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:

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:

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.”

Ben Shapiro questions the narrative:

Well, the Iranians aren’t the ones pretending this was an act of mercy.

Update: More on the rescue:

Maybe the Iranians just “acted stupidly.”


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Comment pages: 1 2

Traitors

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Ed said/asked:

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:

Perhaps in Iran it’s customary to remove one’s outside footwear when coming inside a place as a ‘guest’? I don’t imagine guests typically tromp over those lovely Persian carpets in their boots. Such customs are common in much of the world, so this doesn’t necessarily mean an attempt at humiliation on the part of the Iranians.

Isn’t it customary for women, whether locals or guests, to cover their hair when in conservative Muslim countries? In my experience traveling with women to such countries it is. Probably not intended as humiliation of this particular woman, just a local cultural norm.

As to the lack of chairs and couches, it seems these American guests may have been unexpected and so chairs weren’t prepared for them.

I think you’re probably reading too much into these little things Ed. Differences in culture don’t mean the Iranians were intentionally trying to humiliate the Americans.

DarkCurrent on January 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

As a private citizen, I have both rescued and assisted in the rescue of crew members stranded at sea on disabled vessels. Unless it was a situation where I felt confident there was very little risk or danger involved, the first thing I always did was notify the US Coast Guard.

In one instance I came upon a crew that had been missing in the ocean for days (I was out there fishing). They remained on their vessel, which was stable, while I provided them with food and water while waiting on standby for the USCG to arrive.

I don’t recall ever ordering the rescued crew on their hands and knees with their hands behind their heads. Maybe I was just doing it wrong.

Pain Train on January 13, 2016 at 3:34 PM

So like Kerry I too am a sailor, though I do pay my state property taxes. If our sailors were in distress then I am sure that we will hear the audio of CH 16 (international distress frequency) Securite call indicating that the vessel(s) were in distress and needed assistance – right? Further unless there is a danger to the crew, they are not evacuated. Never in a “distress” situation is the crew forced to leave the vessel. So in-short, our government and Executive branch is a bunch of F-n liars!!!

stuartm80127 on January 13, 2016 at 3:35 PM

So Jolted Joe Biden regrets not entering the race for president.

It’s too bad that he didn’t.

The GOP is saddled with a fake-hair, gaffe-prone, big-government, Planned Parenthood-supporting candidate who craves socialized medicine & despises private property rights, so the Dems should have one as well.

itsnotaboutme on January 13, 2016 at 3:57 PM

As a private citizen,

I don’t recall ever ordering the rescued crew on their hands and knees with their hands behind their heads. Maybe I was just doing it wrong.

Pain Train on January 13, 2016 at 3:34 PM

Maybe not exactly comparable….

Did you ever capture rescue a crippled foreign vessel in your country’s territorial?

DarkCurrent on January 13, 2016 at 4:59 PM

I don’t recall ever ordering the rescued crew on their hands and knees with their hands behind their heads. Maybe I was just doing it wrong.

Pain Train on January 13, 2016 at 3:34 PM

Maybe not exactly comparable….

Did you ever capture rescue a crippled foreign vessel in your country’s territorial?

DarkCurrent on January 13, 2016 at 4:59 PM

I think maybe you’re reading a little too much into this DC.

True, not exactly comparable but whether at a micro level (mine) or a macro level (Iran) the protocol at sea (for me at least) is pretty much the same; in the event of an emergency you contact the proper authorities and assist the distressed vessel to the degree necessary or at least within your capability/comfort zone.

That being said, it’s obvious that this administration is covering up for Iran (I know, shocking). The pictures of how our sailors were treated is not the way a “friendly” nation (as our new Persian BFFs with freshly printed 150 billion US dollars supposedly are) treats other sailors in distress. I’ll even allow for the fact that our sailors may have had nefarious intent (at least from Iran’s point of view – spying or something like that).

Either way, this administration’s version of the story is laughable.

Pain Train on January 13, 2016 at 6:35 PM

I interpreted this to be a way for Iran ensure we didn’t Welch on the great deal we had, and to remind us who is in control, when the next payment is due.

Chances are there will be more of this, and in an escalated manner.

virgo on January 14, 2016 at 12:13 AM

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