Patricia Hewitt, Health Secretary in Tony Blair's cabinet, was upset by pictures broadcast from Iran of the 15 captive British sailors and marines, reported Christopher Booker of the Sunday Telegraph.
"It was deplorable that the woman hostage should be shown smoking," Ms. Hewitt said. "This sends completely the wrong message to our young people."
When liberals cower when petty thugs make threats (which is pretty much whenever petty thugs make threats), conservatives, understandably, suspect them of cowardice. But Ms. Hewitt's bizarre response to her country's humiliation suggest something else is at work.
The most remarkable aspect of this most recent Iranian hostage crisis is the lengths to which so many prominent people in the West have gone to make excuses for inexcusable Iranian behavior.
Patrick Cockburn, writing in the British newspaper the Independent, said the crisis was America's fault because the U.S. military had captured six suspected Iranian intelligence officers in a raid in northern Iraq Jan. 11.
Iran has been supplying money, weapons (most U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the last year have been killed by Iranian-manufactured IEDs), training and perhaps more to various insurgent groups in Iraq.
Three of the six arrested in the Erbil raid were members of the Quds Force, the overseas terrorist arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. They may have been directing terrorist attacks.
"The abortive Erbil raid provided a dangerous escalation in the confrontation between the U.S. Iran which ultimately led to the capture of 15 British sailors and marines," Mr. Cockburn said.
"According to this version of events, if the United States and Britain would just allow Iran to run roughshod over Iraq, supply terrorists with weapons and suitcases of cash, everything would be just fine," said Kenneth Timmerman, a journalist who writes frequently about Iran.
Some liken liberal appeasers to those Britons who wanted to make a deal with Hitler after the fall of France in 1940. That's unfair to those appeasers. Their attitude was not honorable, but it was reasonable. The Nazis then possessed a substantial advantage in military power. Today's liberal appeasers embrace dhimmitude even though it's the West that has a huge military and economic advantage.
In Britain, schools are dropping references to the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims, the Daily Mail reported. In Minneapolis, some Muslim cab drivers refuse to pick up blind people with seeing-eye dogs, and Muslim clerks in grocery stores refuse to wait on customers who want to buy pork products. Reporters for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune think Minnesotans should adjust their behavior to accommodate the Muslims.
Liberals are not so much terrified by the threat radical Islam poses as they are oblivious to it. A recent poll indicated a majority of Democrats are more worried about global warming than they are about Islamic terror. While many liberals do indeed need to have backbones surgically implanted, more need to have their heads examined.
One dummy dhimmy is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is under the mistaken impression she was also elected Secretary of State. She was unwilling to bring up for a vote a resolution supporting the British in the hostage crisis, but was eager to suck up to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
The Washington Post was not impressed by Ms. Pelosi's bumbling foray into foreign policy: "As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel, but heading off UN charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri."
Britain and America (apparently) gave up little to secure release of the hostages. Mr. Timmerman thinks a quietly delivered threat of force (and the arrival of an aircraft carrier to make it credible) was critical to obtaining their release. But Iran won because Iran suffered no consequences for its outrageous behavior.
Most parents understand that if you give ice cream to a two-year-old each time he throws a tantrum, he will have more tantrums, not fewer. But liberals have convinced themselves that the way to moderate the behavior of Islamic thugs is to offer them apologies and concessions whenever they behave thuggishly.
The infidels Allah is about to destroy, he first makes mad. I suspect that Mahmoud the Magnanimous (as Boston Herald City Editor Jules Crittenden has dubbed the president of Iran) believes this. And with liberals taking his side against their own governments, who can blame him?