Is anyone actually surprised?

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

I haven’t blogged about the Iranians kidnapping some of our soldiers because I really couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to say that every other blogger isn’t already saying.

However, over the last few days the situation – I feel – has changed.  When it all kicked off it was a simple case of “you threaten to invade our country, we’ll embarass you” – they were taking the piss.  I think the original plan to kidnap some soldiers was probably conceived by the less militant element of the Iranian government as a way to score points and keep the hard-liners happy without actually going as far as blowing something up.  I think the change of focus into using the soldiers as a propaganda tool is the work of the hard-liners in the Iranian government who weren’t bought by the pissing contest originally planned.

I don’t think the soldiers are in any danger but I think they will be exploited more before they are released.  I can’t see the situation escalating too much further either in real terms.  Iran is a big oil producer with a lot of support in the middle east.  Support amongst Islamic countries for action against Iran will be hard to get – maybe Pakistan and Saudi will give their support and possibly Turkey too but it won’t go down well at all.  Then there’s the fact that both our own armed forces and those of the US are severely overstretched already and despite Bush declaring the war to be over and won for some time, Iraq is still out of control.  Iran is big – the 7th biggest country in the world, the Iranians are happy with their government as a whole and they are deeply religious people in a fundamentalist state – they will see an attack on their country as an attack on their religion and nothing (except, perhaps football ;)) motivates people like religion.  They also have the largest troop mobilisation in the world and because they produce their own military hardware nobody is quite sure what they have.

So, when will the soldiers be released?  As soon as the media stops putting their photographs on the front page of newspapers and giving it extended coverage on the news channels.  They are being used for propaganda purposes, stop giving them what they want and they’ll be of no use to them and they’ll send them back.

Oh yes, and tell Bush to stop threatening to invade their country for trying to build nuclear power stations might help as well.


  1. Scaffold (146 comments) says:

    I will wait and read what you’d have to write after Iran acquired nuclear weapon and started blackmailing the non-Muslim world.

  2. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Max, bear in mind that only one country has ever used nuclear weapons in an act of aggression and they’re currently run by a man who signs his name with a wax crayon.

  3. ColinColinCColin (1 comments) says:

    I think it is also true to say that Iran’s neighbours in other Islamic states are extremely nervous of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Given the different kinds of fundamenatlism within moslem sects.

    I would not be too surprised to see the dynamic of the middle east changing once Iran has got the weapons and the delivery systems. How the dynamic will change, I don’t think anyone will really know for sure. Perhaps other Islamic states will look further towards the west for protection or perhaps it may go the other way.Who knows?

    With regard to our military prisoners. I think Iran is using them as a bargaining chip for the Iranians captured in Iraq, while operating illegally there, or perhaps with regard to their nuclear programme. I suppose a lot depends on the psychology of the Iranians and how it is understood by our negotiators. Having said that, I think our government should have taken a more softly, softly approach and not talked so tough too early in the game.

  4. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Did I miss the announcement that the Iranians were developing nuclear weapons instead of power stations? An announcement from the Iranians is what I mean.

  5. Scaffold (146 comments) says:

    Stuart, are you really that naive? Do you seriously believe that Iran is developing power stations and will stop at that? You seriously believe that mullah do not want to acquire nuclear weapons? Oh my God! Currently you are talking like professionally apologizing politically-correct leftie. Is that really you who are typing this blog?

    As for the US using nuclear weapons against Japand – may you not forget that it was Japan who started the war. I support using nuclear bombs to speed up the end of WWII. The same as I support bombing of Dresden in 1945 or sinking Belgrano in 1982.

  6. Colin (8 comments) says:

    Scaffold is quite right. Iran is following the same argument as India and Pakistan. For years, these countries swore blind that they needed nuclear power for their future energy needs. As soon as they got the technology they used it to enrich uranium for their nuclear weapons programmes. (Which was the intention all along) I also believe that the IAEA (from their inspections)has proof that Iran is manufacturing equipment to enrich uranium. There would also be intense intelligence activity from satellites and other sources.The only conclusion is that they will acquire a nuclear capability at some point in the future.Missile delivery systems will follow, or artillery shells and/or nuclear mines.

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