold. Britain doesn't want to "apologize" when it did no wrong, but I imagine they and their Iranian kidnappers can negotiate some language that gets the sailors freed. No one will put much stock in an "apology" extracted by threats against innocent sailors and marines.

It can always be taken back once the hostages are freed. I realize that's appeasement of a minor sort, but Britain will fold on this to get its men back.

And what will Iran have accomplished? Not very much, except for guaranteeing that its ships will be fired upon if they close on any coalition ships.

Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Britain must admit that its 15 sailors and marines entered Iranian waters in order to resolve a standoff over their capture by the Mideast nation.

Manouchehr Mottaki's statement in an interview with The Associated Press came on a day of escalating tensions, highlighted by an Iranian video of the detained Britons that showed the only woman captive saying her group had "trespassed" in Iranian waters. Britain angrily denounced the video as unacceptable and froze most dealings with the Mideast nation.

The Iranian official also backed off a prediction that the female sailor, Faye Turney, could be freed Wednesday or Thursday, but said Tehran agreed to allow British officials to meet with the detainees.

Mottaki said that if the alleged entry into Iranian waters was a mistake "this can be solved. But they have to show that it was a mistake. That will help us to end this issue."

"Admitting the mistake will facilitate a solution to the problem," he said late Wednesday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was attending an Arab summit.

They want "help" ending "this issue." Sounds like they know they've stepped in it and are merely seeking some face-saving.

Britain of course sought help from the United Nations:


At the United Nations in New York, Britain asked the Security Council to support a call for the immediate release of detainees, saying in a statement they were operating in Iraqi waters under a mandate from the Security Council and at the request of Iraq, according to council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the text was not released. The issue was expected to be debated Thursday.

Which is even more futile a gesture than usual, because the Russians, apparently, are willing to give Iran the benefit of the doubt as to the boats' location upon capture.

But of course the ship wasn't in Iranian waters at all:

In London, British military officials released new information about the seizure, saying satellite positioning readings showed the vessels were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters.

Vice Adm. Charles Style gave the satellite coordinates as 29 degrees 50.36 minutes north latitude and 48 degrees 43.08 minutes east longitude. He said that position had been confirmed by an Indian-flagged merchant ship boarded by the sailors and marines.

He also told reporters the Iranians had provided a geographical position Sunday that he said was in Iraqi waters. By Tuesday, he said, Iranian officials had given a revised position 2 miles to the east, inside Iranian waters.

"It is hard to understand a legitimate reason for this change of coordinates," Style said.

Iran, being Iran, has reneged on its promise to release the female sailor they coerced into "admitting" they strayed into Iranian waters.

Iran on Thursday rolled back on a pledge to release a female British sailor, and a top official said the 15 captives may be put on trial.

Iran's foreign minister had said Tehran would soon free Faye Turney, the only woman among the sailors and marines seized last week while searching a merchant vessel in what Iran says were its territorial waters near Iraq.

But Gen. Ali Reza Afshar, Iran's military chief, said that because of the "wrong behavior" by the British government, "the release of a female British soldier has been suspended," the semiofficial Iranian news agency Mehr reported.

Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani also told state television that British leaders "have miscalculated this issue" and if they follow through with threats, the case "may face a legal path"—presumably putting the Britons on trial.

Britain has circulated a draft press statement to the Security Council, asking it to "deplore" Tehran's action and demand the immediate release of the captives.


The video showed Turney in a head scarf and her uniform eating with other sailors and marines. Later, wearing a white tunic and black head scarf, she sat in a room before floral curtains and smoked a cigarette.

Turney was the only detainee shown speaking, saying she had been in the navy for nine years.

"Obviously we trespassed into their waters," Turney said at one point. "They were very friendly and very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we've been arrested. There was no harm, no aggression."

Britain angrily denounced the video as unacceptable and froze most dealings with Iran.

For what it's worth, the Briish press seems to be reflecting a lot of public anger at the Iranian regime.

Reminds me of a line from The Dirty Dozen. The psychiatrist notes the convict-commandos have a deep-seated hatred of the American military. "That's because they only know the American military," Lee Marvin replies. "Wait 'till they meet the Germans."

The British public seems to be finally discovering there is more than one world leader out there besides George Bush.

Hot Air notes Iran once again makes a stink about its own captured spies and terrorists, and seems to be directing its thuggish young male supporters to rattle the sabers, um, posters, to frighten the Brits:

The Iranians say Britain has gravely "miscalculated" on this.

Somehow they misspellled "Our psychpoathic death-cult theofascist leaders" as "Britain."

Posted by: Ace at 07:43 AM | Comments (25)
Post contains 976 words, total size 7 kb.


bullshit. the guy says 'facilitate' - more weasal words.

they'll get their apology and keep the sailors.


Posted by: dr. akim ullshitbay at March 29, 2007 07:52 AM (LMKg+)

And what will Iran have accomplished?

Iran will once again demonstrate that it's nearly 30 year old record of bitch slapping the west is intact.  Yeah, they've done worse but if you don't stand up for the little things, why would anyone believe you will fight for the big things (or when they have nukes)?

Each unanswered provocation brings us closer to another big attack.

I know Gingrich will never be elected but he's spot on about what we should do:

I think there are two very simple steps that should be taken. The first
is to use a covert operation or a special forces operation to knock out
the only gasoline producing refinery in Iran. There’s only one. And the
second is to simply intercede by naval force, and block any tankers
from bringing gasoline to Iran… I would right now say to them
privately, within the next week, your refinery will no longer work. And
within the following week, there will be no tankers arriving. Now if
you would like to avoid being humiliated publicly, we recommend you
calmly and quietly give them back now. But frankly, if you’d prefer to
show the planet that you’re tiny and we’re not, we’re prepared to
simply cut off your economy, and allow you to go back to walking and
using oxen to pull carts, because you will have no gasoline left.

My guess is Churchill is cheering this idea in his grave.

Posted by: Drew at March 29, 2007 07:55 AM (gNyUT)

Posted by: CUS at March 29, 2007 07:55 AM (bbXZq)

4 No one will put much stock in an "apology" extracted by threats against innocent sailors and marines.

Westerners won't. But, islamofascists and A.N.S.W.E.R. will. If Britian had not let its navy go to seed, would they not have thrown up a blockade around Iran?

And the photo of the asshat with the sign -- please tell me he is not in the UK?

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 08:00 AM (ffvtp)

5 You know, no-one blames someone's mom for doing as she's told while under the control of evil madmen, for the sake of know. Which is why I don't want anyone's mom sent into harm's way.

Posted by: S. Weasel at March 29, 2007 08:08 AM (rasT+)


I believe it's all a propaganda effort to bolster the Iranian image within it's own country and the rest of the middleast/muslim population.

See? look how tough we are and make the infidels unable to protect their own people.

I like Newts idea. It's waay past time this bully got a black eye.

Posted by: Bosk at March 29, 2007 08:09 AM (+aNmG)


For those that think the past doesn't repeat itself, there's already a book out:


{font whited out for effect}

That's the cover piece of a book by Ret. Rear Admiral Daniel Gallery.

His book itself was notable for the preface. Adm. Gallery starts off by saying "Throughout this book I make reference to the godless communist bastards who committed this act of war as 'gooks'. If you take offense to word or this characterization, fuck you." or words to that effect. He uses the word 'gook' extensively yet correctly.

'The Pueblo Incident' by Admiral Gallery - highly recommended.

I hope the British sailers are returned safely.   I also hope the rules of engagement are changed.  Lastly, I hope the Royal Navy starts sending out Ghurkas with their patrols.


Posted by: BumperStickerist at March 29, 2007 08:11 AM (e72PW)

8 I'd really like to know why the Iranian ships weren't fired on in the first place.  Surely the British skipper knew what would happen if they surrendered, i.e. the exact gangster kabuki dance we're seeing from Tehren right now.  Have people learned nothing from Chechnya, where captured Russian soldiers were torn apart on video? You gotta fight your way out of it when you're dealing with these animals.

Posted by: UGAdawg at March 29, 2007 08:12 AM (BnZUW)

9 I'd like to see her rip off the hair scarf, reveal her deadly hair rays, and give them the finger.

Posted by: Red at March 29, 2007 08:12 AM (ffvtp)


Sorry Ace, but you are off base this time.  Taking hostages and getting away with it shows that the Mullahs:

1. Are not afraid of us, since we clearly do not have the will to prevent them from taking hostages.  How long do you think it will be before they do this with Americans (again)?

2. It shows our allies that we are too weak-willed to defend ourselves.  Together with what Congress is doing, it shows our allies in the region that they are foolish to trust in us.  Why should they trust us to protect them when we cannot even protect ourselves?

3.  IF there is any native Iranian opposition to the Mullahs, this hostage taking shows them they are on their own.  If we will not protect our own people, we certainly will not protect them.

4.  This action, on top of our already NOT taking action when Iranian IED's are killing American troops, shows the Iranians we are toothless and have no will to fight.  So, why should they not keep supporting terrorism and when they inevitably get nukes, why not arrange for one to go off in NY or DC?  If we have no will to fight then we have no deterrence credibility.  Our refusal to take action is a sign of weakness and will only invite more aggression from Iran.


Posted by: BattleofthePyramids at March 29, 2007 08:13 AM (4ne0/)

11 BTW- Has anyone seen any outrage at Iran's actual violations of the sacred Geneva Conventions from the usual suspects (The NY Times, St. Andrew of the Heartache, etc) who wail and moan about US 'violations'?

Perhaps the sacred Geneva Conventions only apply to US or 'violations' of them are only important when you can use them to beat up BushMcHitlerChimpBurton.

Not anti-US, just pro-terrorist.

Posted by: Drew at March 29, 2007 08:17 AM (gNyUT)


Maybe we should take the Iranians that were captured in Iraq and parade them on t.v.? Make them "confess" to being on Iraqi soil and subverting the democratic process, facilitating the killing of the Iraqis.


Posted by: Bosk at March 29, 2007 08:23 AM (+aNmG)


Somehow they misspellled "Our psychpoathic death-cult theofascist leaders" as "Britain."

But you have to give them props on the penmanship.

Posted by: holdfast at March 29, 2007 08:25 AM (Gzb30)


enh. i agree, to a certain extent, with ace. the safety of the sailors is of paramount importance, both as human beings and as political leverage. if the apology gets the sailors back, great. britain can still backpedal and deplore, take the apology back and whatnot.

yes, it will be a minor propaganda victory for the iranians and other members of the local Madmens' 412, but they've already scored that, honestly. with the sailors safe, the brits (and assorted dogooers) get a litte more maneuver room, as well as the personal well-being of the sailors.

the iranians have already won 80-90% of the points available in this round... escalating the fight while they hold hostages for the remaining 10% doesn't make much sense to me.

escalating AFTER they let the sailors go, however, makes a lot of sense... along with changed rules of engagement, etc. etc.

of course, all of this is contingent on the iranians actually releasing the sailors upon the brits issuing the apology, which i admit is an uncertain proposition.

i'd love to be as gung-ho as some of the rest of the commenters here, but i don't see much of a realistic option, to be truthful.



Posted by: jdubious at March 29, 2007 08:35 AM (0t6Ct)


They were operating in Iraqi waters under a mandate from the Security Council and at the request of Iraq.

I like this spin. Why haven't we been using it this whole time? We used the UN in the run-up to cover our bases, but have not once trotted out this PR shield since then.

Effective? Eh. But very fun to use on a moonbat to watch them squeal:

Moonbat: Evil US out of Iraq now!

You: But we are there enforcing the will of the world community under UN Security Council Resolution 1723, dated Nov 2006. You do believe in the United Nations, don't you?

Moonbat: Yes, of course, but ...

You: Do you want us to defy the will of the international community?

Moonbat: No, of course not, but ...

You:  How dare you spit in the face of the only organization in the world committed to world peace?

Moonbat: {head explodes}



Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at March 29, 2007 08:41 AM (JefgB)

16 the safety of the sailors is of paramount importance, both as human beings and as political leverage.


With all due respect to you and more importantly to those who fight for
us and our allies that's just a factually inacruarte (those
understandable) statement. If were true, we'd never send anyone into
harms way.  National interest and mission come first and no one knows
that better than the men and women who volunteer to wear the uniform.

This isn't about scoring points, it's about winning a war. Giving in
now only emboldens a pretty arrogant enemy and invites worse attacks.
This isn't supposition, it's historical fact.

Posted by: Drew at March 29, 2007 08:46 AM (gNyUT)


How about:

"We are currently holding 300 Iranian spies and saboteurs in Iraq.  We have determined that one British life is worth twenty Iranian lives.  We will begin executing the Iranian spies and saboteurs at a rate of twenty every hour until all fifteen of the British sailors are returned to England.

"Of course, if and when we capture more Iranian spies and saboteurs in Iraq, their collective lives will be further reduced in value."

Posted by: Sobek at March 29, 2007 08:51 AM (6GK9U)


If this post is a little rambling and incoherent you'll have to forgive me, but I have been apolexic over this all day.

It is my own hope that the major impact on us Brits of this ferago will be to begin to rally the British people to see where all this lefty dogma actually gets us. Nowhere.

I work in a medium size firm in a provincial town - and I have to tell you that the conversations we're having about the Iranian thugs bears NO resemblance to the "Islington" (in US terms "Washington Liberal") view on the matter. The tenor of general feeling is now getting pretty gung-ho.

We, as a people, are not quick to start a conflict - just as, between 33 - 39, we let the Nazis piss all over Europe because our politicians didn't have the guts to do something about it. But once stirred, I believe we have a pretty good track record of standing up for ourselves.

I am hoping that the current generation is now coming to a '39 moment and that we will start to see that our namby-pamby, multicultural, post-modern indoctrination has been a slide into criminal indolence.

Pictures of that asshat calling for the execution of our sailors is provoking a response I have not seen since the Argentine invasion of the Falklands.

We'll get our sailors back - and it might cost us some face having to "apologise" to these honourless cowards.

But if it means that we get our kids back and that more people will see that there is a real threat to our values then I would be happy to go personally to the mullahs - cap in hand - and ask nicely if we can have our ball back.

Screw my pride for a day - if it means in the end I get to hand that asshat his ass, I can live with a little humiliation




Posted by: Chris Allen at March 29, 2007 09:24 AM (mGSdZ)


Another sleeping tiger about to be awoking Chris?

Bully for you! I just hope the U.S. has your back and doing all it can to help you get your guys back.

Posted by: Bosk at March 29, 2007 09:35 AM (+aNmG)


Chris: I'm not sure I understand your sentiment: it sounds like you're really pissed off, and that the people around you are as well.  And your solution is to apologize as profusely as possible, damn the torpedoes, if that's what it takes to get your sailors back.  Am I misreading you?  If  I'm not, well, that doesn't sound much different than how everyone in the West has been treating the Iranians since Jimmah's days.

Perplexed in Portland

Posted by: Mark at March 29, 2007 10:28 AM (+45yf)

21 "We are currently holding 300 Iranian spies and saboteurs in Iraq.  We
have determined that one British life is worth twenty Iranian lives. 
We will begin executing the Iranian spies and saboteurs at a rate of
twenty every hour until all fifteen of the British sailors are returned
to England.

The problem with that is, we value life, and they don't.

Posted by: Nice Deb at March 29, 2007 10:35 AM (CX6/b)

22 The problem with that is, we value life, and they don't.

Nice Deb,

You ain't kidding.

Look at this story:

Last Thursday, NBC showed wounded Iraqi insurgents being brought to
Camp Speicher near Tikrit. Two of them had been caught placing an
explosive device on a nearby road, intending to kill Americans, when a
U.S. helicopter opened fire on them.

The U.S. medical team moved heaven and earth to save their lives.
One insurgent, however, was not going to survive unless he got thirty
pints of blood.

But the base was low on blood. The call went out for volunteer donors; minutes later, dozens of G.I.s had lined up.

At the head of the line was a battle-hardened soldier named Brian
Suam. Asked if it mattered that his blood was going to an insurgent, he
smiled and said, no—“A human life is a human life.”

They are simply the best we have.
(I found this story at The Flight Deck)

Posted by: Drew at March 29, 2007 10:48 AM (gNyUT)



Like I said - I couldn't guarantee not being a little incoherent.

I was talking about what this capitualtion might do to strengthen our resolve for the NEXT "stunt" that Iranians pull - and let's face it - this is not going to be the last thing they try.

It is working on the mindset here in England - because this is a conflict that doesn't have the taint of the Iraq invasion (its pretty obvious that we had done nothing to provoke the Iranians into doing this) - we didn't start this and the British public can see that:

the Iranians changed the co-ordinates they say we were at

the Iranians have offered to release the woman and then reneged

their own people are calling for EXECUTIONS -

I can tell you these facts are causing real outrage.

Like I said - our interests are best served by getting our guys back - and then kicking the sh*t out of anybody trying this again - with the public fully supporting the kicking.

If we can get that public support, the real propaganda value will have been here in England - because it might give us rules of engagement that don't, you know, work in the enemys' favour.

Posted by: Chris Allen at March 29, 2007 11:07 AM (mGSdZ)


At the head of the line was a battle-hardened soldier named Brian
Suam. Asked if it mattered that his blood was going to an insurgent, he
smiled and said, no—“A human life is a human life.”

Suam was later heard to say under his breath, "And the fact that this guy will have 30 pints of kaffir blood in him is the icing on the cake."

Posted by: tachyonshuggy at March 29, 2007 01:39 PM (r7mz6)


What Newt said about the refinery.  Mine Iranian ports.  The only ships the Iranians will be allowed to operate will be sail-powered dhows for fishing within their new 2 mile territorial waters.  If it has a motor it goes to the bottom.  Any Iranian vessel with weapons on board goes to the bottom.  Ships offloading at Iranian ports to be sunk along side the piers.  Start dropping bridges.  If it is Iranian and flying it goes down.  Crater their runways.  If it transmits electronic signals fry the fucker.

Basically, just start killing these turds wherever they are found.  Bonus points for taking out Iranian diplomats in European countries and mailing the individual parts back to Tehran over time as sausage.

Posted by: cranky at March 29, 2007 03:57 PM (Xj2Ev)

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