Iranian TV lost no time in releasing photos of our captured U.S. Navy sailors on their knees with their hands cupped around the back of their heads. Photos that we have seen many times in the treatment of prisoners of war.
While Iran will deny that the sailors were ever prisoners of war, the photograph of the sailors initially taken while sitting on rugs without their shoes and the latest photo of the sailors on their knees may be considered by many as a violation of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention (III). However, you can rest assured that the Obama administration will never discuss this possibility nor will they alert the American public to the possibility.
One of the images released by the Iranian government of the capture of U.S. Navy sailors, from ABC News.
According to reports, the sailors were merely “detained,” after one of two U.S. Naval crafts broke down during training and entered Iranian waters.
However, if you were watching President Barack Obama giving his final State of the Union address last night, you would never have known that anything was wrong.
Obama, who had been told of the incident hours before his address, made no mention of the sailors’ situation during his speech.
"We built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. And as we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war," Obama said. This was the only comment Obama made about Iran during his speech and it mostly credited Obama and his administration with saving the world from war.
Not surprisingly with this “transparent” administration, the American public was once again left in the dark about a situation that could have had severe international consequences and jeopardized the Americans in Iranian “custody.”
The situation was not ignored, however, by some GOP Congress members wh were not happy that Obama had omitted the sailors from his final address.
"Ten American sailors have been taken into custody in Iran," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement. "But President Obama completely omitted this latest example of Iran's provocative behavior so as not to interfere with his delusional talking ponts about his dangerous nuclear deal with Iran."
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy also objected to the omission and Obama's failure to recognize the security issues involved.
For many, including myself, I looked upon the taking of the Navy sailors as a potential "act of war." I believe that a different president in a different day and time would also have recognized the seriousness of such an act and called for the immediate release of the "captives."
This Nov. 2, 2015, image provided by the U.S. Navy, shows Riverine Command Boat (RCB) 805 in the Persian Gulf. Iran was holding 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their two boats, similar to the one in this picture, on Jan. 12, 2016, after the boats had mechanical problems and drifted into Iranian waters. American officials have received assurances from Tehran that they will be returned safely and promptly. (Torrey W. Lee/U.S. Navy via AP)
I also believe that another administration would have been concerned about the security issues involving the vessles themselves, which surely contains information that the U.S. would not have willingly shared with the Iranian government. No one in the Obama administration has even raised this as a potential issue.
Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry followed up Obama's omission by indicating that he believe the sailors would be released "very soon," which thankfully has occurred.
This was followed by a statement from a senior administration official who said that there was nothing to indicate a "hostile act" by any entity in Iran.
If this was true, then why were there reports that the Navy Commander of the Guards, Gen. Ali Fadavi of Iran, was conducting investigations into why the sailors had drifted into their waters?
"We have concluded that passage of Americans in our territorial waters was not a hostile passage or for espionage or similar acts," Fadavi told Iranian television.
If there was "no problem" and no concerns, as the Obama administration would have us believe, then why was an investigation conducted in the first place? Seems our media failed to mention this.
While the Iranians may have followed their protocol in handling the issue of a vessel drifting into their eaters, it appears that the Obama administration has also followed its usual protocol, as well.
Kerry announced following the release of the sailors earlier today that he wanted to “express my gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter.”
He went on to say in a statement “That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong.”
As is typically the case with this administration, the opposite is normally where the truth lies.
Allowing the government of Iran to hold our military for even a second is unacceptable.
Not speaking out in protest against the publishing of photographs of the sailors being held, especially the photograph of them on their knees prior to their release, in my opinion, exhibits a tremendous sign of weakness to the rest of the world. This depiction of weakness will be used against us in the future, as the Iran government will surely use this photo for its propaganda purposes.
Iran will boast that it is a powerful nation that once again was able to “bring the United States to her knees” and the argument will be strengthened by the fact that this administration is shortly set to release the funds promised to Iran under the controversial Iran Nuclear Agreement signed last year. Iran will immediately receive $50 billion of cash, currently frozen in overseas accounts under the agreement.
While the timing couldn’t be better for Iran, the timing couldn’t be worse for the U.S., who has once again been embarrassed and viewed as weak in the eyes of the world, thanks to Obama and his administration.
While Obama may be able to separate the releasing of the funds under the nuclear agreement without believing he appears to have “surrendered” to the whims of the Iran government, the rest of the Arab world, including the Islamic State, will surely see the fact that our military was treated like prisoners, as a sign of victory against the “Great Satan.”
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