Friday, April 06, 2007

Iran War

Lads, lads, I think we’re going to get executed.
Day Two, said Joe Tindell, a 21-year-old marine, was the day “the mood completely changed, they changed from the military dress to all black, their faces covered.” He continued, “We thought we were going to the British embassy, but we got taken to a detention center, all 15 of us.”
“We had a blindfold and plastic cuffs, hands behind our backs, heads against the wall. Basically there were weapons cocking. Someone, I’m not sure who, someone said, I quote, ‘Lads, lads, I think we’re going to get executed,’ ” he said in a separate interview with the B.B.C. “After that comment, someone was sick, and as far as I was concerned he had just had his throat cut. From there we were rushed, to a room, quick photo, and then stuffed into a cell, and didn’t see or speak to anyone for six days.”

It was a bad week for the US war with Iran, a war most Americans don’t want to fight. Sounds familiar, we were pretty slow to respond to Hitler and Tojo with almost disastrous results. Until the Battle of Midway we were getting our buts kicked by the Japanese, and a lot of luck went into that victory.

Quiz a class of high school seniors and see if anyone there knows about Midway. Heck, ask if any of them can name the major players of WWII. Most can’t so should we be surprised that history is repeating itself?
It's 1938 and Iran is Germany and it's racing to arm itself with atomic arms. Benjamin Netanyahu

A British seaman (L) shakes hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after 15 British naval personnel were released, in Tehran April 4, 2007. REUTERS/Stringer

Thank God the hostages are safe and out. It would seem that Iran could have held them forever but they played it very shrewdly, giving Britain a gift for Easter. Fair enough, since Britain had given Iran a great gift, Victory.

I fear for the Brits. They may soon be on the front lines like Paris. Like some of us, they also don’t seem to know they are in a war with Iran. Admiral Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord in 2004 when Iran kidnapped 8 other Brits, explains.
These particular people would not be trained in counter-interrogation techniques because they are not expected to be captured. But I think our guidance to anyone in that position would be to say what they want you to say, let's not be silly about it. Don't tell them secrets, clearly, but if they tell you: 'Say this', well if that's going to get you out, then do it. It means absolutely nothing, what they say, to be honest.
Given the Middle East's reaction to the propaganda I would say it did great harm. This is no knock on the Seamen, apparently they followed their training which is the same as I give my Correctional Officers: When taken hostage co-operate fully. That is 180% from the SERE training we give all of our troops. SERE; Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape, “designed to help military personnel avoid capture or exploitation by the enemy”. No C there for capitulate. This goes a little deeper than conduct while a prisoner. If I had been there while certainly terrified I would also know Iran wouldn't dare kill me, at least with George Bush as Commander in Chief. What does it say when you have no such faith in your leaders and country?

Outrage of the day? Iran says the hostages' press conference was "a show".

I should not be too hard on the Brits, they at least strongly condemned the Iranians and threatened to break off trade relations. That’s more than the EU, of which union Britain is supposed to belong, did. The UN was also shown to be worthless in the face of such naked aggression, but they at least condemned it. The United States House of Representatives could not even bring themselves to do that. Which leads me to this week's other WOT debacle.

Where will this ultimately lead?

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