Miriam Leitao at PostGlobal

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. She is also a commentator on Globo TV Network and runs her own blog, www.miriamleitao.com, hosted at Globo online at www.oglobo.com.br. She was awarded Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2005. Close.

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. more »

Main Page | Miriam Leitao Archives | PostGlobal Archives

Masterful Coup Despite Finger-Wagging

The seizure of British sailors -- and their surprising release -- was the perfect publicity stunt by Ahmadinejad. The U.S. needs to stop thinking it can scare countries into passivity by simply labeling them as its enemies.

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All Comments (57)

Derrick Brock:

pseudencephalic oneirocritical hazelwort heppen wene scyphus province bonduc
The Bridges Project - London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Alberto Leal:

I think first that we need learn to live like human species, not like animals.
All the humanity always will be living in a dangerous situation while the voracious capitalism and the US international politicize prevail in the world.
Undoubtedly the world would be better.

German Voice:

Oh, the Brazilian brown shirt Eva Braun spreads her Nazi propaganda. Nice try, but she hasn't realized that her idol Adolf Hitler is already dead, as well as his ideology of national socialism. It's always funny to see how this brown shirt makes a fool of herself.

Come on, get out of your diaper and use your brain. Your comments are just dumb.


Can we have one posting that does not diverge onto tangents of the Arab-Israeli conflict or zionism...
This thread is about Iranian-west relations, but somehow, there is always a contingent that has to bring up how they hate Israel and "zionism."

All right already, we get it! Now can we keep to the topic at hand?


what can I say, I made a mistake with you fools

Arik Silverman:


"The clear lesson that the Bush Administration could learn from this affair is that to deal with this enemy, Washington should use more brain than muscle."

And just where is that brain supposed to come from?

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

The viewpoint expressed by Miriam Leitao is eminently sensible, but maybe too diplomatic on the Bush/Blair blind bullying and mad imperialism. She refers to the immense pressure put on Brazil's Petrobras by the US to back downm on its proposed investment in Iran's oil sector. Similar pressure was put on Malaysia's Petronas but the Malay policy-makers and people treated the American interference with the contempt it deserves. Pressure has been put on Pakistan and India as well to derail the three-nation gas pipeline project with Iran, and that also met with the contempt it deserved, even if Musharraf was more timid in resisting while India sent a diplomatically smooth but no less firm message that it won't be pushed around by an ugly bully. Pressure had also been put on El Baradei personally to advance America's nauseous imperialist tactics on the nuclear weapons issue, with a threat not to vote in favour of the renewal of his term of office at IAEA a couple of years ago. Pressure was put on the IAEA as an institution as well to give more weight than warranted by the verified facts to the US viewpoint on both North Korea's and Iran's nuclear research programmes.
Miriam is right that these thoughtless threats are counter-productive.She is at her best in lucid thinking when she affirms that there is no such things as secure hands whn it comes to nuclear weapons. ALL countries that have nuclear arms should destroy them; those who are advanced in nuclear research that may or may not lead to the concretization of production structures that would resilt in nuclear weapons should be required to abobdon that line of research and be seen to have done so in a verifiable way.
About sympathy with the USA after 9/11, the whole world likes and respects the American people and its leaders ALL THE TIME NOT JUST AFTER 9/11. They do so with the understanding that, in normal times, they act responsibly without unwelcome interference in other countries' affairs. I can do no better than remind myself of the conclusions of two eminent people. Richard Dawkins insisted, just before the invasion of Iraq, that it is because he admires the creative spirit and resourcefulness of the American people that he is so vociferously pleading for reasonableness and for refrain from the project of invading Iraq. When the customary quintennial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Talks were being held in Latin America about two years ago, Walter Cronkite, among others, courageously denounced the double-standards of his won country and of the nuclear club countries, and gave a dressing-down to the western press that failed to inform their readers of the real issues and the morality of the positions of the various players.


You know what, had Bush stepped back from the brink of war in February 2003, the whole situation would be different. He could have claimed a major victory in getting weapons inspectors back into Iraq, he could have then worked to clean up the corruption in the oil-for-food program, while simultaneously taken his newfound credibility and moved to leverage the otherogue states out there to bring them into compliance. He probably would have gone down as great for doing so and the world would be a better place for it.

But no, he needed war with Hussein, he needed to settle scores, and he needed to be the tough guy, and he blew it, and we are all suffering for the incompetence of this administration ever since. There are ways to deal with these guys, but not now, and not with the situation we as a nation are in today. We don't have the miliary resources, international respect, or credibility to do it. Hopefully the next president will be able to fix our situation, because it's too late for this one and we're stuck with him another two years.

Are You Serious??:

Hello people of the world

There was a good Washington Post article today that showed how terribely the Britons were treated and how Iran manipulated the situation


Iran is a terrorist state that actively defies the UN

The United States views the United Nations as a joke which in my humble opinion the UN is a joke.

Rogue states will always try and push the limits to see what they can get away with and there is a precedence in the world that countries can do whatever they want

I note here that the United States is also guilty of this.

So the problem becomes who is really in charge of the world and can handle these complex crises such as global warming, nuclear proliferation, and terrorisim.

By negotiating with rogue states we are rewarding their behavior and giving incentive for other states to act irrationally.

I see no easy answer to this :-(

Chris, Washington DC:

Dick Cheyene: try to rise above anti-americanism. I've seen just as much mindless crap from Latin Americans, Europeans, and Middle Easterners. The U.S. has no monopoly on idiots.


Even the far left Washington Post Editorial Board slammed Pelosi for going to Syria and being used as a pawn by Asad. She should not be conducting her own foreign policy and setting a different agenda. Congress has a role, and it's oversight and budget authority. She is well outside her role as a Congresswoman and Speaker.

Dick Cheyene:

Having over the past two month read a large number of bloggs, not least a number from Americans are very surprised how extremly ill informed these people seem to be. Can only hope that Condoleza Rice is no that illiterate.


Forget abaout the Yanks and the Brits. They are suffering from political and moral bankruptcy. They attacked Iraq and some 4 years later, they are still generating more lies.


Uncle Sam:

As another poster wrote, Ahmadinejad and Hitler are far apart while there is a great gap between Germany's capabilities then and today's Iran. Besides Germany was a super power while Iran is not even a mid or regional power. Turkey, Pakistan and Israel can overwhelm Iran militarily in days not even weeks. If Iran ever attacks Israel be sure that one to one thousand Iranians will die as a result. Israelis are mobile and compact enough to take a flight during a potential war while Iranians would remain stationary and to the mercy of Israeli nuclear bombs. The AIPAC crowd are not dumb to believe in their hearts what Ahmadinejad says about *wiping* Israel off the map. AIPAC crowd cheer and pretend to believe such statments as true intent while the fact remains that Ahmadinejad is playing street politics in Middle East. AIPAC crowd is always alarmist and master of distortion.


Great quote. It sums up this world's problems and by extension US foreign policy.

Designation as friend or foe has always been a matter of convenience for the U.S. government, never a parameter for the improvement of global freedom and democracy.


Uncle Sam,

Hitler had the largest military in the world, the second largest economy in the world, and absolute control of his country. Ahmednajad has none of those things. His Air Force is composed of remnants of materials the US gave the Shah pre-1979, his Army is second-rate, his navy consists of pontoon boats, and he has almost no real power (all of which resides whith supreme leader Ayatollah Khemeni). He's a bad guy who needs to be put in his place, but like Hussein he's no Hitler about to wreak havoc on the world, it's an illusion that he plays up because it gives him power and support at home, and right-wingers here because it fits into their neocon agenda.


Can't we just blame the Jews and Zionists for both the capture and release of the Brits,as we usually do for everything else screwy in the world and move on?.


Let us not forget that the British were willing to try diplomacy-- which worked. They, at least, have leaders with brains, who are capable of learning from past mistakes, unlike our unfortunate country (USA) which is now a second-world country, headed toward third-world status.

Uncle Sam:

This leftist author is suggesting we negotiate (aka appease) the Hitler of our time. How can we speak with someone who denies the Holocaust and threatens to finish what Hitler started? Iran's leader threatens to destory US cities everyday, and we're supposed to negotiate? I don't think so. The Iranians only understand force and we must not compromise with pure evil. We need to learn the lesson of history and that is take out the enemy before he takes you out.


I can see you guys dont censor truth...

what a bunch of babies....

search on PNAC AEI JINSA Douglas Feith , Richard Perle

and Paul Wolfowitz if you want to know who is running the United States Government from afar...

civilized ? you have no idea.... thanks for standing up for the world and standing down so bullies can take over.

Andy McLeod:

The author is correct, Iran's hand has been strengthened post crisis. While I understand Bush's idealogy, it is unrealistic in this world. Casting your lot in with corrupt or murderous governments (Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabi, and Iran) is unpalatable, but necessary to extricate ourselves from the Middle East. On paper, removing a bloodthristy dictator to help its people become free makes sense. What has played out is vastly different from what we expected. We should appease these countries, use them to quell the violence, and leave. The truth is that region of the world is so backward, so different - it can never be saved. Strongmen who use violence and oppression are the only answer to this instability. In America, people can travel to market, school, and work without worry of being killed. We have freedom and we enjoy it, apparantley thats not universal. The Middle East likes death, destruction, explosions, and heads being cut off. The region is filled with animals, there is no hope, we should leave as soon as possible and let the dogs shred eachother to pieces. Perhaps one day they will tire of killing and join the West in peace and prosperity.


Jozevz, I'm going to be lazy today and just go with the entries from Wikipedia:

"Initially, support for political Zionism was not a mainstream position in the Jewish communities scattered around the world. The secular, socialist language used by many pioneer Zionists was contrary to the outlook of most religious Jewish communities, and many religious organizations opposed it, both on the grounds that it was a secular movement, and on the grounds that any attempt to re-establish Jewish rule in Israel by human agency was blasphemous, since (in their view) only the Messiah could accomplish this.

While traditional Jewish belief held that the Land of Israel was given to the ancient Israelites by God, and that therefore the right of the Jews to that land was permanent and inalienable, most Orthodox groups held that the Messiah must appear before Israel could return to Jewish control. Prior to the Holocaust, Reform Judaism rejected Zionism.

When the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, Edwin Montagu, the only Jew in the British Cabinet, "was passionately opposed to the declaration on the grounds that (a) it was a capitulation to anti-Semitic bigotry, with its suggestion that Palestine was the natural destination of the Jews, and that (b) it would be a grave cause of alarm to the Muslim world."

Robert James:

Is his name George or Simple Simon: You are either with me or against me. ........... The tragedy that followed 9/11 was the vicious US response inwhich he invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq. Killings, destroyed lives, instability, hatred and injustices followed. ....... After 911, Bush put on his six shooter and, with a senseless vigilante mob, went on a rampage of hate and killing. They caused hell. There was no law. Their approach was to catch the guys they wanted out of their way, lynch them, hold the trial, fix the evidence and the jury, and obtain a conviction to vindicate their lawless actions. ...... Of course, the Hollywood script didn't go according to plan. The bad guys were outraged and they fought back and the world condemned Bush as being a violent and dangerous killer.

Fisch, BN, Germany:

The Saudis are they really so bad? Ok, they are royals, there were not elected. But compare what they do to elected presidents. Are they worse? We are used to hear that the Saudis are undemocratic and GWBushs best friends etc. But first of all whether they are better friend with Bush than with Iran is not shure. At least they understand what the Iran wants much better. And they see Iran as one of their dear and noble neighbors. The US are far away. The Saudis dont need the US very much because they are much stronger in power than the West may like. So it is difficult to make them bad because they are a friend of the US. They may be friend with the Bush family but this is something completely different.


"He funds the terrorists in Iraq. The terrorist wants nukes. Destroy him now"

He funds Sadr's militia, not AQI, Sadr has no desire on Nukes or agreesion towards the US outside of Iraq. You've had too much neocon Kool Aid, my friend.

"To be a Jew you must be a Zionist, it is an integral part of the religion"

Baloney. Just like the rest of your idiotic post. I give him no credit for anything. His economic plan has been an absolute disaster (just wait until that AMT kicks in so that your tax increase subsidizes the elimination of the Estate tax and tax breaks for the upper class, not to mention the debt built up financing this war on supplemental debt spending and the long term damage that will do to inflation and economic stability). He has replaced a foreign policy of stability with one of global anarchy which will only undermine us in the long run, ad his education and medicare programs are a complete sham. January 2009 can't come fast enough, whoever it is who replaces him.

Kevin Morgan:

The United States is missing an opportunity to broker peace in the middle east because of the Bush administrations policy of "my way or the highway". Bush will be gone soon, but the passing of time makes future opportunities uncertain. The best news in the last few days to come oput of the middle east is Pelosi's visit to Syria and Saudi Arabia. She is paving the way for the democrats to pick up the broken peices of American diplomacy and reassemble the players neccessary for meaningful dialogue. An end to Iran's quest for nuclear weapons is as accessible as the United States is willing to talk. What they really want is respect and acceptance in world economic trade. With the resources they have to offer and the problems they could help us solve we as close to long awaited solutions as the exit of the Bush administration from power. Good riddance to the Neo-Cons and the Republican majority that allowed them to trash 6 years of our nations progress in the world.

George Albert:

To "Anonymous" that states they are a Jew but not a Zionist, I am sorry but you are wrong. To be a Jew you must be a Zionist, it is an integral part of the religion. And by the way, you cannot be a Buddhist and also be a Jew. Being anti-Zionist is the same a being anti-Jewish.

And it is interesting that everyone thinks they are smarter than President Bush and yet he has kept his country from further attacks post 9/11, has set economic policies that have the US economy leading the world, he has increased prescription medicine coverage for the elderly, he has added some measure of improvement to children's education, he has moved US foreign policy away from exclusively supporting dictators for the sake of "stability" and towards supporting human freedom and liberty, and he has done all of this without engaging in the childish name-calling behavior that many of his critics engage in. He is not perfect, but y'all should try giving credit where credit is due.


"The only way such a ban can be effective is if the world is driven by current democracies and superpowers to a state whereby no threat any longer exists and then those with nuclear technology (the nuclear powers) can disarm (much like a police officer holsters his weapon only after the danger has passed)."

Wrong way around! The big must disarm first, for it is the weaks who have reasons to fear the powerful...

It is therefore for the greatest powers to negotiate and agree amongst themselves to disarm. Then for them to begin that process, while leading the way, diplomatically, through international conferences, for other, less powerful nations, to follow suit, the threat being on the decrease and hopefully soon to exist no more.

Then must come the International Accords on Disarmament and Treaties, with defined modalities, inspections and verifications, deadlines, etc. in a context of trust and a spirit of peaceful coexistence. Takes time, but can be done.

It is the approach and the will that matter. To wait for "no threat to exist any longer" before working on the implementation of world disarmament,is the best recipe for doing nothing, for maintaining the status quo, while blaming others ("THEY are the problem, not US, surely not US... we are never the problem..."), always others, for permanent conflict and perpetual war.

interesting ..:

Posted on April 5, 2007 15:44

Yakub Yosif so you are a dangerous man ? eh ? well dangerous man...

you are on an internet connection... you are not invisible...

you do a great impersonation of an out of control Islamic nut case...

thanks... it is always nice to see stupid people , you make the rest of us look nice...and intelligent ...are you getting paid for it , or are you always this convincingly stupid...

where are you Long Island ? Pisquataway Turnpike ? what exit ?

l suggest that you outside of the United States :

look at JINSA , PNAC , AEI , Douglas Feith , Richard Perle , Dick Cheney , Chevron , Condoleeza Rice ...as a starting point to really understand what the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan are about ... zionism is covering for the thieves in charge of the current Corrupt Executive Branch of the United States government , and a less complicit congress is trying to wrest control from the war profiteers...

You might also look and see if the current president of Afghanistan has anything to do with UNOCAL OIL company , which is currently owned by CHEVRON... find out what the relationship between Bridas Corporation is with UNOCAL... some say some of the detainees at Guantonamo are former Bridas Corporation Employees... funny but just before the invasion of Afghanistan the Bridas Corporation won a judgement over UNOCAL to put in the Trans Afghanistan Pipe Line ...but since the invasion interfered with that happening the Taliban lost a share in what was then reported to be $13 TRILLION DOLLARS in REVENUE... think that angered the Talibani ? would it anger you ?

you all do know that the current appointment as Ambassadour to the UN is a former UNOCAL EMPLOYEE , Zalmay something or another... he worked for Paul Wolfowitz , current appointed Director of the World Bank and AUTHOR OF PNAC...

Cheney , Rumsfeld , Baker , Wolfowitz, and others
tried to sell to BILL CLINTON PNAC , IN 1997.... PNAC Project for a New American Century... it has a website , look at who the signatories are... I think it calls for pre emptive strikes and using the military to control the worlds economies or some such tripe...

no one would _ever_ do such a foolish thing in the 21st Century would they ?

if they did , they ought to be stripped of power , properties and put in a lucite exhibit box at the Smithsonian Institution , permanently...

doncha think ?

Dick Cheyene:

Various commentators on US/UK television have the whole day bent over backwards to come up with the most silly conclusion as to who was the "winner" in the stand-off between Tony Blair and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One moron complained that the Iranian dress provided by the Iranian government was terrible old fashion is recommended to go home and look himself in a mirror. An American female commentator had it that the Iranian president was a dictator? The 15 UK naval personnel were without doubt the winners. Consider for a moment that the Iranians had been US armed forces personnel, disregarding for a moment that these 15 could all have disappeared forever in the American abyss but been released in some distant future. No doubt their American captors would have killed some of them, others turned into nut cases and others again tortured or sexually abused. Tony Blair and his predecessors now augumented by USA have brought mayhem for centuries to the people in this area, so why not call it a day and go home. An democratically elected congressman or was it a senator suggested once upon a time that Vietnamn should be nuked back to the stone age. This battle cry have been taken up by a large number of American commentators or bloggers that wishes everyone to be nuked back to the stone age that do not agree with the American way of democracy. How would it feel if anyone should suggest that USA to be nuked a little bit back to the stone age. Am a bit confused as to why Miriam Leitao
calls Iran an enemy of USA. There is no cause to designate anyone as an enemy unless war is declared.

Yakub Yosif "Secular minds" against religious killers against Huma Rights Int'l & Beyond:

Note: Just because some people on the block have stolen or Copycat Nuclear weapons, DOES NOT MAKE THEM Smart Nation. Show Me, Show Us, what is in your nations Patents, copy rights etc...? Show me. Show us my fellow Iranians. Or Enemy.
I am a retired international Smuggler. (My Brothers and Sisters on this Blog site, DO NOT KNOW YOU like I do) I can see you literally and smell your Satanic Versus all the way from America. A country that your leaders want attention by and nerve to “Lock Horns” with a Black Gangis Bull!

And back in the mid 1970's I went, under Shah's Rule or Monarchy" (Note: I am against ANY Mid east Monarchy) to KORAMSHAH, and Bander Shippur and bander Abba's too.
As an Israeli, and a New Zionist, I loved Iran. I had some great sex there. Smoked nice "Chillum" et al.
And the military was the Police. Kuwait, Iraq et was great.
SO Brother, Sister, Cousin, friend. Or Enemy too: Hear Yhea , Hear Yhea:

APOCALYPTO Soon maybe NOW, for YOU and your People there because you follow and 90% (in America 48% or less) VOTED FOR YOUR CURRENT "T.H.E.O.C.R.A.C.Y."
So you will pay for the sins of your SATANIC Versing MULLAHS and those other Ventriloquists in hiding, either In America, Israel, on Cyber World or Real World or where ever.! Ya Ya Mon! This is some GOOOOD SHIATT MON. And Its nice and SUNNI here Today! Ya Mon “=)/ Ummm Ummm delicioso!

Chris, Washington DC:

As an afterthought, Ms. Leitao laments the fact that the U.S. has historically had strange bedfellows while negotiating middle east politics. This was not a matter of convenience. When your values are democracy (which is the simple ability to choose your leaders, and the only moral system – those who say some people aren’t ready for it are insulting those people) and human rights (before you say it, Abu Gharib was terrible, and the U.S. is deservedly paying a large price; however it was not U.S. policy, it was stupid kids with inadequate supervision), the reality is that in the middle east in some cases, the U.S. had to choose the lesser evil. The alternative would have been to condemn all sides and then not have any leverage, and people would criticize us (rightfully) for doing nothing constructive. Progress in that part of the world is incremental. Whenever I hear that familiar complaint about whom the U.S. has allied with in the past, I would always like to hear how the speaker would have done better.

Chris, Washington DC:

I wish I'd posted before the dimwits had started in...

Chris, Washington DC:

Let's not over-congratulate Iran. Or at all. Perhaps if they had demonstrated that the boat was Iranian waters this would have come off a little more heroic. In actuality, the best inference (from British satellite photos, and Iran's mixed signals) is that they were not. This made the whole thing look not like a "master stroke" but contrived and foolish. Releasing the sailors so quickly and magnanimously seemed to me like damage control.

We're left wondering what they intended to achieve in the first place. Saying, as Ms. Leitao is, that it was a premeditated public relations coup is to give too little credit to the public; the smiling photos don't distract anybody from the fact that Iran created the crisis they were "generously" ending. If it was a symbol of defiance, I don't know if anybody doubted their ability to defy. If it was for domestic politics, then that might have given his approval a bump but at the expense of internationally looking silly and troublesome once again. I've read a couple of theories (on this site) on how it was a miscalculation driven by internal politics. That makes the most sense to me.

I’m also confused by those who want to lionize Ahmadinejad for frustrating Bush's attempts to get him to disarm. Romantic rebel archetypes aside, let’s keep some perspective. If you need to look at the nuclear crisis in terms of winners and losers, as a zero-sum game, then how about this: the game was stacked in Ahmadinejad’s favor. It’s more difficult to coerce someone to disarm, than to simply refuse to disarm. I give Bush more credit for trying than I give Ahmadinejad for refusing.

a sensitive soul...:

What is going on , is this ,

some Imperialists were about buzzing about checking out things and seeing if the world was up for an INTERNATIONAL incident...provided by the BRITS.

When the polled the BRITS said, at 7 % maybe we should do something, ... 97% said who cares...

Blair and Bush said O ' SH*T looks like we are going to have to push harder...

Blair then began talking about the _interference_ of the Iranians...in politics in their IMMEDIATE VICINITY... Seems TONY IS neglecting to mention IMPERIALIST ACTIONS BY BRITS AND THE UNITED STATES ?INVASION ON FALSE PRETENSES ANYONE... slight lapse wot ?

_and_ the little twit , is totally ignoring SAUDI/SUNNI/KUWIATI/UAE relations that are taking this chance to establish dominance by funding and joining the insurgency that is killing Iraqi and US Troops....duplicity anyone ?

SAUDI/SUNNI/KUWIATI/UAE interference , for their own tribal interests....

BLAIR IS A DISHONEST POSTURING duplicate of his heinie ousness Bush, George W. son of George H.W.

BUSH is not the decider , but the avoider_of_HIS_work , which in this case would require that he admit to fraud , refund all of his stolen monies and spend the rest of his life in prison as a living exhibit to what pandering to the rich creates for the rest of us.... keep him in a lucite cage that can only be visited by people willing to donate $20 to taking care of our infrastructure... keep him on exhibit at the smithsonian until he dies with bathroom breaks every two hours for 15 minutes ....whether he needs it or not , as if he were working onan assembley line for a living... let him experience life as the rest of us do... we have to pay for our lack of honesty... help him to feel our pain, by giving him some... . nice to chat with you , I want ten percent of the Smithsonian monies if you do it.... ciao .


You all are nuts. British sailors are arbitrarily kidnapped in Iraqi waters and forced to "confess" to their crimes on Iranian television, and you seem to want to give Ahmedinejad a Nobel Peace prize.....



My ancestors were Iranian jews (although I am buddhist) who migrated to India. You sound more zionist than a true jew. As a jewish - and definitely not zionist - person I can tell you that muslims have been far more humane towards yahudis than the christian west. The present day muslim-jew conflict is strictly over land and in this present day conflict jews have killed more muslims than muslims have killed jews. And Israelis mock arabs and muslims just as much as arabs mock jews. And if you have been to Israel then you know this as well.

One day we will have a united israel-palestine land of jews and arabs.

frank collins:

smiling happy brits. they should be hanging their heads in shame. to hve allowed themselves to be used in such a way, to have willingly helped iran, it is disgusting. we had soldiers in pow camps for 6 years and they were tortured almost daily and they did not break at all. mccain was beaten and starved and he did not cooperate with the nva. we had the embassy marines in iran who were hostages for over a year and they did not humilitate themselves like the brits did, and they were even subjected to mock executions. threatened with death - every soldier expects to die, that is no threat that should turn the brits into jelly. im glad they are home safe, but they need to dry shave from now on, looking into a mirror to shave should make them want to throw up.



(This Brazilian lady's article was great, thank you.)
A response, JACOB, to your ramblings regarding Iran's loss of Zoroastrian ideals.
The very Zoroastrian PERSIAN NEW YEAR, the 2 week National Holiday starting on the first day of spring, March 21st, is celebrated by the staunchest of Mullahs through to the most reform minded of the reformists in Iran. It is a Zoroastrian, pre-Islamic New Year, dating to when Cyrus the Great was the ruler of the Iranian people.
It has remained, for 2500 years, the country's single most unifying National Holiday.

This propaganda, that Iranians are now Arabs flies in the face of anyone with an IQ higher than 27. In fact it was the very 2 week National shut down of the country to celebrate the Zoroastrian NO-RUZ that further complicated the release of the UK sailors.

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time. But not all of the people all of the time, as abrave US leader once noted.
Iranians, have always been called so (Persia was the Greek/ Western word for Iran) - In fact they are the people from the land of "Aryans" - "Iran" being a derivative of "Aryan."

They are also very proud that the THREE WISE MEN of the bible, following the star to Jesus's birthplace, were Iranian Magi-s.
They are also now converted to Islam. That has not taken away from their dual existence; a new relgion, while preserving their language Persian, and the fundamental Zoroastrian Persian New Year and customs.

The word "magic" is also of Persian origin. What the UK and Iran did, was just that: "magic." - or "voo-doo" if you hate the outcome.

Grandma Ro:

It was a brilliant stroke. The contrast of those healthy-looking kids with photos from Abu Graib (which I would love to forget but can't; and surely the Arab world hasn't!)underscores for the world just who the barbarians are.

Wouldn't it be ironic if our bullying and brutality lead to a kinder, gentler world?

Just wishing.


George Bush is the gift to America's so-called "enemies" that just keeps on giving.

The U.S. has so spent itself by getting bogged down in the hellish catbox that is Iraq, that we have become foreign policy eunuchs.

Having depleted our military resources, both manpower and equipment, by tying up 95% of our military capabilities refereeing a civil war in Iraq, has made us powerless to respond to any other flashpoint, and the whole world knows it.

The contempt for U.S. government has trickled far enough down the public opinion food chain that after Bush visits ancient Mayan ruins, the tribal elders find it necessary to "cleanse" the ruins of any evil spirits Bush has left behind.

I'd say when remote Indian tribes, who live without electricity, much less CNN, assume you are a malevolent force rather than a benevolent one, the PR campaign is lost.

Between its monarch-like rule, its transformation of our national icon from the Statue of Liberty into a hooded prisoner on a crate with attached electrodes, having broken the military while insulting both the memory of the fallen (Tillman) and the returning injured, while offering the most incompetent, dysfunctional government in U.S. history, the Bush Crime Family has done more damage to the U.S. than Al-Qaeda could do in three decades of bombing fixed sites.

Say what you will about the way Ahmadinejad is perceived in Iran. I would bet dollars against donuts he is still more popular than Bush is in the States.


The Iranians kidnapped British sailors from international or Iraqi waters and held them hostage. Why the Captain of the British warshp let this happen is between him and the British Navy, but it is unthinkable that that could have been allowed to happen. Than, once is captivity, all 15 sailors became subservient sheep to the Iranian President, "confessing" to their "crimes" and whimpering their apologies. Where is there code of conduct on behavior if taken captive? What does it say? I am sure, if there is one, it does not say cave in and become puppets of a your captors. The rules of engagement for hostile acts against a ship and crew are clear for all Captains, and the Code of Conduct is clear for all captives. The British Navy has a great deal to be ashamed of. Lord Nelson is rolling in his grave.


Are you an f$%$% idiot or what
As usual by the far left press, the issue comes back to it being the fault of the US and George Bush. Did you miss the fact that this was a UK/Iran issue. Did you miss the fact that Iran took hostages and have done it before. Did you miss the fact that they are threatening to wipe Israel of the face of this Earth.

Hossein , Washington DC :

This idea of destroying someone is simplistic and moronic. It can't be done in a way that would ensure LONG TERM stability!

That said, our first assumption is that the British were not in Iran's territorial waters. This, to the chagrin of many is not a fact! That area is so far in dispute that it is very possible both sides are completely right! What seems to be lost is that this episode has nothing to do with British crossing or not crossing into Iran's territorial waters . . .they did it for the same reason a dog licks his b--ls . . .because they could.

I think the author is right, the US doesn't seem to have true long term friendships with any country other then the UK and Israel. The Saudi's will learn that soon enough when they no longer have a commodity that we crave and need.

Unfortunately our form of democracy does not allow politicians to act in the long term interests of the US but rather encourages and embraces policies, strategies, and tactics that give us significant short term gains.

Bush was right to attack Afghanistan, wrong to invade Iraq, and blind to get into a name calling contest with Iran (and North Korea).

All we have done in Iraq is create an environment that is raising the next generation of US haters. Let's not so the same in Iran where the people are pro-US for the most part.

Plus I don't remember the last time we were able to change someones mind by ignoring them and not talking to them.

Let's use our greatest strength to persuade change, not our arrogance to force it!


Why not start at your last sentence and work backwards? Tell me exactly how Brazil knows how to turn the absolutist monarchy of Saudi Arabia toward democracy and freedom. Shall we work backwards some more? Tell me how exactly nuclear weapons are to be banned worldwide without the world's democracies now plus current nuclear powers banding together and enforcing such a ban (which means imposing on many countries). The only way such a ban can be effective is if the world is driven by current democracies and superpowers to a state whereby no threat any longer exists and then those with nuclear technology (the nuclear powers) can disarm (much like a police officer holsters his weapon only after the danger has passed). I suggest you seriously reflect what would occur if the U.S, Europe, Russia, China especially are incapable of coming to some sort of agreement for the sake of the world. I will tell you exactly what would occur: a power vacuum in which every nation runs here and there--an arms race worldwide. This in fact is occuring now and Brazil is aiding it by working with Iran. Do you know what I call arrogance? The rest of the world calls the U.S. arrogant, but the rest of the world--even the most politically backward places--act as if they have a better vision of the world. All you have to do Mirian Leitao is give us that better vision and we will come along. Make is sensible.

Maya India:

capture of British sailers maybe an act of war to some like Marvin Halupka. But one thing is for sure, in this war the Iranians treated their "war prisoners" with lot more respect and dignity than US. Iran's "war prisoners" were paraded before global audience looking almost like diplomats in nice suits and not as others we have seen in dark hood on their head, orange jump suits and chains on feet.


V.o.t.e. f.o.r. MARVIN HULLUPKA !

Yes sir! Down with those ex Zoroastrian concieted attention getting non Arab Persian low lifes and anti-Humanity Doctrine.

Bombs Away! Yes Mr. President Marvin. Ya Mon!


It was an "act of goodwill" to release people it kidnapped?

Um, have you received your check from Rafsanjani yet?

What's wrong with you people? Perhaps this is the idiot part of the irony-blind population's way of declaring the days of the Republic over, and the days of the Empire begun.


To say that "Iran's government is stronger today than it was five years ago" shows little understanding of the pressure Iran's government currently faces. Aside from the obvious fact that the U.S. military surrounds Iran (Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf), one of Iran's strongest allies, Russia, has voted against Iran in the Security Counsel and is refusing to supply nuclear components. Iran is also under significant financial pressure as a result of the U.S. Treasury successfully pursuading many financial institutions to refuse to do business with the regime. And as the recent British sailor abduction incident shows, the regime is internally divided, with the Iranian government presenting a different position on almost a daily basis as a result. So Iran faces pressure militarily, politically, and economically from the outside world--and is internally divided. Does that sounds like a position of strength?

gerald tachtin:

Poor Marvin Hulupka you look so pathetic, you are more transparent than a window glass -without its quality- frightened as you are and calling others for complete destruction of IRAN. Such a heinous call is comptemptous and illegal, remember that apology of violence is forbidden by law. You should be banned from this blog

Marvin Hulupka:

The seizure of British Marines in Iraqi waters was an act of war against the United Kingdom. Such actions justified complete destruction of Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a terrorist. He funds, trains, and assists Hamas. He promotes genocide against Israel. He funds the terrorists in Iraq. The terrorist wants nukes. Destroy him now

Jimmy Huntington:

Who teaches this author can write this "Designation a friend or foe has always been a matter by the convenience by ----government of---, never a parameter for the improvement of global freedom and democracy,--just look at the-----Saudi Arabia". We America need new way of thinking or new brain to treat this awareness of South American journalist. I think ,the neocon awake so many independent thinking journalist like this one to have new look on us. That is side product of Iraq war. Wake up the South American have a new look about US! My God!!What a fool of the Neocon!!

Dinkar Koppikar:

George Bush is a relic of early 2oth century imperialist era. It is time we elect a President who will lead us into 21st centuty.

Chris Fox:

Wholehearted agreement on Ahmedinejad's victory. With the polite and solicitous smiles all around and the Marines clearly not mistreated it will be very very hard for Bush to paint Iran as a nation of extremists; they look like the very image of moderate and civilized men and the release will engender a few precious hours of goodwill between Iran and the UK, under which the question of whether or not Iran's territorial waters were violated appears as a footnote.

And then there is the contrast between Abu Ghraib and the released Marines.

Bush refuses to talk to people who don't kowtow to him. To hell with George Bush/

João Rocha:

Míriam, gostei da opinião sobre a intervenção americana em outras nações. Imagine se os americanos gostariam da intervenção do Brasil em sua política interna.Somos economicamente menores, mas não podemos ditar a nossa política e relacionamentos externos, comerciais ou culturais para atender interesses americanos.Afinal o Brasil e outras nações do continente são responsáveis por seus atos.O melhor caminho para os americanos do norte conseguirem o respito dos americanos do sul é o mútuo respeito e não as demonstrações do poderio militar e economico. O mundo está mudando para melhor e não vai voltar atrás, para fortalecer ainda mais a EUA que exige ;"façam o que mandamos , mas não façam o que fazemos."

JRLR, Canada:

"Undoubtedly, nuclear weapons in Iran's hands make the world more dangerous. The same is true about nuclear weapons in Pakistan, India, China, Russia, the United States, or anywhere else. For the sake of humankind, it would be better to aspire to the utopia of negotiating a total ban on nuclear weapons. It seems unrealistic, but it is the only sensible policy for the 21st century. There is no such thing as “secure hands” when holding weapons of mass destruction."

World disarmament is not a "utopia". It is a most realistic approach, given the possibility (and likelihood) of universal suicide. The greatest souls of the XXth century have advocated world disarmament and have worked relentlessly at it. My country once put a lot of concrete efforts into it and PM Lester B. Pearson was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1957).

No, there are no "secure hands" (and minds!...)for weapons of universal destruction.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.