Thursday, January 14, 2016

Iran Humiliates America, Again

Desperate people do desperate things. Desperate people also say desperate things.

Case in point: yesterday Iran showed us yet again how easy it is to make the Obama administration look like a bunch of fools.

Having made one of the worst deals in history with Iran, the Obama administration is desperately clinging to its narrative: that we scored a great diplomatic victory by giving Iran legitimate access to nuclear weapons. And now we are going to score another great victory by writing Iran a check for over $100 billion.

By the rules of the Obama administration, reality does not matter. What matters is what you say. Saying makes so, reality be damned.

Two days ago, just in time for Obama’s State of the Union message, Iran captured the headlines by capturing a group of American sailors in the Persian Gulf. Clearly, Iran had violate international law After holding them for hours and milking all the propaganda value out of them, it released the prisoners.

Leaders of the Obama administration rushed out to declare it all a great diplomatic victory, a benefit gained by having normalized relations with Iran. (Via John Hinderaker in the Powerline blog.) You have to ask yourself whether anyone is stupid enough to believe what this administration continues to turn out. Surely, no one in the Middle East does.   

Once the sailor/prisoners were released Vice President Biden went on the air to explain that our friends the Iranians were just helping us, as all good friends do. He added that no one apologized:

Biden: The Iranians picked up both boats, as we have picked up Iranian boats that needed to be rescued….They released them, like ordinary nations would do. That’s the way nations should deal with one another. That’s why it’s important to have channels open.

Interviewer: Did we apologize to the Iranians?

Biden: No, there was no apology, there was nothing to apologize for. When you have a problem with the boat, do you apologize that the boat had a problem? And there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice.

By now the whole world has seen the video of the American commander apologizing to the Iranians. Will Biden come out and admit his error? Never… being in the Obama administration means never having to admit you were wrong.

And then there is our hapless Secretary of State, who, Hinderaker notes, praised the Iranians “effusively:”

Kerry: … I also want to thank the Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response. … I’m appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the Iranian authorities. All indications suggest, tell us, that our sailors were well taken care of, provided with blankets and food [Ed.: and a headscarf] and assisted with their return to the fleet earlier today.

And I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago. In fact, it is clear that today, this kind of issue is able to be peacefully resolved, and officially resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping out country safe, secure and strong.

So desperate is Kerry to find a silver lining in the horror of the Iranian nuclear deal that he heaped an absurd amount of praise on the Iranians for capturing and humiliating our sailors and, by extension, us.

The Iranians saw it differently. After our top diplomats had committed themselves to a narrative, the Iranians released a video showing the commander of one of the vessels apologizing profusely on camera and accepting full responsibility for its error.

By this means Iran is asserting its power and authority in the region and showing the Sunni states, and perhaps even Israel, that America is a weak player, incapable even of defending its own sailors.

Iranian news reports released pictures showing the sailors on their knees, looking like captured prisoners. It wrote this:

In its statement, the [Islamic Revolution Guards Corps] pointed out that its investigations show that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Iranian waters was not the result of a purposeful act.

“Following technical and operational investigations and in interaction with relevant political and national security bodies of the country and after it became clear that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s waters was the result of an unintentional action and a mistake and after they extended an apology, the decision was made to release them,” the statement said.

“The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes,” it added, and continued, “The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy moments ago.”

Following the capture, two US and French aircraft carriers as well as their accompanying fleets and military choppers started maneuvering near Iranian waters.

The IRGC statement blamed the US flotilla for its “excited and unprofessional moves”, but said the IRGC navy could handle the situation and restored calm to the region through powerful and wise moves.

Senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were in contact with their Iranian counterparts on the fate of the marines since Tuesday, and according to Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had told Kerry that the US should extend a formal apology first.

According to the statement, the Americans have extended an apology.

Yet again, the Iranians have brought the Obama administration, and America to its knees.

Hinderaker adds a photo from The Daily Mail. You can find similar pictures in the Wall Street Journal, but not the New York Times. The latter is devoting its front page to a story that is intended to slime Ted Cruz:

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 9.05.42 PM


Dennis said...

Only demonstrate that the lack of inaction and leadership lead to these kinds of situations. I feel some sympathy and sorrow for the young officer who apologized. Much like the officer in command of the USS Pueblo he had to make a decision of following military regulations and the Geneva Convention or watch those under his command be killed. One of the burdens of command. A young woman also gets a lesson in what life would be under Sharia Law,
The less confrontational we become the more confrontations we will face. Evil people will constantly check how far the can push before there is push back. Unfortunately for us that isn't going to happen until we have a new president except if that president is Clinton. She would push a feminist foreign policy much like Sweden with the same results. The damage, with almost a year to do more, may be so bad that we will spend years trying to dig ourselves out, both literally and figuratively. On more than on occasion I have had this feeling, logic based on this administration's actions, that Obama and the democrats will get a large number of us killed and they would have made it possible by looking more for a legacy vice protecting the American people. Given the conditions in the world we have a right to be concerned. Everything is political and Obama cannot even give a SOTU speech without dividing us as a people.
Actually this should be changed to, Obama Humiliates America Again." This is maladministration at its worse.

Dennis said...

"the lack of action" I have often wondered why it is that the left is interested in destroying and killing those who would not do the same, but are comfortable with those who would kill them. Is it the fascination with death that seems to be so prevalent?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I cannot fathom why we show such weakness to the Iranians, of all nations.

Ares Olympus said...

Apparently some people have an issue with showing weakness.

Who knows where that might lead, possibly friendship?! Heaven forbid!

They are in Axis of Evil! Never forget! Hatred won't feed itself!

Ares Olympus said...

It also reminds me of the Franklin effect.
Benjamin Franklin, for whom the effect is named, quotes what he describes as an "old maxim" in his autobiography: "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged."

In his autobiography, Franklin explains how he dealt with the animosity of a rival legislator when he served in the Pennsylvania legislature in the 18th century:

Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.

I would have thought Stuart would know about these things, his love for the Honor Culture and all. Putting yourself in the debt of another will raise your status, not lower it.

People feel good when they help someone, especially when no one gets killed.

Perhaps U.S. police officers could learn a lesson here. And for our military power and skill, I have no evidence our Drone diplomacy can make peace as well as this.

And perhaps we'll be so grateful that we'll stop selling high tech weapons to Saudia Arabia after their barbaric political executions.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @January 14, 2016 at 7:30 PM:

If you believe diplomatic or geopolitical "friendship" with the Iranians is possible, you will believe anything. It is blind, naive persons such as yourself who end up dead. That is a significant downside consequence of showing weakness. Ceding Middle East power to the Iranians is sheer stupidity. If you want to be a stupid friend, enjoy. Perhaps you, too, might bow to a Saudi king, and tour the world apologizing. Where has all that apologizing gotten us? Nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Ares, what kinds of "friends" will give up HOSTAGES for billions of dollars??? What planet do you inhabit?