Hostages of Iran
March 30, 2007
Irvine, CA--"There is a profound, but unrecognized, lesson in the West's weak response to Iran's hostage-taking of British naval personnel," said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.
"The U.K. government and Washington are widely regarded as aggressive defenders of their interests in the face of Islamist aggression. But the present Iranian hostage crisis shows, again, how these would-be defenders of our life and freedom are pathetically timid--while our enemy is shameless and ever more confident.
"Iran is a leading world sponsor of Islamic totalitarianism and has long been waging a terrorist proxy war against the West, through groups such as Hezbollah. In Iraq, Iran's proxies have been slaughtering U.S. and British troops. Iran initiates all of this aggression--to say nothing of its nuclear weapons program--with the confidence that it has an Allah-given right to murder. No surprise, then, that when 15 British naval personnel came near Iranian waters, Teheran took them hostage--and unabashedly demanded an apology from Britain, its victim.
"What has been the British, and American, response to Iran's outrage? What has the West done in the face of such a confidently evil regime? Did Britain give Iran an ultimatum backed by the threat of force? Far from it. With Washington's endorsement, London meekly protested, renounced using force to free its troops, and solemnly vowed to pursue 'patient diplomacy.' It has brought up the issue at the international sewer known as the United Nations, London is hoping that the U.N. will condescend to issue a press statement--its weakest possible statement--deploring Iran's actions. But since the U.N. is packed with Iranian allies and sympathizers, even this futile gesture is unlikely to happen.
"What underlies this unconscionably weak response? Fundamentally, it is the corrupt moral principle that dominates the West, the principle that regards selflessness as a virtue and self-assertion in pursuit, and defense, of one's interests as immoral. To punish Iran militarily for its many acts of war would be wrong, it would flout the will of the 'international community,' it would, on this premise, be 'selfish.' It is this premise that inhibits, and thus disarms, the West in the face of the enemy--and, as a result, spurs our enemy.
"While the British may hope that their timid, deferential approach will avoid inflaming the crisis and antagonizing Iran, they are accomplishing the opposite. The spectacle of Western nations bowing in submission is an encouragement to Iran and Islamic totalitarians worldwide.
"Iran and other evil regimes grow stronger and more threatening precisely because the morally good nations, who should defeat Iran's regime, are cowardly, apologetic, and meek."
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