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Do unto others as they do unto you…

So the Iranian government is assisting insurgent to attack British troops in Iraq. No real surprise there, methinks.

However Tony Blair ‘warning’ the Iranians with remarks like…

I want to be very, very clear about this – the British forces are in Iraq under a United Nations mandate. There is no justification for Iran or any other country to interfere in Iraq.

… exactly what sort of response from Iran, other than a blanket denial, does he expect? Sack your advisers Tony and try something along the lines of:

Dear Mr. Ahmadinezhad,

I assume it has not escaped your notice but there are quite a few people in your country who hate you and we don’t much care for you either. Lots of Iranians want a secular government and seeing as how you are peeing on our parade in Iraq, one good turn deserves another. We will be sending SAS teams to train, assist and supply pretty much anyone in Iran who wants to oppose you. If you want to reach an accomodation with us before one of your fellow countrymen puts a bomb, that we supplied, under your car, well, you know where to find us.

Tony

The trick here is not to do it covertly but to be quite open about it and why it is being done. I rather doubt he has the stones for such an approach, but hey, Blair has surprised me in the past.

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20 comments to Do unto others as they do unto you…

  • It is likely that the SAS men who were broken out of prison were hunting for evidence of Iranian collusion,there were reports that there were explosives and detonators in their vehicle.
    Verbally this will be as strong as it gets,our EU partners would have kittens if Blair stamped his foot.
    The UN part will be really effective in the Middle East,where they think nothing of blowing UN offices up.

  • Pete_London

    Perry

    Quite right. And a reminder that we have big bombs, very very big bombs, pour encourager les mullahs, wouldn’t go amiss either.

  • Jacob

    What is needed is action, not tough words. Inflamatory words don’t help, if not backed by action, which makes them credible. Any tough warning that Tony could utter now would not be taken seriously by anyone, least of all by the mullahs.

    If you want to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry, the President of Iran recently went to New York (to deliver a standard “death to the West” speech at the U.N.). Although he was the commander of the people who invaded the United States embassy in Iran after the Iranian revoultion (i.e. he was the commander of an armed force that invaded United States territory and held Americans hostage for over a year) he was not arrested on his arrival in New York.

    As the United States still has no embassy in Iran and no peace treaty has been signed between the United States and the Revolutionary regime in Iran, a de facto state of war still exists between the United States and Iran – so “we can not touch him because he is a head of State” is false.

    The man who is now President of Iran has been active in the planning and execution of terrorism (acts of war – because, in this case, they are planned by the government of a nation) against the West from 1979 to the present time and is actively engaged in planning the deaths of (for example) British troops as I write this.

    Yet nothing was done to him when he visted New York – so why do you think we will do anything to him when he is at home?

    As for the Iranians who want a secular state – I think you mean Iranians who want a nonrevolutionary Islamic state (the percentage of Iranians who want a SECULAR state is very low indeed).

    I do not know whether the foes of the revolutionary regime (people who would just want Islam as the established religion without all the “death to the West” stuff) are a majority or not.

    However, I do know (from what we have seen over the last few decades) that they can not stand up in fighting with the millions of “death to the West” Iranians.

    I rather doubt that a few bombs or some S.A.S. men is going to change that reality.

    Are you prepared to kill millions of Iranians (and remember we are talking about millions – the regime may not speak for the majority of people but it does have fanatical following of millions of people). If not I do not see what can be done.

    The President of Iran is part of a collective leadership, kill him and the regime (supreme religious leader, Council of Guardians, Parliament, Islamic Courts, Revolutionary Guard, other armed groups………) will carry on.

    As for a threat to kill him. Perry I do not think you understand that the President of Iran would WELCOME being a victim of the West.

    The theology of Islam concerning suicide attacks is still disputed – both Sunni and Shia use it this method (indeed the now Presient of Iran organised suicide attacks during the Iran/Iraq war, and at other times), but it is still consdidered “dodgy” (i.e. there is a chance, according to some Islamic authorities, that one could wake up in hell).

    However, a direct Western attack upon him – he would (of course) welcome that, as he would (if killed) be certain to go upstairs.

    I think you doubt the honesty of this man’s faith – I think you are mistaken.

  • Luniversal

    The recent presidential election result in Iran was a triumph for the democratic process, yet somehow none of those who hail the advent of elections in Afghanistan, Iraq or Lebanon seemed very glad. Wonder why.

  • Jacob

    Paul Marks,

    You sound very pessimistic. Maybe you have first hand knowledge about Iran.

    Anyway, it seems worthwhile to gather intelligence on Iran, identify opposition groups, and help them in any possible way, without much fanfare.

  • Ted

    Hit them and hit them hard…with nukes. Strike fear into their hearts. Make them realise that Allah either (i) does not exist or (ii) is not on thier side.

    Freeze their assets. Arrest their leaders. Assassinate thier clerics. It must be zero tolerance now, as diplomacy is ensuring our boys are being murdered by this 7th century regime.

    This is the only way the mullahs will be defeated. At the moment it’s a containing action which allows our enemies to get stronger.

  • Luniversal

    It is an interesting commentary on Samizdata’s values that the comment above by ‘Ted’ is allowed to stand whereas anyone who attempts to communicate the latest discoveries of geneticists about race is banned and vilified.

  • Tony should point out that not only does he have the SAS working for him, but that he is close personal friends with Gerry Adams, a man who employs several hundred people expert at this sort of thing and with a lot of time on their hands at the moment.

  • Josh

    We shouldn’t need to use nukes.

    Invading Iran would be a lot more complicated and costly than Iraq.

  • It would be better to have that message trimmed down into instructions to the British Army to start the very process described therein. Why tell them anything?

  • anon

    The recent presidential election result in Iran was a triumph for the democratic process

    Holy cow, Lunatic! What rock are YOU living under?

    Candidates chosen by the “Guardians”, abysmally low voter turnout… Admit it, you have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what is going on in Iran, do you now?

  • Luniversal

    anon: The mullahs’ candidate, Rafsanjani, lost. So did the reformist Moin, backed by western money. That’s enough proof for me that the run-off election was reasonably fair.

    Of course it couldn’t be expected to match Florida 2000, with its impeccable voting practices and hordes of foreign observers to see fair play. Nor yet the splendidly equitable process which crowned Hosni Mubarak, to the applause of Rumsfeld and Rice.

    Abysmally low turnout isn’t confined to Iran these days, either. Motes and beams, old fellow, motes and beams.

  • Paul Marks

    I am no fan of President Bush (who has increased government spending, of domestic programs, more that any President in decades), but I can not let the sarcastic bullshit about Florida stand.

    For it is bullshit.

    It is now been clear for years that Mr Bush got more votes than Mr Gore in Florida. This was rather irritating for the “liberals” who had hoped that yet more recounts would show a majority for Mr Gore – which is why the story has been buried.

    Certainly Mr Gore got more votes in the United States as a whole than Mr Bush (or at least he seemed to – there were lots of Democratic party manipulations in several States – none of which the media has seen fit to talk about), but that does not determine who wins. Piling up 101% majorities in certain cities (I mean oddly high majorities in the popular vote rather than actual 101% majorities) does not win an election – the Constitution was designed to prevent political machines concentrated in urban areas defeating the country as a whole.

    That may well be “undemocratic”, but it is nothing to do with Mr Bush – blame some men in whigs two centuries ago.

    As for the Iranian election – (either for President of for Parliament) real reformers (i.e. people who oppose the regime) were not even allowed to stand. The people who were against the regime mostly did not vote – their spirit (after endless false dawns followed by crackdowns) seems to have been broken.

    I rather suspect that most Iranians are ordinary people – rather than “death to the West” fanatics, but the trouble is that millions of Iranians ARE death to the West fanatics. It is a minority, but NOT a small minority.

    As for using nukes (I hope this means against the enemy nuclear bases, not against cities) there is a basic problem here.

    So much political capital was used up in the invasion of Iraq – talking about “weapons of mass destruction” which were then not produced – that any attack on Iranian bases would not be accepted by public opinion.

    That is the danger of crying wolf – when a real wolf appears no one believes you anymore.

    So (although I admit I have no special knowledge of Iran) it looks like checkmate to me,

    Unless some solid evidence can be produced or the the regime be overthrown from inside the country – and I see only a very low chance of either of these things.

    Let us hope that I am wrong. Otherwise, one day soon, Western cities will start to be destroyed with nuclear weapons supplied by the Revolutionary government in Iran.

    On the failure to arrest the man who is now President of Iran – as I said the official excuse (“he is a head of state”) does not stand up legally – but I can understand why it was not done.

    If a man visits one’s nation (openly and legally) there is the ancient law of hospitality (a law written into no law book and indeed older than any civilization). One can tell him not to come, or one can ask him to leave.

    But one can not allow someone to come and then turn on them – that is one of the worst kinds of dishonourable act.

    “There is no honour in war” – sorry but I am a “Colonel Blimp” on this subject (having seen the film I am even on General Candy’s side – especially as no evidence is provided in the film that killing civilians and so on is a effective military method).

    I would give no man (not Lenin, not Hitler not Stalin Mao or Pol Pot) safe conduct and then turn on them.

    I would not offer them safeconduct in the first place – but once it is done it is done.

    For people who think this mad, simply put itdown to the “never dishonour”, “never moral compromise” that my self destructive family has long practiced.

  • Euan Gray

    as I said the official excuse (“he is a head of state”) does not stand up legally

    Yes it does. Doctrine of sovereign immunity.

    EG

  • The second after it’s proven that a nuclear weapon unleashed on a Western city is Iranian-sourced, Iran’s ruling regime and/or its apparatus will be decapitated via a well-placed American neutron bomb, or similar.

  • Perry,

    Even as an anti-war conservative I would actually be bloody impressed – supportive, even – if Our Tony, Who Art in Heaven (etc), followed your advice.

    What your suggestion actually does though is point out an example where, if the west does something, it would be considered appalling, immoral, dastardly etc etc but if anyone but the west does it – and does it against the west – then we can suddenly understand the other fellow’s point view, see his point, feel his pain…

  • Paul Marks

    I note that E.G. seems to be playing his normal role as Mr Troll.

    If I am wrong (and E.G. is not playing Mr Troll) he can refer to my prior comment where I deal with the legal point he refers to.

  • Stuart

    Never happen. The Dear Leader needs all those moslem votes at home, and in any case the British army has been reduced to the strength of a badly-funded re-enactment society, practically incapable of independent operations. We couldn’t invade the Isle of Wight – or probably even the Isle of Dogs on our own these days

  • Euan Gray

    Sorry for the delay in responding, business sometimes interferes…

    Actually, I’m wrong to say “sovereign immunity,” since in reality it’s a bit of a blend between that and diplomatic immunity, with a dash of reality.

    The idea of not arresting visiting heads of state has several bases:

    1. Diplomacy. A head of state enjoys diplomatic immunity. In this case, there is no direct diplomatic link between the US and Iran, but there are nevertheless arrangements. Iranian representatives enjoy some limited measure of protection under the Pakistani embassy which looks after Iranian interests in the US.

    2. Custom. It is the custom of ages not to do it.

    3. Pragmatism. I imagine the idea that the US president could be arrested when visiting Iran would be seen as repugnant. However, the same logic and reasons would apply. If you don’t want your head of state arrested by countries you happen not to like, don’t try to arrest the heads of those states.

    4. Lack of a state of war. A “de facto” state of war means absolutely nothing. Iran and the US are not at war, and therefore normal arrangements should apply. It does not matter who did what to whom, since “but he started it” holds no sway outside the nursery.

    EG