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Originally posted by mengzhi at 2007-4-3 04:38
The truth of the matter is these British ( and their coalition) partners have been riding rough shots over the waters of the Gulf area like it is their own backyards, for years. It is that " w ...
The Iranians should have blasted them to Kingdom Come when they transgressed. That would stop the buggers from doing it over and over again. One report suggest that this was the sixth time that they crossed into Iranian territory.
For these ignorant Anglo-Americans, think of the following:
Let's ask the top Iraqi military officer in charge of guarding the Shatt al-Iraq waterway where the Brits were actually apprehended. This man is working for the U.S.-backed regime and probably not inclined to make up stuff to embarrass the U.S. president, who gives him his paycheck. So his opinion should be relevant here. Let's ask Brigadier General Hakim Jassim.
The good general told Associated Press the day after the March 23 incident: "We were informed [about the British troops' arrests] by Iraqi fishermen, after they had returned from sea that there were British gunboats in an area that is out of Iraqi control. We don't know why they were there.'"
Gen. Jassim---again, working for the Anglo-American occupiers of his nation---does not sound outraged by the Iranian action. And notice how the Iraqi client-state apparatus, which for some time has been telling Washington, "Don't drag us into your anti-Iranian projects" is not calling the detained Britons "hostages." It has indeed (with much of the world) protested the illegal U.S. detention of Iranian diplomats in Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan.
(That particular instance of "inexcusable behavior" hasn't gotten much press in this country. Nor has the subdued Iranian response to the provocation.)
Gen. Jassim would agree that the Shatt al-Arab river where the Brits were seized has no clearly marked boundary and has been the focus of past quarrels between Iraq and Iran. (Commodore Peter Lockwood of the Royal Australian Navy, commanding the Coalition task force in the waterway last October, said as much: "No maritime border has been agreed upon by the countries.") Craig Murray, once head of the British Foreign Office's maritime section, writes that Prime Minister Blair "is being fatuous" in stating that he is "utterly certain" the British ship was seized within Iraqi territorial limits. Murray, best known as the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan (who exposed British complicity in torture in that country) writes as follows:
"There is no agreed boundary in the Northern Gulf, either between Iran and Iraq or between Iraq and Kuwait. The Iran-Iraq border has been agreed inside the Shatt al-Arab waterway, because there it is also the land border. But that agreement does not extend beyond the low tide line of the coast.
"Even that very limited agreement is arguably no longer in force. Since it was reached in 1975, a war has been fought over it, and ten-year reviews--- necessary because waters and sandbanks in this region move about dramatically---have never been carried out."
Gen. Jassim might privately agree that this border issue in any case is the business of Iraqis and Iranians---rather than British and American imperialists popping up in the region at no one's invitation, on false pretexts, slaughtering people and expecting as they do so that the conquered locals will say "Thanks, boss!"