I have created this blog so that I may be able to present my thoughts and opinions about many issues so that others may read them and reflect upon them. Perhaps at a later time I will give more information about my background. But for now, I will simply accept the characteristics of the title that I have chosen to label myself -- A Guardian.
Now, to the topic that I wish to begin with -- Iran.
The recent announcement by the most beneficent President of Iran that he wishes to present a gift to the United Kingdom by releasing 15 sailors that were illegally siezed in Iraqi waters and paraded about under pressure and diress did end this geopolitical hot potato rather quickly. And of course, Tony Blair responded in that all to common manner that has become a hallmark of European foreign policy directed toward all countries except the USA -- gracious thanks for not having to prove that Europe (or in this case, the UK) still has a backbone. He was also quick to inform the press that there wasn't any quid pro quo, but how can we be sure?
Regardless of if there was one or not, the actions taken by Ahmadinejad certainly gave the perception that Iran is a more powerful country than the UK. To be able to break international law (including maritime laws on the books for centuries), comment toward the UK as if it was a petulant child and then free the slaves to be seen as a glorious ruler of a glorious empire --- all without criticism except from some corners of the US media is amazing to me. Then in the Washington Post, there is an article regarding the Red Cross visiting captured Iranian operatives in Iraq. I guess there is a greater threat of abuse by the US than Iran.
But something that bothered me while this incident was present regarded Iran's position. Nobody really made the logical leap to question whether or not Iran would go to war with the UK (and the US) over these 15 sailors. Whether or not you believe that the Iranian regime is a rational one or not, they aren't stupid. They would much rather have the West attack them first so that they may fight a defensive war and instigate the other Muslim regimes in the Middle East -- and make life for the US in Iraq that much tougher.
But this question needs an answer -- would Iran go to war over these sailors? Could the Iranian economy deal with a naval blockade of the Straight of Hormuz and cut off, at least, 40% of their oil exports? In my opinion, the answer is strong NO. That means that the West could have played "hard ball" with Iran and gotten its way. But instead, we played the role of the "evolved, enlightened" Western leaders and got pushed around. Clearly, the commodities traders in the pits felt that Iran would voluntarily cut off oil exports to the West, raising per barrel prices over $68/barrel at one point last week. But once again I contend -- would Iran, whether voluntarily or during war, prevent most of their oil exports from hitting the market?
NO. Their economy would simply collapse.
In conclusion, I think the West needs to develop a greater sense of critical thought and analysis in order to properly deal with these mounting threats instead of adapting to the political correct actions of the day. In the end, the country that comes out worse for this is the UK. It proved, in this small episode, that it is far from the country of Churchill, Palmerston, Pitt, Edward I, and William the Conquerer.
And a regime being run by a man that is far more dangerous than anybody realizes has just reinstated it's position in world geopolitics. And he won't give it up without a fight.
Lastly, I think it's humorous that Ahmadinejad gave the 15 sailors to the UK as a "Easter gift" since according to Islamic theology, they don't believe that Christ died on the cross and, obviously, that he wasn't the Son of God. So if he didn't die on the Cross, how could he rise again and prove his divinity?
Just a thought from a Guardian.