Monday, April 02, 2007

The Lion in Winter -

The West, and particularly Britain have suffered a significant defeat by Iran - and a portent of things to come.

Iran's success in taking 15 British hostages, the parading of these hostages on state TV after forced `confessions' and especially the lack of a forceful response by Britain and the West in the face of what amounts to an act of war will not go unnoticed in Iran. Or the rest of the Islamic world.

These British seamen were operating as part of a multinational task force secured by a UN mandate to patrol the waters of the Persian Gulf. Yet, handcuffed by Russia and the Muslim bloc, the UN refused to `deplore' Iran's actions and and merely `condemned' them - a diplomatic slap on the wrist. The EU, which Britain is likewise part of also rejected the UK’s demand for an export boycott against Iran.

For their part, with allied support melting away, Britain has very little choice but to roll over, since Blair's Labour government has already made significant progress in reducing Britain's deterrent with defense cuts.

Almost half of Britain's' 44 ship fleet is scheduled for mothballs, and by this time next year if the scheduled cuts continue, the British navy that once ruled the waves will be reduced to, as the London Daily Telegraph put it "little more than than a coastal defense force."

The mullahs in Iran clearly see today's Britain, with a reduced military, a restless Muslim population at home to pacify and a Labour party dependent on Muslim votes to keep in power as a weak link in the War on Jihad..and one that is likely to continue to on the road on appeasement.

The Mullahs also no doubt took notice of the votes in the US Congress to undercut General Petraeus and the US efforts in Iraq and Aghanistan.

One concession that the British have apparently been discussing as part of the price for their hostages release is a pledge to Iran to `never knowingly enter Iran's waters without permission now or in the future' and refrain from any future retaliation against Iran.

This pledge would effectively remove Britain from its commitment in securing the sea lanes to South Iraq and potentially place British naval and marine forces on an exit course from the Shatt al-Arab, and perhaps the entire Gulf. The US Navy will have to pick up the slack.

If this happens, Iran can celebrate a triple victory: they will have shown the cracks in the Western alliance, helped boost crude to a six-month high, boosted Iran's prestige and given the rest of the Arab world a fresh reason to consider the security and defense agreements with Iran that were proposed at the Riyadh summit.

I can guarantee that Iran will up the ante and capitalize on this success with further aggression.

This will by no means end here.

1 comment:

Elliott said...

I agree with almost everything you write. Even though it is true that Britain has cut (and continues to cut) its spending on defence, however, we (I'm British!) do still have enough of a navy to confine the Iranian navy to port - possibly as a prelude to blockading them altogether. Indeed, we also have some of your excellent Tomahawk missiles, which we could fire from one of a dozen nuclear submarines to take out Iranian infrastructure at no cost to ourselves.

Ours, fundamentally, is a failure of will, not of power. Our country is being betrayed by weak and empty men. And most of us don't seem to care (though I've been trying to compensate ... )