This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Humble Humiliation

"After it became clear that the U.S. 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 Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes. The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy."
"Mr. Kerry had contact with him [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif] and called for the release of the sailors. Mr. Zarif took a strong stance and said that the sailors were in our waters and should apologize."
"[The sailors were released after] investigations showed that they had gone astray during their voyage in the Persian Gulf. [The] illegal entry into Iranian water was not the result of a purposeful act."
Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander, naval forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards

Photo from Iranian government. (Sepahnews via AP)
"It was a mistake that was our fault and we apologize for our mistake. It was a misunderstanding. We did not mean to go into Iranian territorial water. The Iranian behavior was fantastic while we were here. We thank you very much for your hospitality and your assistance."
"The Iranian patrol boat came out when we were having engine issues and had weapons drawn, so we tried to talk to them until more boats came out and took us in."
Unidentified American sailor

Video shows U.S. sailors' capture
Still from Iranian video

The ten American sailors who were taken into Iranian custody were aboard two riverine patrol boats — 38-foot, high-speed boats commonly used to patrol rivers and littoral waters. An American official explained that they became aware of the unscheduled interference of the Iranian navy when the two vessels, which are often used to patrol shallow waters near Bahrain, had failed to make a scheduled refueling rendezvous with a larger ship. The ten Americans were taken prisoner, charged with spying, the one female sailor among them given a head covering in accord with Iranian sensibilities.

A boat of the type seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday.  Credit Zane Ecklund/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The completion stage of the U.S.-led deal on the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program is set to take effect imminently. The Iranians consider themselves a world power, one which has experienced a simmering resentment at what they see as global interference in their personal affairs. As a sovereign Islamist state they feel they have the right and the personal obligation to explore all weapons options in their bid to intimidate the Arab Middle East and become the acknowledged Mideast power.

The hatred of the administration for the U.S. and all things Western and democratic points to plans to dominate not only the immediate geography, but to pose a threat through the Iranian ballistic missiles program allied with their nuclear program to produce a nuclear warhead for delivery on the newer longer-range, more powerful missiles. The UN Security Council permanent members, America, France, Britain, China, Russia, plus Germany in their negotiations with Tehran's nuclear representatives succumbed to the Republic's agreement to moderate their nuclear plans.

Iran, needless to say, has never honoured any such treaty it has ever engaged upon with the West, and nor has it this time around. Its 'moderate' President Rouhani has pledged that Iran will forge ahead with all its weapons programs, leaving its neighbours feeling more edgily vulnerable than ever against the potential threat that the Republic poses with its ambitions to see Shiite Islam, led by Iran, mount the power structure in Sunni-majority Islam.

The agreement brokered by the United States as a signal triumph, giving the world several years of breathing room before Iran acquires the nuclear devices it longs to have in its arsenal, has simply emboldened the Iranians. Because their negotiators managed to pare down significantly all of the nuclear neutering demands of the P5+1, Iran takes it as a sign of weakness which they can exploit, and they've lost no time in exploiting that state of weakness on the part of those demanding it stand down from its ambitions.

While they're at it, they choose to flex their muscles by visiting Iranian-branded humiliation on the most powerful nation on Earth whose president has chosen to take a humble path through negotiation and diplomacy rather than meet belligerence with firm denials. President Obama has dedicated himself, and through his executive stature the United States itself, to a path of least resistance, choosing surrender of all that the U.S. had formerly engaged in as a warden of world peace, leaving its reputation limp as a wet rag its opponents are delighted to stamp on.

The result is that the Republican Guard, which has sole responsibility for Iran's nuclear program under the guiding direction of Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, simmering with rage over having to submit to the neutralized P5+1 intervention, feels confident enough to poke the U.S. in the eye in a symbolic but very real skit of humiliating audacity; not quite the kind of audacity that Barack Obama promised Americans he would use to transform their country when he ran for election. A grovelling U.S. administration has hugely delighted Tehran.

Several weeks earlier, the Iranian Navy harassed an American carrier and a French frigate in the Strait of Hormuz. Rockets were launched, passing 1,500 yards beyond the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman. In the Gulf of Aden last year, another Iranian Navy frigate pointed a heavy machine gun as it approached an American military helicopter which had just landed, then turned around, as an Iranian film crew videotaped the episode.

Iran has threatened in 2012 to close down the international waterway it claimed as its own, the Strait of Hormuz, where a large portion of international shipping is conducted. The Revolutionary Guards Navy in 2007 took fifteen British military service members into custody, holding them for almost two weeks, contending it was protecting its sea borders. The British Navy took a year to release its report stating that its vessels had been in a disputed borders area between Iran and Iraq. 

(Photo from Iranian government via European Pressphoto Agency)

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