Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Baiting Iran into War

Title: Baiting Iran into War

News media around the world gone into overdrive the day when those 15 British sailors were taken by Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

In short, 15 British sailors were in Shat al Arab waters, supposedly checking dhows for possible arms smuggling into Iraq. Then Iranian Revolutionary Guards surround them and detain them for being in Iranian waters. Then they were taken to Teheran, detained pending diplomatic solution between British and Iranian governments. Tony Blair insisted that they were in Iraqi waters, and demanded that they be released. Iranian government insisted that they were in Iranian waters, demanded apology before their release. Days later, still no apology, and Bush waded into the fray, saber rattling and demanded that they be released. Faye Turney, the only female sailor in the group was seen on Iranian TV giving press conference, saying that they were treated well, smoking and wearing head scarf. Still no apology from Tony Blair, but he said parading the detainees in TV is inhumane and contravenes Geneva Convention. Bush and Blair’s saber rattling continues.

On day 13, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad announced that the detainees will be released and sent home as a season gift to Britain. So its all over.

Some questions remains;

  1. What were those sailors doing? Reports from some news media from Iraq BEFORE they were detained indicate that the Navy was gathering intelligence in Iran over there. But the same news media conveniently don’t say anything, not a word soon as those sailors were detained.
  2. Tony Blair, instead of finding solution to the crisis and try to secure the release those sailors, was ratcheting up the crisis further, refusing to issue apology and saber rattling, issuing tough words and demanding that those sailors be released, pronto. Why didn’t he apologize, all he has to do is just saying that the sailors didn’t realize they were in Iranian waters? Iranian media said that their GPS equipment did indicate that they were in Iranian water. The crisis could have been solved in the first day!
  3. Bush joined the fray by saber rattling and demanding that they be release. Effectively threatening Iran. What Bush and USA has to do with this?

A colleague from the Gulf wrote that USA and Britain have a timetable for invasion of Iran. 6 April was the deadline for the invasion. Planeloads of arms equipment has been shipped to Iraq through Dubai. The ruler of UAE made a statement on prime time television saying that UAE will not allow its territory, airspace and waters to be used as a base for invasion of another country. What other country?

We all know that Iran is one of the axes of evil according to Bush and Blair. UN has problem lately with Iran, regarding nuclear facilities inspection. Or shall we say that Bush and Blair used UN to force Iran to allow inspections of nuclear facilities. Iran has never yielded to UN demands so far.

Bush and Blair are desperate to find an excuse, any excuse to invade Iran. To invade Iran without UN resolution is illegal. But being illegal has never stop Bush and Blair. Remember Afghanistan? Mullah Omar was asking for the proof if Osama really did organize that plane crash into the twin tower. “Bring me the proof, and we will hand over Osama to you.”

Didn’t Saddam acquiesce and let UN team search for the elusive WMD? If there is such thing as WMD, the US Army could have collected by the truckload already.

I am not saying that Saddam was an okay person, but there is a precedent here. ‘Damn with UN Security Council and international law, we will just invade and secure that oil supply one way or another.’

Are those sailors purposely strayed into Iranian waters?

To make an invasion look legitimate, and get the support of US allies, they need a reason. Those sailors being detained by the Iranians would be just what they are looking for. Soon as they are taken to Teheran, the news media goes into overdrive; everyone is reminded of American embassy occupation for 444day back in 1980. Blair start demanding their release, always insist that they were in Iraqi waters.

News reports start demonizing Iran, grooming American and British public opinion and conditioning them to approve war with Iran. Blair’s speech start to sound like saber rattling, then Bush join in, pouring petrol to Blair’s fire. If Mahmoud Ahmedinijad didn’t release the sailors and sent them home, opinion polls in Britain and USA would start to sway to Bush and Blair’s favour. Given time, a couple of week or so, then it would be ripe for rescue mission. Yeah just like in 1980. The public would have support it, who want their countrymen/woman rot in Iranian jail, of all places.

The rescue mission would be designed to fail, so that the public opinion would be whipped up, people would get angry and start baying for Iranian blood.

When the sailors appear on TV, Blair lambasted Iran, saying it’s wrong to parade the detainees, against the Geneva Convention. But the truth is it softened public perception of Iran, and told the truth what actually happened. That worked against Tony Blair’s script!

If Iran still keeps the detainees, the tanks and the B52 would get oiled and cranked up. I was dismayed that Iran kept the detainees that long. They could have simply told the sailors to go away, regardless whether they were gathering intelligence or not. Or Iran could have put the sailors on the first plane bound for London as soon as they arrive in Teheran.

Iran shouldn’t have taken the BAIT. But I am glad that they let them go.

Noor Yahaya Hamzah

Email: nooryahaya@yahoo.com


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Noor

Wonderful summary! However I must disagree with you in regards to placing the brits back to Britain as soon as they reach Tehran. I think respect of territorial borders is a fundamental action of civilised nations. Britain a "has been" Empire is trying to show off its power behind the petticoat of its big sister the US.
I wish more nation would have the same courage as Iran in battling this neo-colonialism. India in the 50's did the same thing when it ceased Goa from Portugal. Portugal in respond sent its frigates to shadow play but was a laughing stock for the world to see, another "has been" empire.

Anyway shame on those sailors who wanted to sell their stories, just to show that their struggle can be measured in pounds and pence