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    lines on maps..., 2007-03-29 00:19:48 | Main | iraq and congress's dodiddling..., 2007-03-30 17:29:45

    blanks on checks:

    I think it really speaks to the high quality of our media that not one, it seems, is capable of looking at a map and verifying for themselves that the British GPS data places both their vessel and the merchant ship closer to the coast of Iran than Iraq. Rev up google earth and check for yourself, "The position was 29 degrees 50.36 minutes north, 048 degrees 43.08 minutes east." they said. That's 29.843333N 48.718889E.. Here it is on maps.google. They were a good two miles closer to the Iranian coastline. There's some sandbars out from the Shaat that are Iraqi, but not far enough to close the distance. By basic maritime law the UK was violating Iranian waters, plain as fucking day for the folks drawing those little maps for the papers.

    So Robert Baer, writing for Time, would be wrong to hand a blank casus belli to an agitating third party in no way involved in the dispute. All the UK has to do to get its sailors back is apologize for a simple routine mixup. Last time all they said was "well maybe we were maybe we weren't, either way we're terribly sorry". It's no skin off anybody's back to do so. It's the status quo.

    What do they think is going to happen to their sailors if we start shooting?

:: posted by buermann @ 2007-03-30 14:53:08 CST | link

      Maybe the UK should just do the whole "Oh, my bad" thing. Sure. Whatever.

      But it's time for Iran to let these people go.

      And by the way, I couldn't care less if these sailors were dancing in a fucking conga line up and down Main Street of Tehran...you don't get to catch them and put them on TV and have them spout out a bunch of bullshit propaganda. That's crap and everyone knows it.

      So I've seen the catch part. Where's the release?

    posted by leahaz @ 2007-03-30 18:02:08 | link

      The UK has to apologize first, and thanks to their own bullshit propaganda they'll have to call in the Ministry of Silly Walks to do so. It's an untenable precedent for Iran to return them without recognition of its rightful territorial interests.

    posted by buermann @ 2007-03-30 19:59:01 | link

      That of course assumes the UK actually gives a shit about their troops, but it seems pretty clear that they prefer making an incident out of it.

    posted by buermann @ 2007-03-30 20:05:18 | link

      Seems to be a rather Neville Chamberlain way to look at things.

      Maybe the Brits and the Iranians can pinky swear that it will never happen again.

    posted by leahaz @ 2007-03-31 10:20:09 | link

      You've got it backwards: you're asking Iran to sacrifice their de jure territorial rights in order to appease Britain. It's not appeasement for Britain to climb down from a position they built out of thin air.

    posted by buermann @ 2007-03-31 11:15:31 | link

      I disagee.

    posted by leahaz @ 2007-04-01 16:57:12 | link

      Or disagree, as the case may be.

    posted by leahaz @ 2007-04-01 16:58:04 | link

      That suits me just fine, but next time I see you you're going to get a real earful about appeasement.

    posted by buermann @ 2007-04-01 23:19:26 | link

      Or maybe the first corollary to godwin's law, now that i think of it. :P

    posted by buermann @ 2007-04-02 07:56:02 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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