April 4, 2007


Iranian Leader Says He Will Free Britons (Howard Schneider, 4/04/07, Washington Post)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today said he had pardoned 15 British sailors seized by the Iranian military two weeks ago and would free them today to be with their families.

Unfortunately you have to look long and hard to find any pundit who grasped the inevitability of this rapid resolution.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2007 8:35 AM

"In what U.S. and British authorities insisted was mere coincidence, an Iranian diplomat being held in Iraq was released on Tuesday."

If you meant a quid pro quo, then you are correct as to the inevitability.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 4, 2007 10:54 AM

"In what U.S. and British authorities insisted was mere coincidence, an Iranian diplomat being held in Iraq was released on Tuesday."

If you meant a quid pro quo, then you are correct as to the inevitability portion of your comment.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 4, 2007 10:58 AM

The return of most of our people captured by the Soviets followed the same script.

I don't think it was inevitable, but it's a win-win.

The mullahs wacked I'm-a-nut-job and the Revolutionary Guards on the nose by denying them the show trial and making him announce the release.

We showed the mullahs that when they act like grown-ups they can trust our diplomacy.

Posted by: Chris B at April 4, 2007 11:26 AM

And Iran showed the world how weak Europe and the institutions it touts really are.

And this was just 15 people. We're supposed to rely on the UN, NATO, and the EU when Iran has nuclear weapons?

Posted by: ken at April 4, 2007 12:36 PM

"Syria, which today hosted a visit by a U.S. congressional delegation headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), later said it had played a key role in obtaining the release of the British captives, news agencies reported"

Thank God for Nancy Pelosi ending this national nightmare. You're right OJ, I should have expected it.

Posted by: h-man at April 4, 2007 1:22 PM

So I guess Rosie was wrong ... again. Bwahahahaha!

Posted by: Genecis at April 4, 2007 1:38 PM

You're, predictably, missing the point. Mahmood lost. We won.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2007 2:10 PM

Predictably, you continue to state opinions as fact without any basis in reality. Mahmoud can read polls as well as the next guy. Exactly how did he 'lose'?

Posted by: at April 4, 2007 2:52 PM

OJ is still looking for the pony at the bottom of the sh*t pile. Iran committed an act of war and watched amused as Britain, the UN, the EU, and NATO did nothing. Iran looks stronger from this and we didn't win anything.

Posted by: AWW at April 4, 2007 3:05 PM

Interesting debate. Please do check out our new "Foreign Policy Index." It's got plenty to say about the American public's opinion on issues surrounding Iran. We found that, while the war is definitely a driving force, the public's uneasiness spills over into the entire range of challenges facing the United States. Overwhelmingly, the public embraces diplomatic measures, with 44% of those surveyed favoring diplomacy with Iran and an addition 28% backing economic sanctions. Favor for military action is in the single digits. Our anxiety indicator is currently at 137 on a 200-point scale, edging toward the 150 point mark that we would consider a crisis of confidence in government policy. Go to http://www.publicagenda.org/foreignpolicy/index.cfm to check out the fourth edition of our "Foreign Policy Index."

Posted by: William at April 4, 2007 3:13 PM

"Won" in the sense that your team wins the game but every key player won't be able to play in the next game. Or at least be a factor if he does play.

A pyrrhic victory at best, with the weaknesses exposed once again for everyone to see. So when those really in charge decide to commit another act of war, it has been reaffirmed that it will not be answered in any meaningful way.

Posted by: ken at April 4, 2007 3:24 PM

What Iran has done is erode more people from the side that says "Islamic extremists are the problem" and add those people to the side that says "Islam is the problem."

It is definitely not a win there, it is never a win when people go from thinking you have a problem and start thinking you are the problem.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2007 3:26 PM

I don't see it Mikey. Read the polls. This act of war has been turned into a PR victory for the bad guys. People, in the main, view Islam as just another faith with predominantly otherworldy concerns. It's the religion of peace, don't you know?

Posted by: at April 4, 2007 3:36 PM

The bad guys had to free the Brits when the Ayatollah told them to.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2007 5:18 PM

The guy really in charge demonstrated that he's our ally in this.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2007 5:20 PM


Iran eventually did nothing. Why would we do something?

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2007 5:21 PM


Bingo! They were released because of the polls.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2007 5:23 PM

OJ, I agree with you to a certain point. But your argument sounds a lot like saying our military performed extremely well in Mogadishu...or that Black Hawk Down showed how reiliant our military is. True, but irrelevant in the long term. People outside Iran are taking notes on the response.

The implications of the response will be felt not just from Iran, but by anyone that decides to seize a few military personnel (or non military people). The lesson is that the EU and the UN will do absolutely nothing when you seize their people. Absent a strong leader in the US, you have carte blanche.

Posted by: ken at April 5, 2007 1:00 AM


Exactly. Even though the EU and UN did nothing the sailors were freed hastily because of internal Iranian politics.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2007 6:22 AM