Saturday, March 31, 2007

The motivation behind the hostage crisis?

According to U.S. officials, the Iranian forces that seized the British sailors earlier today were Revolutionary Guards, also known as Pasdaran. This is a significant distinction. The Pasdaran is a military force that is independent of Iran’s regular military. The regular military is charged with defending the Iranian state, the Pasdaran defend the Islamic revolution. In this role, domestically they have crushed opposition riots and internationally they are linked to efforts to export the revolution. The Pasdaran collaborate with Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist groups and are central to other covert Iranian international activities (including, allegedly, in Iraq.)

........In this case, targeting British servicemen could part of a growing strategy to push the U.K. away from the U.S. The strategy parallels the al-Qaeda strategy of targeting U.S. allies in Iraq (exemplified by the 3/11 Madrid attack which effectively knocked Spain out of Iraq.) With Tony Blair almost a lame duck and the Iraq war tremendously unpopular in the U.K., the next Prime Minister will probably distance himself from the U.S. While the U.S. and U.K. are certain to maintain a close alliance on many issues, there won’t be much British enthusiasm of high-risk American endeavors.....

The sad fact is terrorism works. As long as the State and Non-State actors get their way with this sort of behavior the longer it will continue. Concomitant with this is the slow progression of Iran toward Nuclear weapons. SInce we are so tied down with Iraq (and face a tight oil supply market) we are held back from acting against the Ayatollahs. There may be a point where the pain that would result from acting would be less than the present and potential pain that would result from not acting.

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