Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Protest in London targets Iranian Embassy"

Protest in London Targets Iranian Embassy
British Students Target Iranian Embassy With Rocks, Firecrackers to Protest Sailor Standoff

LONDON, UK Apr 1, 2007 (AP)— About 200 students threw rocks and firecrackers at the Iranian Embassy on Sunday, calling for the expulsion of the country's ambassador because of the standoff over Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines.

Several dozen policeman prevented the protesters from entering the embassy compound, although a few briefly scaled a fence outside the compound's walls before being pushed back, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

The protesters chanted "Death to Iran" and "Death to Muslims" as they hurled stones into the courtyard of the embassy. They also demanded that the British government expel the Iranian ambassador and close down the embassy, calling it a "den of spies."

Tehran's Foreign Office said there had been no damage to the compound.

A Tehran Foreign Office spokesman in London, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said diplomats were working normally inside the embassy.

"There is a police presence outside and there is no risk to those inside," said the spokesman.

Britain and Iran are at a standoff over the 15 seized sailors and marines. Britain said they were in Iraqi waters when detained, but Iran has contended the Britons entered its waters illegally.
By the way, April Fools' -- although I'm not laughing. If you read the actual article, you'll find that it's Iranian students protesting outside the British embassy in Tehran.

"Iranian" and "lies" have been inseparable since 1979, when they pulled the first stunt of this kind. And what has been the West's response every time? Negotiate. Use strong words. The same effective tactics that Neville Chamberlain (may he have a special place in hell for his stupidity) used to make Hitler back down, right?

Jus what kind of "rules of engagement" does the British military have? After the 2004 incident where Iran captured and released British sailors and marines, the British military should have established an unequivocable policy of defending themselves with deadly force. Now, it's true that negotiations will certain result in the return of the hostages. Madman Mahmoud and Co. don't want to start a war, at least not over this. But until Britain -- and the rest of the West -- learns that not showing force only emboldens these goddamn ragheads, we'll only see more such incidents.

Personally, my solution would have been a deterrent policy that would have "discouraged" Iran from pulling stunts like this in the first place: the promise of leaving a capital city, and any other cities as necessary, as nothing more than radioactive-laced rubble. Kidnapping another country's citizens is an act of war, and you can't win by playing nice. Better yet, make it abundantly clear beforehand that you will never play nice. If the bully knows that you will not just strike him back, but that you have the means and the will to knock him down, rip his scrotum out through his eye sockets and thus ensure he won't bully anyone ever again, the bully won't just think twice -- he'll never dare. That's what SDN (scroll down for his comments) and I understand about how the real world works, compared to Jimmy Carter's philosophical children. This bullshit of "proportionality," this fear of tempering a response because you don't want "to hold civilians responsible for their leaders," is exactly why Israel got its ass kicked in Lebanon, and exactly why the United States is losing in Iraq. Yes, I just said we are losing. We just don't have the will to do what is necessary to win.

Is anyone else reminded of the old TNG episode, "Code of Honor"? Replace Lutan with Iranians, Tasha Yar with British hostages, and the vaccine with oil. The kidnappers supposedly demonstrated honor and courage, when in fact they had neither: "honor" was just a red herring used to tie the Federation's hands, just like "international law" is used to hamstring the United States. Come to think of it, I would have liked to see follow-ups showing the fallout from Picard's "sensible" reaction: every time someone on Ligon wanted to regain political prominence, he'd just kidnap another Federation citizen, and the Federation would kowtow because it was desperate for the vaccine.

Tehran claims the hostages are treating well. Many others have covered how the "letters" have likely (likely? Undoubtedly!) been coerced, and let me remind you of the Iranian idea of "hospitality":



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