Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Kissing Ahmedinejad's Ring

I am watching the hostage release on CNN as the British sailors and marines are being paraded single file up to Ahmedinejad to thank him for his hospitality. In a few days, I am sure that it will be possible to put this entire charade into perspective. There are many questions that the Brits must answer concerning their Rules of Engagement, there allowing small groups of soldiers to act without adequate cover or support, etc. Now they must also explain why 15 sailors and marines would become willing accomplices in Ahmedinejad's propoganda war.

The sailors and marines, unconscionably placed into a horrid situation by their commanders, have not distinguished themselves. While one or two of these sailors appearing on national television is to be expected, I never expected to see an officer willingly take part in the televised theatrics, which occurred two or three days ago when a lieutenant in the Royal Marines appeared on Iranian television. And what we are being treated to at the moment is the entire contingent parading up to Ahmedinejad, thanking him profusely and with many smiles, all in a ceremony where Ahmedinejad just gave a decoration to the IRGC commander in charge of the unit that took the Brits hostage.

Let me put this in perspective. I had the honor of knowing James Bond Stockdale. Vice Admiral Stockdale was the most decorated man in the history of the United States Navy. He also had been a prisoner of war. The North Vietnamese tortured him (the real stuff, not waterboarding or the Abu Ghraib faux torture that has the liberals wetting their panties) and was subjected to years of solitary confinement. The Vietnamese on several occasions offered to give him easier treatment if he would only appear on television and denounce the war. He refused, and on at least one occasion before he was to be shown on television, he actually beat his own face with a piece of wood to prevent the Vietnamese from using his image in their propoganda effort.

I do not expect that type of heroics to be shown by the average human, and I include among that nunber the 15 hostages still in Iranian control. But I cannot beleive my eyes watching these 15 sailors and marines honoring Ahmedinehad, each duly marching up to him and thanking him. Is there not one among there number that will not refuse? My respect for Britain and Her Majesty's military is dropping by the minute. I will attempt to keep an open mind for the next week or so until hearing from Britain's military spokesmen and the sailors and marines themselves. But my gut reaction to all of this is not promising.

I sincerely doubt that the willingness of the sailors and marines to participate in Ahmedinejad's propoganda will ever be addressed by Blair directly. But what Blair can do is address how and why this hostage taking was allowed to happen. The Commander of the HMS Cornwall needs to be disciplined and relieved of command, and Blair needs to publicly announce the steps he is taking to insure events such as this will not happen again. I think that necessary for the UK, the UK military, and for the mullahs in Iran who need to be disabused of any notion that the West does not have the stomach for military confrontation if Iran is going to push us to the wall either by events like this or by their continuing drive to create a nuclear arsenal.

Update: There is an excellent article in the UK Daily Mail that lays out precisely what needs to be done now by the Brits. And another here from The Telegraph. All the right questions are being asked. I suspect that a lot of the answers won't be pretty, but that is of no matter so long as things get fixed - and publicly so.

Update: And here, the Brits are questioning the how and why the sailors and marines degree of cooperation with Iran.

1 comment:

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Good post- goes well with what I wrote a bit earlier.

In the end, you are right. One way or another, the behaviors of the RN sailors and marines will be dealt with, if not officially, then in the court of public opinion.

Going to be an interesting ride, for sure.


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