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calendar   Friday - March 30, 2007

One Lump Or Two?

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“Tea & Sophistry” -by- Cox & Forkum

Judging from the editorial below from the UK’s Telegraph, some in Britain are becoming more hawkish and are ready to declare “enough is enough”.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are bout to enter “interesting times”. Buckle up your seat belt, put on your crash helmet and hang on ...

Online comment: Heading for war with Iran?
-- By Simon Heffer
(TELEGRAPH-UK) - 1:54pm BST 30/03/2007

imageimageI start to wonder whether it might not be time for us to get as nasty with other countries as they do with us. As we wait anxiously to see what will happen to our 15 hostages - for that is what they are - in Teheran, we should feel undiluted rage at the behaviour of other countries and institutions towards us.

Mind you, when those third parties witness the drivelling weakness of the Foreign Office over the last week, and in particular the pathetic show put up by our Foreign Secretary - who must surely be just about the worst in our history - who can blame them?

There is no doubt the 15 were in international waters when captured, or that they were undertaking a United Nations mission in pursuit of upholding UN resolutions. Yet the best the UN itself can do is pass a weak-kneed resolution describing its “grave concern”, rather than a tougher one calling upon all nations to “deplore” Iran’s behaviour.

This is all the fault of Russia, to whom Mr Blair routinely cosies up, and whom the civilised world invites to its annual G8 summit meetings. Russia seems to think it isn’t worth “deploring” the kidnap of our sailors, so we had better start to show Russia what we think of it: by uninviting it from the G8 this year, and every year until it learns some manners.

When not busy ordering the murders of his opponents, Vladimir Putin seems to enjoy hobnobbing with the leaders of civilised countries, so such a sanction would hurt. We don’t have the means to engage in gunboat diplomacy with Iran, and any special forces operation would be fraught with risks both for the hostages and their rescuers.

For the moment, ever-stricter sanctions on Iran seems the only answer. America is resolute about this. So too, oddly, is the world’s greatest sanction-busting nation, France. So the scope for tightening the economic ratchet on Iran, and the means to do so, look healthy. However, we should be under no illusions about the effectiveness of such weapons.

Saddam Hussein, after all, was put under sanctions for years. Real hardship was caused to his people, but almost none at all to him and his ruling clique. President Ahmadinejad of Iran has already threatened Britain about our involvement of “third parties” - that is, the UN - in the present dispute, showing his utter contempt for that organisation.

He would treat sanctions with similar disdain, happily cutting off the noses of his own people to spite their faces. And all the time, the threat he and his inherent instability pose to us all would never cease growing.

Whatever the immediate outcome of this crisis, Britain has some hard decisions to make. Is it worthwhile, any longer, to work through the United Nations? So long as a morally warped nation like Putin’s Russia calls the shots in the Security Council, no.

We can make debating points about how odd it is that Putin deplores Islamic nutters when they attack his forces but is relaxed about them attacking ours, but in the end there is no point in bothering.

The UN showed itself to be weak with Saddam Hussein. It is no better now. If we are going to continue to try to be a player in the Middle East, then we have to throw in our lot with the Americans, for no-one else makes the blindest bit of difference there.

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/30/2007 at 03:38 PM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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