Sunday, April 01, 2007

Guardian Unlimited: We Gotta Get [Them] Outta This Place!

Contrary to what the blogmentary from one reader suggests, this piece does have something useful to say. Hopefully Rifkind is correct in his statement that, "the British will, eventually, be released." More importantly, it is essential to know that this is a dangerous game, which does have potentially devastating consequences for Iran and her citizens, but it appears that this is a game which must be played now.

Fareed Zakaria has provided an assessment, as usual based in a better understanding than many pundits, that summarizes how this is likely a sign of the continuing power struggle between pragmatists* and reckless ideologues in the Iranian leadership. President Ahmadinejad was almost certainly in favor of pursuing this policy of provocation and bring escalation to a boil, meaning people will die, whether the Revolutionary Guards took their orders or merely their lead from him. However, experience tells us that Iran, as all nations that have an economic stake in the world, can be dealt with. Britain and the EU must give reinforcement that communicates clearly that this tactic of hostage taking (we can be sure that is an accurate description by the suggestions that the release of Iranians held by Coalition troops is the goal) will neither get the Iranians their personnel captured in Iraq nor give them (the hardliners in Tehran and Washington) an excuse for military confrontation.** There are reasons to believe that the EU, for all its bureaucratic lethargy is moving toward a solution, perhaps out of public view, with neither a fight nor appeasement which would result from giving in to blackmail.

A close aide to Tony Blair who asked to remain anonymous, as is customary at 10 Downing Street, expressed complete satisfaction with the growing support from other European countries. "We couldn't have asked for more," he said.

Remember that when cooler heads do prevail, it usually takes a little while.

*Pragmatism must be kept in context in a government where all involved are conservative theocrats
**Again, that is an action in which people are killed


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