President Ahmadinejad, that is.
Surely it will be naïve to accept the official version that the release of the captured Brits owes much to the milk of human kindness flowing in Tehran. That sort of fairy tale is doled out for the consumption of rabid mullahs and peacenik hippies.
If you are the type who takes his Jim Beam straight and reads his Foreign Affairs armed with a yellow marker, you’d have seen through the charade even before the networks trotted out their experts. The Iranians buckled because Blair, with quiet fury, delivered the promise of an ass kicking that would have made Karbala look like a Sunday camel race.
Having determined the results of the battle, let’s look at the war, shall we? The Iranian leadership has been portrayed as craved maniacs filled with such irrational hatred of the west that quaint Cold War notions of deterrence are rendered completely inapplicable. This is why, the argument goes, their nukular ambitions must be halted at all costs.
What kind of craved maniac releases soldiers of Satan because Downing Street faxes over some choice Oxbridge expletives? Answer: probably the same kind that can keep their nukes in their pockets, to be used as bargaining chips and defensive last resorts, lest Tehran be returned to the stone age.
The Blair-Bush team would have secured a far greater PR victory if they deliberately botched the release and dragged out a hostage crisis. Instead, they swallowed the poison pawn, and handed Tehran the image it was seeking -- a tough but rational actor.
Mr. Ahmadinejad, welcome to the nukular club. Please hand your coat to the attendant and keep your slobbering kisses to yourself.
Poll (for the ladies only): bad boy or cutie pie?