Biden: Hey, Iran was just helping out our boats “in distress,” Kerry thanks Tehran
posted at 10:01 am on January 13, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Did the US demand an apology from Iran for capturing two US Navy boats and ten sailors before their release this morning? Of course not, Joe Biden told Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell this morning. Iran merely saw that the two boats were “in distress” and rescued them, so we didn’t ask for an apology.
Hmmmm. The US Navy wasn’t capable of providing assistance to its own sailors? And did they know the boats were “in distress”?
After Iran released 10 U.S. Navy sailors from custody early Wednesday morning, some media outlets reported that the U.S. had issued an apology to Tehran in order to secure the sailors’ freedom. But Vice President Joe Biden told CBS News that there was “no apology” given.
“When you have a problem with the boat, (do) you apologize the boat had a problem? No,” Biden said in an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “And there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice.”
The vice president explained that the “the Iranians picked up both boats — as we have picked up Iranian boats that needed to be rescued.” Iranian officials then “realized they were there in distress and said they would release them, and released them — like ordinary nations would do.”
At the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a proclamation of gratitude to the Iranians, also emphasizing the “distress” in which they found themselves:
— ABC News (@ABC) January 13, 2016
If the Iranians came to their rescue, then why do these pictures of our sailors released by the Iranians show them without their boots, and with the lone female sailor wearing a cloth over her head? Iran had no chairs or couches for their “guests” to use? This hardly seems like Good Samaritan hospitality. It looks more like deliberate humiliation:
Tasnim news releases images of US navy crew in Iranian custody before they were released: pic.twitter.com/o9fybC89DQ
— Saeed Kamali Dehghan (@SaeedKD) January 13, 2016
Also, had these two boats been “in distress,” then would it not be customary to allow their own navy to effect a rescue under the watchful gaze of the nation in whose waters it would take place?
The Obama administration seems desperate to spin this as an example of the benefit of their engagement with the Iranians. Obama never even mentioned the missing sailors in his State of the Union speech last night, perhaps hoping to keep from making a bad situation worse — but it was his negotiating partners in Tehran that created the bad situation in the first place. Last night, Obama said that the US is the most respected and powerful nation in the world. If that were true, the Iranians would already be paying a price for this incident and the shooting of missiles over our ships in international waters earlier this month.
Iran accepted the gratitude as graciously as you might imagine:
“This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress,” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, head of Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
Once more, here’s Obama from last night:
I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close.
That only counts if others believe we are willing to use that power when attacked or encroached upon. That is a lesson that this administration still hasn’t learned.
Perhaps these two boats did find themselves “in distress” and the US Navy incapable of effecting a rescue before the Iranians could do it. If so, then Congress should demand answers as to how that failure occurred. Clearly, though, the Iranians enjoyed the opportunity and stretched it out as long as possible under the circumstances, a situation that forced the US to thank them for the privilege of humiliation.
The film Animal House had something to say about these expressions of gratitude. Assume the position:
Update: And here are a few more photos released by the Iranians about their “rescue.”
— Sobhan Hassanvand (@Hassanvand) January 13, 2016
Ben Shapiro questions the narrative:
When Triple A arrives to tow me, they slap my wife in a hijab and force me to put my hands on the back of my head. https://t.co/m5bDizzqWZ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 13, 2016
Well, the Iranians aren’t the ones pretending this was an act of mercy.
Update: More on the rescue:
Admin defenders who bent over backwards to pretend this was just a friendly misunderstanding should be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/HdKO28Dbsw
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) January 13, 2016
Maybe the Iranians just “acted stupidly.”