HUMINT: Iranian Bollox

Language of a draft at the UNSC is currently under debate, right now. From what I hear, Tehran is thinking that this sailor snatch might lead to a prisoner swap - Brits for Iranians in American custody. That sounds like an incredibly unlikely three-way to me. Nevertheless, the pattern of Iranian ops in Iraq leading up to this incident suggests they were trying to abduct American service members but were unable to do so. While the Shatt AlArab border dispute is mildly relevant, there are three reasons why this operation took place. The Global War on Terror, British rules of engagement and Iran's recent history with Britain --- converged to form a perfect storm. A similar event played out once before in 2004... That 2004 conclusion is undoubtedly expected to occur again in the very near future. But at what cost? A repeatedly humiliated Royal Navy? An emboldened Iranian theocracy? Anyway, Iran-Contra lessons learned, the Iranians are far more likely to get a taste of the USS Stennis this time. What is clear, the Iranians are in a hole and are only digging themselves in deeper thinking they can get out that way.

Is a U.S.-Iran War Inevitable?

Baer's thinking on Iran is brutally obvious.

  1. The Iranian Government misbehaves – Domestic human rights abuses, international terrorism
  2. West increases diplomatic pressure – Threatens military response
  3. The price of petroleum rises – boosting a paranoid government in Tehran

1, 2, 3 repeat until the quake takes down civil society in Iran. It’s an unstable cycle Robert…

Britain is Taking Right Approach with Iran

S/RES/1723 (2006)

Calling upon the international community, particularly countries in the region and Iraq’s neighbours, to support the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability, security, democracy, and prosperity, and noting that the successful implementation of this resolution will contribute to regional stability,

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War - Article 17

Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information. If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson

1797 was a full year for Nelson. On 14 February he was largely responsible for the British victory at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. Here he showed his flair for dramatic and bold action. Under the command of Sir John Jervis, the British fleet was ordered to "tack in line," but Nelson disobeyed these orders and wore ship to alter course and prevent the Spanish fleet from escaping. He then boarded two enemy ships in succession, an unusual and bold move which was cheered by the whole fleet. Nelson himself led the boarding parties, which was not usually done by high ranking officers. In the aftermath of this victory, Nelson was knighted as a member of the Order of the Bath (hence the postnominal initials "KB"). In April of the same year he was promoted to Rear Admiral of the Blue, the ninth highest rank in the Royal Navy.




HUMINT: Smile for Effect


Months ago I wrote a post about the American Street. In it, I describe a verbal exchange I had with a communist propagandizer. Despite the obnoxious T-Shirt this snake oil salesman was wearing, and despite the fact he was trying hard to attract attention – almost everyone around him was doing a good job of ignoring him. I however could not ignore him. You might be asking, why did humint notice a subversive newspaper salesman among an ocean of busy bodies, shuffling diligently from point “A” to point “B”? The answer is ridiculously simple. I noticed him because of a game I play when I’m in the street. It’s a game I call SMILES.

Here’s how the game works; The next time you find yourself walking down the street, in New York City, Tel Aviv, London, Riyadh, Paris, Amman, Los Angeles, Cairo, Munich or Tehran, look passers by in the eye and smile at them. If they smile back, give yourself a point.

I made up the game SMILES a long time ago but still catch myself playing it today. The premise of the game is so simple you’ll quickly forget you’re playing it. Regardless of the game, it’s a regular habit of mine to be friendly and smile at strangers. I’ve found that one can learn a great deal from sparking up random conversations. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were predicated on nothing more than a friendly smile. Over the years, I’ve come to realize, playing the game has subtle benefits for all players.

While it would be easy to fill a book with the various responses I’ve received from men, women, young people, old people, happy people, sad people, punks, freaks, businessmen, politicians, students, professors, janitors and many more… I’ll just share one rather interesting story about playing the game in Manhattan a few summers ago.

What’s fascinating about the streets of Manhattan is that walking there; you’ll bump into every kind of person you can imagine in just a few minutes. Despite any preconceived notions you may have about New York City, (Hollywood’s disinformation campaign), it is very easy to get a high score playing SMILES there. What invariably happens to me when I’m there; people immediately start asking me for directions.

That said I’m not from Manhattan. It doesn’t matter though. Manhattan is easy to navigate on foot. Traveling by car through the caverns of concrete and steel is a different story though. I’ve done my share of driving in New York City which is another game entirely. I call that game – Lahore Cab Driver (LCD). LCD is probably the most frustrating game on the planet. Avoid it if you can. But I digress.

Some might find lost inquisitors looking for their destination annoying, but I don’t mind helping them out at all. It’s a great opportunity to guess the origins of their accents, age and ask things like, “how long they are staying?” or “what restaurants they’ve enjoyed visiting?”. What SMILES will teach you, if you play it right, are that people are always complex, usually beautiful, sometimes brilliant, often funny and constantly busy. Try it sometime, but be subtle about it. I don’t want to bump into someone who asks me if I’m playing SMILES. I’m probably just being friendly anyway.




  • HUMINT: Iranian Bollox
  • HUMINT: Smile for Effect

    01.90   06.90   09.90   01.91   05.91   09.94   08.95   01.97   09.97   08.98   11.99   01.00   05.00   07.00   03.01   09.01   01.03   03.03   05.03   06.03   07.03   09.03   10.03   11.03   03.04   05.04   06.04   07.04   09.04   10.04   11.04   12.04   01.05   02.05   03.05   04.05   05.05   06.05   07.05   08.05   09.05   10.05   11.05   12.05   01.06   02.06   03.06   04.06   05.06   06.06   07.06   08.06   09.06   10.06   11.06   12.06   01.07   02.07   03.07   04.07   05.07   06.07   07.07   08.07   09.07   10.07   11.07   12.07   01.08   06.08   09.08  


  • Best of Google Vid
  • Iraqhurr Radio Free Iraq
  • Kurdistan TV
  • RFE Radio Liberty
  • Radio Free Iraq
  • 1st Headlines
  • Al Bab
  • Al Bawaba - ARABIC
  • Al Bawaba - ENGLISH
  • Al Iraqi
  • Aswat al Iraq - ARABIC
  • Aswat al Iraq - ENGLISH
  • Aswat al Iraq - KURDISH
  • Big News Network
  • EIN News
  • Electronic Iraq
  • Inside Iraq
  • Iraq Crisis Bulletin
  • Iraq Daily
  • Iraq Economy
  • Iraq Energy
  • Iraq Journal
  • Iraq Net
  • Iraq Photos
  • Iraq Sport
  • Iraq Updates
  • Iraqi News
  • Iraqi Papers
  • Moreover
  • One World
  • RUSI
  • Sotal Iraq
  • Topix
  • Yahoo
  • Zawya
  • Baghdad Bulletin
  • Economist
  • Az Zaman - ENGLISH
  • Iraq Today
  • Guardian
  • Al Mannarah
  • Al Ahali
  • Al Fourat
  • Al Itijah Al Akhar
  • Al Ittihad
  • Al Sabah
  • Al Tariq
  • Alef Yaa
  • Baghdad
  • Baghdad
  • Iraq Today
  • Radio Dijla
  • humint

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?