Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The "Game"

I closed yesterday's post with a remark that Haleh Esfandiari has been caught up as a pawn or sacrificial lamb in the "game" the US and Iran are playing and that neither part really gives a shit about what she may or may not have done.

When I woke up this morning, it occurred to me that a lot of people might not know what I was talking about -- "game"?

There is a "game" afoot and there are many players throughout the Muddled East -- but I will stick with the Americans and Iranians.

Not long so ago there was a great media ballyhoo when Iranian forces grabbed a handful of Brit naval personnel. The Iranians said they were in Iranian water, the Brits that they were in Iraqi water.

Who's to know? Who do you trust? More specific, how do you define Iranian/Iraqi territorial waters?

Those who rely on their news only from the 42" screen, won't know that the boundaries are in dispute -- treaties have signed but not ratified, that sort of thing. That means that, as far as territorial waters are concerned both parties are telling the truth, kind of -- or, more correctly, all parties are lying.

What were the Brits doing there anyway? Searching ships for contraband automobiles? Really? Well, I suppose so -- that's what the Brit military said. But I have to smile kind of funny in order to say that I believe it!

Those who get their news from the 42" screen may have heard or seen on a mud-line that US forces arrested/took in custody some Iranian diplomats up in Kurdland. But, I'll bet you dollars to donuts they don't know that Special Ops have been in Iran, kidnapping and "neutralizing" certain people. This might piss the Iranians off, I don't know for sure, but it might!

Our backing of an organization we ourselves term a terrorist group, so that they can make incursions in Iran -- that must irritate!

Are the Iranians are playing a tit-for-tat game? They took Brits, I suppose, as a surrogate for taking Americans. Now, they take a scholar like Esfandiari because, although an American citizen, she is also Iranian -- this is less dangerous than taking an, um, "full-blooded" American?

Esfandiari's arrest is likely not just or even mainly a message to the American gov't. It is a message -- and not a pretty one -- to the Iranian people in general and in particular those who might want reforms. There is/was a strong desire in Iran for reform, opening to the West and a more unfettered democratic process -- all the good things the Codpiece administration talks about.

In practice though, the reform elements in Iran, when they had some measure or power, that is a president and representation in their parliament and tried to come to an understanding with the Hyperpower -- they were snubbed. And now we have a case like Mr. A as president of Iran -- great job, Codpiece!

No comments: