Yes, know this topic has been done to death, but it seems impossible to look at a newspaper or a topical web page without some armchair Rambo sounding off about the British captives having somehow done a disgraceful thing (a) by getting themselves captured and (b) by smoking and eating on Iranian TV.
So it was refreshing to see some pure sense expressed – in devastatingly precise English – about the British sailors held by the Iranians.
The at largely blog answers some colonel who’s been mouthing off in the right-wing media. Apologies for quoting huge chunks of this. He just says it so well. The fact that he seems to be a “Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy, retired” makes his characterisation of the illogicality and inconsistency of the Rambo position all the sweeter.
He characterises this as a “Pavlov’s Dogs of War approach.” This is a phrase so good that I intend to plagiarise it in my every fifth sentence for the next few days.
A few salient points.
Some of us think that the British sailors and marines played the situation as smartly as it could have been played by anyone…..
……By committing themselves to a battle that would have led to their certain slaughter, the British boarding party would have created a far more shocking international incident than the one that actually occurred. Mr. Bush might have used such an incident to justify a full scale naval and air strike on Iran……
…And it’s obvious to anyone familiar with prisoner of war resistance techniques that the sailors and marines who made taped statements were sending clear verbal and physical cues that they were speaking under duress. ….
…. Thanks to the level headed thinking of a small team of junior British troops, led by a Royal Marine captain and a Royal Navy lieutenant, they did not turn into a cause for war by getting themselves killed in a hopeless battle….
……Jacobs is an old soldier who thinks we’re still fighting World War II, the kind of warrior who still thinks that “brave” and “smart” are mutually exclusive virtues, and who likes to hide his lack of intellectual integrity behind his combat decorations.