Iran’s economy? Stinks.
Iran’s technology? Stinks.
Iran’s population? Lacking civil liberties; dismissive and tired of their leadership.
Iran’s leadership? Strong-fisted, unelected theocrats willing to sacrifice children in war, fronted by spittle-spewing, media-lovin’, antisemitic, US bashing, devout Muslim who believes in the imminent arrival of the 12th imam.
Iran at the UN? Actually the subject of sanctions in the UN Security Council.
Iran’s allies? Russia, major supplier, has stopped nuclear assistance supposedly for lack of payment.
Iran’s prospects for peace? Well, it looked bleak considering the international consensus that surrounded Iran’s nuclear ambitions and pronouncements. The US is dead-set against this development, and the Europeans led by the UK have also expressed strong reservations. The Arab nations near the Gulf as well as those with a Sunni majority are also quaking in fear and forming alliances to attempt to counter this development. Even Russia seems to have some second thoughts. The UNSC has just voted a second resolution intended to punish Iran for lack of compliance with nuclear capability development.
So what do the Iranians do? They kidnap soldiers. Last year, as they were up for sanctions in the UN, their acknowledged proxy, Hizbullah, kidnapped Israeli soldiers while simultaneously attacking an Israeli community. This brought about Israeli retaliation and the war which ensued.
This time around, the day after the UNSC voted in favor of new sanctions against Iran, the Iranians kidnapped 15 British sailors on the pretext that they were sailing in Iranian waters, even though the waters where the sailors were in seem to be either in Iraqi or international waters. It doesn’t matter, the Iranians came aboard, took the British sailors and put forth a media circus for the next several days.
What have they accomplished?
First of all, they embarrassed the UK and its government. Second, they showed the UK that when faced with the prospect of fighting Iran, the UK would rather blink, blush and make nice once the hot air of bluster has been used up. Third, they hinted broadly at their strength in gulf waters near their territory – waters that carry a great deal of the world’s oil supplies. Fourth, they distracted everybody from further discussion of nukes or sanctions. Fifth, they succeeded in showing the weakness of the West by revealing how uncommitted the British soldiers were to their mission that within a couple of days, they were willing to write or record messages negating the very statements of their government. Sixth, and best of all, without firing even a single shot, without going to war, without detracting further from their already negative image, and without addressing the key issue that interests the international community – nuclear power development – the Iranians managed to imply the danger of launching a war against them while ingratiating themselves and re-opening diplomatic channels with governments on the warpath with them.
Yup, it was a brilliant series of maneuvers and the cherry on top of this sundae is the gratitude of the British government to the Iranians for releasing the sailors who shouldn’t have been kidnapped in the first place. The British government is thrilled to have evaded a confrontation. Lame duck PM, Blair, does not have the support needed to go to war and was further embarrassed because his public knows that were it not for him, it is unlikely that those sailors would have been sailing in Gulf waters in the first place. Because of this, and because there was no way to get these sailors released short of going to war, Iran’s magnanimous gesture of the sailors’ release prevents escalation and makes the Iranians look like…the GOOD GUYS.
And here is where Israel could learn from the Iranians. What do the Israelis have? Corrupt government? Check. Leaders who care about their own behinds instead of the nation or Zionism? Check. A weakened IDF that appears weaker than it has in decades? Check. An ongoing international public relations disaster fuelled by an occupation from which they cannot extricate themselves even if they had a leadership that seeks to do so? Check. Vilification and delegitimization by international bodies such as the UN and a multitude of nations including many in Europe that either support or abstain when it comes to these attacks? Check. The uncertainty of impending war with neighbors near and far? Check.
The easy solution? KIDNAP SOLDIERS!
Imagine a scenario where a French ambassador speaks about Israel calling it a “shitty little country” followed by a French PM declaring his support for the Arab nations arrayed against Israel followed by a pending vote against Israel in the UNSC which the French will support. What should Israel do?
Kidnap French soldiers.
Heck, there are a few in the UN “peacekeeping” force just north of Israel’s border as I write. Kidnap those poor suckers so they don’t have to suffer those cold Lebanese nights watching Hizbullah smuggle in more arms in violation of UNSCR 1701. Kidnap them and blame it on them. Say they trespassed into Israeli territory or assisted Hizbullah – the accusation need not be true. Then Israel should convince these French soldiers to write letters extolling Israel’s excellent people, well-crafted borders, strong and irrevocable right to exist, and the mistaken policy of the French government to side with Arab nations. Israel can convince the soldiers to do this easily – the country is laden with good food and, uh, attractive women (although they should expect petitions from peace groups to the Supreme court opposing the prisoners’ manipulation through the use of attractive women since this is the only form of harrassment left in the hands of Israel’s jailers).
After some days when the French will threaten Israel with war (haha) or with mean diplomats saying nasty things to Israeli counterparts, Israel can make a goodwill gesture and fly the soldiers back to France. This Israeli gesture will be recognized as friendly and immediately enable heartwarming phone calls between Chirac and Olmert. Trade will improve, diplomatic relations will improve, and bearing in mind that their soldiers could be kidnapped again, France will begin to side or at least abstain on critical votes in the UN.
Sound good? Of course it does.
And this scenario can be replicated with every European nation except for Russia which will, of course, immediately launch a vicious war that destroys Tel Aviv. Heck, Israel could even try this with some Muslim countries. Want to develop relations with Saudi Arabia? Kidnap a couple of royal family princes. Instant door opener. Malaysia upsetting everyone in Israel? Kidnap some of their soldiers. They’ll come to love Israel once they’re released without any concessions. Heck, Israel might even try this exceptional soldier kidnapping system on…Iran…
I read in the news that Mr. Ahmadinejad gave the British sailors some gifts as they parted Iran towards Heathrow airport.
I wonder what he gave them? GPS-receivers?
I actually saw the gift bags on CNN. The soldiers were given souvenirs and sweets.
brilliant. funny. and true.
The Iranians can get away with being bullies because we expect them to behave like big jerks. The predictable behavior pattern could be called the “bully” or the “abuser”.
Israel on the other hand does not have that status as a “bully” or “abuser” (albeit the Pallyworld has been calling them abusers for years) but rather as a nudnik.
If nudniks kidnap soldiers, then we will get a tuches whopping, and no benefits.
As much as aI love the idea, i really do, it works for bullies buy not nudniks.
Why did the shiftless sailors go with the Iranians? I cannot seem to find that part of the story. What happened to the boat? Where there only 15 of them on that boat? There is something strange about this it is like a bad sitcom.
Life isn’t fair, no one said it was. Perhaps, instead of lamenting the double standard (which will never go away), Israel should get its collective shit together and deal with the internal problems that prevent it from dealing with the external ones before I have to have all my Israeli friends living at my house because you only have a postage stamp left to live on.
I really wish Olmert or Peretz read Jewlicious… this is the best idea I’ve seen since the Entebbe operation, or the Osirak bombing…
Iran played their hand simply brilliant! Ahmednijad is a blowhard, smoke-blower who is maximizing the opportunity of anti-Zionism to its fullest. You may not like him, but you have to give credit when its due.
Nice call, middle. Muffti actually thinks that this is kind of an old trick – create a crisis and then resolve it maganimously and thereby ‘prove’ that you are capable of magnanimity and mercy and heap abuse on those that have justifiedly called you just the opposite over the last bunch of years. To illustrate, here’s what Blair said today:
“If Iran has genuine concerns about the region, or concerns about what’s happening there, those are things that can be discussed. What you cannot have is where there is an attempt to subvert the will of the democratically elected government in Iraq, or the international community.”
Ugh. Muffti is not a hawk and is pretty left leaning all things considered. But this is just a disgrace: getting excited about negotiating with people that just committed what amounts to an act of war against your country and then backed down.
Here’s a little joke for the simcha aspect of the holidays we are in:
At the end of the tax year, the Tax Office sent an inspector to audit the books of a synagogue. While he was checking the books he turned to the Rabbi and said “I notice you buy a lot of candles. What do you do with the candle drippings?”
“Good question”, noted the Rabbi. “We save them up and send them back to the candle makers, and every now and then they send us a free box of candles.”
“Oh”, replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way, “What about all these biscuit purchases? What do you do with the crumbs?”
“Ah, yes”, replied the Rabbi, realising that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. “We collect them and send them back to the manufacturers, and every now and then they send a free box of holy biscuits.”
“I see!” replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all Rabbi.
“Well, Rabbi”, he went on, “What do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?”
“Here, too, we do not waste”, answered the Rabbi. “What we do is save up all the foreskins and send them to the Tax Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick.”
If Israel were actually to do this kind of thing to, say, France, you’d have unaminous resolutions in the UNSC condemning Israel (US might well abstain) and France sending aircraft carriers to the Med, not to mention riots by “youths” in Paris, and maybe even revenge seizing of Israeli tourists or businessmen on trumped-up charges. I could even see some of the “youths” kidnaping or lynching French Jews in multiple numbers. It wouldn’t be the Mouse the Roared reaction.
Having said that, I’d love to see the IDF find a way to detain Haniyeh the next time he goes off on another trip to collect Iranian cash, or pay a surprise visit to Assad’s palace.
Stuart, my recommendations to the Israeli government are not to be taken seriously in this post…
Muhammad Ahmadinejad reminds me of Squealer a character from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Squealer uses propaganda and trickery to convince the farm animals that the dictator’s selfish actions are for their own good. Just like Squealer, Ahmadinejad uses trickery to deceive the Iranian people and people around the world(at least uneducated people) about the Islamic rule and his superior Ayatollah Khomeini. This kidnapping is just the latest of Ahmadinejad pathetic little acts. Ahmadinejad actions and propaganda might weaken or ruin the UK’s and US’s image , but it won’t save his regime from it’s inevitable downfall- either from US , Israel, or even the Iranian people.