Iran has jacked up its propaganda war against the U.S., milking the seizure of our boats and sailors for all it’s worth.
The Iranian general commanding the Revolutionary Guard Corps said during military celebrations this weekend that American sailors “started crying after their arrest.” He also claimed the incident proved Iranian military supremacy in the region.
“Since the end of the Second World War, no country has been able to arrest American military personnel,” the commander said, according to an independent translation of his Persian-language remarks made Friday during a “martyrs’ commemoration ceremony” in Isfahan.
Since the capture and release of the U.S. sailors this week, critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the situation have expressed embarrassment at State Department’s move to profusely thank Iran, despite its release of photos depicting the sailors on their knees with their hands held over their heads.
Iranian state television additionally published video purporting to show one of the detained soldiers apologizing to Iran.
Meanwhile, during Friday prayers in Iran, a commander of the IRGC unit that detained the U.S. boats and claimed that the American military cowered when faced down by Iranian troops.
“I saw the weakness, cowardice, and fear of American soldiers myself. Despite having all of the weapons and equipment, they surrendered themselves with the first action of the guardians of Islam,” Ahmad Dolabi, an IRGC commander, said in Persian-language remarks at a prayer service in Iran’s Bushehr providence.
“American forces receive the best training and have the most advanced weapons in the world,” he added. “But they did not have the power to confront the Guard due to weakness of faith and belief.”
Dolabi emphasized that the Obama administration formally apologized over the incident, a claim that senior White House official continue to dispute.
“We gave all of the weapons and equipment to American forces according to an Islamic manner. They formally apologized to the Islamic Republic,” Dolabi said. “Be certain that with the blood of martyrs, the revolution advances. No one can inflict the smallest insult upon our Islamic country.”
The White House continues to insist that no one should be “embarrassed” by the photos of our sailors kneeling with their hands behind their heads at gunpoint.
“I don’t think there’s any reason for anybody to be embarrassed,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “We’re pleased that our sailors were released promptly and unharmed.”
The 10 sailors were detained by Iran earlier this week after their U.S. Navy boats strayed into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. They were released about 14 hours later, unharmed, after negotiations between Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Iranian counterpart.
Mr. Earnest said Republican lawmakers overreacted to the incident by calling on President Obama to delay his State of the Union address or even to take military action against iran.
“I think the only people who are unhappy about it are the Republicans,” he said of the resolution of the episode. “It underscores the value of responsible, mature presidential leadership. The president didn’t start a war over this.”
Just what is this “responsible, mature presidential leadership”? It’s the kind of leadership that willingly absorbs insults, humiliations, and anti-American propaganda without a whimper because, like many liberals, the Obama administration believes that America deserves it. They believe we need to be taken down several pegs on the world stage and allow regional hegemons to emerge.
Iran is set to dominate the Middle East. Putin is extending his influence through threats and bombast far into central Europe. And China is looking to become the most powerful force in East Asia.
In all three spheres — traditional regions of vital interest to the U.S. — the president and his foreign policy team have stepped aside and allowed our enemies free rein.
In their eyes, all of the Iranian propaganda doesn’t matter because it’s their idea of “justice.” And whoever gets elected president later this year is going to have a helluva time trying to re-establish some kind of strategic balance to the world that Obama has so thoroughly upended.