In an open act of war, Iran Friday kidnapped 15 British soldiers in the Persian Gulf. Iran's act of aggression occurred just as the British voted in favor of a UN Security Council resolution imposing increased sanctions against Teheran for its illicit nuclear weapons program.
Several theories have been raised to explain Iran's behavior. Some say that the Iranians acted against the British in the hope that Britain would respond by abandoning its alliance with the US and swiftly pulling its forces out of Iraq.
Another theory is that in kidnapping the sailors the Iranians are seeking to reenact their ploy from last summer. Then, Iran ordered its Lebanese proxy Hizbullah to kidnap IDF soldiers in order to divert the international community's attention away from Iran's nuclear program. As is the case with the British servicemen, so last summer's attack on the IDF took place as the Security Council was expected to convene and discuss sanctions against Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Yet another theory has it that Iran kidnapped the sailors to use as a bargaining chip to force the US military to release Iranian operatives who the US has arrested in Iraq in recent months.
Whatever the case may be, it is absolutely clear that the Iranians intentionally fomented this international crisis with the expectation that their aggression would in some way be rewarded.
AGAINST THIS backdrop, and given the stakes involved, it could have been expected that the US and its allies would be concentrating their attention on how to weaken Iran and its terror proxies and curtail Iran's ability to acquire a nuclear arsenal. But, alas, the US is doing just the opposite.
The Iranians acted as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was en route to the region. Since Friday, Rice has shuttled between Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, and is on her way to Saudi Arabia. She is not working to coordinate moves to check Iran's increasing bellicosity. Rather, Rice is laboring to empower Teheran's terrorist allies in Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Fatah. This she does by promoting the so-called Arab peace plan, which demands that Israel agree to dangerous and strategically catastrophic concessions to the Palestinian terrorist government.
In behaving thus, Rice is walking in the well-worn footsteps of her predecessors. Indeed, it seems almost axiomatic that when the going gets tough for US administrations, administration officials get tough on Israel.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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