WASHINGTON – Two small US Navy boats drifted off course while sailing in the Persian Gulf and ended up in Iranian territorial waters. The Iranian navy surrounded them and apprehended the 10 American sailors on board.
The matter was resolved peacefully and quickly. The sailors were released and the boats, with all their equipment, were returned to the US Navy. So, all is well? is this a palpable demonstration that the new era of better relations between Iran and the US is actually bearing fruits?
The whole episode was filmed
Not quite. The Iranians filmed the whole incident. And so the whole world can now see young US sailors taken prisoners, looking forlorn. There is ample footage showing all of them on their knees, with their hands clasped behind their necks, the universal sign of surrender.
While it is true that the incident was resolved favorably and quickly, it is also true that America has been deliberately and publicly humiliated. The Iranians certainly did not need to release this video; but they did it anyway. Who can pass this opportunity to show US servicemen at the mercy of the mighty Iranian armed forces?
No reaction from the White House
Apparently, the White House is happy. No comments so far about this slap in the face. This is how CNN reported official reactions:
“The White House told reporters Thursday that President Barack Obama had seen the images of the detained sailors.
With the administration on the defensive over the video, State Department spokesman John Kirby told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” that the images were “hard to look at” but urged critics to concentrate on the fact that the sailors were returned quickly.
“What we are most happy about here in the State Department is that we were able to get them home in less than 24 hours, (with) 10 fingers, 10 toes, nobody hurt. They are all safe and we got our boats back, and I think that is the most important thing.”
Of course, let’s focus on the good news. All the sailors were promptly released. But only an idiot would ignore the fact that Tehran got a huge propaganda victory out of this incident.
You can rest assured that this video of the American sailors on their knees will go around the world, many times. You can rest assured that it will be used by all those who hate America –for years to come.
“You see? The Americans are weak. Look at them: on their knees, begging for mercy. They are not fighters. They are cowards. Confronted with determined warriors, what do they do? They surrender”.
Stain on America’s prestige will not be removed
No matter how much the White House, the State Department, or the Pentagon will try to spin this story, these sad images of captured and humiliated American sailors will be used in the worst possible way by a variety of groups and political forces that hate America.
Mark my words, this stain on America’s prestige cannot and will not be removed.
No price to be paid for offending America
Without trying to make too much of this one incident, let’s not forget that Great Powers are respected in large measure because of what others know or believe they can do. However, these days America’s prestige is tarnished, and its resolve is also in question.
As America is perceived to be weak, a deliberate swing at Uncle Sam’s image is no big deal. After all, what is America going to do in retaliation? Most likely nothing.
Therefore, let’s have some fun. Let’s film our prisoners and show the world that we Iranians are strong and the Americans are weak.