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08 April 2007

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jonst

The following will go down in history as one of the most memorable quotes associated with the entire campaign >>>.One of the hostages, Dean Harris, 30, an acting sergeant in the Royal Marines, told a Sunday Times reporter yesterday: “I want £70,000. That is based on what the others have told me they have been offered. I know Faye has been offered a heck more than that. I am worth it because I was one of only two who didn’t crack.”<<<<<< I'm speechless.

johnf

This story continues to get bizarrer and bizarrer. More and more like a sub genre of Big Brother/Reality TV.

I don't think what actually happened to them in Iranian captivity will be known publically for a longtime.

The Iranians obviously twisted and spun the whole thing to their own advantage. The British Government have been desperately trying to win back the lost ground since they returned by first only allowing a single news conference in which a few of the men were allowed to read out heavily-prepared statements to the press and no questions were allowed.

By allowing them to sell their stories officially to the press - instead of it being done under the counter - it means that the MOD will control the whole process and content of the interviews, and have a chance for further spinning.

What a SNAFU.

Its what happens when soldiers are pressed into a dishonest war that a large majority of the population have been against from the start and it is allowed to go on and on and on.

Their behaviour can come as no surprise to regular readers of the British Army's unofficial website ARSSE where even the President of Iran is more - much more - popular than the President of the US.

But this is exactly what those of us who opposed the war from the start knew would happen. It would not only destroy the lives and homes of millions of innocent Iraqis, it would destroy our own societies and their armed forces from the inside.

R.L.

The link doesn't work col. Lang.

Michael D. Adams

I think Richard (the Lyin' Hearted) in Dallas was very brave facing his computer railing "Blue Screen Before Dishonor!", in the face of vicarious death and dismemberment. Giving one's life for George Bush's poodle would be a great honor.
Ever So Sincerely,
Mike Adams
Atlanta

Yohan

Yeah it was distasteful, but in all reality it was just for show so who cares? No territory were lost, no lives have been endangered, no genuinely important secrets were lost, so who cares if some guys wave for the camera, thereby allowing Iran to gain enough face to do what it knew it had to do anyway? It's a big charade and I don't see why we have to resort to emotionalism. In the cold logic of statecraft and war, nothing was lost.

That being said, the idiot grunts should have known that the Iranians were just BSing them, they should have known that their government wouldn't allow them to be thrown into the dungeon or executed, that the Iranians were unable to seriously punish them for not going along with the charade. Maybe the grunts bought too much of the "those evil Persian barbarians are crazy, they'll do anything!" propaganda and forgot that the Iranian government is a rational state actor capable of conducting a cost-benefit analysis.

canuck

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1626726.ece> Fury as the hostages sell stories

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=62780/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=150.html>Eleven pages of responses from a UK board of serving and ex-military personnel. Almost all the posters are appalled by both the behaviour of the group while in captivity and this decision by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The stories and pictures are distasteful that are appearing in the press and are extremely unjust to the majority of men and women who serve with honour in the British forces. If the UK press and Brit government are going to continue to publish these types of stores, they should issue barf bags for readers.

W. Patrick Lang

All

There are now over 350 comments to the editor on this story. pl

canuck

The reason I posted the link again was to draw attention to the more than 300 comments that followed the Times article decrying the present state of affairs. Gad...what a total debacle this has been and it just keeps getting worse by the day. Is there some kind of contagious germ that has infected the UK government and these 15 sailors that infects their thought processes and causes everyone to catch a severe case of verbal diarrhea?

Cloned Poster

On a happy note I put a bet on Zach Johnson to win the Masters at 22-1 this morning.

On an unhappy note, this "sell your story" crap will make British troops walk over the Border to Iran etc.

Fred

This is certain to boost the propaganda value for Iran. Sad state of affairs for the RN.

Michael

Agreed - Brit soldiers selling their stories is god awful. Makes me wonder if Jessica Lynch ever rec'd any money for her autobiography, "I am a Soldier too: the Jessica Lynch story" or the movie, "Saving Jessica Lynch".

More a (sad) sign of the times than anything else.

Rider

Everything, the "surge" inlcuded, seems to be nothing more than political theater now...at the cost of many lives.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/world/middleeast/09surge.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

Clifford Kiracofe

Seems to be some Brit internal politics in all this:

"Lord Heseltine, the Conservative former defence secretary, is the latest to criticise the selling of stories by 15 former Iranian hostages, declaring he is "appalled" by the Government decision to allow it.

Lord Heseltine said he was "profoundly shocked" by the move and suggested that other forces staff would be equally upset after a tide of condemnation engulfed the Government last night...."

And some clumsy (putting it mildly) psyops or political CYA?:
Max Clifford, the publicist, claimed that the MoD had encouraged the captured personnel to sell their stories, which he claimed could earn a total of at least £250,000.

"The MoD almost insisted on it," he said."It is all a propaganda war. They hope that the accounts in the newspapers will convince the British public that we are right."

Today's Daily Telegraph(London)
home: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=2PWP2KGDAMHQDQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/04/09/nhostages409.xml

Did Labour change ROE from what was in place in former years???

Mike G

Currently showing in London at the moment is the film of the stand at Thermopylae, where Leonidas the Spartan and 300 Spartans resisted the advance of an army from Persia - Iran - and died heroically. I wonder how many of the heroic 15 sailors and "marines" will go to see that film and ponder on their own role in the defence of democracy and western civilisation. With the rewards they have gained, they will be able to afford the best seats in the cinema of course - unlike the four British soldiers - two of them women - who returned to Blighty at the same time as the heroic 15. They returned in coffins, however, victims of roadside bombs in Basra, and they will not benefit from fat fees paid to them by the gutter press.

Nor for that matter will the hundreds still languishing in orange jumpsuits in Guantanamo, imprisoned without trial, subject to mental and physical pressures far greater than whatever the 15 experienced. Not for them forgiveness and release and a meeting with Mr Bush and smiles and gifts and a return to their own countries to a welcome from the waiting reporters waving cheque books in their faces.

It is nice to know that the Americans did give a helping hand in getting the 15 released. Will the Americans be putting pressure on the British Government to ensure that there is an enquiry into just how the Royal Navy has sunk to such depths of incompetence that it will allow 15 of its jolly tars to be apprehended, and allow the same 15 hearts of oak to be paid for their record of appeasement?

Canuck

I would like to ask what is the consquence that Iran suffered from snatching the Britons?

As far as I can see, there aren't any!

Iran has to be less interested in hearing what the United Nations has to say about its nuclear program. Sanctions alone are rarely intimidating.

Why wouldn't Iran proceed to the next step of confrontation with the West? It doesn't have to be something spectacular. Iran is not interested in escalating tensions, but in humiliating the West. Since the West will not use force, Iran will continue to provoke while steering away from violent acts. This attitude can only gain Iran a lot of sympathy across the Islamic world, while continuously diminishing the prestige of the Western "powers".

The third consequence is that Iran (and everybody else) will be even less willing to behave in Iraq. Iran can kidnap Western soldiers, and the Iraqi insurgents kill a few of them every day. There is hardly any reason to be afraid of Western powers.

----

Big deal … all those war ships are in the gulf, but to my way of thinking the west failed the test.

jamzo

it appears that the iranians gave the british sailors a short dose of what the us is purported to give "combatants" in guantanamo, cia out-sourced prisons, afganistan and iraq

Sgt.York

Iran Releases Video Of British Captives - smiling and chatting while playing chess and table tennis:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5f9_1176075119

====================

Matthew

And the Iranians keep releasing videos further impeaching Tony Blair's claims....apparently after a decade of Blair-ism, the UK has forgotten that telling the truth matters.

EnoughAlready

As Britain & US Lay Dying - not even bright enough to realize how the Iranian treatment of Brit. captives will compare to US treatment of Iranian they recently kidnapped - or Abu G-, or ...Hopefully, it will help end torture by Western States sooner rather than later...

Dave of Maryland

Some of these comments are realy unfair to the French.

W. Patrick Lang, Alexandria, Virginia

So you said!

W. Patrick Lang

DofM

I think that all the "trash talk" about the French is unjustified by history and my experience of them.

"Surrender Monkeys?" I guess the ahistoricity of most people allows an ignorance of:

Verdun, Bir Hakeim, Dien Bien Phu, Yorktown, Austerlitz, etc.

At the same time the Brits get "a pass" on Yorktown, Singapore, Kut, Saratoga, Defeat in Malaya by the Japanese, defeat in France in 1940 by the Germans, having their asses kicked all over North Africa by Rommel until Alamein. I could go on.

Then there were a few of ours as well. I will not mention them as yet. pl

Dave of Maryland

WPL:

I love the French. I learned the language in my 20's to romance a certain Alsacienne & then hitched from one end of the country to the other, which is how I finally learned to speak it. I miss those days.

Aside from certain quarters of New York (and New Orleans), there is virtually no French presence in the US, which I think is a great loss. They are a tad insular, I admit, but they are a great & noble people.

Apologies if I took you out of context. I confess I was skimming.

confusedponderer

William S. Lind is on target in his comment on the sorry affair:

http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_4_11_07.htm

citizen k

William Lind is clearly a supporter of those great traditions of the royal navy so stiringly described by Winston Churchill. He should go find a good leather bar where those traditions are still honored.

Badtux

Especially stirring was Lind's condemnation of a woman sailer being in a boarding party. Given the occasional need to search female travelers and their possessions aboard a purportedly "civilian" ship in order to insure that they are not smuggling contraband, a woman is practically a requirement for any boarding party operating in that part of the world. Otherwise there will be a lot of dead bodies as the men aboard boarded ships fight to protect the "honor" of their women.

Lind, alas, is utterly divorced from reality here, as is true of far too much of the right wing today...

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