Friday, March 30, 2007
Echoes of 1979 in today's crisis

A blindfolded U.S hostage paraded by his captors in the compound of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

My assignment was to write a piece on the Iran hostage crisis. Not the current crisis, but one from long ago, 1979.

Sixty-six men and women, members of the U.S. Diplomatic Corps and civilian employees, were doing their jobs at the U.S. embassy when a group of students cut through the locks on the embassy gate and took them hostage. The students were angry because the now-deposed Shah of Iran traveled to the U.S. for medical treatment, and they wanted him put on trial in his own country for crimes against the Iranian people.

The hostage-takers released 13 of their hostages within a couple of weeks, then another several months later. But for 52 people, the next 444 days of their lives became a nightmare.

Today, detained British sailor Faye Turney is shown here on the Arabic language network Al Alam.

Jimmy Carter was the U.S. president at the time. He tried diplomacy. He froze Iranian assets and banned oil sales. When that failed, he ordered a rescue mission, "Operation Eagle Claw," which was a tragic failure. Two military helicopters were stuck in a sandstorm, another crashed on take-off after the mission was aborted. Eight U.S. servicemen were killed.

In the end, the Algerian government brokered the deal that freed the hostages. The plane that carried them home took off just moments before Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president, starting all sorts of conspiracy theories. Carter went to meet the freed hostages in Germany as Reagan's emissary. The hostages were given a ticker-tape parade through the streets of New York.

It's hard to say how the current crisis will end. What struck me, though, as I researched this story, was the incredible sameness of the images: the confused and terrified look on the faces of the people held captive and the apparently coerced "confessions" broadcast throughout the media.
Posted By Debora Fougere, CNN Producer: 4:42 PM ET
  65 Comments
I can still remember Walter Cronkite's sign off the night the hostages were released"

That's 444 days of captivity 1 day of freedom.

It sounded so sweet.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 5:14 PM ET
I think this one will end up just like the first, from the looks of it!! It's got all of the same aspects and seems to be heading down the same road!
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 5:27 PM ET
As I listened to Madeline Albright discuss the current hostage situation with Anderson last night something dawned on me. Ms. Albright said that the Iranians were "inexperienced in all of this."

But are they? Weren't there rumors surrounding Ahmedinejad at the beginning of his presidency that he was involved in the original Iraninan hostage crisis?

This situation is very worrisome. I hope these sailors are brought home safely and swiftly through diplomatic means.
Posted By Anonymous A. LaCanna NJ : 5:29 PM ET
Hello Debora,

The young British sailor Faye Turney" appears to have welts/hives on her face and forehead, could anyone blame her? first concider the fear of being detained, then concider the pressure of being forced to make coerced statements, the stress on her face is overwhelming. Tony Blair must now refine the art of diplomacy and yet convey force if needed, this is what it takes to be a great leader, easier said than done in the wake of this dangerous situation. This unfortunate event serves as an example of how large of a threat it is that we are facing more and more, the enemy will stop at nothing. We all need to pray for a positive and safe return of these British detainee's.


Maritza
Posted By Anonymous Maritza San Jose, Ca : 5:39 PM ET
Debora,
I am so glad you riminded us of that crises in 1979. I hope we learned something from that situation which will help todays hostages. I want the next headline to read, "Hostages freed and safe".
Posted By Anonymous Pollie Anna, Shreveport, LA : 5:42 PM ET
Mabey someone should write about the captors..........and where the original "student" captors are today.......I believe some are in political postions within the Iranian government. I don't believe any were ever held responsible for abusing, torturing and kidnapping the 1979 hostages.
Posted By Anonymous Mike in Pendleton, SC : 5:50 PM ET
I remember too clearly 1979. The world's failure to do anything about Iran then is clearly the start of the Islamic revolution throughout the muslim world (non caps on muslim for a reason). This 2nd go around shows how spineless the UN really is. If the UK & USA remain part of that fiasco'd organization after this, I'd be amazed.

Lets stop fooling ourselves with the utopian notion that WAS the "United Nations." It can't do anything right
Posted By Anonymous Kevin Arch, Chantilly Va. : 6:00 PM ET
I remember seeing some of the former hostage situation on TV, but I was too young to really make sense of it. I remember being fascinated and horrified at the same time on seeing images of the Iranian culture that was so foreign to me. On watching details of the war and the current hostage situation, I'm continually reminded of how different this culture is with their thousands of years of tradition and their intense religious / political system. The one thing that seems to be universal is money. It seems that no matter how devout the fanatics, there is usually a magical sum that seems to appease them. I'm not really up on politics, but I can't help wondering if this is their take on drumming up finances for the next projects on their terrorist to-do list.
Posted By Anonymous N.Schroeper, Battle Creek, MI : 6:01 PM ET
Let's not forget that the ABC show "Nightline" was started as a result of the Iranian hostage crisis.

Here's hoping that another late night show isn't born out of this agonizing situation!
Posted By Anonymous Carolyn, Washington, DC : 6:10 PM ET
Uh, where's your mention of Mossadegh? It's not fair to talk about Iran's hostage-taking without referring to the US assassination of a popular leader who was trying to keep Britain from exploiting Iranian oil profits. It's not fair to talk about this crisis without touching on Iran's historical grudge against the UK and the US - the first for stealing oil, the second for assassinating their popular leader. Iranians don't just come out of the womb hating the West: there are some valid reasons for the mutual mistrust and hatred that led to these events.
Posted By Anonymous Julia Klein, Vancouver Washington : 6:29 PM ET
Why is the Female soldier not in uniform.. Name rank and serial number is all that is necessary. What is she doing in civilian cloths, and with a scarf over her head. She has let down the BRITISH Army, and should be dishonourable discharged , when she returns.
Posted By Anonymous "W. James P. Ex. N.C.O. R.A.M.Corp",, Toronto, Ontario CANADA : 6:49 PM ET
I remember how frustrating it was to negotiate with Iran. One political faction seemingly holds out a "carrot" and the other takes it away and off the table. I believe this style is deliberate and not a result of competing agendas. Watch it play out.
Posted By Anonymous Emanuel Glantz, Hawthorne, NJ : 6:56 PM ET
Iran is back to it's old games of hostage taking and fake video confessions which no one in there right mind believes is an actual confession from anyone of these Brits. Iranian words on paper forced by threats of being killed off camera. If Iranians think there leader was leading them down the wrong path before with nukes, now this confirms it. He's out of his fricken mind! None of this will help his people out and will just isolate them even more if this isn't stopped soon.
Posted By Anonymous John San Jose, CA : 7:08 PM ET
They forced her to where traditional clothes of the woman of Iran. I sincerely doubt she changed out of uniform because she wanted too.
Posted By Anonymous John San Jose, CA : 7:10 PM ET
The reason the female British soldier isn't shown in her uniform is simple: The Iranian government can't afford for its citizens to see a real life example of a militarily successful woman. If Iranian women saw that, it would undermine the mysoginistic culture supported by Iran's leaders. The odd thing is its effected people in the West too; how many people have talked about the British woman's child and how a mother and child are now apart? People in the west are starting to see her as a mom instead of a soldier. Keep in mind she was apart from her child when she was serving on the HMS Cornwalis. She is a professional Marine trained to deal with a situation like this, just like her male counterparts. A final note on her attire, when you're a hostage you don't get to choose your wardrobe.
Posted By Anonymous Jason Belcher, San Angelo, TX : 7:30 PM ET
It's amazing that the UK is treating Iran with silk gloves on this matter. Iran's actions are tantamount to a declaration of war. Why on Earth don�t the Brits tell Ahmadinejad that either the marines land in Heathrow by tomorrow at noon, or Britain is going to destroy all of Iran�s military and nuclear facilities? As far as I recall, they have plenty of tactical cruise-missile mounted nukes left over from the cold war � and even if they aren�t prepared to use nukes, I suppose the US could spot them a few MOABs? Blair is being so weak on this and that is obviously exactly what the Iranians are counting on.

Well, aren�t we just looking for an excuse to diminish their military and destroy their nuclear program? Ladies and gentlemen � here we have it! Carpe diem.
Posted By Anonymous Rasmus Larsson, Copenhagen, Denmark : 7:50 PM ET
Dear Julia Klein,

as an Iranian let me tell you, today's action of islamic regime in Iran, has nothing to do with Mosaddegh. In fact they dislike him cause he was a nationalist figure not a religious one. People in Iran are Pro West, has nothing against US and UK etc.which is unlike every other country in the middle-east. from Pakistan,Saudi Arabia, Iraq, when you go to talk to people on street, they all having grudges toward the west, eventhough their goverments are pro america. the reverse case is true about iran, only an extremist minority who govern the country today are against the US.
Mosaddegh has nothing to do with Hostage crisis in 1979!!!! religious fanatism is to blame which happened after conspiracy toward the Shah of Iran. and let me say it again, Iran's goverment despise Mosaddegh. your argument is totally irrelevan.
Posted By Anonymous Arash, Tehran : 7:56 PM ET
One reader posted that she was out of uniform and had let Britain down. She's the only woman! It wouldn't surprise me if she's been raped already and has been changed into garb that signifies their view on women. What makes this reader think she willingly changed?

I think it is part of their statement to have had her change.
Posted By Anonymous D. L. VeeCee Tacoma, WA : 8:14 PM ET
James,

We don't know what they're going through - if your captor holds a gun to you and can make you "confess" on TV, why can't they make her change her clothes? They're doing what they have to do to STAY ALIVE.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Pittsburhgh, PA : 8:14 PM ET
To James. W. P, I'll tell you why the woman is not in uniform and has made the statements that she did. They held a gun to her head or one of the other hostages. The Iranians chose to showcase her because of her gender. We can sit here in the safety of our home and say we wouldn't make a statement or cover our head with a scarf, but when we hear that click of the gun barrel or feel that hand on our shoulder, I bet we all would send up an arrow prayer for forgiveness and say and do whatever our captors told us to.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 8:28 PM ET
Have never forgoten the start of th 79 or the end of the 79 crisis. Our 2nd son was born in 79, by the end we had to moved 5 times for work. & The end I spent 2 hours talking to my Mom ( now passed on) and knowing that some day in the future we would face this again. My Grnadson is now 6, I pray for our troops, our country that this will end before he becomes a parent.
Posted By Anonymous Faith, Harrison, MI : 9:04 PM ET
I was in the first grade when the hostages were released in 1979. Oddly enough, I remember the tickertape parade footage that I saw on the network news and experienced the massive euphoria the country experienced when the hostages were finally home.

That parade was when I first learned what hostages were and the idea of holding someone against their will for political change has scared me and baffled me ever since.

I know that the official policy is to not give in to the hostage takers demands because that only fuels more hostage takers. I think that is the best policy, but it never seems to deter hostage taking. Ultimately taking hostages and torturing them only solidifies hatred among nations. Its hard to know if the hostage takers really want governments to change or if they just want to play psychological warfare on a people. I think it is a little of both.

I believe this is the next phase of the war. An over zealous Iran taking on the West, trying to shoo Western military forces out of the region, so they can take over Iraq. Capturing the British soldiers, from an Iranian perspective, does make sense if you want them gone from the region. The British people have been against British involvement in the war for a long time. Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken serious political hits for joining Bush in this endeavor. Capturing the naval saliors will only intensify and already intensified British public for removal and soon enough the Brits will be gone.
From my perspective, I want the sailors to be o.k. I don't want them beheaded or anything like that. I hope they will be released soon.


We do not need another war with another Islamic country. We need to get out of Iraq, before we are pulled into an even bigger juggernaut. There is just no end to this. Unfortunately for all the players involved, both good intentioned and bad intentioned. The Iraqis, Iranians, and all else with eyes on Iraq have to work it out themselves.
Posted By Anonymous Sylvie Grace; Atlanta, Georgia : 9:11 PM ET
Why on earth is a HOSTAGE CRISIS conducted by thugs being compared to the situation happening now?
The British soldiers are hardly hostages! They were ARRESTED for trespassing into territory off- limits to them.
Whether they really were in Iranian waters or not , can be argued.
But this current crisis has absolutely nothing in common with what happened in 1979!
I wish CNN would stop interviewing former hostages. They had their own experiences under very different circumstances and are of zero value to us now.
Posted By Anonymous Minou, New York, NY : 9:19 PM ET
Why is the media focusing on this hostage situation. This is giving stock traders reason to jack up the price of gas! Anderson could take 360 to a new level if he went to Wall Street and asked traders if they cared about the hostages?, and how they would hope the Goverment would handle the situation?! Lets find out if Wall Street people are genuine or if they are just sharks!
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary Alberta : 9:32 PM ET
Julia.....The Iranians have valid reasons for hating us. Here is a real stumper for you----Can you give one shred of evidence of the US or UK stealing any oil or assasinating any officials. Im sure there will be no reply. Ignorance at its best
Posted By Anonymous Jim,NY,NY : 9:42 PM ET
Uh, where's your mention of Mossadegh? It's not fair to talk about Iran's hostage-taking without referring to the US assassination of a popular leader who was trying to keep Britain from exploiting Iranian oil profits. It's not fair to talk about this crisis without touching on Iran's historical grudge against the UK and the US - the first for stealing oil, the second for assassinating their popular leader. Iranians don't just come out of the womb hating the West: there are some valid reasons for the mutual mistrust and hatred that led to these events.

Posted By Julia Klein, Vancouver Washington : 5:29 PM ET
=====================

Finally a truthful and informed post.
Posted By Anonymous Sana, NYC , NY : 9:49 PM ET
I remember seeing the images in '79. As a child,it was the first time I saw hostages and it was scary.
I think that this time,the stakes are higher and have the potential to ignite the all region. Ahmadinejad is crazy as hell and altough Blair might want to settle with more diplomacy,I know one person that must be full of ideas on how to resolve that,in a not so peaceful way. Bush.
There was one post on the Hot Links that made me cringe. "They are(Iran) far,far,below us(talking about the US)."
On this blog,I read frequently the mention that everybody hates the US. If you have half a brain,you hate the politics of a government,not the people of that country. Granted,is some cases,it is a "national sport"(no disrespect intended,seriously)to hate the U.S.
But,to say that they are "below us" is to step down to the level of the countries hating the U.S.If you are informed,you will know that most of the Iranians to not agree with Ahmadinejad,do not hate you and want to be more free. You could hate the freaking lunatic running part of the show,not the people of the country.
As for the British marine,Faye Turney,to the person that said she should resign for not wearing her uniform,are you for real?I doubt she was given a choice. And she has a child to think of. Once again,a woman is used and humiliated.
Anderson, it would be interesting to have Reza Aslan on your show about that subject.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 9:54 PM ET
I visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library last weekend and saw a lot of information about the hostage crisis. I agree it seems a lot like the current hostage situation. I hope it has a good ending as well.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 10:01 PM ET
It is time for Iran to pay a price for years of terrorist behavior. We continue to back down at our own peril.
Posted By Anonymous Josh, East Haven, CT : 12:27 AM ET
What I don't understand is why the sailors and marines didn't fire on the Iraninan ship. It is hard to know how the situation went down, but why do you have weapons if not to defend yourself? If however, in their judgment, there was no option but to surrender, the HMS Cornwallis should have sunk the Iranian ship.
Now,Iran and all of our would be enemies are watching to see what the west is willing to do, and how far we are willing to go. Iran illegally captured 15 British servicemen and women which is an ACT OF WAR!!! Why is Tony Blair looking for a diplomatic solution!? Give Ahmadinejad an ultimatum. Return our sailors and marines unharmed within 24 hours, or your next speech about how the holocaust didn't happen, or about how you are going to nuke Tel Aviv will end with a cruise missle on the potium.
The west has become so weak that it is disgusting. British citizens, where is your Winston Churchill, and Americans, where are Abraham Lincoln and George Patton? Where are the wartime leaders?
Iran wants to create a new Persia, a new caliphate and all we are giving them is empty rhetoric. The west better wake up and get back to its values and forget the left vs. right politics which we keep getting. The biggest threat in our world is not global warming, it's radical islam. I pray that it is not too late for all nations that believe in democracy to fight the real enemy.
Posted By Anonymous Nestor, Austin, TX : 2:11 AM ET
So many blatantly biased and ignorant comments. Why is everyone calling the captured sailors "hostages"? Has it even occurred to any of you that they may have actually violated Iran's territorial waters? In these politically sensitive times tolerances are pretty low.

To Arash of Tehran:

You do not respond to any of these other ignorant comments on this board, instead you criticize the only one (Julia Kline) that at least attempted to give a reasonable point of view from the other side!? Amazing.

Iranians have isolated themselves in the world because they don't understand the power and value of diplomacy. A bunch of extremely stubborn and inflexible people who believe everything is either black or white and there are no in-betweens.
Posted By Anonymous Sam, San Francisco, CA : 4:11 AM ET
These people weren't kidnapped, they were arrested. Big difference. They are being held for violating Iranian law. This should not be a situation at all.
The media should be ashamed for blowing this so far out of proportion. There has been no legit evidence that these soldiers were not in Iranian water. What have you seen otherwise? Don't boats move? This is no more than propoganda. We worry about British troops who are detained while our soldiers die in another country's civil war. Besides, Britain and Iran ARE NOT AT WAR! This is a standard arrest! Wake up America! Very hypocritical to arrest Cubans and Mexicans who are in our country and condemn Iran for doing the same.

What is America doing with all those detainees in Guantanamo again?
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Loncoln, Nebraska : 4:49 AM ET
Arash pakistan is not a middle eastern country.
i hope the hostages are freed soon.
Posted By Anonymous naurah,lahore,pakistan : 6:45 AM ET
The Iranians cannot be trusted, ever. It is time that we stand United and deal with this country. It is a great time to use nuclear weapons on Iran and settle this pain in the butt problem once and for all.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Randle Pacific city Oregon : 7:04 AM ET
It appears to me that Tony Blair is making the same mistakes that Jimmy Carter made in 79. He doesn't know who he is dealing with and what their grievances are. Hopefully history will repeat itself and these soliders will be freed soon. Hopefully, we have learned the lesson this time we are not alone and need to learn about different cultures and deal with other governments by acknowledging their cutlural differences with understanding, then there won't be a reason to take hostages.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca New Orleans LA : 9:33 AM ET
I can't believe the Brits are so passive on this, to include the UN. Diplomacy? what a joke! Iran was at war for 8 years with Iraq and couldn't defeat them. Do you really believe their threats? Iran's government is a bunch of blow hards. The Brits need to stand up to these cowards, demand their release immediately and be willing to use military force if necessary. YOU CAN NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS! why can't people realize that?
Posted By Anonymous Darren, Seoul, South Korea : 10:40 AM ET
In my view, the US is to blame for the hostage taking incident and many other volatile situation in the Mid East. When the US refrains from bullying other Nations into submission ie: their way or the highway maybe our world can live in peace.

Let's turn the tables: If we were sitting in Iran's position with nuclear arms from hostile nations surrounding us - If those Nations continued to give us ultimatums followed by or else - how would we deal with the situation? Would the US disarm their nuclear war fare to prove their compliance with Peace? Not in our life. Oh, I see, OK for US to have nuclear war fare but not OK for nations who are not on the White House Guest List. Primary school teaches this mode of negotiation fails.

And isn't it true as Iran stated, if they shared their information with NATO it would be tomorrow's news on every airway around the world?

Why should US and Nato expect Iran to believe curtailing their nuclear program would ensure them safe passage among other world nations? The US and NATO need to draft a believeable alternative for Iran. Start communicating versus pontifficating if they truly want peace. But do they? I wonder. Or are they hoping Iran will give them the excuse they need to attack yet another Oil Baron? Blow up another country for not.

To the gentleman that thinks the British female marine should be dishonourably discharged - maybe he'd like to take her place?
Posted By Anonymous Pat Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada : 2:32 PM ET
To James in Canada. God forgive you. You are apparently very ignorant. That poor woman is in fear of her life. Imagine yourself in her place. You should be ashamed of your comment.
Posted By Anonymous Donna W. New Port Richey,FL : 4:46 PM ET
I don't know if these young people (hostages) were coherced into making the statements that they did -- but , I don't care: They look okay and isn't that what's important?

What is disturnbing to me is that everytime something like this comes up, the countries involved have such a hard time admitting that (maybe) a mistake was made -- and to say, "I'm sorry." If I trespassed into private property (by mistake or otherwise), I would say: I'm sorry. It was an accident and I'll try not to let it happen again.

Especially, where there are people's lives at stake: Well, I don't get it! For god's sakes, Great Britain, say I'M SORRY. And, let it go! What's the big deal.
Posted By Anonymous Dianne, Vernon, CT : 6:05 PM ET
The commentors on this article are so pathetic. You call these british trespassers tormented/distressed? If you think their letters and confessions are coerced then take a look at every detained person on earth and the pressure of detention on their confessions, starting with the detainees at gitmo.

Pathetic.
Posted By Anonymous Duke, Erleman Sopwith : 8:07 PM ET
Whatever the situation, the US should stay out of it. It's a Britain-Iran problem let them handle it...
Posted By Anonymous Margaret..Albuquerque, New Mexico : 9:42 PM ET
No damn human has right to insult any religion, no matter we talk about Islam, christianity or judeism. These sister religions are all respectable.

Respect other countries dignity as well, Britains sailors shoulden't enter the Iranians' teritorial borders. They did that and have to be punished.
The world needs order and regulations, just because we live in the west doesn't give us right to do whatever we desire. Please be fair in your judgment.
Posted By Anonymous Niklas, Iowa city in IA : 9:53 PM ET
We have a new hostage crisis because we allowed Iran to profit from the last ones. They need to learn their lesson this time.
Posted By Anonymous John Kantor, St. Petersburg, FL : 10:02 PM ET
I worked in the revolutionary guards and I can tell you that these kind of acts are orders through the Supreme Leader's office.Khamenei and the hard liners helped with the election of Ahmadinejad to complete their take over of all governmental branches.Now the revolutionary guards have even taken over of the oil contracts and the funds are solely used to expand their power. Rafsanjani,Khatami and more moderate factions have now lost their influence in any decision making in Iran.
Khamenei and hard liners have made a strategic decision to confront the west and make a run to develop the Nuke ,underestimating them would be a grave mistake.

Should CNN be interested in my take on the current situation ,then give me an email on the blog where I could contact you.
Posted By Anonymous Reza, Sacramento, CA : 11:03 PM ET
The Brits and Americans should send the Canadians to mediate and coordinate diplomatic relations just as in the 1979 crisis to diffuse the situation. Afterall, who wants to provoke this situation further than what it already is?
Posted By Anonymous Max Brooks, Vulcan, AB : 11:42 PM ET
For all the hawks out there, this is a golden opportunity to do something about Iran before they have nukes. If western leaders take an appeasement stance now, we had all better look forward to a new world order, in which the west no longer dominates, dictates, and claims authority and high ground in every issue. For better or for worse, if the west does not seize this chance to assert their military and economic superiority while they have a moral window or opportunity to do so, another chance may not come before Iran has not only the guts, but the nuclear power to stand up for themselves again. Please note that I speak with no personal moral preference, but merely from a historical perspective.
Posted By Anonymous Nic Hautamaki, Harbin, China : 12:48 AM ET
Something that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since the so called "Confessions" came out... Iran claims to be carrying out some type of legal investigation to see if the British Soldiers are guilty of being in Iranian waters. The problem I have with this is that I don't understand the point of an investigation into their guilt if these soldiers are "confessing" in new ways everyday. I'm no Iranian Lawyer but I think a confession is a confession--case closed!
Posted By Anonymous PJ, Madrid, Spain : 5:52 PM ET
Iran has the best advantage in the world: They know that our values are not shared by the Islamic world. We value the lives of innocents, we value peace, we place a premium on human life--particularly innocent life.

Iran has been playing the bad seed on earth for far too long, and it's time they were dealt with decisively, militarily. We have treated Iran with kid gloves for over 30 years, and see what the results are today: They are abducting citizens from other countries, threaten their lives, use them for propaganda, and are developing nuclear capabilities so that they can do so without any action. Now I know I am in the minority here, but it's high time the Iranians learned what it means to be our enemy. Force them into a wall and let them chose a real and sincere peace... or let them live with a real war. The kind where we don't send in ground troops. It happened in WWII, the bombing of civilians, and you know what? Germany and Japan shaped the hell up and no longer chose to pursue violence as a part of 'national policy'.

Seriously, do the Korans in Iran even contain the word 'peace', or is it all blood and guts?
Posted By Anonymous Robert King, Cary, NC : 6:33 PM ET
This event is going to trigger the next war, if there is no resolution soon.
Posted By Anonymous Jamie M, Richmond, British Columbia : 8:59 PM ET
Seems to me that there as many 'details' of the Brits getting captured as the Pat Tillman Story was originally told. The Brits didn't offer any resistance?

Despite the apparent bungling of the big picture of Iraq-Iran, hope those 'kids' get home safe and sound.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista : 9:31 PM ET
the scarf/burka is a symbol sent to the world promoting the dehumanization of females as is customary in Iran and Iraq. To blame this female soldier for this or a coerced confession is ludicrous.
Posted By Anonymous Diana W, Raleigh, NC : 7:30 AM ET
Am I the only one that sees this but does this not look familar. Hezbollah comes across boarder to kidnap soldiers last summer.Looks like IRAN has a MO.
Posted By Anonymous F.C.BAKER LEONARD TEXAS : 8:53 AM ET
It is deeply depressing that the parade of British sailors and soldiers "confessing" on Iranian television should include two officers. Unlike others, I do not think that the men and woman shown look as if they have been physically ill-treated and all but the woman seem almost perky; this contasts starkly with the appearance of British prisoners paraded by the Iraquis in the first Gulf war. What sort of pressure can have been applied to make these officers do this?

So far I think that the British government has played as well as possible. The hawks in both Iran and the USA would love this to develop into an entrenched stand-off with unforeseeable consequences for the Middle East, world economy and the hostages themselves.
Posted By Anonymous TY, Lasne, Belgium : 9:17 AM ET
From a U.K citizen may i say how fed up of this present uk government we are, the BRITISH BULLDOG as become a cat, and its time we pulled out of helping the U.N, and all these ungratefull countries around the world , Russia refused to sign but has a short memory when our navy went to help there submarine, the african nations who we help with aid,, NO its time we pulled out of everything and started looking after our own country, and our own people, instead of being the worlds lacky
Posted By Anonymous Stephen Jenkinson, huddersfield, U. K : 10:49 AM ET
The people in that region only know fighting and deceit. No one should be surprised. Only one way to deal with that type but no one has the courage to just do it. Now we have millions of those type and their muslim faith in our country, just waiting for the word. They disgust me and offend me with their presence. The worst part is, that the leftist communists will make it even worse, where we won't even be able to defend ourselves in our own country, due to some fool from another country having more rights that we Americans do in our own country.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Kingsburg, CA : 10:52 AM ET
Iran is a nation whose leaders are by psychopathic Islamic terrorist muderers. Truly and evil country. They view the world stage as belonging to their own twisted interpertion of the Koran and they justify their arrogant actions in the name of Allah. Diplomacy? That word has zero meaning in Iran. Isolate them , kick them out of the UN, stop buying their oil (ethanol fuel anyone?!) and let them live in the dark ages of the warped backwards society they are forcing on their population.
Posted By Anonymous Rich, Paramus NJ : 11:46 AM ET
Iran is getting cocky and this attempt to make anyone believe that these soldiers are confessing is such a sham and is totally rediculous. They are all reading badly written scripts and forced to do so at gun point just out of camera range of course. The leader of Iran should be removed from power as he is leading his country down a very dark, destructive, deadly path. First with his nuclear farce and now taking innocent hostages and making stupid made up tv confessions. What's next?
Posted By Anonymous John San Jose, CA : 1:06 PM ET
Many of the comments completely disgust me. Don't make this 'Islam' and 'West' issue please. I as a Muslim, am completely against Irans actions. Its acting as a snake with two heads, each head trying to win over people of thier political agenda. Iran doesn't want to see the Muslim world liberated at all, they want to conquer it, something Muslims are completely against. I, personally, have not met a Muslim who agrees with Iran and its sneaky regime. I'm not saying this because I'm sunni, but because I personally saw what Iran wants and how they want to achieve their violent idea of taking over the world. Iran scares me and I really want to see this violent regime taken down. I just can't logically explain their love of war. Too evil and too bad. And Islam condemns their hyporisy and their way to achieve their goal with violence and bloodshed.
Posted By Anonymous Hadiya, Monmouth Junction, NJ : 1:16 PM ET
To Robert King, N.C.
I couldn't agree with you more. Someone needs to teach them not to mess with the rest of the world.
Posted By Anonymous darren, atlanta, ga : 1:57 PM ET
Our war with Iraq has effectively hamstrung all of our most effective response options with Iran.

The whole world knows that we (including our allies) are now pretty much all bluster and impotent and Iran knows this. They are laughing at our inability to come up with any substantial response, including the show of force 'exercises' (which fooled or scared no one.

In this environment, Iran will surely gather in strength and influence like a resurgent Germany in the mid-1930's. Sadly, there seems to be no other 'peaceful' alternatives left that will make them come back to civilization.
Posted By Anonymous R. Schneider Delavan, WI : 2:03 PM ET
Hello,

Diplomacy? Why should this be used with a non-diplomatic country? The time for diplomacy has passed. The in-humane treatment of these detainees in Iran is inexcusable. The humiliation they have endured from the Iranian people and government can not be tolerated. We need to go into the detestable country known as Iran and take the sailors home. Let Iran try to stop us. We need Iran's oil - that's it.
Posted By Anonymous Jason L. Jorginson - Marquette - MI : 2:25 PM ET
I wonder how long the Brits will wait before they take military action. The Iranians are really in a hurry to resolve this matter diplomatically. Do they?
Posted By Anonymous John, Deer Park, NY : 2:58 PM ET
I don't know too many Iranians, but it's been nearly 30 years and they still have no other means of communicating their needs than holding people hostage. They want the Western world to take them seriously and respect them yet they only react with the same barbaric behavior that makes me wonder if time hasn't stood still for them.

I don't hold ALL Arabs (or ALL Iranians) in contempt, but it's hard to want to deal with and work with them.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole, Lexington MA : 3:26 PM ET
I don't think there is a war between British and Iran. No one would like to see that would happen. But I am thinking that each side should not be playing with the incident as a bargaining chip. I hope all the soldiers can go home soon. It will be the heartbroken time for their families. We need world peace considering there is so much violence going on around the world. We should be not being hostile each other. We should put more money, energy, and our time on our children.
Posted By Anonymous Sally Yang, Texas : 3:59 PM ET
An important piece of information missing from this synopsis is that it was the Canadian government in 1979, and specifically a Canadian ambassador named Ken Taylor, who secured Canadian passports for six US diplomats in order for them to escape Iran. It's safe and easy for us to sit here in our North American and European comfort and pass judgment on both the captors and the captives. Given the same set of circumstances, who's to say any one of us wouldn't unquestioningly and vigorously defend our political-religious beliefs or, similarly, do all that is necessary in order to stay alive? The most striking similarities between the 1979 hostage crisis and this one is that both captors and captives are replicating their actions. Let's see what our world leaders have learned from history and if they can apply it in a positive manner.
Posted By Anonymous Beth K, Langley, BC : 4:42 PM ET
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