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Could You Eat Enough To Vomit Enough?

Mr. Ahmadinejad said that the captives had all confessed to trespassing in Iranian waters and that Iran had “every right” to put them on trial, but had decided not to. “I want to give them as a present to the … Read More

By / April 4, 2007

Mr. Ahmadinejad said that the captives had all confessed to trespassing in Iranian waters and that Iran had “every right” to put them on trial, but had decided not to. “I want to give them as a present to the British people, to see that they are free,” he said.

I'm not sure if offering human lives as a "gift" back to a government that was guilty of no breach of international law is worse than what followed from the lips of Mahmoud the Magnanimous: the entreaty to Tony Blair not to have the 15 British sailors and marines court martialed upon their return!

Matt Ygelias of course seizes upon Ahmadinejad's finest PR coup yet as an opportunity to flaunt the medals of "realist" victory. Here he is in Comment is Free:

Disappointed though the hawks may be, the fact that the crisis arose in the first place illustrates the continuing dangers posed by the Bush administration's policies of confrontation. Even if the administration isn't deliberately seeking war – and its behavior in this matter indicates that it isn't – the continued attempts to strong-arm Iran and its allies in the region pose a constant risk of misunderstandings and miscalculations. Indeed, according to Haaretz, one of the things Nancy Pelosi will do during her current trip to Damascus is seek to bring the Syrians a reassuring message from Israel, which fears that the general tensions in the region could prompt an accidental war. Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, has to do the job because the Bush administration refuses to conduct diplomatic talks with Syria.

For Yglesias to fob the responsibility of the criminal kidnapping of British sailors onto the Bush administration is extraordinary, as must be his definition of "confrontation." If Iran may be said to feel "strong-armed" into illegally kidnapping at gun point 15 servicemen and women of a foreign military (a mere miscalculation or misunderstanding, according to such logic), then how is the U.S. capture of Iranian intelligence agents in Iraq any more peremptory?

Here we see yet another sorry and fatuous attempt to locate all wrongdoing in Washington even when a regime that makes a boast of Holocaust denial, messianic war with the West and its own relentless ambition for a nuclear arsenal is the one — and the only one — to blame.

And all this with a fitting coda that cozying up to the lambish Bashar al-Assad is a task that only a Democratic Congress can accomplish.

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