by S-Q @ 8:40 AM MDT
Saturday March 24, 2007 09:45 EST
The ongoing presence of 150,000 troops in the middle of Iraq, under the direction of this administration, entails grave risk of escalation beyond Iraq, whether deliberately or unintentionally -- a fact that is almost completely ignored in our "debate" over whether to withdraw troops. The seizure this week of 15 British sailors by Iran illustrates how grave those risks are.
As expected, the British immediately claimed that its ship was in Iraqi waters, while the Iranians claimed it had entered Iranian waters. One of the great tragedies of the last several years is how little credibility the U.S. and its most loyal foreign government have in light of their conduct concerning Iraq. While no rational person would believe Iranian claims without corroborating evidence, no rational person would simply assume the British were telling the truth either. Both sides are still insisting on their original stories:
Asked about the statement, a British diplomat in Tehran said: "We still maintain they were in Iraqi waters when they were picked up."
Tehran earlier on Saturday condemned what it called "Britain's illegal infiltration of Iranian waters," the ISNA news agency reported.