What to do about Iran's kidnapping crimes

James Lyons:

The Iranian-staged capture of 15 British service members who were clearly in Iraqi waters needs to be seen as another blatant "act of war" against the United States. This time, the mullahs' target was the United Kingdom, America's closest ally in the war against terrorism. This was a calculated act by Iran either in response to the United Nations Security Council's sanctions against Iran for its failure to comply with the call to cease its nuclear enrichment program or more likely in retaliation for the five Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds personnel captured in Iraq distributing munitions and other support to the insurgents.
This is the same tactic Hezbollah and Hamas, acting under the guidance of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, have used against Israel for years to obtain the release of terrorists. The question is: What are we going to do about it?
I am sure that part of the calculus that went into the Ayatollah and his hard-line council of advisers decision to capture the British military personnel was the nonsupport shown by our Congress for our troops and the president; thereby, leading them to believe we would be incapable of responding to their aggression.
The same can be said for the British Parliament with regard to its nonsupport of their Prime Minister, Tony Blair. We cannot turn the other cheek again and look weak and embarrassed in the eyes of the world. We must stand firmly with our ally on this blatant act of war. Our credibility as well as our honor is on the line. Further, our response or lack thereof will have a major impact on whether we can achieve our objectives in Iraq.
In November 1979, when our embassy was sacked and our diplomats were taken hostage, I recommended to the then-acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Tom Hayward, that our only good option really was to capture Kharg Island, Iran's principal oil export depot. If we did this, we could negotiate from a position of strength for the immediate return of our embassy and our diplomats.
Lyons thinks Kharg is still a good target for retaliation if the Iranians do not immediately release the kidnap victims. I think it is a start. Destruction of Iran's maritime operations should also be considered. Iran's acts fo war need to be responded to with punitive acts of war or they will be repeated.


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