April 5, 2007

Lovely Parting Gifts Included

The 15 Royal Navy personnel held captive by the Iranians for a fortnight returned home today on a British Airways flight. Less than 24 hours after their "pardon" from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the sailors and Marines flew business class, with parting gifts from the Iranian mullahcracy:

Fifteen Royal Navy personnel detained at gunpoint in the Gulf were heading home to Britain today, seated in business class on a British Airways flight from Tehran with shiny new suits and goody bags filled with traditional Iranian gifts.

The eight sailors and seven Marines were released yesterday in a stunning piece of political theatre by President Ahmandinejad, who brought a bizarre but welcome end to a 13-day stand-off that had held out the possibility of violent escalation. ...

But despite widespread relief at their release, the group may face questions as to their behaviour in captivity.

Colonel Bob Stewart, who became famous as a hard-hitting commander of British peacekeepers during the Bosnian war, said today that he had been "disquieted" by the captives' TV appearances.

"In the old way we didn't used to say much when were taken as a captive - name, rank number, date of birth," Colonel Stewart told BBC Radio 4's Today programe. "I know things have changed and I know they were not prisoners of war, but I'm a little disquieted about it."

The British will face a number of questions at the end of this crisis that they have studiously avoided (and rightly so) during it. Least among them will be the deportment of the detainees themselves, although it will arise shortly, if the Times of London is any indicator. Not only did they participate in televised programs designed to humiliate the UK, they then engaged in what can only be called tourist behavior, apparently with some enthusiasm. Soldiers, sailors, and Marines of any nation are expected to handle detention with a little more aplomb than that.

It would be churlish, though, to spend much time criticizing the detainees when the focus should be on those who allowed their capture in the beginning. Despite its proximity, the Cornwall did nothing to intercede on behalf of its crew when threatened by a hostile force. That demonstrates a lack of loyalty from the top down on that ship, which certainly excuses any from the bottom up. Those who conduct military patrols have every right to expect that their leadership will act to protect them against hostile forces, and British command failed to do so.

Afterwards, Tony Blair did the best he could to sound tough at first, but the cat was long out of the bag by that point. Iran, as the Telegraph notes, had already succeeded in humiliating Britain and exposing them as paper tigers:

First, there is the apparent incompetence of the Royal Navy in providing insufficient protection to lightly armed inflatables, at a time when relations between Iran and the West were particularly volatile following the imposition of UN sanctions. Second, the seized personnel lost no time in admitting to having trespassed and in apologising for their mistake. The old military practice of giving name, rank and number, and no more, has obviously been abandoned.

Third, the dénouement of this crisis showed Mr Ahmadinejad in the most favourable of lights, whether in "pardoning" the 15, pleading on their behalf with Mr Blair, admonishing this country for separating a mother, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, from her child, or shaking hands and chatting with the newly besuited Servicemen after his press conference. ...

This bodes badly for the West's relations with Teheran over a number of acutely difficult problems during the coming months: its defiance of UN sanctions imposed because of a refusal to halt uranium enrichment; its heightened meddling in Iraq; and its continued support for terrorist movements - Hizbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and elements of Fatah - vowed to Israel's destruction. During the recent crisis, Iran has yielded not a jot on any of these matters. Rather, the approval it has enjoyed on the Islamic "street" for humiliating an old enemy is likely to make it even more intransigent.

The British will likely spend the next day or so celebrating the return of its Navy personnel. It will spend the next several years regretting the loss of their credibility.

UPDATE: McQ has a few questions, too.

UPDATE II: Syria claims it acted to end the crisis:

Syria played a key role in resolving the standoff over the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, two government officials said Wednesday.

“Syrian efforts and the Iranian willingness culminated with the release of the British sailors,” said Information Minister Mohsen Bilal.

He said Syria had been asked “to help positively in the issue of British” crew members since their March 23 seizure by Iran in the Persian Gulf.

He did not elaborate.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told reporters that “Syria exercised a sort of quiet diplomacy to solve this problem and encourage dialogue” between Britain and Iran.

Yeah, sure. You could probably find a couple of Syrian government officials to claim that they assisted in getting the sun to rise in the east, too. (via TMV)

UPDATE III: Jules Crittenden has a good round-up of links.


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» Name, rank and serial number from Bookworm Room
I fulminated about that damned scarf Faye Turney was wearing during her time in Iran (although, interestingly, feminist groups such as NOW seemed unperturbed, just as they seem unperturbed by Pelosi’s Hermes shenanigans during her disgraceful tri... [Read More]

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There you have it, on the front of today's New York Times at your local Starbucks or corner grocery store - those well-dressed, waving British, with that mother in a modest scarf, with the headline "Iran to Release 15 Britons... [Read More]

» Ahmadinejad - PR Genius from The Mechanical Eye
There you have it, on the front of today's New York Times at your local Starbucks or corner grocery store - those well-dressed, waving British, with that mother in a modest scarf, with the headline "Iran to Release 15 Britons... [Read More]

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-- Brit hostages home, but at what cost?
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15 British Troops Detained by Iran for 13 Days Head Home TEHRAN, Iran — Fifteen British sailors and marines released by Iran after nearly two weeks in captivity flew out of a Tehran airport Thursday aboard a commercial flight bound [Read More]

» Useful Idiots and Iran from A Second Hand Conjecture
In the aftermath of the Iranian Gambit, a new meme is growing: Iran right/West wrong. One facet of this meme is that the Brits deserved to to be “captured” because they were spying. Another facet is that diplomacy saved the day here, and ... [Read More]

Comments (26)

Posted by LamontP [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 8:10 AM

A good opportunity lost to justify the invasion and occupation of a Middle East nation.

Posted by PersonFromPorlock [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 8:12 AM

Returning the detainees in civilian clothes, not their uniforms, was an especially subtle touch; talk about castrating Britain's armed forces!

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 8:32 AM

all one can hope for is that their behavior is in their training manual. otherwise the training and readiness of british forces has to be questioned across the board. secondly, the commander of the destroyer should be in deep trouble for being very lax about crew security during what admittedly was probably a very boring repetitive mission. however, in a war zone their can be no excuses..........

Posted by chsw [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:00 AM

IIRC, the following happened:

The destroyer's commander was under orders from his superiors to not fire. He radioed his bosses to rescind the order which would have allowed him to respond. However, the admirals would not relax the no response order and the ship's captain obeyed.

Truly, there should be some pointed queries at Question Time for the PM, Minister of Defense and others.


Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:14 AM

Sigh... This doesn't look good for Britain in general and the RN in particular, but let's withhold judgement until we know more. Let's also remember that not everybody has the guts of men like James Stockdale(1) or Lance Sijan(2).

Cap'n Ed wrote:

Despite its proximity, the Cornwall did nothing to intercede on behalf of its crew when threatened by a hostile force. That demonstrates a lack of loyalty from the top down on that ship, which certainly excuses any from the bottom up. Those who conduct military patrols have every right to expect that their leadership will act to protect them against hostile forces, and British command failed to do so.

Cap'n, I think you're totally off-base here. Yes, the captain of the Cornwall hardly covered himself with glory, but his apparent failure absolutely does not excuse any misbehavior on the part of the hostages (if such occurred). Their loyalty and (I presume) oath is to the Crown and the United Kingdom, not their CO. In the same way, a US serviceman captured due to the incompetence or cowardice of his CO is not excused from adhering to the Code of Conduct to the best of his ability.


(1) Rank and organization: Rear Admiral (then Captain), U.S. Navy. Place and date: Hoa Lo prison, Hanoi, North Vietnam, 4 September 1969. Entered service at: Abingdon, Ill. Born: 23 December 1923, Abingdon, Ill.. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while senior naval officer in the Prisoner of War camps of North Vietnam. Recognized by his captors as the leader in the Prisoners' of War resistance to interrogation and in their refusal to participate in propaganda exploitation, Rear Adm. Stockdale was singled out for interrogation and attendant torture after he was detected in a covert communications attempt. Sensing the start of another purge, and aware that his earlier efforts at self-disfiguration to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes had resulted in cruel and agonizing punishment, Rear Adm. Stockdale resolved to make himself a symbol of resistance regardless of personal sacrifice. He deliberately inflicted a near-mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated in their employment of excessive harassment and torture toward all of the Prisoners of War. By his heroic action, at great peril to himself, he earned the everlasting gratitude of his fellow prisoners and of his country. Rear Adm. Stockdale's valiant leadership and extraordinary courage in a hostile environment sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

(2) Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Air Force, 4th Allied POW Wing, Pilot of an F-4C aircraft. Place and date: North Vietnam, 9 November 1967. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 13 April 1942, Milwaukee, Wis. Citation: While on a flight over North Vietnam, Capt. Sijan ejected from his disabled aircraft and successfully evaded capture for more than 6 weeks. During this time, he was seriously injured and suffered from shock and extreme weight loss due to lack of food. After being captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, Capt. Sijan was taken to a holding point for subsequent transfer to a prisoner of war camp. In his emaciated and crippled condition, he overpowered 1 of his guards and crawled into the jungle, only to be recaptured after several hours. He was then transferred to another prison camp where he was kept in solitary confinement and interrogated at length. During interrogation, he was severely tortured; however, he did not divulge any information to his captors. Capt. Sijan lapsed into delirium and was placed in the care of another prisoner. During his intermittent periods of consciousness until his death, he never complained of his physical condition and, on several occasions, spoke of future escape attempts. Capt. Sijan's extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.


Posted by Ned [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:43 AM

Count it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth having.
Juvenal, Satires

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:20 AM

PersonFromPorlock ,
My pictures were showing UK soldiers IN UNIFORMS on arrival in UK. Our leftist and pro Islamic MSM didn't show it well, I still want to see the woman without the shitty head scarf. Now, Iran obviously mistreated the kidnapped soldiers by dressing them inappropriately, not to mention forcing the woman to wear the shitty head scarf.
Now, as per captain of "Cornwall", did he shot himself in the head yet?

Posted by starfleet_dude [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:38 AM

The real loser in all this is Iran, no matter what the pundits may be saying at the moment:

Yet Iran is also likely to pay a long-term price for the hostage drama, again appearing to undertake rogue actions in violation of international law, experts and officials say. In the end, Iran recognized that the crisis was beginning to exact a cost, as it came under pressure even from allies and other Islamic countries, officials and experts say.
"They are so consumed with short-term issues -- how to undermine the West and how to gain leverage -- at the expense of long-term strategy. They have undermined themselves," said Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "They're playing the immediate moves of checkers and not the long-term strategy of a chess game. In the long term, it undermines their ability to attract foreign investment and have good relations" with the outside world.

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:47 AM

The Brits are held for 15 days and we work ourselves up into a tizzy over the "lack of response" of the Cornwall.

Well, we had guys held for 444 days. Why didn't our Marines stop the whole thing before it happened by firing into the crowd besieging the embassy?

My point: none of us were there holding guns; few of us here (if any) have the training to deal with this situation personally.

The British did pretty good in getting their guys back alive and well in 1/30th the time we took in a similar standoff (I note that docjim505's list of heroes was undertaken against a group engaged in active hostilities against us); I'm sure that our carrier groups and NATO had a bit to do with it, but, in the end, a series of correct actions by Britain led to their release.

As I pointed out in a previous post, there's a reason why Ahmadinejad spent 40 minutes in an anti-British tirade before announcing the release; he was working himself up to say words which were obviously bile in his mouth.

The British have won a great victory here. The next victory will come when a boatload of Revolutionary Guards gets sunk after entering Iraqi waters. I'll bet the Brits are analysing right now the best way to entice them into doing it.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:51 AM

I think Iran was intelligent in NOT acting like North Vietnam - no way those Royal Marines would have opened up like that if the Iranians took the pliers to them.

Iran seems to know better than to gave its prisoners the Hanoi Hilton treatment, at least with westerners.

It looks profoundly good for them.


Posted by Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:56 AM

What do we have here(just a few minor points)?

1. During the Riyadh summit the Iranian’s proposed a Iran-Arab state ‘common security agreement’ for all the reason’s you might suspect.
2. Our Democrat’s have passed legislation proving bin Laden’s point that the US can’t stand a prolonged battle.
3. Old Europe and Nato are worthless.
4. The UN is a farce; to which even the Iranian’s agree and state.
5. Our most committed and strongest of allies, the Brit’s, have just proven they’re going the way of ‘old Europe.
6. The Iranian’s are about to become a regional nuclear power.

How would you read these signals if you were a Mid-East Islamofascist, despot or tyrant?

Posted by Always right [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 11:51 AM


Don't forget those in South Ameica and Africa. Next time they (Iranians and Arabs too) want some concessions from the west, all they have to do is to "engineer a crisis".

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 11:53 AM


The stripey-pants diplomatic bows and scrapes, actually take for granted that condi is a nincompoop. And, Bush is way out of his league!

All this happened so that the House of Saud could flap in their tents, but not gain advantages.

That means?

Pelosi wasn't the only one travelling to the Mideast. Merkel made it her destination, too. And, while our press isn't reporting it; Abbas went NUTS!

In the Israeli press, Abbas complained that he got no sympathy from Merkel. Instead? She sounded like a broken record, during her whole visit. She told Abbas, FIRST SHALIT GETS RETURNED. And, then "we" talk.

For all you know? Pelosi drove into Assad with a similar message?

What you could learn, though, is that condi can't lift her own weight.

And, something had to be done to change the direction of the train wreck James Baker set out to do, by elevating the Saud's to the "control" position for the Mideast.

McCain went to see Maliki. In Iraq.

More players than you can count. All at the table. But with different pants pockets. Different steps.

How did Bush get it in his head that the Sauds would carry the sunni's to the top rung?

Well, in their tents it looked more like a circus. The current king is 80 years old. His youngest brother is 63. Among them? Screwing goats have produced a line of progeny, short on brains. But with strong feelings of "entitlement."

Who took them on? Well, we certainly didn't!

Iran is actually a player. And, a counter-weight.

Condi is out of her league!

SInce it seems Bush can do what he wants; but it's not bringing new real estate into the hands of the Saud's.

It's almost impossible to imagine how Bush even got to have "his vision." Since he's silent on it. Unable to either tell the truth, or lie through his teeth where he would be believed.

Did you know Bush thought he could design the Midest map, with Israel and the Saud's working together? That's why there's a $7-or-$8-billion dollar contract on the table. Where the Saud's get the very latest technology, in terms of the latest visionary gimmicks available to the Israelies (who help build this stuff). And, James Baker is sort'a promising "that if the sale goes through," he will also help Israel stay ahead.\

Of course, if you believe that one, you've already bought the bridge. Good luck to ya. Because condi is incompetent. As is most of Bush's team.

And, all you know, even if you loath the donks, is that they're not sitting back, letting Bush get to Square One.

Well? You didn't notice Tony Blair squashing Bush?

What's the big deal. the "hostages" have been returned. And, the TV time went to the iranians.

In the "old days," when Reagan RULED, it was Mike Deaver who measured everything by the nightly news.

Bush's performance is lackluster.

And, someday? You'll read more, as the diplomats spill the beans on what they know.

How did Bush fly so off-course? Well, he thought he could do anything he wanted to do. Similar to nominating Harriet Miers for the Supreme's. And, then, being that he was inside, seeing that she was refusing to step down from the nomination.

You think the donks would have elevated her?

Nah. They were just holding their fire.

But how did Bush find out Harriet Miers was, in fact, incompetent? SUPREME CONFLICT spells it out. She couldn't answer questions as they got flung at her from the inside. Where she was being put thru training. To meet the Klieg Lights up on the Hill.

It was INSIDE, that it became obvious, Miers was tanking. Even though she was stupid enough to think she could brazen her way through. (This is a matched set to the usual thinking that goes on in Bush's brain.)

How did Bush get elected? His familiy knew how to manipulate the primaries! But those were the old days. Push calls, ahead? Nope. It's met the resistence of the Internet. (Which isn't doing the donks much good, either.)

How did Lincoln win?

He went into the "teepee" in Chicago, in 1860, in 4th place. He won, because ALL the mistakes that could be made, got made by Stanton, Chase, and Bates.

We're probably seeing a build-up, now, to something similar. Where the voters are familiar with the man they want. (Lincoln was that man!)

But in the way? The garbage that comes from special interests.

Special interests can kill ya, though. And, one think Lincoln forbid others speaking in his name to do, was make guarantees of public jobs, once Lincoln reached office.

Still, he put his cabinet together with Stanton, Chase, and Bates, offered very attractive seats.

When your "house is not divided" you still have to know how to cope with dysfunction. Because inside? There are men with ego's who will fight for what they want, even if it means everything else, fails.

Bush, thank goodness, is in a pickle, because there are now so many people running against what he wanted to do. Tony Blair. Pelosi. McCain. And, Merkel. (And, Abbas did not gain any ground.)

Too bad no one told you what Bush had set out to accomplish. Because all you're doing is laughing at pelosi, jumping into the pool. When, the bigger picture is that there are huge currents, now, trying to protect iran. AND Iraq. If we're lucky? The short-fall will go to the Saudis.

Just like there are no guarantees that just beause they built Dubai, it will be anything but a joke on a stagnant lagoon.

No. No one knows future outcomes. All ya get are histories. Where some advance and make money. And, others fall by the wayside.

How bad are Bush's ideas? Up there with Woodrow Wilson's.

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:06 PM

MUST, and very interesting, READ -

"Why Iran Released the Hostages"


Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:11 PM

So Ed you are suggesting that strategic bombing would have been a better option to diplomacy? Didn't Israel try that to get their soldiers back? Where are they now? Who cares about those soldiers now after the war that incident sparked?

Britian did the right thing and has its servicemen back. I'm sure that they are reviewing their RoE but it doesn't seem to me that the Republican Guard and their clients got much of a victory out of this. They didn't get the war they wanted to fuel the nationalist hype they need to secure their existence and the moderates in the regime can claim a small victory.

The US should have allowed consular access to the Iranian nationals they held and now they finally are. Funny how the Iranian Secretary from the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad got released by the militants who kidnapped him. Seems kidnapping is not just a tactic used by anti-Western extremists.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:21 PM

Do NancyGirl and Reid-ini know about our US military code of conduct?

"I am an American fighting in the forces that guard my country and our way of life, I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

Should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies.

I will never forget that I am an American fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America."

What do the British have, a comic book instruction on how to look your best when appearing on CNN?

Seems like Al-Pelosi and Al Reid-ini might want to tone our CoC down and add a few caveats, like "except when fighting in an illegal, disastrous occupation cooked up by Karl Rove and the BusHitler Halliburton regime". I mean, in case any of our military get the wrong idea and actually put their life on the line or something.

Maybe add a few things about female personnel immediately donning burqas when captured, to avoid offending friendly Muslim kidnappers?

Maybe toss in a Koran to make the forced conversions go smoothly?

Come on "progressives", get out in front of this issue!

Posted by Rob D [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:33 PM

Is Rep Issa also being irresponsible?

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:42 PM

lexhamfox wrote (April 5, 2007 12:11 PM):

Britian did the right thing and has its servicemen back. I'm sure that they are reviewing their RoE but it doesn't seem to me that the Republican Guard and their clients got much of a victory out of this. They didn't get the war they wanted to fuel the nationalist hype they need to secure their existence and the moderates in the regime can claim a small victory.

Do the Iranians - or anything but a tiny, crazed minority of Iranians - REALLY want a war? If they do, they can have one at any time by firing shots at a US naval vessel or invading Iraq or A-stan. Grabbing some British sailors, while technically (I suppose) a casus bellum, seems to me to be more intended as a high-stakes bluff.

Ahmadinnahjacket like to spout a lot of apocalyptic blather about the 13th ghost or 45th ayatollah or whatever, but I doubt that this is anything more than hot air to appease the nutcases at home and pander to the fraidy-cat lefties in the West.

Again, if Iran REALLY wants a war, they can get their wish at any time.

Now, as to whether or not Britain or Iran "won" this round... Time will tell. Personally, I think that Britain has been pretty thoroughly humilated. First, they couldn't stop the Iranians from seizing their sailors, who apparently did little or nothing to defend themselves. Then it became obvious that they really had no military options available to try to compel Iran to return the sailors. They've gotten their sailors back, but only through the good grace of Ahmadinnahjacket. We can only speculate whether or not Blair had to make some secret concession to Tehran.

I'm glad the UK got their sailors back unharmed and so quickly, but this isn't a proud day in the history of Great Britain.

Posted by Rob D [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 1:31 PM

Now Rep Pitts (PA) and Rep Issa (CA), both Republicans, are criticizing the Administration's relations with Syria. Not to mention the Iraq Study Group.

Some people think that an Iraq solution requires the participation, however distasteful it may be to the US, of Syria and Iran (plus Iraq's other 4 immediate neighbors and other Arab nations). Are all of those who think this way traitors and fools?

Posted by Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 2:04 PM


Iran didn't want a war now. It wasn't the battlefield of their chosing, it was an engagement and exercise in power.

What they proved is that they, the Iranian's, are the Middle-East 'strong horse' and it will prove far less costly for the Arabs to align with the Persian's now, rather than later when Tehran moves on Iraq, Lebanon and beyond.

Had the Iranian's wanted war, their trials are swift as is carrying-out of the sentencing.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 3:41 PM

"Are all of those who think this way traitors and fools?"

Fools at the very least.

Those countries will sign anything you put in front of them, as long as:
1) They get something from us
2) There is no verifiable terms for what they are supposed to give up in return.

And if you actually do get #1 and #2, the meaning of the treaty will mysteriously "change" the moment the dictators leave the table.

So now we're back to photo ops for idiot politicians waving "treaties" and "agreements" which aren't worth the paper they are printed on - just ask the Israelis.

Meanwhile, Iran moves towards nukes. Think they would have given back those British sailors if they had nukes? Or would they have executed them on TV?

Looks like we're going to find out.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 3:51 PM

I am glad the sailors are home now. And I am also glad they wer not held for over a year like our people were.

And I don't think this was some great coup for the Iranians...after all if they are so big and bad and unafraid, why didn't they repeat the 1979 scenario? And things were tense for years. I remember when the Iranian passenger jet was shot down in the late 80's with something like 279 people on board. Then of course there was Operation Preying Mantis in which the US sunk a sizable chunk of what passed for the Iranian navy back around the same time.

This is just the latest incident in a long string of incidents.

No, it is easy for us to sit here and talk about what those Brits should have done, we aren't the ones being held captive. And we know it ain't over.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 5:59 PM

Allow me to paraphrase Rob D:

Some people think that a Czechoslovakian solution requires the participation, however distasteful it may be to France and Great Britain, of Germany and Italy. Are all of those who think this way traitors and fools?

Why, oh why do people keep insisting on trying to feed the crocodile in the hopes that it will eat them last???

I've got a question of my own for those who reflexively urge "diplomacy":

What, exactly, will we exchange with Syria and Iran for their "help" in stablizing Iraq?

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 6:42 PM

Without firing a shot, Iran has taken the Brits out of the war. Tony Blair will go down with Neville Chamberlain and Lord North as the worst PMs of Britain. History will not be kind to Blair. It will be even less kind to 21st Century Britain as it continues its fade into irrelevance and non-existence as part of the EU superstate.

How bad does Tony Blair look right now? Ahmadinejad kidnapped his sailors, and then gave them gift bags.

We need to write off the UK as dead weight at this point, like the rest of Eurabia. It's time for America to realize that at this point we're the only country left standing up to the mullahs.

Posted by Chimpy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:24 PM

Despite its proximity, the Cornwall did nothing to intercede on behalf of its crew when threatened by a hostile force.

The destroyer's commander was under orders from his superiors to not fire. He radioed his bosses to rescind the order which would have allowed him to respond. However, the admirals would not relax the no response order and the ship's captain obeyed.

Maybe because the crew was in Iranian waters? If not then the Cornwall would have been justified in blowing the Iranians out of the water. But they didn’t.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:38 PM

Heard the white house arranged to have one of the captured Iranians released today. Quid pro quid? If they did and it got the Brits released its all right by me. Iran was issuing a statement of "if you kidnap Iranians we'll kidnap Coalition members. They are a regional power and are probably close to getting a nuke. Bush has a huge headache and bashing democrats won't help solve the crisis, but him and his minions seem to take a perverse joy in doing that. George, thanks for dividing the country and keep listening to that "genius" Rove. Because theres math and then theres "the math". Brilliant Karl.Bush and his neo-con crazies have lost the faith of this country. What he has left is the 30% koolaid drinkers. What keeps them loyal to this inept fool is beyond me.