Monday, March 26, 2007

No Time for Appeasement

How can the United Kingdom best show its displeasure with the actions of the Iranian government, which last week entered Iraqi territorial waters, seized (read: kidnapped) British sailors inspecting cargo ships for smuggled items, and then is now saying the 15 sailors are to be put on trial in Tehran for violating Iranian territorial waters? Keep in mind, those Royal Navy sailors were not in Iranian waters.

I don't think they have the stomach to do it right now, but what the U.K. should do is sink a few vessels of the Iranian navy as a warning. Or, mimic the Iranians - capture some of the other side's sailors. With little doubt, doing so would endanger those being held by the Islamic Republic. But what Iran did was nothing short of an act of war. I'm not calling for an invasion here...or advocating a mindless act of revenge. I'm talking about a response in kind.

Those who don't support such tit-for-tat responses don't understand their value.

The U.K. needs to respond to subtlety with clarity - it was likely the Iranians hope that Britons in bondage would somehow persuade London to be a little less forceful in supporting U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran over the latter's nuclear work. It was an indirect message, unclear as to motive unless thought about for a moment. But Great Britain can change that...with a direct response. Unmistakable as to intent, clear in message, and forceful enough to teach a bully a lesson.

There is a time for the diplomacy of words, and another for the diplomacy of action...which arrived the moment those sailors were seized by Iran.

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