MS: Well, they were weak when this happened three years ago, and I believe I wrote in the Telegraph at the time that this was a great act of weakness by the British against an act of piracy by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Now if you allow people to get away with it, they try it again. They get a little more bolder. This parading of this woman, this female sailor, Royal Navy personnel rating, as they call it in the Royal Navy, in Islamic clothing, is a clear breach of the Geneva Conventions.
MS: But all the people who complain and whine about Gitmo all day long don’t care about countries like Iran violating the Geneva Conventions. Iran can violate them with impunity, and so will continue to do so. And I’m very concerned. Iran, you talk about the chronology, Iran respects far fewer of the basic courtesies between states than the Soviet Union, or the Chinese Communists, or any other traditional enemy of the United States has ever done. And the fact of the matter is that we respond weakly every time this happens. The absolute low point of the Cold War was nothing to do with America’s relations with the Soviet Union, but was Jimmy Carter’s completely disastrous behavior, vis-à-vis Iran in 1979. And the British are in effect reenacting a Carter strategy, 28 years later.
HH: Do you…I noted that you quoted at Nationalreview.com, Speaker Gingrich’s suggestion on this program yesterday, Rush even played it today, that first, blow the gasoline refinery, and then stop the tankers. Do you think there’s a chance in the world the Brits will adopt such a strategy?
MS: No, and I think the thing about it is that if you were to propose that either in the House of Commons, or in the United States Congress, people would regard you as an extremist. You would be accused of escalating the situation. Now I think you could make the case that in fact, you don’t even need to do as Newt was talking about with you, which is to threaten them privately with it for a week. I mean, you could make the case that they should just do it. I mean, Iran surprises us all the time. It seizes sailors, it takes out hit contracts on British subjects like Salman Rushdie, it blows up community centers in Argentina, it seizes the U.S. Embassy. Iran doesn’t threaten to do that, it just gets on with it and does it. And maybe there’s a case to be said for well, maybe we should just do something against Iran. Maybe we should just take out that refinery, and they can wake up to it, and see it smoking when it happens, and then they’ll realize we’re serious. But the fact of the matter is that at the moment, when you hear Speaker Gingrich talk about that on your show, you then think well, can I imagine the British Foreign Secretary threatening that? Can I imagine Condoleezza Rice threatening that? And it’s actually there, and you realize how far all the options have bled away, so that now, Tony Blair is threatening, threatening to very quietly raise the possibility of sometime down the road, getting a U.N. resolution on possible trade, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we all know that anything meaningful can’t be done by the U.N., because it would be vetoed by some combination of the Chinese, the Russians and the French. So in other words, it’s a non-threat, and the Iranians understand it as such.
HH: And back in Tehran, they say I guess we can push even further, don’t they?
HH: And as a result, great power status, as you wrote at National Review, erodes, and is not quickly reassembled. I don’t know if Great Britain gets it back. As Arthur Herman said, they used to wonder if they’d left a navy big enough to defend Great Britain. Now the question is do they have a navy big enough to defend the navy.
Friday, March 30, 2007
He spoke on Hugh Hewitt's radio show: