How dare those Limeys not give us more martyrs?

This is the frothing, eye-bulging reaction from some of the screeching warmonkeys pounding their keyboards in the US to the peaceful resolution of the British sailors’ hostage situation in Iran. Michelle Malkin, who has described the British personnel as “cringeworthy”, links approvingly to Townhall.com, where Dean Barnett commences the outrage:

A few weeks ago, 15 British seamen and marines, soldiers of the Royal Navy, found themselves in a similar quandary. Belligerent Iranians had surrounded them and threatened them with both words and actions. Just as the passengers on Flight 93 had a choice, so too did the British seamen who ultimately spent a couple of weeks as hostages of the Iranian regime. Why did these soldiers, the products of military training and representatives of Her Majesty’s flag, make the decision to surrender themselves? Because, according to their Captain at a Friday press conference, “Fighting back was simply not an option.â€?

What a strange and dismal trip it has been for the Western world, going from “Let’s Rollâ€? to “Fighting Back Was Not An Optionâ€? in scarcely more than five years. One can only hope that when the history of our era is written, the former will turn out to be the immortal quote, not the latter.

Why yes, how absolutely awful for outnumbered military personnel who know their country is not at war with another country taking them into custody, to not open fire when that is explicitly against their own country’s Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and they know that it’s only their own lives at stake. A situation more exactly like the passengers on Flight 93 could hardly be imagined, could it?

Sticking to the ROE during and after capture, including conciliatory gestures, to keep a volatile situation down to a diplomatic incident rather than becoming an unplanned military venture is for sissies, obviously.

It gets worse in the comments:

There is no fight left in Britain and Eurabia. They have already succumbed to the enemy.

I don’t think you would find the same here. Plenty of people are still ready to fight. Not the dims, of course, but they have been yellow bellied cowards for years.

The Brits were pathetic and I believe universally seen as cowards, especially kissing AhmedNuts’s hands after they had already been released.

Sailors and Royal Marines? Hardly. Maybe Royal Queens. I’d love to see a video of these “marines” meeting up with the Marines who have been dealing with Bashra for the last few years. Butt kicking for all!

It’s hard to make a judgment if one isn’t actually there. But as a combat Vet myself I can tell you, if it would have been me captured. I wouldn’t be appearing on TV looking as though I was having a party with the Iranians. Nor would I have signed any kind of confession they devised. They would probably beat me to death and I would do my best to take some with me. But I would never give into them! Never!

Since we won WWs-I&II for them, the Limeys have hidden behind America’s might and have turned their military forces, such as they were, into ‘free’ eyeglasses for little old women and ‘free’ abortions for young ones.

And in the process have rid their girlyboy navy of both rum and the lash!

The occasional voices or reason get howled down:

What were they supposed to do?
They were massivly outnumbered (6:1), according to repports they had several heavy machine guns trained on them, certain death considering they were in a Dinghy armed merely with rifles.

Not only would firing back have been irresponsible for them but also for Britain, it would have sparked a wider incident and possibly an armed conflict.

As for co-operating after capture, they were merely following the guidelines for post-capture situations. They are there to help ensure their safe return.

The British hostages came across as sissies, one and all. Their country expected them to be sissies. The only indignation I read in the British Press was against the Iranians for showing film of THE WOMAN HOSTAGE SMOKING. I did not make that up. It was actually said by a member of Blair’s Cabinet on television.

My sisters and I have talked frequently about what we would do if someone asked us to renounce our faith or lose our heads. We have decided better our heads than our souls. We took heart from the girl in the Columbine Massacre who refused at the threat of one of the gunmen to renounce her faith, and died for it. We cannot all fight the great battles but we can fight the battle for our souls, and we are commanded to do just that.

A group of babies like those who cave in the minute somebody waves a wooden spoon at them is not a Military. It’s a daycare centre. I looked at them and thought to myself, “These children think it’s desperate deprivation that the Iranians are not letting them watch “American Idol” …” But of course being kept in isolation without your iPod, your computer, your BlackBerry and your cell phone means you have to keep company with your own thoughts — and what have they got in their heads, save the constant drumbeat of FAILURE FAILURE FAILURE SURRENDER, GIVE IN, ACCOMMODATE, GIVE UP? I daresay not a one of those sissies could even amuse himself by reciting in his mind a single word of the Bible, of Kipling or of anything but perhaps the blasphemy and porn of current pop songs.

Here is your rising generation. From the look of that bunch of spineless girly men, it may well be the last.

And of course, it’s all the fault of women, although they can’t seem to decided exactly where to fix the womanly blame:

Spineless..
Europe in it’s entirety is taking on the French personality – spinelessness.

All the trash-talk about blood-lust? The best example of blood-lust in the USA is in Nazi Margaret Sanger’s death clinics – scientists” of Planned Parenthood stabbing babies in the head and sucking their brains out – spineless butchers.

Let me answer the title first,
“What ever happened to “Let’s Roll?”” The simple answer is the feminization of western culture.

Since the sixties we in the west have been treated to a constant barrage of PC, feel-good foolishness. We have been taught this garbage from kindergarten to graduate school. Instead of standing up and fighting for whats right in a situation, we’re supposed to “put ourselves in their shoes” and try to “embrace their feelings.” If they have darker skin than us or come from a different culture, the PC crying fools expect us to immediately apologize as they have taught about ever conflict in history has been white-Christian-men stealing from the ancient, innocent cultures they find.

Feminization
Do you think that this played just a tiny bit in the actions of the other male sailors & marines? Were some of them being just a little over protective of her and because of that the males lost their edge, if they ever had one? And isn’t that one of the predictions when all this nonsense started? Don’t mean to sound like an old soldier sitting in an armchair, but that protective instinct is exactly what would crossed my mind had women been in my infantry unit in Vietnam.

And then you get the ones with the gloves (and probably the meds) off:

My, God!

God how those who couch their hatred for those more talented, smart, and productive than they are in pseudopolitical cant disgust me.

As to the Brits.

“Policing”? An EMBARGO!! And that’s NOT a kind of Act of WAR?! They WEREN’T Frikkin Bobbies!! They WERE COMBAT Troops in a COMBAT ZONE!!! Where WAS their support? The Brits could have had a chopper, WE could have had planes overhead in MINUTES!! The Brits SHOULD have been able to shell the crap out of ANY nearby Iranian unit. Why didn’t THAT happen?

If that particular unit was FORBIDDEN by their chain of command and the Rules of Engagement to “fight back” if THAT’s why it “wasn’t an option” then the blame is UP the chain of command, but SOMEBODY should have been not only WILLING, but READY to waste every stinkin ragheaded, camel humping, goat sucking, Islamanazi WITHIN A HUNDRED MILES!!! Don’t give a DAMN which side of the “border” they are on.

You see MY hatreds are not directed to those who have more money than me. MINE are directed AT THE STINKING PIECES OF CRAP TRYING TO KILL ME ENSLAVE MY WIFE AND BUGGER MY BOYS.

AND I WANT THEM ALL DEAD!!!!

If all you blabbers out there ain’t down with that you are simply getting in the way of my survival.

Screw you.

I admire those who continue to wade in and speak sense by this point in the thread:

Hmmm…
Comparing this to the Flight 93 is ridiculous. On Flight 93 they were informed that they were going to die if they stood still. This was not the case for those British soldiers. Of course maybe if they were bombarded with the same propaganda that many on this site are subjected to they would have probably fight back. By propaganda I mean the belief that every muslim will behead a non Muslim. The fact of the matter is that if they would have fought back they would be dead. Not only that but it would have probably been the Gulf of Tonkin like incident, this time real, and would have brought all of into war with Iran, so I can see why Neoconservatives wanted to British to fight back. The fact of the matter is that Iran is a state that is not suicidal. It’s easy to talk from our keyboards how “heroic” we would act in that situation. The fact of the matter is that the Brits had a choice between life and meaningless death that would spark a much larger conflict resulting in more wasteful deaths.

That is where Neoconservative mouthpieces are similar to Islamic Fundamentalist leaders, they are warlike, ideologically insane, but they prefer others to be their martyrs.

There were still hundreds of comments after that one, but it was all getting repetitive. In the sidebar was a link to “Talk about this article” with 10 more articles about the “spineless Brits”, and the comments threads were essentially identical to this one. John Derbyshire, an expatriate Britain living in the US, joins the chorus at The Corner with “The End of Britain”.

Of course, the readers of the UK Torygraph were largely running in a similiar vein about their gutless soldiers surrendering without a shot. The few people who dare to remind others that BRITAIN IS NOT AT WAR WITH IRAN are pooh-poohed as making an irrelevant point, because apparently it’s all about honour and losing face.

By contrast, I’m thankful for Rules of Engagement that make a clear distinction between being at war and not, and for military personnel who think about the best way to follow the Rules of Engagement. Honour means nothing to the dead, and unnecessarily starting a war means many dead. I salute the sailors and marines and their commander who kept them in mind of their larger responsibility to their nation.

crossposted at Hoyden About Town

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writer, singer, webwrangler, blogger, comedy tragic | about.me/vivsmythe

Posted in Ethics, Iran
151 comments on “How dare those Limeys not give us more martyrs?
  1. Fiasco da Gama says:

    You must have a strong stomach, tigtog. Well waded.
    Of course the question really is: What would Horatio Hornblower have done? I imagine it would have involved a block and tackle.

  2. Rob says:

    The issue isn’t so much why they did not defend themselves — that had to be a decision for the commander on the spot — but how they conducted themselves after they were captured.

  3. Biggles says:

    If I still had my wings those perfidious Persians would know the might of British steel.

  4. Fiasco da Gama says:

    So you don’t “agree” with “most of”, as you said at your place, Rob, Melanie Phillips’ white-featherish screed?

    Relief at the safe return of the 15 sailors, and the fact that we must always bear in mind that none of us knows how we would ourselves behave in such circumstances, cannot nevertheless mitigate the sickening realisation that the hostage fiasco is another terrible milestone in the west’s current suicidal trajectory of decadence and moral collapse.
    First the sailors allowed themselves to be taken without a fight…

  5. Rob says:

    Yes, I don’t agree that they should be condemned for not resisting. But LS Turney writing propaganda letters at the Iranians’ request just so she could get home for her daughter’s birthday — well, that raises some issues, I think.

  6. Kim says:

    Shocking, yes, Rob, captives wanting to be free – and for their daughter’s birthday!

    What exactly are you getting at?

  7. Rob says:

    Writing letters falsely confirming Iran’s claims of territorial trespass under no greater pressure than a vague threat of imprisonment seems kind of questionable to me, coming from a member of the UK armed services.

  8. Kim says:

    Well, what should they have done instead?

    And you think that sailors captured by Iran might only rationally have anticipated “a vague threat of imprisonment”? Really?

  9. tigtog says:

    Even one who knew she wasn’t about to be classified as a POW, seeing as how the two countries are not at war? And who had almost certainly been directed to be conciliatory by her CO, who was keeping the larger diplomatic picture in mind?

  10. Rob says:

    You’re not being disingenuous, are you, Kim?

  11. Kim says:

    No, not in the slightest, Rob.

  12. Enemy Combatant says:

    “If I still had my wings those perfidious Persians would know the might of British steel.”

    And, Captain Biggleswoth, the might of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now BP, for Queen and Country as well, my good man. Algy would have been so proud. Pity about the First Eleven. Bloody upstart colonials. Perhaps The Empire is lost, afterall……. DASH !

  13. Rob says:

    I didn’t see any indication of that in her story, tigtog (instructions from her CO).

    She publicly confirmed a charge she knew to be false, thereby handing Iran a huge propaganda bonus, for no better reason, on her own account, than she wanted to keep a promise to her daughter to be home for her birthday — which was still many weeks away. She was quite conscious of what she was doing — knowing, as she said, that everyone in Britain would hate her for it.

  14. Christine Keeler says:

    Good to see brave little Michelle still on the job keeping our moral compass in check. One is reminded of the time when she donned the body-armour, kitted-up the camo, and spent two days in Iraq single-handedly handing out lollies to street urchins … but I digress.

    Anyway, bang on Kim. What would Rob recommend Turney do exactly?

    1. Write an ‘admission’ in poorly composed English that was obviously – to anyone with half a brain – dictated by her captors, or

    2. Scream “Never in a million years you raghead Persian scum! Have you way with me if you will, but I remain forever England!”

    What would you have done Rob?

    What people seem to forget is that it’s the job of the commander on the ground to safeguard the lives of those under their command and not chuck them away in egotistical acts of misguided heroism.

  15. Kim says:

    Indeed, Christine.

    Re – the comments about “feminization” in the stuff tigtog quoted – do I perceive a note of criticism against Turney for being concerned about her daughter from Rob? I’m sure, at any rate, that there’s a subtext in all the ranting and raving cited about what happens when women are allowed into the armed forces – all this soft stuff about not wanting to die for HONOUR is obviously all TEH FAULT OF THE FEMINISTS! “Diana-fication” and all that…

  16. Pavlov's Cat says:

    I see, so keeping a promise to a child is cause for outrage. What’s the problem, Rob — is this a “sissy” notion? I wonder what the fathers here would say to that.

    My understanding of most of the ordure that Tigtog so bravely waded through is that it was grounded, however incoherently, in a desire to Defend Our Western Values. I’m thinking particularly of the bloke who was fixated on the enslavement of his wife and the buggering of his boys.

    I don’t have any kids myself, but surely the desire to keep faith with one’s own children is a big part of the value system the warmonkeys say that one should fight for.

    Besides, my military acquaintance would laugh themselves stupid at the idea that actual trained servicepeople with half a brain among them would behave any differently from the way the British sailors did, a peaceful resolution being the desired outcome given the unthinkable alternative. I can’t help wondering how close the sabre-rattling screechers quoted here have ever been to any actual military training or experience.

  17. Christine Keeler says:

    “…thereby handing Iran a huge propaganda bonus…”

    That is absolute bollocks, Rob, given that nobody actually believed the letter’s claims when it was published. Unless, that it, you were actually taken in by all the sundry statements that the Iranians are all jolly good chaps and we admit to doing beastly things to their territorial waters.

    If so you’re more gullible than I thought.

  18. Rob says:

    She should have done what they all should have done — kept quiet, behaved with decorum, and remembered their comrades who faced far greater peril every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That’s what I would hope I would have done, Christine.

  19. Fiasco da Gama says:

    Putting aside the bucketry that TT’s quoted, the post-captivity media scrum does all seem to be a little bit over-the-top. It’s like they’re evictees from the Revolutionary Guard Big Brother house.
    Give me the behaviour of a Gary Powers any day, or even any of the mercifully silent Guantánamo detainees.

  20. Christine Keeler says:

    “Give me the behaviour of a Gary Powers any day”

    Sadly, Fiasco, there were plenty of people around at the time who said he should have done the right thing and saved them all from embarrassment by putting a bullet into his brain.

    Same with Commander Pete Bucher of the spyship USS Pueblo captured by the North Koreans in international waters in 1968 http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/incident/incidentframe.html

    He surrendered the ship thus saving the lives of 82 crew rather than trying to pointlessy duke it out with a single machine-gun against some serious firepower arrayed around him.

  21. Rob says:

    Here’s one example of how to behave when captured.

    On the day they let us go, I was being herded towards the airplane by a couple of those monkeys. I pulled my arm out of their grasp and let them know that “We’re number one”…but used the wrong finger.

    For our troubles we were isolated, thumped, went through two mock executions, starved, threatened, and had to put up with useful idiots from Amnesty International showing up just to let the world know how humane we were being treated.

    We resisted at each opportunity, except for Army Sgt Joe Subic who collaborated from day 1 and was later snubbed by the rest of us (and was the only one not to receive a citation). We refused to cooperate, stole keys, plugged toilets, pissed in their rations, blew circuit breakers, laughed in their face when they threatened us and cursed them when they beat us. Steve Kirtley even told one of them to pull his finger! The monkey did and Steve was beaten for the inevitable result.

    We did this because we were first and foremost, MARINES! Our honor and loyalty to the United States gave us the courage. We would rather die (and that was a definite possibility) than to shame ourselves, our Corps, or our Country. We had to live up to our history and got to measure ourselves and our actions against those of greater men.

    Yes, we broke now and then. But would immediately pick ourselves back up and go back to fighting. Which, by the way, confused the hell out of the monkeys!

    Pity the poor Brits. All they had was the history of the E.U. and the U.N. as examples.

    Semper Fi

    Via BlackFive.

  22. zoot says:

    You should keep in mind that most of these people willing to fight to the last drop of someone else’s blood have only experienced combat via the medium of John Wayne movies.

  23. Christine Keeler says:

    Lotta keyboard soldiers round these here parts zoot.

    Semper Fi.

  24. Lang Mack says:

    Rob, I don’t think you should join any group say like the Rural Bush Fire or Coast Watch, your ideals would be soon set straight, you know, dead heros etc;.

  25. Yes, Rob. All of the hostages were eventually released. Eventually. Some 444 days later. I can’t recall the U.S. being so humiliated in my life.

    I think I’d be cautious to use the whole affair as a precedent.

  26. Rob says:

    If you want to get a sense of what the serving British military think of the captives’ behaviour, check out the British Army Rumour Service (unimaginatively acronymised as ARSE).

  27. Christine Keeler says:

    Think you’d better go back and read ’em yourself Rob. Not quite the lay down misere you imply.

  28. Rob says:

    Bloody ridiculous!
    2 sodding weeks, not a scratch, fed, watered, cigs, new suits.
    Hero’s my arse!
    Gobshites for surrendering IMO.
    The Marine Captain should be sacked.

  29. Jack Robertson says:

    Rob, if your mate Blackfive wants his ass f**ked, tell him to stop beating around the bush and just ask for it outright.

  30. Rob says:

    Elegantly put, Jack.

  31. Chris says:

    Barnett suggests that “it may seem easy and unseemly for a keyboard warrior like me to criticize the conduct of the British troops.â€? There is no seem about it. It is unseemly and, while it should not be easy, it appears that for some it is.

    He goes on to give himself permission to criticize the conduct of the British troops because he “can say with some confidence how I would hope to respondâ€?. This is a profoundly meaningless statement. Anyone can hope. I hope that if I was in the situation of the British troops I would single-handedly take down the entire Iranian navy before breakfast. But I wasn’t and I didn’t, so really I don’t have the authority to mouth of at those who were in the situation on the grounds that I am capable of entertaining a macho fantasy.

  32. Christine Keeler says:

    OK, so you are armed with SA80s and 9mm pistols, and you get surrounded by patrol boats mounting 12mm Dushkys, 30mm cannon and God knows what else, and you are in a RIB that is made of rubber and GRP.. yep, I guess he’s right, they could have given a better account of themselves.
    Is this c*nt of the George Armstrong Custer school of odds-weighing?

    Like I said Rob.

  33. philip travers says:

    The only strong feeling I have about this incident and aftermath,is no=one can tell me what the truth is.But maybe the Sydney Morning Herald blog on the matter could go close.If it is so easy for many to characterise the Brits in some matters,is it also possible the Iranians who do not really want to speak English and print it regularily,may in fact,have to translate from Iranian spoken language,which is, to English their own characterisations of these self same Brits!?Ho Ho.Which way do we go,if we are solely dependent on our own characterisations!?And there is a nice earning capacity too.Did the Iranians offer them something,or did the y take the gifts from the horses mouth!?

  34. Kim says:

    It’s usually TEH LEFT that is accused of “not supporting the troops”. What this remarkable episode of Semper Fi-envy demonstrates is that there’s precious little support for actually existing troops from the right when they act and feel like human beings as opposed to fantasy stereotypes.

  35. Rob says:

    Yes, well, now that we’ve both cherry-picked, Christine, would I be wrong in saying the general tone of contributors was overwhelmingly critical and disgusted?

  36. Christine Keeler says:

    No.

  37. Rob says:

    Kim, the quote I posted was from one of the Marines who was captured by the Iranians in 1979.

  38. Rob says:

    Thanks, CK.

  39. Chris says:

    Quite so Kim.

    Aside from the macho delusions of the various American chicken-hawks I suspect that the British troops are resented because they had an opportunity to drag the west into a war with Iran. The neo-cons have, of course, been quite candid about their desire for such a war but the truth is with the US military already tied up in two Middle Eastern nations it is unlikely to happen unless something extraordinary happens.

    The capture of the British soldiers was just such an extraordinary happening, yet no war eventuated. I can’t help thinking that some people are a bit disappointed.

  40. Kim says:

    I suspect you’re right, Chris.

    Rob, my comment was a general one on the phenomenon as described in the post.

  41. The Greatest Generation says:

    It’s the Baby-boomers fault. See!

    Since the sixties we in the west have been treated to a constant barrage of PC, feel-good foolishness.

  42. Generation X says:

    I Agree!

  43. Christine Keeler says:

    Aside from the macho delusions of the various American chicken-hawks I suspect that the British troops are resented because they had an opportunity to drag the west into a war with Iran.

    Well that certainly seems to have been the view of John Bolton who was advocating a ‘vigorous’ response to have the sailors released. Oh they’ve just been executed. Never mind. Bomb away!

  44. rog says:

    The fact remains that the UK marines were left unprotected and the iranian Revolutionary Guards, who follow no ROE, were free to capture armed military from another country. At no point has the failure of the UK military to protect its own and that the Iranian RG were acting outside all known law.

    Due to the lack of resistance by the captured this situation will be repeated again and again until someone wakes up – these guys arent playing by our rules.

  45. rog says:

    At no point has the failure of the UK military to protect its own and that the Iranian RG were acting outside all known law been raised, every effort has been made to placate Iran.

  46. Katz says:

    What a pity the Iranians didn’t insist on a gag order before the captives were turned over to British authorities.

  47. Zarquon says:

    Apart from the law protecting territorial waters against illegal immigrants incursions.

  48. Rob says:

    Definitely, Katz.

  49. Katz says:

    But I suppose that by insisting on a gag order, the Iranans would be admitting that they had something to hide.

  50. Rob says:

    The ex-captives should all just shut up. Every day they come out looking worse than they did the day before.

  51. Katz says:

    “Christianity was watered with the blood of martyrs.”

    Clearly these marines don’t believe that there is anything more important than their own lives.

    The don’t even care that much about walking “The Walk of Shame.”

    Are these the foundations of the Coalition of the Willing?

    Surely the COW’s military planners should be aware of the state of battle-readiness and willingness for self-sacrifice of their troops.

    After all, these very same planners have invested the power and prestige of the COW into a military commitment which not bound by time limits, nor bound by geography, nor disciplined by clear objectives.

    How are such troops to be trusted in such a struggle?

    Mistakes have been made!

  52. Alex says:

    Rob’s just another ‘brave’ keyboard commando. His male virulence has somehow been compromised by this drama. The RWDB collective impotency has really been exposed here. The General has more here.

    Throughout all of this, it’s important to remember that it’s never just about politics — it’s also about culture. America is strong so long as its culture is strong and manly; in order to keep America strong, neocons and religious conservative attack internal movements or forces which seem to threaten to weaken America’s manly, violent resolve.

    Looks like you’ve been on the wrong side of history a few times, hey Rob. Maybe it’s time to put up the white flag and move on.

  53. Rob says:

    Yeah, sure, Alex.

    I think Katz has got the rights of it, sadly.

  54. Chris says:

    While I do think power and impotence are important to understanding neoconservatism I don’t believe that it should be looked at simply in terms of a movement obsessed with American power and everybody else’s impotence. Neoconservatism, and indeed individual neoconservatives, holds contradictory views on American and western power.

    On the one hand they are full of talk about America as the unchallengeable hyperpower. They believe that the US is capable of rebuilding nations (or even whole regions) and prior to an unpleasant run-in with reality they didn’t even think America had to try very hard to do it.

    On the other hand they are also the ones who are forever drumming up hysteria about the fate of western civilization, comparing regional thugs to a threat as huge in magnitude as Nazi Germany and carrying on about the west’s “current suicidal trajectory of decadence and moral collapse.â€? How a nation can be omnipotent and on the road to moral collapse is never explained. It just is and, as this article from 2005 shows, always has been that way with the radical right.

    Incidentally we can see this in the neo-cons attitudes towards Europe. On one hand they talk themselves up as defenders of the enlightenment and western civilization and talk about the virtues of that civilization as universal.

    The next minute, however, the west is a very exclusive club indeed. First “old Europeâ€? finds it’s self booted out of the west, then all of Europe. Now it seems some are willing to see Britain ostracised as well with all the typical talk about the saving of ass in World War II and without so much as a second thought for poor old Andrew Roberts.

    How you can want to strengthen western civilization but at the same time revel in excluding others from it, to the point where Mark Steyn’s demographic pornography has apparently found its way onto the Presidents night stand, I just don’t know.

  55. Fiasco da Gama says:

    How are such troops to be trusted in such a struggle?

    Then…

    I think Katz has got the rights of it, sadly.

    Heh. Tight work, Katz. I take back what I said about you before—maybe you’ve lost the plot, but you’re quite as nasty as you’ve ever been.

  56. Nabakov says:

    Does anyone remember April 2001 when a US P-3C spyplane and its crew were seized by China? I seem to recall a certain POTUS going all softly softly catchee monkey back then.

    I’m also enjoying this retrospective glamourisation of the heritage of the RN and the Royal Marines. Yes, at their best they were magnificent but their past was lot more spotty than some try to paint it now.

    For starters, the RN basically got going as informally commissioned pirates, The Bounty was only one of many muntinies in their history, they were shooting their own Admirals as late as the 18th century and RN sailors ashore are still renowned for being the dirtiest brawlers around. Not to mention flogging off everything that doesn’t move. Bunch of sea-going and v.dodgy hoons.

    As for the Royal Marines, their track record is equally spotty. I mean look at how the 30 or so of them surrended to the Argie hordes after one of them got wounded during the Falklands invasion. Shameful. They should have fought to the death and then sold their stories to The Sun.

    (Disclaimer for the humourless: I have RN ancestors, starting with my Dad and working backwards to the 17th century, and as navies go, I reckon only the USN comes close in terms of consistent experience, courage and style. But having said that, the RN, like most armed forces, is actually closer to Flashman, Brigadier Gerard and Good Soldier Svejk than it is to Hornblower, Aubrey and Biggles.)

    Lookin’ forward to someone actually captured commenting in the first person on this particular incident here instead of the usual regiment of keyboard kommandos, mousepad marines, wikipedia warriors, cursor captains, paralinkers and swivel-chair generals.

  57. Katz says:

    Heh. Tight work, Katz. I take back what I said about you before—maybe you’ve lost the plot, but you’re quite as nasty as you’ve ever been.

    I like to think I’m making a difference, Fiasco, my bottle-in-a-ship friend.

  58. Alex says:

    The ex-captives should all just shut up. Every day they come out looking worse than they did the day before.

    Let me reword that for you, Rob

    The ex-captives flaccid neocons should all just shut up. Every day they come out looking worse than they did the day before.

    These people who genuinely feared for their lives did what they had to do. Good for them. How dare a bunch of pusillanimous morally vacillating antediluvians question their motives.

    I’ve wanted to use pusillanimous in a sentence for years 🙂

  59. Rob says:

    Well done, Alex.

  60. Helen says:

    It’s times like these I really want a magic wand.

    A magic wand, so that when I read piffle like this from the likes of Malkin, Barnett, Derbyshire and “Rob”, and all the rest of the “keyboard kommandos, mousepad marines, wikipedia warriors, cursor captains, paralinkers and swivel-chair generals”, I can magick them into the bodies of actual captives in an actual hostage situation like this.

    If I’m feeling nice, I’ll magick them a clean pair of trousers in a couple of days.

  61. rog says:

    Its hard to find a parallel where the armed commandos surrender without resistance, make propoganda material for the captors, thank their captors for their release and then later sell their story of capture to the media.

  62. jo says:

    rob

    that ‘iran hostage’ story you posted – reads a bit dodgy…. but even if it is authentic – how come that brave Marine allowed himself to be captured in the first place?

    surely, he and his marine buddies should blown holes into those puny iranian students (!!) who took ’em hostage in the first place…… i mean the unarmed diplomats had an excuse……but armed and loyal MARINES against a bunch of students – and then 444 days to escape and/or take a few down along the way….a pathetic effort really.

  63. rog says:

    Comparisons with Falklands are timely, the UK retaliated against the capture of their territory and personnel with force, marines were quoted as saying “We marched from Normandy to Berlin. We can bloody well march eighty miles to Stanley.” A soldier told our author: “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let down those chaps who fought at Arnhem.” (Mates and Muchachos: Unit Cohesion in the Falklands/Malvinas War. By Nora Kinzer Stewart.)

  64. pat says:

    You could probably get a smallish psych thesis together if you could mine Alex & Helen for some more material; Helen’s obsessed about getting herself her own ‘magic wand’ & waving to ward off wanded-up commenters & Alex meanwhile is projecting his concern that his magic wand has issues onto those commenters that don’t agree with him, that the UK hostages are entitled, nay, expected to act like wusses in this civilised day & age.

  65. Nabakov says:

    So why don’t rog, rob and co just show our armed forces how it’s really done? (“You’ll get nothing out of me you Persian swine, except my name, rank, serial number and Max Clifford’s email address.”)

    *lift muzak, lift muzak, lift muzak*

    It’s always the clerks that are most bloodthirsty. All the professional military folks I’ve shared a drink and a good chat with regard blowing the other chap’s head off as the last resort.

    When it does come to that, they’ll do it, but in the meantime, as an ADF Colonel put it to me (I’m paraphrasing a bit here), their job is to “show off what we can do through military exercises to make people think twice. But if we’re ever attacked by anyone who knows what they’re doing, everything we’ve trained for will go right out the window and it wil be a microcosm of thousands of little decisions made on the fly with the generals, politicians and media spinning it all afterwards.” To which he could added bloggers.

    Incidentally I think the best filmic war story to come out of the Falklands was Operation Black Buck.

    Erks working through the night to retrofit clapped-out Vulcans (eg: taking the speed governors off so they could burn out the engines) for a long long long cold lonely flight down the Atlantic, broken only by occasionally matings with equally clapped-out Victor tankers.

    Then the final run into the misty fjords of Port Stanley in their thundering smoke-belching vintage V-bombers – where they missed most of their targets but the Argies gave them a round of applause anyway for sheer gallantry and style. The Damn Busters.

    My heart goes out especially to the Vulcan crew who had to make an emergency landing in Argentina’s neighbouring country and were interned for nine days in Rio. (I don’t recall Maggie threatening to attack Brazil then.)

    Now that’s how wars should be fought these days – among second-rate powers wanting to give their professionals some real experience without any pesky civilians in the way.

  66. Nabakov says:

    You could probably get a smallish psych thesis together if you could mine Alex & Helen for some more material

    You could certaintly get a massive pysch thesis together about belligerent non-combatants who call members of volunteer armed forces “wusses”.

    Funny how all the anti-war folks now find themselves defending our troops while all the pro-war folks attack any member of the armed forces that doesn’t instantly salute their views.

    I’m starting to suspect some people out there wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than the Waffen SS at their beck and call.

  67. pat says:

    I’d call bullshit on that tit-fer-tat, nabarkov.

    But I guess defending the troops certainly makes a change from burning effigies of them & calling them baby killers , eh? Stick with that defence thing. It seems you’re finally starting to get it.

    [I think this is the spot where I am supposed to insert some brilliantly biting sludge about keyboard defenders, “if I had a wand!” or best of all, ‘what, you expect them to behave like the SS & (gasp!) refuse to cooperate?’. ]

    You don’t have to be a professional soldier to recognise a very mediocre effort at best of carrying out a soldier’s duty. You don’t have to be an SAS member to know what a sense or spirit of duty is & where it lies. Just as you don’t have to be a vigneron to know when wine is corked, and you don’t have to slam a door on your dick to know it hurts. Likewise you don’t have to bite into a dog turd to know it’s not good. There’s actually a whole lot of things in this world you don’t have to do yet still recognise when they’re done badly.

    Like this argument; I don’t have to personally make the stupid ‘you aren’t a soldier so you can’t talk; nyah!’ argument to recognise it as really stupid.

  68. Nabakov says:

    I don’t have to personally make the stupid ‘you aren’t a soldier so you can’t talk; nyah!’ argument to recognise it as really stupid.

    That was a really stupid and confused way of making your point. Read through what you wrote again. Instead of coming up with an even more stupid riposte like:

    But I guess defending the troops certainly makes a change from burning effigies of them & calling them baby killers , eh?

    Well actually, I’m gonna spend this afternoon in meetings over the Aus automotive industry and DSTO getting kissy kissy together about potential UAV spinoff tech from RaBIT. Once I get few hours sleep. How will you be defending freedom today?

    And you seem to be too stupid to grasp the original point, since reiterated throughout the thread, that if you weren’t there how do you know what really happened? Unless of course you take those pesky leftwing MSM reports as gospel.

    You don’t have to be a professional soldier to recognise a very mediocre effort at best of carrying out a soldier’s duty.

    Show ’em how it’s done then. The reason the chickenhawk tag has legs is because people like you keep it running and running.

    There’s actually a whole lot of things in this world you don’t have to do yet still recognise when they’re done badly.

    What exactly was bad about the outcome of this current little geopolitic contremps? No one got killed, all the various parties and their cheerleaders had their worldviews reconfirmed and it’s given sneering little rats like you something new to sneer at. Looks like a win-win-win situation to me.

    Go back to playing World of Warcraft and leave the real world to us grownups.

  69. Katz says:

    What exactly was bad about the outcome of this current little geopolitic contremps? No one got killed, all the various parties and their cheerleaders had their worldviews reconfirmed and it’s given sneering little rats like you something new to sneer at. Looks like a win-win-win situation to me.

    Almost correct Nabs.

    Said sneering little rats were indeed given an opportunity to display their virtual martial spirit, rather like a short-sighted silverbacked chimp waving his genitals in a threatening manner at his own reflection in a mirror. (It’s not really wanking if one convinces one’s self that the reflection is real.) And nothing is achieved except a momentary frisson of self-love.

    However, there were losers, like John Bolton. John Bolton desperately wanted this incident to take on Marco Polo Bridge dimensions. John Bolton and his dwindling pack of neocon confreres see the passing of each moment like this without bloodshed to be the waste of a rare opportunity for war.

    The clock is the enemy of John Bolton and the PNAC pack. Behind them is a strategy in ruins. Before them is a lifetime of regret and irrelevancy. Redemption is now a desperate throw of the dice. John Bolton crapped out over Wussgate. Failure has made him more desperate.

    Now, said sneering little rats in the RWBD Waffen Keyboard Kommando are not renowned for their empathetic understanding of anything. However, they do recognise the biggest silverbacked chimp in the pack. And they do take notice when the dominant male starts feverishily waving his donger about.

    And when John Bolton starts semaphoring with his todger, the Keyboard Kommando know it’s time to join in.

    Et voila! The evidence of RWDB self-gratification is splattered all over Larvatus Prodeo.

  70. Not-in-uniform says:

    Well, if my partner, who is a serving military member, was taken captive, I would hope that as well as acting honourably, he acted sensibly and made his way back home to myself and his son. The marines acted honourably, and I bet their families are glad they are home. What would shooting, resisting capture, being idiots have achieved, other than potentially starting another worthless crusade in the Middle East, overstretching not only the US forces (which are currently suffering from over-reach) but probably the Brits and perhaps the ADF? Oh, but that is okay, none of you are involved beyond blogging about it all, so why not?

    Sure, I don’t wear a uniform, but my husband does, and the organisation I work with most people do. I work for the military, in a field where I might actually have a clue about military strategy, behaviour, and the reasons they do what they do. And I will say, hand on heart that all of the

    keyboard kommandos, mousepad marines, wikipedia warriors, cursor captains, paralinkers and swivel-chair generals.

    don’t know fuck about what they are going on about.

  71. Spiros says:

    While on the subject of captured soldiers, it is worth remebering that Israel started a war last year to get two of theirs back from Hezbollah. Or was it Hamas?

    Anyway, as far as I am aware, they still haven’t gotten them back.

    If the Poms hadn’t done a deal to get their 15 sailoirs back, they wouldn’t have started a war, and the sailors would have disappeared into Iran forever.

  72. Pavlov's Cat says:

    The marines acted honourably, and I bet their families are glad they are home.

    Indeed, Not-in-uniform, I’m sure they are — but you’ll have seen that there’s an element in this discussion that holds family feeling in complete contempt.

    As you’ll have also seen, the Keyboard Kommando brigade isn’t very interested in the truth, or in what real soldiers think and do. But the rest of us are. I wish you and your husband well.

    Which reminds me, pat, that there’s really only one social group I know of that accuses other people of being ‘baby killers’, and my guess is there’s quite a large overlap between that group and the KK urgers here calling servicepeople ‘wusses’ for not throwing their lives away in a moment of idiotic fantasy bravado.

  73. Christine Keeler says:

    Ouch PC, that’s gotta burn. Well put.

    Well, if my partner, who is a serving military member, was taken captive, I would hope that as well as acting honourably, he acted sensibly and made his way back home to myself and his son.

    Big ups NIU.

    Seems to me some of the KKs around this joint have a bit of a problem with the size of their appendages.

  74. The usual suspects of the “oppose the troops” become defenders of the troops…..

    ….When the troops surrender that is.

    The usual suspects of the “defend the troops” become opponents of the troops…..

    ….When the troops are assisting the enemy to produce propaganda.

    Nope. Nothing about either position which is inconsistent with their previous form.

  75. Loober says:

    Nabakov

    I was just at work arbitraging a phalange diversion screw into a spinning gyrometiser in preparation for an upcoming meeting with the Deputy Ops of the DOD (and all the time wasted from last night’s session with,
    count it, not one but TWO lovely ladies)

    when I read this comment –

    “Well actually, I’m gonna spend this afternoon in meetings over the Aus automotive industry and DSTO getting kissy kissy together about potential UAV spinoff tech from RaBIT. Once I get few hours sleep. How will you be defending freedom today?”

    COCK.

  76. Pavlov's Cat says:

    The usual suspects of the “oppose the troopsâ€? become defenders of the troops…..

    SATP, if you can’t tell the difference between ‘the troops’ and ‘the sabre-rattling tub-thumping non-combatant pollies’ then maybe you need to get out more. Can you link to even one post or comment on this blog that opposes ‘the troops’, as distinct from ‘the war’? (Bearing in mind, of course, that it’s not a war, really, well, not sort of not. Sort of.)

    My personal poster child for understanding the difference between the two is the great G.B. Trudeau, whose Doonesbury strip has been fundamentally anti-war while humanising the actual combatants, and researching and exposing the sometimes insane conditions under which they work and fight, since before the US got out of Vietnam.

  77. Tiny Tyrant says:

    The British servicemen were doing their bit to stop the black market from using Basra.

    I’m at a loss to see where their resistance to capture by the Iranians, suicide style, would assist in achieving their mission?

    Aren’t they in the Gulf to bring DemocracyWhiskeySexy to Iraq?

  78. Helen says:

    Helen’s obsessed about getting herself her own ‘magic wand’ & waving to ward off wanded-up commenters

    (Sigh) Please try to read with comprehension. Most others seem to have got what I was on about.
    Do I really have to spell it out? How people think other people ought to behave in these situations, while they themselves are comfortably parked on a padded swivel chair, would probably differ quite markedly from their actual behaviour were they to be teleported into the identical situation, blindfolded and subjected to a “mock execution”.

  79. tigtog says:

    Can you link to even one post or comment on this blog that opposes ‘the troops’, as distinct from ‘the war’?

    To be absolutely scrupulous, Pav, I believe I am actually on the record saying some disresepctful things about the particular US troops that raped and murdered a young Iraqi girl after killing the rest of her family. I wasn’t supportive of them at all.

  80. Loober:

    Good point, but I don’t have time to digest it,
    …as this afternoon I am too busy making a Wigwam for a Goose’s Bridle.

    Pavlov’s Cat, I’ll take that as an admission of guilt.

  81. Admiral Halsey Notified Me says:

    Seems to me that there’s two different value-systems in play here, and two different ways of reading a situation…

    IRANIANS: Haha, see? The cowardly infidels are weak and soft, unwilling to die for their cause! Having profited minorly by this temporary outrage, we can proceed to plan other minor outrages with impunity! Maybe. We think.

    BRITS: Cause? What cause? It’s just operational stuff. Iran is not an existential threat, it’s just a strategic nuisance. We’d prefer not to throw away the lives of perfectly good Englishmen if we can avoid it, unless it’s in a struggle against the former. No point in wasting lives unless it’s positively necessary, which in this case, it wasn’t.

    All the same… whilst I think it would have been silly for the RN sailors to shoot back at the time, still, their readiness to play ball in captivity doesn’t exactly perfume the altars of the gods of honor. Unless it’s official policy (which it might well be) to instruct captured service personnel to dance whatever way semi-impotent Third World jugheads demand until they can be safely recovered, since it doesn’t really matter anyway. Which it mightn’t. Let the Iranians go on dreaming; this incident made them feel powerful, sure — but then they don’t really know what actual power looks like.

    As incidents go, this was a minor one. Having people wake up dead over it wouldn’t have done much good; unless it were prudently judged that greater harm would ultimately come from rolling over. I always thought there were mysterious, dark-suited Ian-Flemingesque characters in secret offices in London, whose job it was to evaluate that very question. But maybe they don’t actually exist.

    This business of “how dare you criticize them, since you aren’t in their shoes” isn’t very intellectually interesting. Where does it lead? Everyone here who isn’t the president of the US is now cordially invited to shut the fuck up about US policy. Hmm, that didn’t work too well now, did it.

    One notices, too, that the captured female sailor (or marine?) was made to appear on Iranian TV with one of those funny pieces of cloth on her head. Presumably she doesn’t go around that way of her own accord. No outrage expressed in these parts over issues of cultural sensitivity, respect, etc. etc. So, I guess multiculturalism wasn’t a principle, just a lot of one-way-street horseshit after all! And I guess Operation Make The Guantanamo Detainees Wear Crucifixes And Yarmulkes can go right on forward, with no protest from the principled left. It’s all good.

    — j_p_z, puzzled as always

  82. Pavlov's Cat says:

    (Sigh) Please try to read with comprehension.

    Helen, you’re just a cockeyed optimist.

    I believe I am actually on the record saying some disresepctful things about the particular US troops that raped and murdered a young Iraqi girl after killing the rest of her family.

    Indeed, TT, as one would. Ditto for Private Lynndie England and her vile Svengali. But not “the troops” in general, I’m guessing.

    Pavlov’s Cat, I’ll take that as an admission of guilt.

    “Guilt”? Of what? If you’re referring to my admiration for Trudeau, how much do you know about his work apart from what your fellow froth-flecked wingnut bloggers say? Ever actually read any of the cartoons?

    This one from April 1, for example?

  83. Chris says:

    “This business of “how dare you criticize them, since you aren’t in their shoesâ€? isn’t very intellectually interesting. Where does it lead? Everyone here who isn’t the president of the US is now cordially invited to shut the fuck up about US policy. Hmm, that didn’t work too well now, did it.â€?

    That is a pretty big case of apples and oranges. The thing about the American President is that he is an elected leader who derives both his power to make policy and the resources he uses to carry those policies out from the American people. What this makes him as an employee. As his employers the American people are entitled to discuss the quality of his work. The Australian people are also entitled to do so, since our Prime Minister has chosen to put some of our resources at his disposal.

    British servicemen are employees of the British military and charged with carrying out the orders given to them by that military. If the sailors and marines disobeyed their orders without a very good excuse we would be entitled to criticize them, but to the best of my knowledge the British were under no orders to shoot Iranians. If we think, as certain neo-cons seem to, that the British should have been under orders to shoot Iranians then we are entitled to be critical of the high officials of the British military and the British Government which controls that military, but not the sailors and marines.

    J_p_z also seems to think that this is a good idea to have a go at the phantasmal policy that is multiculturalism. If people aren’t bursting blood vessels left right and centre about the Iranian fundamentalists disregard for others cultures it is because that is the sort of thing they have come to respect from the theocratic dictatorship in question. If people here were praising Iran for it’s decent treatment of prisoners you would have a point, but they aren’t and you don’t.

  84. Anna Winter says:

    j_p_z – mocking someone for their eagerness to give up someone else’s life is not the same as telling them they have no right to express an opinion.

    I’m thinking there may be a reason you keep hearing the word strawman.

  85. j_p_z says:

    “mocking someone for their eagerness to give up someone else’s life…”

    Well well well. It’s the veritable Strawman Hall of Mirrors, now, innit.

    You see my point. (And if you don’t… strawman!! Haha!)

  86. Katz says:

    The big losers out of all this are the British government.

    Belatedly, they have decided to prevent the released military to sell their stories. Apparently, it is still ok for them to tell their stories,

    The Brass has complained about the first, but have also criticised the second

    Major General Patrick Cordingly, who commanded the Desert Rats during the 1991 Gulf War, accused the MoD of using the sailors and Marines as a propaganda tool.

    In reality, these personnel would be perceived as less a propaganda tool were they to speak for money to Planet Murdoch than if they were groomed by Government spinmeisters and wheeled out on the BBC.

    Thus, Downing Street and the military brass are at severe odds over this issue.

    Both know in different ways that their COW misadventure is a loser:

    The government knows it stinks in the nostrils of the voting public. They initially saw no problem with the cosying up with the tabloid press. After all, the BLP has held power for a decade on the mantra that nothing is too vulgar for the British voter. But finally they found something that was too vulgar for the military brass.

    The military brass know that they are compelled by British government policy to mount a military effort for which there is little enthusiasm throughout the ranks of the British military. The Brass are caught between British traditions of an apolitical military and a war whose only rationale is political.

  87. Fiasco da Gama says:

    How will you be defending freedom today?�
    COCK.

    Take dictation please, Jenkins. The Australian unpiloted aerial vehicles to be produced for tender must exhibit the following characteristics:
    1. Long
    2. Strong
    3. Come to get the friction onnnn.
    Read that back, baby?
    Admiral Halsey couldn’t have found the Japanese carrier fleet by himself if they sailed up him and rang the bell, JPZ. A more arrogant and incompetent example of the 1930s aristocratic officer class you’d rarely find. Don’t quite understand the reference there, shipmate.

  88. I was quite surprised by how quickly the captives seemed to allow themselves to be used as propaganda pawns by the Iranians. No arguments about them not fighting back – would have been just plain stupid and a suicidal waste. But seeing them allowing themselves to be used and saying what their captors wanted, within days of capture struck me as rather weak, and not something I’d have thought was in line with British military traditions, values and presumably their training. Having said that, I have no idea of the sort of duress they were under in coming to their decisions in captivity – however, I’d have thought their training and the institutions within which they are serving would have instilled more toughness and resistance than they demonstrated.

    I read those comments on Townhall.com, and many are very very disturbing.

  89. Not In Uniform says:

    But seeing them allowing themselves to be used and saying what their captors wanted, within days of capture struck me as rather weak, and not something I’d have thought was in line with British military traditions, values and presumably their training.

    Oh, for goodness sake. Did it ever occur to any of you, that perhaps, just maybe, the captured Marines credited the rest of us with having just enough sense to know that anything they parroted while under Iranian duress might be just that – parroting enemy propaganda, which no-one should take seriously? You know they were just regurgitating tripe, they knew they were just regurgitating tripe, heck, I bet the Iranians knew they were just regurgitating tripe!

  90. Rob says:

    LS Turney said she felt like a traitor to her own country when she wrote letters condemning UK and US troops in Iraq.

    Her choice of the word.

  91. Zoe says:

    Oh, Rob get over yourself – “Her choice of the word.” indeed.

    You watched too much “Bonaza” or something.

  92. Captain James Cock says:

    Fiasco

    Australian Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles ?

    C’mon shipmate you can do better !

    AUAV sounds much more important.

  93. Rob says:

    Food for thought from the indefatiguable EU Referendum.

    Nobody comes out of this looking good, AFAICS.

  94. j_p_z says:

    Fiasco da G (hey, in light of your last quotation, that actually works, doesn’t it) —

    It’s just a bit of musicopoetic dadaism, from one of the great practitioners…

    Admiral Halsey notified me
    He had to have a berth,
    Or he couldn’t get to sea.
    I had another look,
    And I had a cup of tea
    And a butter-pie.

    From the early 70s. Man, do I feel old.

  95. Pavlov's Cat says:

    indefatiguable

    Pity.

  96. Rob says:

    Did I spell that wrong?

    More on LS Turney here and here.

  97. Katz says:

    Oh dear, EU Referendum do lash out at all and sundry, don’t they?

    The Navy brass are weak and incompetent.

    The government is addicted to spin and lies.

    The press is fatuous.

    The Frightened Fifteen played ping pong.

    Looks like heads will have to roll up and down the realm.

    But after all those heads are left to rot on spikes, who’s going to run the country?

    It’s a perplexity.

  98. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Did I spell that wrong?

    Since you mention it, yes, but what I meant was that it was a pity he is not more defatigable.

  99. Rob says:

    Fair enough, PC. I thought it had a “u” as in fatigue.

  100. This thread is starting to look like it will grow into the new Thread of Doom.

    And over what?

    On one side we have 15 trained serving members of the Royal Navy captured by the Iranians while they were serving their country and on the other a bunch of stay-at-home jessie boys – who aren’t even Brits in a lot of cases – complaining that they didn’t serve their country hard enough.

    Well, unless the RN failed somewhere in the training of those 15 sailors and marines, I expect that they had a pretty clear idea of the correct form for NAval personnel captured by a foreign power when their country isn’t officially at war with said power and therefore the protections of the Geneva Conventions do not apply.

    Somewhere along the line, I expect they were told something like “It’s not your place to start wars – that’s your Government’s prerogative. So don’t go playing silly buggers with the guns and ammo”. Enough of this shit about they gave up too easily – they showed considerable courage in allowing themselves to be captured instead of panicking and rushing to the small arms locker. At the time of their capture they had no idea what to expect and I’m sure they were aware that they wouldn’t enjoy Geneva Convention protections (even though Iran is a signatory – you have to have a war going on before the Conventions apply).

    So “Nobody comes out of this looking good” eh? Those who come out of this looking the worst are the ones burrowing through the bloody shit heap looking for more muck to throw at Turnley and the rest of the crew. What a bunch of pig-ignorant, self-righteous bastards.

    Self-defeating, stupid bastards too – it doesn’t exactly encourage people to sign up for military service when they see that when you do, you just get slagged off for it.

  101. Jack Robertson says:

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  102. tigtog says:

    Well said, Gummo.

    This comes in to the challenge Rob made to me about being under orders from their CO not to start a conflict etc. Rob poohpoohed it as “there’s no mention of it”.

    If the CO has made avoiding conflict with Iran part of their standing orders, which is what I would actually expect, so that it was automatically assumed to be what they should do if detained by actual Iranian official personnel rather than coming into conflict with the smugglers they were there to patrol against, then why would anyone mention it as part of the narrative of the capture? It wouldn’t be a special order, it was expected as SOP.

    There has been some naivety back in the UK from the DOD regarding the personnel selling their stories, probably with the best of intentions (“you get paid shit, we know you get paid shit, take all you can get from Rupert and Conrad, and good luck to you”). There’s been a backlash, and it should have been expected.

    But that’s entirely separate from what they did at the time of capture and during their detention, which was exactly what they should have done in a country with whom they were not at war. Comparing the detention of these sailors by the longstanding official forces of Iran, in uniform and insignia, with the 1979 hostages held by radical students with no uniform and open revolutionary goals is just bollocks.

  103. tigtog,

    One particularly vile feature of this whole kerfuffle is the way that it’s started to focus on LS Turney and her deficiencies in the femininity department.

  104. Not a pommy says:

    Is it not great for any Irish Australian to see how weak Ingerlunders have become?

    There was a time, when if some 3rd world quasi-nespotic-democratic dictatorship had taken their navy personel prisoner in a time of existing tension, they would have bombed the crap out of that country, taken over through some cowardly, sycophantic despot, and forced that country to become protestants while they were at it.

    Now far from the heroic exploits that forever put the Ingerlunder with a huge empire in India when outnumbered 50:1, they give in meekly to the Persians sticking their middle finger up at them.

    Great, eh

  105. pommygranate says:

    tiggytoggy

    The feminisation of society that you so deride can be summed up almost perfectly by this excrutiating comment thread.

  106. Pavlov's Cat says:

    One particularly vile feature of this whole kerfuffle is the way that it’s started to focus on LS Turney and her deficiencies in the femininity department.

    Too much Not enough of a girly-man for them, eh?

    First her motherhood and maternal feeling are used to trash her, and now she’s not girly enough. Spot the flaw in this reasoning.

    The subtext of the frothing white-feather brigade has been a gendered one from the outset (the sailors weren’t man enough), so it was only a matter of time before this kind of stuff started oozing out of the woodwork.

  107. Zoe says:

    Pavlov, it’s even worse than that. She’s … (you quite ready?) a bit plump.

  108. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Oh noes!

    She must be, gee, a whole four or five kilos “overweight” — how could they possibly let her into the Navy? How dare she not look like Jennifer Aniston?

    She actually looks pretty fit and strong to me.

    I wonder what Beck looks like.

  109. Zoe says:

    I couldn’t possibly comment.

  110. Nabakov says:

    “they give in meekly to the Persians sticking their middle finger up at them.”

    Or if you look at it another way, the descendents of Xerxes the Great, Light of The World and Conqueror of lots of conquered stuff, just gave up their captives after a rather desultory démarche from the FCO.

    Pack of bloody wimps, these Persians today. Bet you X-boy, the Shahanshah and Khomeni are turning in their graves.

    At least during the 1979/80 US hostage crisis, those crazed Aryans managed to score some weapons out of the US in exchange for releasing their citizens.

  111. Nabakov says:

    “The feminisation of society that you so deride can be summed up almost perfectly by this excrutiating comment thread.”

    I can see your point here p-man. It must be excruciating for you chickenhawks to have your arses whipped here, polemically, rhetorically, logically and with wit and spit by a bunch of chicks.

  112. pommygranate says:

    Nabakov

    If girlie books are chick-lit, and girlie films chick-flicks, what are girlie blogs?

    Chogs? Is this a chog?

  113. J F Beck says:

    As far as I know, the rules of engagement governing the operation of the HMS Cornwall boarding parties have not been stated. It is highly likely, however, that the 15 sailors and marines followed the rules of engagement appropriate to the scenario that resulted in their capture. That said, the primary rule of engagement is the right of self-defence. In fact, military personnel cannot be legitimately ordered not to defend themselves. It was, in my opinion, the call of the officer(s) in direct command of the boarding parties whether to fight or surrender. Without knowing more, it impossible to fault the decision to surrender.

    The planning and execution of the British boarding operation (and British naval operation in the area in general) is open to question, however. Boarding parties equipped only with small arms should not have been left so exposed. The Iranians and anyone else operating watercraft likely to come into contact with British naval units in the future would have noted the reluctance of the British to resist capture. The British will probably feel the need to adjust their rules of engagement accordingly. As summed up by Admiral Sir Alan West: “If we find this is going to be a standard practice we need to think very carefully about what rules of engagement we want and how we operate. One can’t allow as a standard practice nations to capture a nation’s servicemen. That is clearly wrong.â€?

    Adjusted rules of engagement could well cause a minor confrontation to turn nasty – the opposition expecting surrender but the British no longer willing to comply.

    The conduct of the British personnel after capture cannot be excused. To be compliant is one thing, to perform like a trained animal is quite another. Apparently some of the captured Brits were not keen to participate in the Iranian propaganda extravaganza. See:

    Ultimately, the British can probably count themselves lucky the detainees were compliant: Britain is in no position militarily to take on Iran (or the Iranian Sea Scouts for that matter). Apparently the seizure of the two boats has caused the British to suspend boarding operations in the area. That’s probably for the better.

    As for Leading Seaman Turney, I find it hard to believe she can meet fitness standards.

  114. Nabakov says:

    Chogs? Is this a chog?

    Well you and your ilk are certainly getting right chogged here mate.

    Think of it as a slaughterhouse for chickenhawks.

    Now why don’t you run back to the all macho, all male, all nerd blogs to discuss manly spartan stuff and leave chatting up the chicks to us heterosexual red-blooded males?

  115. Leinad says:

    I don’t see what’s so bad about the pommy captives saying whatever, everyone knows that people in the custody of a foreign hostile power always speak their minds fairly and frankly without fear of retribution.

    Teacup. Meterological disturbance. In.

  116. Nabakov says:

    A well written and thoughtful (for the readers too) comment there Becky. And since you’ve actually spent some time in armed forces unlike some others I could mention, I give your view some weight.

    I’d pretty much agree with your overall strategic assessment, especially the bit about better managing boarding party backup.

    As to the behaviour of the RN personnel in captivity, well maybe they did let the side down and maybe they didn’t. We don’t know all the details and as I pointed out before, the RN’s heritage has been overly glamourised by some seeking to score points over this pipsqueak incident. Not like it was US Pueblo or anything.

    The Iranians and anyone else operating watercraft likely to come into contact with British naval units in the future would have noted the reluctance of the British to resist capture.

    On the other hand, many may have noticed the willingness of Iran to quickly hand back captives despite all their bluster and rehetoric.

  117. J F Beck says:

    Nobby,

    In my opinion, this incident greatly increases the likelihood of a bloody future encounter. I could be wrong, of course.

    One problem I have with this thread is the assumption that the Iranians would not and need not abide by the Geneva Conventions as they apply to POWs. Why then the expectation that Guantanmo detainees should be according Geneva Convention privileges?

  118. FaceLift says:

    Not much of anything here, really, apart from the fact that the crew are safe, and not detained for too long, thankfully. What were the RN detainees going to do as they were being apprehended? Die in a blaze of glory? Not very smart, really! More likely wonder where the covering ship was! And the ‘show of force’ by the Iranians isn’t really that impressive – 15 seapersons in a boat – not even a ship of note! With Lienad here – fuss and bluster. At least if the some of the crew sell their stories someone with get something of note out of it, even if it’s not much glory! Slight propaganda victory to the Iranians.

  119. Nabakov says:

    One problem I have with this thread is the assumption that the Iranians would not and need not abide by the Geneva Conventions as they apply to POWs. Why then the expectation that Guantanmo detainees should be according Geneva Convention privileges?

    That is so true. But now which came first though? The chicken or the egg?

  120. Nabakov says:

    Slight propaganda victory to the Iranians.

    Only because the COW media/marketing strategists are as fucking dumb as their clients. It could be so easily spun globally as Iran caving in. But no, all the best western spin talent is off wrangling DRM, climate and energy issues and lethal pet foods.

  121. Nabakov says:

    Though I think the best war movie to capture the sheer bloody nasty spiteful futility of the new world disorder that everyone outside OECD countries often faces was “No Man’s Land”.

  122. Nabakov says:

    Um, wrong thread for the above comment. Should have been on \”The Words of The Day\” good war movies section.

    I blame that bloody hole they thoughtlessly stuck in the top of the scotch bottle.

  123. rog says:

    Opinions aside the facts remain;

    Neither the fleet commander nor the commander of HMS Cornwall had prepared for a situation where their personnel would come under attack,

    When it happened, HMS Cornwall did not react to protect its people,

    The captured sailors and Marines did not think about anything except themselves, they they thanked their captors for their release and now will profit be selling their “story’ to the media.

    The Royal Navy, as represented by Admiral Band, seems decided to do nothing about its disgrace except pretend it did not happen. Band has even gone so far as to condone their actions saying that the persons involved acted with “considerable dignity and a lot of courage”, of which there is no evidence.

    This event has been nothing short of utter disgrace for the UK, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

  124. pommygranate says:

    Facelift

    apart from the fact that the crew are safe, and not detained for too long, thankfully

    Yes, it is great that these fifteen people are safe. But as Beck says, will this deter the Iranians and other rogue nations from future kidnappings or encourage them?

    British historian, Niall Ferguson, wrote an interesting article in the Times at the weekend reminding us that the British used to pursue a policy of “disproportionate force” when confronted. The policy was one designed to deter similar incidents. I know it’s not fashionable in these touchy-feely times, but standing up to bullies does tend to make the bullying stop.

  125. Katz says:

    One problem I have with this thread is the assumption that the Iranians would not and need not abide by the Geneva Conventions as they apply to POWs. Why then the expectation that Guantanmo detainees should be according Geneva Convention privileges?

    There’s a very simple reason for this. Neither Britain nor Iran acknowledge that they are at war with each other.

    Under the GCs, until at least one belligerent acknowledges a state of war, no state of war persists.

    The GCs become operative only at the onset of a state of war.

    On the other hand, Chimpo has proclaimed a state of war, among other things, against, quaintly, “terror”.

    I presume that Beck, however, counts himself amongst the claque who applaud Chimpo’s refusal to respect the GCs even though Chimpo has proclaimed a state of war.

    Thus we have in Beck the usual spectacle of RWDB ignorance and inconsistency.

    It ill-behoves Beck to bleat on selectively about non-application of the GCs until he learns a few rudimentary facts about them.

  126. pommygranate says:

    Katz

    Not true. The Geneva Conventions chiefly concern the treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war.

    To be entitled to prisoner of war status, the captured service member must have conducted operations according to the laws and customs of war: be part of a chain of command and wear a uniform and bear arms openly. Thus, the importance of uniforms — or as in the guerrilla case, a badge — to keep this important rule of warfare.

    It is nitpicking in the extreme to argue that Iran had no need to observe the Geneva Conventions.

    That ‘Chimpo’ has suspended the GCs in the case of Gitmo is deplorable but not related to this topic.

  127. Katz says:

    No Pommygranate.

    Here is the vital part of the GCs:

    Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
    Part I. General Provisions

    Art 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

    Art 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    As is quite plain from this covering article, to be considered a Prisoner of War, a state of war must first exist when a person is apprehended. If there is no war, then it is impossible for there to exist any prisoners of war.

    Now, assuming that the Frightened Fifteen were apprehended within Iranian territory, then the Iranians can declare their incursion to be an act of war. In that case an state of war would exist between Britain and Iran, and those detainees should be treated as POWs.

    Again, assuming that the Frightened Fifteen were apprehended outside Iranian territory, then the British can declare apprehension to be an act of war. In that case an state of war would exist between Britain and Iran, and those detainees should be treated as POWs.

    But you see, Pommygranate, neither of those things happened. No state ofwar was proclaimed by either party. The Geneva Conventions remain dormant.

    Therefore the Frightened Fifteen could not be considered to be POWs.

  128. Mick Strummer says:

    Candian Academic and columnist had a good piece about the British response. It can be found here at How to Start A War.
    Kind of puts things into perspective.
    Cheers…

  129. Mick Strummer says:

    Should have been Canadian Academic and columist Gwynne Dyer…
    Sorry…

  130. pommygranate says:

    Katz

    The GCs were designed to provide some basic form of human rights for soldiers taken captive by foreign nations.

    Just because a state of war has not been officially declared between Iran and the UK, should not preclude Iran from respecting these human rights.

    Iran has behaved like a rogue nation and all the world has seen their ruling elite in their true colours.

  131. pommygranate says:

    Mick (wasn’t it Joe?)

    Interesting article. Even though the interviewer obviously prefers the softly softly approach of the Brits to the aggressive response expected of the Americans and the Israelis, she loses her own argument by this admission,

    That emollient British approach is probably why the Iranian Revolutionary Guard chose to grab British troops rather than Americans

    And that, in a nutshell, is why a softly softly approach to bullies doesn’t work.

  132. Katz says:

    I take Pommygranate’s last comment as a concession that the GCs do not apply to the Frightened Fifteen.

    Yes, human rights should be respected by all regimes. Iran is led by fighting factions of more of less religious fanatics.

    I’d like to see the end of that regime. The COW, however, seems determined to make that regime stronger by their clumsy, ignorant approach to confronting it.

  133. Mick Strummer says:

    Pommygranate – yes, there was a Joe Strummer – sadly passed away now, ex-front man for The Clash. As a musician I consider it as part of my mission to keep the Strummer philosophy – play it loud and play it fast – alive. Hence the nom de guerre, so to speak.

    Gwynne Dyer is a bloke, by the way. And his argument is that the restrained approach of the Brits (and the Iranians, who chose to snatch two boatloads of Brits instead of Americans, who were also operating in the area) prevented a useless little border dispute from escalating out of everyone’s control. The Iranians got what they wanted – a political message to the west – and no-one got killed. I can’t see for the life of me how armed conflict between the west and Iran will solve anything in the short or long term…
    BTW, I find it hard to see how Iran qualify as “bullies” any more than the Americans…..
    Cheers…

  134. tigtog says:

    BTW, Beck: that picture discussed in that post you linked to upthread? I’ve seen other photos from the same series where those three chaps who looked dour and stoic in that image are smiling and waving while others who were smiling and waving in that image are looking all stoic and dour.

    Looks like that one photo doesn’t paint quite the thousand words that the link post inferred, and for the news agency to crop a photo so that it shows only smiling and waving when the full series showed that all 15 did smile and wave at that time is hardly the record-falsifying leap that is accused.

  135. FaceLift says:

    It may be that the Brits played a reasonable hand of poker and correctly called the Iranian bluff, pommygranate! Hopeful, wait-and-see brinkmanship on the most nail-biting edge. It’s either a brilliant counter-bluff, or nervous indecision at the highest level. Sometimes the US gungho approach to situations has merit, and certainly opens up a vista of possibilities, good and bad, but there are times when it’s more pertenant to check things out – look before you leap – then make a statement when it’s (hopefully)over, as in this case. Overall, unless they really playing a calculatedly good hand, the Brits seem to have been less officient than usual, but it happens.

  136. pommygranate says:

    Mick

    The Iranians got what they wanted – a political message to the west

    What message was that? We’re a bunch of reprehensible bullies? And just watch what we can do when get nukes?

    If so, it was certainly a powerful one.

    Yes – i realise that was Gwynne’s point (Gwynne a bloke? – whatever next) but in the line i quoted he made a thoroughly convincing argument for pre-emptive action against bully states like Iran.

    btw – did you know that Joe Strummer was the first known Green rocker?

    The ice age is coming,
    the sun is zooming in.
    Engines stop running
    and the wheat is growing thin
    A nuclear error,
    but I have no fear
    London is drowning
    and I live by the river

    Still one of the greatest songs of all time. I hope they will open LiveEarth with it and not some dreary shit by Phil Collins.

  137. Peter Kemp says:

    Pommygranate sez

    Iran has behaved like a rogue nation and all the world has seen their ruling elite in their true colours.

    Meantime:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2414760.ece

    A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.

    Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.

    In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.

    Better understanding of the seriousness of the US action in Arbil – and the angry Iranian response to it – should have led Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence to realise that Iran was likely to retaliate against American or British forces such as highly vulnerable Navy search parties in the Gulf. The two senior Iranian officers the US sought to capture were Mohammed Jafari, the powerful deputy head of the Iranian National Security Council, and General Minojahar Frouzanda, the chief of intelligence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to Kurdish officials.

    So I guess when it comes to kidnapping mutatis mutandi is even more applicable, (given the prediliction for kidnapping by the CIA in Italy for example, illegality under EU law of kidnapping/torture by special CIA funded ‘camps’ in Poland, Gitmo etc etc ad infinitum, ad neauseam)

    The US has behaved like a rogue nation and all the world has seen their ruling elite in their true colours

    A little quid pro quo Pommygranate, but with some relative pragmatism and humanity perhaps from the Iranians???

  138. Enemy Combatant says:

    “I blame that bloody hole they thoughtlessly stuck in the top of the scotch bottle.”

    Positively Keelerian comment, Nabs. Releasing one’s inner Christine can be most efficacious.

  139. pommygranate says:

    Peter

    humanity perhaps from the Iranians

    Sorry i missed the part of your report that states what the British did to deserve this humane action by the Iranians.

    Also, would you mind writing in English rather than Latin. I didn’t go to private school.

  140. Peter Kemp says:

    Sorry i missed the part of your report that states what the British did to deserve this humane action by the Iranians.

    Simple, unlike the Yanks, their diplomats were a tad polite, and were “diplomatic” something that exceptionalism, bullying, ‘one size fits all’ belligerence, bluster and self righteousness from the other side of the Atlantic seems to have forgotten. Reward for being civilised…. whatever.

    Sorry about the Latin, but with with common neo-con arguments, one can only advise…caveat emptor.

  141. bridie says:

    Neo-conservative CNN talk-show pundit Glen Beck summed it up most eloquently when he proclaimed, “Iran played chicken with the West and we blinked.”

    Yay, go Persians! Kick that imperialist arse big time for all of us, big babe.

  142. Mick Strummer says:

    To Pommygranate (and any others who want(ed) a hairy chested response): Surely if any country qualifies for the title of reprehensible bully, it must be the United States of America. Either directly or indirectly they threaten, bully and/or bribe other countries into doing what is the interests of the USA. This is not to argue that Iran has not taken a chance to behave as an international bully, but to shade them as the bad guys and the yanks as the calvalry in white hats is surely trying to extend the analogy too far.
    And, what pre-emptive action, exactly, could possibly be taken against Iran without the west being embroiled in yet another foreign military adventure at a time when they don’t even have the troops to carry out the ones they are presently engaged in? I suggest that there is none. Which is why the Iranians felt safe in arresting and detaining those 15 Brits.
    Let us not forget that this is just international politics and diplomacy carried out with the tools ready to hand. And before we condemn the Iranians, let us remember that the USA has 5 Iranian nationals holding diplomatic passports under close arrest (presumably wearing orange jump suits whilst being threatened with anal sex from a guard dog).
    BTW, thanks for the tip off about my namesake. I always knew he was good. Had forgotten about his excursion into climatology (even if he got the basic prediction wrong – although that remains to be seen.)
    Anyway……
    Cheers….

  143. J F Beck says:

    From the Mick Strummer link upthread:

    “That emollient British approach is probably why the Iranian Revolutionary Guard chose to grab British troops rather than Americans.” Yep, go for the Poms; they’re unlikely to put up a fight.

    Tigtog writes:

    “BTW, Beck: that picture discussed in that post you linked to upthread? I’ve seen other photos from the same series where those three chaps who looked dour and stoic in that image are smiling and waving while others who were smiling and waving in that image are looking all stoic and dour.”

    I made no claims for the photo comparison, saying “apparently…”. Got any links for the photos?

    Anyway, it’s good to see you lefites have come around on the application of the Geneva Convention to non-POWs. I take it you all agree with this?

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/02/20020207-13.html

  144. j_p_z says:

    Mick Strummer: “Surely if any country qualifies for the title of reprehensible bully, it must be the United States of America.”

    Surely if there is a word that is out of place in discussions like this, it is the word “surely.” Iran has for a long period now used terrorist organizations as cat’s-paws against US allies and US interests; it has conducted ongoing underground aggression against the US across a variety of fronts, including bizarre plots to mass-counterfeit US currency. Iran has publicly and repeatedly called for a US ally to be annihilated and “wiped off the map.” The “diplomats” whose seizure Peter Kemp laments are “surely” active agitators in the Iraq war, aiding US enemies; and besides, the Iranian respect for diplomats is, um, the stuff of legend.

    Of course, none of this should be surprising; the Iranians have their own interests, after all, and that should be frankly acknowledged, if not agreed with. If there were a large and questionable war being conducted on my frontiers by countries I didn’t like very much, then I imagine I’d be a little upset too. No reason not to take that into account. Still, “surely” the Iranian actions across broad categories set a certain amount of, um, context for US actions, whether wise or unwise.

    None of these problems should be unsolveable; with a little sanity, a little caution, and a little talk, lots of ugly issues could probably be reduced in seriousness. But the silly name-calling –Bush’s, yours, Iran’s (“Great Satan”. oh, for pete’s sake.)– doesn’t contribute to a climate of sanity, which amongst other things requires a lot of accuracy in the soil to take root.

  145. J F Beck says:

    j_p_z,

    Nice comment.

  146. Nabakov says:

    Nothing said here changes the fact the Persians caved in and handed back their captives after only a fortnight of stern but tastefully presented diplomatic notes. Compare and contrast with dozens and dozens of similar incidents over the past century. Googling “USS Pueblo”, “EP-3E” and “South China Sea” may be a good place to start.

  147. Peter Kemp says:

    ongoing underground aggression against the US across a variety of fronts, including bizarre plots to mass-counterfeit US currency.

    Was that a bizarre plot and crime against the underground tree roots or the Australian Conservation Foundation j_p_z?

    Shorter j_p_z: Crime of Aggression #001: breaching copyright on George Washington’s published photographic works–with malice aforethought.

  148. tigtog says:

    Beck: the post where I saw the other photos of the hostages. [link]

  149. Nabakov says:

    And isn’t it fun to accidently stumble across old threads like this and see whose predictions played out and didn’t?

    Which reminds me, is Missy still a ligsniger?

    Opps, time to leave on a jet plane.

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