Happy Memorial Day: Iran displays captured U.S. troops on TV

posted at 2:58 pm on May 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

According to MEMRI. Click the image to watch.


This is just a coming attraction, mind you. The transcript says a full program, called “The Illusion of Power,” will air on Iranian TV soon. (Update: I’m pretty sure at least some of the footage comes from this incident dating to June 2004. That involved three British patrol boats, but MEMRI says some of the men in the video are American soldiers. I don’t remember any cases of Iran capturing U.S. troops; does anyone else? In any case, the fact that they’re running this stuff on TV now certainly lends credence to Captain Ed’s theory.)

Meanwhile, the NY Times has a blockbuster this morning about Ahmadinejad consolidating power in Iran — apparently, and oddly, with the approval of Khamenei. Why the supreme leader would want himself and his mullahs usurped is unclear to me: the Times says it’s because the clerics are unpopular and they need a “secular” populist demagogue to prop them up. Maybe, but what happens when Ahmadinejad threatens their hold on power? An Iranian version of the Night of the Long Knives? Surely that wouldn’t do wonders for the mullahs’ popularity.

Regardless, commentators as astute as Christopher Hitchens have been operating on the assumption that Ahmadinejad is an impotent figurehead. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that assumption. Meanwhile, there’s a question of just how popular Ahmadinejad really is. The Independent has an excerpt from the new book by Mark Bowden, author of “Black Hawk Down,” describing his encounters with the ringleaders of the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran. Ahmadinejad is mentioned. Read it; it’s long but vivid, and it certainly does lend proof to the theory that the regime is weak internally.

Re: negotiating with Iran, Charles Krauthammer and David Ignatius did a point-counterpoint on the subject for WaPo on Friday. Krauthammer has much the better of the argument, in my opinion:

Mark my words. The momentum for U.S.-Iran negotiations has only begun. The focus of the entire Iranian crisis will begin to shift from the question of whether Tehran will stop its nuclear program to whether Washington will sit down alone at the table with Tehran…

[The mullahs] know, and fear, that if the West persists on its present and agreed course, they face sanctions so serious that their rule, already unpopular, might be in jeopardy. The very fact that Iran is desperately trying to change the subject, change the venue and shift the burden onto the United States shows how close the mullahs believe we are to achieving major international pressure on them.

Caroline Glick also has a new column on Iran which makes clear that she’d find my night-of-the-long-knives analogy counterproductive:

Since the Vietnam War era, a disturbing notion has been accepted by wide swathes of the peoples of the Western world and has become a writ of faith among Western academic and governing elites. That notion is that the last just war was the Second World War and that the last enemy that deserved to be defeated utterly was Nazi Germany. Only Hitler constituted an implacable foe. This conclusion, which was seamlessly grafted onto the pacifist worldview of the radical Left in Europe and the US in the 1960s, and of the Israeli Left in the 1990s, holds that still today, the only enemy that the West can conscionably fight is Adolf Hitler…

The thing of it is that the question of whether or not Iran is the new Nazi Germany is wholly irrelevant. Iran today is the engine of the global jihad war machine and it is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons which it has already pledged to use in order to commit genocide. With or without jackboots, Iran is a clear and present danger to the Western world. Yet rather than acknowledge this reality, the leaders of the Western world are allowing and indeed insisting that since Ahmadinejad isn’t Hitler, his venality is besides the point, with the point being that he must be appeased.

Finally, tough talk notwithstanding, CSM asks whether Hezbollah really would spring into action in the event of a military strike in Iran.

Update: McQ also thinks the footage is old and sends this link from 2004.

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The road home from Iraq & Afghanistan goes through Iran.

Abigail Adams on May 28, 2006 at 3:36 PM

Iran is as much a Nazi Germany and its maniacal president a Hitler, as any country or crazed leader has been since 1945!

ForYourEdification on May 28, 2006 at 3:41 PM

You are correct Abigale Adams! Iran is the cancer at the heart of
the G.W.O.T. We have troops on either side of her now. If George W. Bush completes the mission; destroying the islamic theocracy there, before he leaves office, he will have achieved a legacy equal to Regan’s! Even with his folding on immigration!

Gault on May 28, 2006 at 4:39 PM

IF the United States were not, day after day, being more and more poisoned by liberalistic free thinking cowards and Marxists, the two bit dictators of the sand Nations wouldn’t dare speak and act out as is happening in our times. America had better grow a real spine fast, or raise the white flag along with the rest of the world, fall down and start worshipping Mohammed, oh yea, and start attacking Israel with the rest of the lost. This is what the rest of the world SHOULD see in their minds when they think of the United States…


And it should frighten the hell out of those who seek to damage her.

WHERE are the real patriots that should to be in Washington DC, instead of the gutless yellow liberally minded crap that seems to be there now?

NRA4Freedom on May 28, 2006 at 4:44 PM

Yes Abigail, I agree.

Iran is, far and away, the worst Islamofascist threat in the world right now, nuclear weapons or not. Eliminating that regime would be a substantial victory.

Unfortunately, I don’t see our president acting on the threat. I hope I am wrong. I really hope I am wrong.

tommy1 on May 28, 2006 at 4:50 PM

Center face, forward march.

TalkSmack on May 28, 2006 at 5:03 PM

I have to say also, that if this is the best the Iranians can do to bolster their military prowess, showing some British sailors from a few captured patrol boats who accidentally strayed into their waters, they may be in worse shape than I imagined.

tommy1 on May 28, 2006 at 5:03 PM

Unfortunately, there isn’t the political will among the electorate that would support Bush if he chose to take out Iran. Unless Iran does something on par with Al Qaeda directly against the US, nothing is going to happen.

GT on May 28, 2006 at 5:12 PM

They ARE doing things on par directly against the U.S. It just has not happened yet. Thier rhetoric is far worse than Hitler’s and that of Nazi Germany. They certainly are not fighting WITH us on the War on Terror. How many of our soldiers death’s are they responsible for in Iraq and Afghanistan? There are enough connections between Al Qaeda and Iran to show that with respect to the US and europe, they are equivalent.

Japan and Germany were DISABLED from fighting in WWII with the consensus of the rest of the world. We shoul

CountryDoc on May 28, 2006 at 5:24 PM

continued… we should have disabled communism as well.

GT is right though, until we get the political will of U.S. and the rest of the world, it will be an uphill battle.

We need to DISABLE some treasonous members of our own government and country as well. It is unTHINKable to vote to commit country and the lives in our military to war (WMD or not — there was PLENTY of justification)and then say, “I change my mind”. Once we delared this war, we have to WIN and WIN completely. It’s not like the Toledo War that was just about. The IRANIAN people, including the presidint of IRAN, are saying they want to anihilate us, that we should be destroyed. Where is the dissent in IRAN, like it is here? Maybe if the Iranian people could take us a little more seriously, they would be trying to shush thier president. Not one of these countries has apologized or sent condolances for 9/11 in any substantial way.

CountryDoc on May 28, 2006 at 5:36 PM

I’ll tell you why the Mullahs are allowing him to take the lime light. Iran feels it is going to take the lead in the Mid East and consolidate it under a one state Islamism under the control of Iran. But, they need to make it seems that the Mullahs are not in the lead because Iran’s Islam is not that of the majority in the region.

If they seem to unite behind a “secular” leader, their own version of their faith in the background, they can use anti-American, anti-Jew rhetoric to get past religious faction and unite all Islamists.

In other words they feel that most Muslims are so stupid and inflamed that they will ignore their traditional distrust of Shi’a (which is what Iran is mostly) and will unite behind Iran facing a common enemy.

The Mullahs cannot reach out like that by themselves, however.

There you go. They hide behind this nutter.

Warner Todd Huston on May 28, 2006 at 5:55 PM

Iran, the headliner of the “Axis of Evil”.

Best said, Abigail Adams and ForYourEdification.

doingwhatican on May 28, 2006 at 6:51 PM

They want to bring back the caliphate. We want to bring democracy to them. Hopefully we will succeed. If not, and they do reestablish the caliphate and unite the muslim world, well then we’ll just hafta look on the bright side, now we can just do it the easy way: Destroy all of them just by pushing a button. THE Button. Buh-bye islam, hello world peace.

Tony737 on May 28, 2006 at 7:50 PM

The United States Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are presently engaged in two introductory military campaigns in the service of a greater strategy aimed at forcing Islam to make its peace with, and participate in a settlement with, the prevailing Planetary Civilization Of Science And Human Dignity. The Servants Of The Prophet (May God grant him his deserts!) will seethe in their impoverished misery until they learn the different roles properly allocated to GOD and Caesar in human affairs. Loyalties in the Middle East are to blood and soil, with God Himself conscripted to cast a magic spell of legitimacy over suzeranity attained by chicanery and lethal force. It is a Social Barbarism masquerading as a Civilization sanctified by a Higher Religion. The Armed Forces of these United States will be the instrument of the Destiny Of Islam, or Islam will have none.

Waumpuscat on May 28, 2006 at 8:53 PM

“Where is the dissent in IRAN, like it is here?”

It is there, but it is being ruthlessly suppressed a la Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. This consolidation of power is a sign of things to come, methinks.

speed647 on May 28, 2006 at 9:36 PM

Definitely the same guys in that photo and in that video.

RepJ on May 28, 2006 at 9:47 PM

Not quite Nazi Germany. Hitler tricked his way into power, and was truly the leader of the Nazi movement. Ahmadinejad is a puppet for the Mullahs. Don’t mistake the letter writer for the real power in Iran.
By the way, remember that Iran has always been mentioned as a member of the Axis of Evil. This isn’t anything new-we knocked out Hussein, brought Iraq into the camp of the ‘good guys’-now Iran and Notrh Korea are left, with wannabes Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba waiting their turn.

Doug on May 29, 2006 at 12:04 AM

After IRAN is properly inducted into the Confederacy Of Civilized States, it will leave Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman & Muscat, and the Trucial States of the Persian Gulf to be rationalized. Presumably, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria can wait until the Middle East is exhibiting satisfactory progress. Kuwait has already displayed a salutary regard for modern norms of civilized international discourse. The necessity to maintain the free flow of petroleum through the straits and choke points of the navigable seas of the Region further complicates the Grand Strategy devised by the George W. Bush Administration. But defeat is not an option, except in the Power-Phantsies of high ranking Democrat Demagogues, who are perfectly willing to impoverish America in order to augment their own political power over the resulting Nation Of Paupers.

Waumpuscat on May 29, 2006 at 1:19 AM

Washington will sit down at the table and Iran will eat our lunch! We have no stomach for WAR. There are rules that must be followed! Negotiations take must take place. They must be made to understand that peace is the better way!

And while we stand on principle, beat our gums, wring our hands and provide aide and comfort to show how noble we are, the Middle East Nutjobs will link up with the South/Central American Nutjobs and together they will use our civility, our good nature, and our insane “rule of engagement” against us and, as a result, it will come to pass that they will come for our children!

And those who believe in the better angels of our nature will ask, Why didn’t we act sooner? Why didn’t we take decisive action? Oh! I’m sorry, they will not ask anything. One cannot speak to ask with the barrel of a gun in one’s mouth or with one’s throat slit!

Mark my words people! There’s only one thing these hateful people understand and respect and that’s force. So as for me, let the IX Crusade begin and when they are no more we’ll have peace.

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 29, 2006 at 8:15 AM

Yep – they’re getting ready. I’ve speculated on what the shooting war might look like when it comes at my blog – The Gatheirng Storm.


WC on May 29, 2006 at 7:54 PM

Sorry, I was asleep. Can someone point to me where I can read or hear about Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the EU, the UN, and the New York Times condemning Iran for violating the Geneva Convention protocal of not parading captured soldiers? I’m so ashamed I missed it.

hadsil on May 30, 2006 at 3:03 AM

For WC:
“Who is in charge of the clattering train? The axles creak and couplings strain, And the pace is hot, and the points are near, And sleep has deadened the driver’s ear; And the signals flash through the night in vain, For Death is in charge of the clattering train.”
quoted by Winston Churchill in “The Gathering Storm”

lizzee on May 30, 2006 at 8:09 AM

WC Outstanding analysis! A must read! WAKE UP PEOPLE! Political correctness, multiculturalism, countries w/o borders, and the global community will be our downfall!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on May 30, 2006 at 8:49 AM

I guess I just don’t get it. If someone came to the door of my house and told me they wouldn’t stop until my family and I were dead. I would kill every last one of them right where they stood. I wouldn’t give them money for their starving family and hope that they would become my friend.
I couldn’t take that chance with my loved ones.
Our government needs to consider us it’s loved ones.

Gooch on May 30, 2006 at 3:30 PM


John McCauley on May 30, 2006 at 10:48 PM