The case of the fifteen sailors detained by Iran for allegedly straying into Iranian territorial waters is shaming both America and the UK. The belligerence presently being spouted by both nation’s leaders can do nothing but rack up tensions and prevent any hope of an early release for those concerned.
Tony Blair and George Bush have each expressed disgust that the British sailors were “paraded on Iranian television”, a somewhat hypocritical stance given the many Middle Eastern prisoners held and tortured in secret CIA prisons, the debacle of Abu Ghraib, and the oft televised “detainees” held for five years without trial at Guantanamo Bay detention center. We are all too familiar with their bright orange jumpsuits thanks to CNN, NBC, ABC, and a host of other networks, including the BBC.
Both Blair and Bush are responsible for crimes against humanity, so their theatrical, self-righteous, posturing can hardly be taken seriously by their own countrymen – although there will always be those with a misplaced sense of nationalism, ready to jump on any militarist bandwagon – let alone the Iranians.
Why are some Iranians protesting on the streets of Tehran, demanding the trial – and in some cases, execution – of the British sailors? They are simply Iranian equivalents of the Americans and British who scream for Iranian blood over this issue. In all cases, a vocal minority hyped up by the media of all three countries.
Today, in Britain, Terry Waite – himself held hostage in Lebanon for five years – offered to travel to Iran and negotiate for the release of the British detainees. He insisted he would not go as an envoy of the British government, but as a private individual to negotiate in a humane and non-confrontational manner.
No nation can ever be more mature than the leader it elects. Tony Blair and George Bush display the wisdom of delinquent second-graders trying to retrieve their ball, taken from them by an overdeveloped kindergarten kid.
Perhaps one day, our nations may be wise enough to elect leaders with the maturity and wisdom of Terry Waite.
Filed under: Kiddies playing politics