iran has released the british hostages. president mahmoud ahmedinejad says that even though these british sailors deserve to go on trial, he is willing to forgive them and set them free as a “gift” to the british people. sure. why not? he has gotten what he wanted out of this kidnapping, and has proven britain’s new weakness.
i agree with this NRO editorial:
…If there is a glimmer of hope in this shameful denouement, it is the possibility that the sheer brazenness of the kidnappings will shatter some of the widespread naïveté particularly in the British and American diplomatic corps about the nature of the Iranian regime. It has never been reasonable to think that this regime, whose guiding purpose is to export its particular brand of Islamism, could be made to act in accordance with the Wests interests. Its latest exercise in hostage-taking-as-foreign-policy underscores the unreasonableness of that view.
Its right to be glad that the young Britons are headed home. But into that humanitarian feeling irrupts the darker realization that their good fortune comes at an unacceptable price. Unless Britain and her allies act quickly and cleverly to show that they are, appearances notwithstanding, powers to be reckoned with, a great many lives will be at risk for a long time to come.
if we are waiting for this incident to wake up europe and britain to the untrustworthiness of the government in tehran, we better pack a lunch, because it’s not going to happen any time soon. this whole affair doesn’t reflect well on prime minister tony blair, but i’m not sure how much differently the situation would have been handled under the leadership of gordon brown or david cameron. europe has a serious problem with being tough on islamic radicals, and they need to recognize that, and deal with that problem before something more serious happens.