“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

British hostages freed.

The Iranians let them go. The Iranians squeezed the propaganda lemon dry. The news conference showed the Brits smiling in nice suits, bowing and chatting with their Iranian captors. They looked more like a visiting football team than British captives being returned.

The Iranians played it smartly. The Iranians won a real propaganda victory.

Things are not always as they seem. We need to wait for some answers. I find it hard to understand the hows and whys, but will listen with an open mind.


  1. Detainees go wheels up!

    Mission Accomplished.
    Objectives fulfilled

    Success and another step towards regional reconciliation.

    What's the beef?
    We're still on course.

    The Peace train is still a chuggin'

    Like the little engine that could.

    "The Iranians must give back the hostages," Bush said Saturday during a short news conference at Camp David where he met with the president of Brazil. "They're innocent, they were doing nothing and they were summarily plucked out of the water. As I say, it's inexcusable behavior."

    Bush said there would be no "quid pro quo" trade of Iranians held by U.S. forces in Iraq in return for the British detainees, the Washington Post reported. He also wouldn't say whether military force would be justified to free the detainees,

    The detainees were released, so no harm, no foul.

    Just watch out for those cascades.

  2. The dye was cast from the moment the Commadore did not put a round across the Iranians bow, let alone one in the hull.

    As he said, it's confusing "out there".

    The Iranians are way to far ahead of the curve to take on US Marines, without the cover of civilians & proxies.

  3. While in Afghanistan a single IED ambush took an entire Company of SpecOp Marines out of the fight.

    Not because of casualties, well not Marine casualties. Seems to many Afghani were shot, as part of the Marines response to the ambush.

    So the majority of the Marine Comapany got sent back to Dubai or some such, while the actual shooters, those ambushed, are investigated for possible criminal behaviour.
    To robust a response it seems. As westhawk put it, not how the Army National Guard handles IED ambushes, they setting the Standard.

  4. Perhaps what was embarrassing to SOCCent was the perception that this elite Marine Corps unit expended so much ammunition and blood responding to an IED ambush, something Army National Guard combat service support units face every day without such controversy. MarSOC-Fox was undoubtedly intended to remain in this region for sometime, performing long-term intelligence-gathering, counter-insurgency, and counter-terrorism missions. Once its goodwill with the locals was ruined, its prospects for success with these other missions seemed doubtful, at least in the eyes of SOCCent. SOCCent decided he had to withdraw the unit, and withdraw it in a public way, in order to convince the Afghans that the Americans are trying to be on their side. If the insurgents intended this result, or something similar, they succeeded thoroughly.

    link to The future of MarSOC

  5. Stockholm Syndrome: one of the hostages even thanked the Iranian regime. Now watch to see if any Iranian spies captured in Iraq are traded back to Iran in payment.

  6. It's been 28 years from 1979, how many really remember, or even care.

    Each day and event stands alone, but well within the trendlines. There seems that without an internal coup the Mullahs are correct in their assessment that "The US can do nothing".
    At the end of April there could be three carrier task forces off the Iranian coast, if that window of opportunity opens and shuts with more nothing, the planets will not align again.
    Not on Mr Bush's watch, not intentionally.

  7. Seems like the Iranians must have been reading my comments on how brilliantly they played their hand.

  8. Let's hope next time they pay more attention to d'Rat. Maybe then we will finally get somewhere.

  9. d'Rat

    There's a hidden smiley at the end of that last post. :)

  10. I'm so proud of Nan Pelosi. She botoxed Assad and he never saw it coming.
    Showing a little ankle and promising Assad that a US Democratic administration would cede the entire State of Michigan to any Muslim overflow into his country in exchange for "just" talking to the Iranians about releasing the Brits was smoove. She master stroked him.
    Kinda remids me of an old joke.

    Seems a young boy was having trouble identifying some overheard language from the older boys. Naturally he went to his Dad.
    "yes son"
    "Daddy, what is the difference between a pussy and a @unt?"
    "Well son, bring me that Playboy magazine on the table"

    Opening the magazine to the center fold the young lad's father took pen in hand and drew a circle around the models pudenda.
    "See that circle son?"
    "Yes dad"
    "Well son, everything inside that circle is a pussy and everything outside the circle is a @unt!"
    "ok Dad, I understand now"

    Nan Pelosi is outside the circle.

  11. Which of course brings up the fact that I was correct 100% and way ahead of the Dems on labelling this entire thing The War Against Terror....TWAT is back since the Dems have outlawed GWOT.

    TWAT reigns supreme!!!

  12. "Habu"
    "hey man like I been dead a long time and summer is com'in on, can you cut me some slack and let me take this hoodie off, damn thing is hot"
    "Sonny, I'll tell ya what, when they start to thaw out Ted Williams head we'll loan it to them , how's that?"
    "Gracious of you Habu"
    "We'll I'm just that kinda guy,Sonny"

    (the dime went in , I punched 4Q)

  13. Tony Blair has responded to news from Iran that 15 Royal Navy personnel are to be released by telling the country's people that Britain bears them 'no ill will'.
    At a lengthy press conference from Tehran this afternoon, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he would return the 14 men and one woman, seized in the Gulf on March 23rd, as 'a gift' to the UK.
    Speaking outside Downing Street this evening, Mr Blair stopped short of thanking the Iranian president, but said he had taken a 'measured approach' in seemingly ending the dispute, 'firm but calm, 'not negotiating but not confronting either'.
    In a direct message to the Iranian people, the prime minister insisted on behalf of Britain: 'We bear you no ill will.
    'We respect Iran as an ancient civilization and as a nation with a proud and dignified history,' he said.
    'The disagreement we have had with your government, we had always hoped to resolve peacefully and with dialogue.'
    Mr Blair added: 'We hope in the future to be able to do so also.'

  14. Mission Accomplished.

    There was that one "kidnapped" Iranian released and repatriated.
    Reports that an Iranian rep will meet with the 5 Iranian detainees.
    No confirmation of that, though.

    Not a shot fired in anger or with malice a fore thought.


  15. indeed! the iranians tried to play smart. by freeing those british detainees, it's just like the iranian president saying, "that's one good deed i did for you, Mr. Blair, one day, i'll collect"!!! hmmmm, food for thought!!!

  16. WASHINGTON, April 4 (Xinhua)-- U.S. President George W. Bush "welcomes" the announcement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release 15 British sailors and Marines taken into custody last month, the White House said Wednesday.

    "As Prime Minister (Tony) Blair just said, President Bush also welcomes the news," Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said. ..."


    " ... Ahmadinejad's announcement came after Iran's state media reported that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Another Iranian diplomat, separately seized two months ago by uniformed gunmen in Iraq, was released and returned Tuesday to Tehran.

    Cheney said "I don't know" if those developments or others meant there had been any quid pro quo to secure the captives' release.

    "I don't think there should have been," he said, echoing Bush's repeated statements. "It's important that if you get into the business where you reward that kind of behavior, there'll be more of that kind of behavior."

    Johndroe said it was unlikely there was any connection between the five Iranians detained in Iraq and the Britons' release.

    "I have no information to indicate there is any linkage between these two issues," he said.

  17. Bobalharb: Looking on the happier side, I don't see the Brits giving up anything. Not even a I missing something?

    Yeah, the Brits get their sailors back, and they don't make a statement. Bush gave the Iranians one spy back, and is bringing in the Red Cross to get the other five spies ready to go home, and HE made the statement that it was a positive development, etc. Being a special friend of America means never having to be embarrased.

  18. All the world is a stage.
    And Ahmadinejad plays it.