America On Its Knees
  In God We Trust

America On Its Knees


U.S. Navy sailors are detained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran, as pictured in a frame grab of a video released Tuesday by...

U.S. Navy sailors are detained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran, as pictured in a frame grab of a video released Tuesday by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency.


Iran: Ten U.S. sailors kneel at gunpoint before Iran's military, then actually apologize, and while held captive, merit no mention in the president's speech to Congress. It's American weakness illustrated.


We don't yet have the full facts on how a U.S. naval vessel was allowed to be seized by the world's foremost terrorist state. But as Desert Storm infantry commander and Clinton drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.) warned in an NBC News interview, "this is an affront to our military presence in the Gulf and will unsettle our allies in the region."


Sticks and stones may break our bones, but images can hurt a global power profoundly. Hubert Van Es' infamous photo of desperate evacuees scrambling toward an Air America Huey helicopter on the roof of a Saigon building, as North Vietnamese surrounded the city, symbolized American impotence in the 1970s.


The Islamic State understands that a picture can be worth a thousand bullets, producing blood-curdling videos of its atrocities. For Iran, images of U.S. sailors kneeling in submission, and video of one apologizing on behalf of the rest — and, by extension, on behalf of the U.S. — are, as the MasterCard commercials put it, "Priceless."


"It was our fault," the sailor said on camera. "And we apologize for our mistake."


What a comparison with the tortured crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo, captured by North Korea in 1968, who during their captivity discreetly extended their middle fingers when posing for propaganda photos. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry says, "I want to express my gratitude to Iranian authorities. ..."


As Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said, "Before we thank the Iranian naval forces and attempt to defend and normalize their behavior, as Vice President Biden and Secretaries Kerry and Carter appear inclined to do, we should demand answers" to questions that include:

"Where exactly were the sailors intercepted? Why were they detained instead of being merely escorted into international waters? What was the nature of the technical

 malfunctions on both vessels? ... Was sensitive equipment compromised? (and) Why were the sailors not permitted to contact U.S. higher headquarters in the region for the 16 hours they were detained?"


Cotton also noted that the administration presumes that Iran conducted a rescue mission, "when Iran has characterized the incident as U.S. ships trespassing into its waters and 'snooping.'"


He added: "Our sailors never should have been detained in the first place, and blithely accepting such action will only embolden the ayatollahs who wish to do harm to Americans and our allies in the Arabian Gulf."


This humiliation of the U.S. comes less than a week before we lift sanctions unfreezing $150 billion for new terrorist activities, as promised in Obama and Kerry's Iran nuclear deal — a pact that Tehran has not even been required to sign.


Our sailors were held as Obama stood before Congress on Tuesday night, but they weren't deemed worthy of mention in the president's address. The nuclear deal he considers his big foreign policy achievement, moreover, got only 41 words in a speech that lasted just under an hour; he devoted four times as many words to the Iran nuclear talks in last year's State of the Union.


Iran, obviously, isn't something President Obama wants Americans to think about anymore. Because it has become synonymous with American decline.