What are they trying to prove?

Apparently the Iranians have seized three small British patrol boats and their crews.

Although I’m not really up on the details, hasn’t Britain been a lot softer toward Iran than the US has? Generally speaking? I recall reading some thoughts a month or two ago that there was tension between the British and Americans over Iran policy, and that those tensions were a potential trouble spot down the road.

This isn’t going to help the Iranians, whatever the case.

Or, as Bill Hobbs puts it:

How Stupid Are They?

Our enemies seem to think that little “shows of force” like seizing little patrol boats, beheading satellite dish installers, and blowing up reconstruction workers or Iraqi police stations is going to drive us out.

This ain’t your father’s war on terror. This isn’t Beirut in 1983. This isn’t Mogadishu in 1993. This isn’t even Iraq in 2003. June 30th will symbolize the beginning of the next phase in World War 4. The road will be rough, and there will be mistakes.

If we maintain our focus, if we maintain our drive, and if Iraqis take this opportunity and make the most of it, one day people will look back at the summer of 2004 as a major turning point in world history.

Our enemies think that we’re toying around with an idea to pester them. For all the seriousness of kidnappings, roadside bombs, and beheadings, they are mostly playing games with us. Their biggest victory in the past year was the prison abuse issue. We did that, to our shame. They didn’t. They are the ones tiptoeing around. Of course they might be marshalling their strength for something major, but for all their fervor and their righteous indignation they’re don’t really seem to be making effective decisions.

They just don’t seem to understand that we are dead serious about putting them out of business.


  1. Murdoc, we (US & UK) are not the intended audience of this little show of force by the Pasdaran Navy (Mullah Controlled). Since these pirates are not part of the professional naval services left over from the Shah era (think of them as the personal hired thugs of the Mullah Class), this act is intended to re-assured their backers of their resolve.

  2. Them Brit patrol boats were no ordinary patrol boats. Those water craft belonged to, and were manned by, SBS teams (Special Boat Service) i.e. Brit SEALS! I wonder why those elite troops (where capture is not ordinarily an option) didn’t put up a strong resistance to capture. That’s not the way they usually operate. Something is rotten in Iran/Iraq!!

  3. Unfortunately, it could be said that the bad guys believe that we’re not serious about putting them out of business, and that aggression pays off. At least it paid off for the Iranian scumbags in 1979.

  4. First of all IMHO it isn’t at all clear that they were on Iranian waters. It is also possible that the Iranians went in and grabbed them on the Iraqi side of the border. The Iranian version is supported by the fact that the SAS has a history of sneaking around on other nations territory. On the other hand the Iranians has a history of kidnapping people on other nations territory. Comparing recon and kidnapping kidnapping is clearly worse, so I’d put the onus on the Iranians to prove they didn’t kidnap them before I’d ask the UK to prove they were on the right side of the border. I can imagine two reasons. The first is to disrupt border patrols because the Iranians want to continue infiltrating weapons and support for al Sadr. If the patrols have been effective they might want to ‘interrogate’ people who know how the patrols work to find ways to get past them. The second is as a bargaining-chip against the attempts to muzzle the Iranian nuke program. ‘Don’t support the Americans in the UN when they want IAEA to stop pleading and start proposing sanctions, or we might just decide that they are spies and kill them.’ Ursus Maritimus