Tom

Iran Captures 15 UK Sailors

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Bloomberg

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Iran seized 15 British sailors and Marines who were conducting ``routine boarding operations'' in Iraqi waters, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said.

``The boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters,'' the ministry said in an e-mailed statement. ``We are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest level.''

Iran's foreign ministry confirmed seizing the Britons ``for investigation and questioning'' and said it was because British sailors have illegally entered its own territorial waters ``a number of times,'' Agence France-Presse reported, citing Iranian State television.

I wonder what maneuver the Iranians are trying to pull? UN sanctions are very near.

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Bloomberg

I wonder what maneuver the Iranians are trying to pull? UN sanctions are very near.

Probably probing to see the actual response. So far, diplomatic hand-wringing, per expectation.

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The UK government is behaving in a positively Carterian manner over this...

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Check this out:

U.S. Navy Flexes Muscles in Persian Gulf

ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS (AP) - American warplanes screamed off two aircraft carriers Tuesday as the U.S. Navy staged its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, launching a mammoth exercise meant as a message to the Iranians.

...

"If there is strong presence, then it sends a clear message that you better be careful about trying to intimidate others," said Capt. Bradley Johanson, commander of the Stennis.

It's not even our guys being held hostage and we're doing a better job responding than the Brits.

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Russian sources believe the United States will launch airstrikes against Iranian military and civilian targets at 12:40AM Friday morning of God knows what time zone. [debka/globalresearch.ca/jerusalem post/russian news and intelligence]

I sure hope this materializes an hour early :)

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Russian sources believe the United States will launch airstrikes against Iranian military and civilian targets at 12:40AM Friday morning of God knows what time zone. [debka/globalresearch.ca/jerusalem post/russian news and intelligence]

I sure hope this materializes an hour early :)

It would be a hell of a shame if the Yanks had to come to our rescue, given that Blair is showing all the vigour, guts and determination of Neville Chamberlain in his policy of appeasing aggressors.

I cannot understand why the Captain of the frigate is not under arrest. Being so far away as to be unable to support your vessels is criminally negligent. If the water was too shallow, then the helicopter should have been up in support.

I cannot understand why the marines meekly surrendered without a fight. Seems to me the worst they had was a stand off.

I don’t see why the frigate didn’t open fire. Apparently he meekly called the MOD and they said not to fire!

I really can’t see why we aren’t privately threatening targeted cruise missile strikes along the lines of “Okay Ayatollah Khamenei, so you believe in God huh? Well you’ll be meeting him in 48 hours unless our guys are returned.

For sure, any dictator with domestic problems grabs half a dozen British soldiers, parades them on TV for a few weeks and panders to his domestic constituency whilst boasting about ‘humbling’ Britain.

You have to believe, that had the revolutionary guards tried this with the Americans, they’d be six boats and about forty guys down by now.

Meanwhile, we (the Brits) are humbled and humiliated.

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News reports today were that the whole thing may have been a ploy by Iran to pressure the US into releasing an Iranian diplomat and several Iranian intelligence agents caught in Iraq.

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News reports today were that the whole thing may have been a ploy by Iran to pressure the US into releasing an Iranian diplomat and several Iranian intelligence agents caught in Iraq.

Probably should have kidnapped American sailors then...they must not have been thinking.

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News reports today were that the whole thing may have been a ploy by Iran to pressure the US into releasing an Iranian diplomat and several Iranian intelligence agents caught in Iraq.

The BBC reported that an Iranian being held by the Iraqis was released yesterday. Coincidence?

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The BBC reported that an Iranian being held by the Iraqis was released yesterday. Coincidence?

I wouldn't be surprised if the release was meant to appease the Iranians, just like I wouldn't be surprised at Iran's reaction to the release: Do nothing. It's almost like Britian is bending over backwards not to have to fight for their soldiers.

I think the worst was yesterday when Blair said that the next two days of negotiations would be "fairly critical" and that if Iran didn't give the soldiers back Britian would be forced to take an "increasingly tougher position." What does that mean? Is a weaker response possible?

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I wouldn't be surprised if the release was meant to appease the Iranians, just like I wouldn't be surprised at Iran's reaction to the release: Do nothing. It's almost like Britian is bending over backwards not to have to fight for their soldiers.

I think the worst was yesterday when Blair said that the next two days of negotiations would be "fairly critical" and that if Iran didn't give the soldiers back Britian would be forced to take an "increasingly tougher position." What does that mean? Is a weaker response possible?

It could be, he knows a deal is already done, and he's confident the Iranians won't back out, and he's just trying to build up tension before announcing the deal.

More likely in my view, he's shooting from the lip, and in so doing, has given the Iranians another opportunity to make him and us look stupid.

I expect to see him announcing a Munich type agreement anytime soon. Incidentally, I looked at Churchill's reaction to the first "Munich" in a House of Commons speech, he was right then, and I think it applies, albeit with different Geography, now.

Here is the speech

"We have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat...you will find that in a period of time which may be measured by years, but may be measured by months, Czechoslovakia will be engulfed in the Nazi régime. We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude...we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road...we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting". And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time"

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Update: The Iranians have announced they are to be released, with a suitably pathetically grateful Brit thanking the President.

They should now face court martials for cowardice in the face of the enemy and collaberation. I doubt they will.

And an Iranian was released by Iraq yesterday. Utterly shameful tit-for-tat.

Any green cards going, as the UK seems to have quit standing up to dictators.

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Incidentally, I looked at Churchill's reaction to the first "Munich" in a House of Commons speech, he was right then, and I think it applies, albeit with different Geography, now.

Here is the speech

Yes, and unfortunately neither Tony Blair nor George Bush have much in common with Churchill.

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Meanwhile, I hear the crisis bumped up oil prices for a few days. Maybe THAT's what the Iranians were up to.

I sure hope something comes of the latest experiments with fusion power. I can't imagine a greater blessing. IF it can be made to work.

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I sure hope something comes of the latest experiments with fusion power. I can't imagine a greater blessing. IF it can be made to work.

It's certain that the viros have either already or will soon cook up objections to fusion power. It's easy to predict that it will either be the "radioactive waste" problem, for "low temperature" plasma fusion that uses the DT reaction that produces large numbers of neutrons that induce radioactivity in the surrounding structure, or "waste heat", since the process itself and the electricity that it generates will - of course - contribute to "global warming".

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Update: The Iranians have announced they are to be released, with a suitably pathetically grateful Brit thanking the President.

They should now face court martials for cowardice in the face of the enemy and collaberation. I doubt they will.

And an Iranian was released by Iraq yesterday. Utterly shameful tit-for-tat.

Any green cards going, as the UK seems to have quit standing up to dictators.

But it isn't only the UK. No other Western nation, including the US, would have responded any differently to this situation. At least, there is no evidence to the contrary.

I must say the Iranians have played this situation quite beautifully indeed . . . Machiavelli would be proud! And it was all so easy, what with the British and everyone else in the West playing their PC-addled dhimma roles to perfection (Why, even comrade Pelosi is paying her dutiful respects to Iran's great ally, Mr. Assad, these days)! I think we can safely say that the Iranians now have the West eating out of their hands and are now free to do whatever they wish . . . . actually, they've been doing so for quite some time: this latest episode simply makes it official -- nobody in the West will confront forcefully any effrontery on the part of the beturbaned mullahs and their creatures.

Not bad for a bunch of savages.

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Update: The Iranians have announced they are to be released, with a suitably pathetically grateful Brit thanking the President.

They should now face court martials for cowardice in the face of the enemy and collaberation. I doubt they will.

Are you talking about the British hostages? I don't know the details of their kidnapping or the conditions in which they were being kept, but I don't know how much blame can be placed on them. I bet the soldiers were under the same surrender policy the British government showed during "negotitations" when the Iranian boats pulled up last week to kidnap them. I'll be really interested in hearing what they have to say when they are home.

One smaller problem I have with this issue: I can't stand how the Iranians are forcing that woman to wear a headscarf!

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Are you talking about the British hostages? I don't know the details of their kidnapping or the conditions in which they were being kept, but I don't know how much blame can be placed on them. I bet the soldiers were under the same surrender policy the British government showed during "negotitations" when the Iranian boats pulled up last week to kidnap them. I'll be really interested in hearing what they have to say when they are home.

One smaller problem I have with this issue: I can't stand how the Iranians are forcing that woman to wear a headscarf!

They had rifles, the Iranians had fifty calibre machine guns and RPG's. So immediately, they were outgunned, BUT, the second the Iranians fire, HMS Cornwall opens up with 20mm and 30mm radar guided gattling guns, to say nothing of the 4.5 inch guns, again radar guided, that can engage at about 14 miles and fire 25 shots a minute.

So locally the Iranians outgunned us, but within a 1 mile radius, we massivley outgunned them. If they pull their triggers, they all die.

It was a stand off, not a surrender.

Oddly, the headscarf thing bothered me as well.

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It's certain that the viros have either already or will soon cook up objections to fusion power. It's easy to predict that it will either be the "radioactive waste" problem, for "low temperature" plasma fusion that uses the DT reaction that produces large numbers of neutrons that induce radioactivity in the surrounding structure, or "waste heat", since the process itself and the electricity that it generates will - of course - contribute to "global warming".

Not NECESSARILY. There are some "heretics" in the environmental movement who support nuclear power and other technologies most have shunned:

http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_fr...e.aspx?id=14406

Moreover, as editor of a food industry trade magazine, I'm familiar with some environmental groups that work WITH business instead of against it on issues like fisheries management (encouraging sound fish farming practices, substitution of underfished species that taste just as good for endangered ones, etc.).

There MAY be a change in the way the wind is blowing....

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Kenneth Timmerman of FrontPageMag weighs in on the release of the British hostages.

Though the following is not the main focus of the article, I found it amusing in a disgusting sort of way, albeit not surprising.

"Just before the hostage crisis began, the Iranians boasted that 1,300 international companies had expressed interest in attending the show. On March 30, a British trade representative told me that only 13 UK companies had signed up for the trip. Since then, Iran appears to have pushed the show back by at least a week."

In the main thrust of the article, Timmerman takes the British government, and the U.S. to task and expresses hope that they will act more like the U.S. did in April 1988 when they, paraphrasing, 'sunk one-third of the Iranian Navy in a one-day battle'.

The Iranians have indeed shown they can act with impunity. Dark days ahead unless the situation is reversed, ala the masterful Churchill quote.

Our best hope, though it's a slim one and far away, is that a semi-real man like Guiliani will take office and take action.

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The Iranians have indeed shown they can act with impunity. Dark days ahead unless the situation is reversed, ala the masterful Churchill quote.

Our best hope, though it's a slim one and far away, is that a semi-real man like Guiliani will take office and take action.

I heard on the radio that all of Iran's gasoline is produced at one plant. I'd think that would be an easy target. Supposedly nuclear research facilities are widely dispersed, which would make it harder to take them all out.

A sidelight on Munich: By TODAY's political correct standards, the Germans were "right:" they wanted only Czech territory inhabited by ethnic Germans. And yet in college I read that if the British and French had only stood up to Hitler, the German Army had been ready to arrest him and throw him in an insane asylum.

Another thing I heard in college: the only permanent result of Munich was that no statesmen would ever again stand under an umbrella (as Chamberlain did, stepping off a plane to announce "peace in our time."), even if it was pouring rain.

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Not NECESSARILY. There are some "heretics" in the environmental movement [...]

I agree, but the key point is that you name them appropriately. There are those of mixed premises who think there's a halfway between "pure environmentalism" and pro-humanity. What is the fate of the heretics in a theocracy? Bruce Ames, creator of the Ames test which bacteria to test for chemicals which induce mutations and cancer, was seen as a pal of the environmentalists because the test showed that 50% of man-made chemicals test positive. They rejected him after he went further and showed that 50% of naturally occuring chemicals also test positive... The same is happening with the dissenters on global warming.

The key is to realize that the essence of the environmentalist movement is absolutely not some concern for Man. It is a thinly veiled (and sometimes explicitly unveiled) desire to kill every human being. If they can't do it directly, they'll do it indirectly by attacking the foundations of technology. It really is just that simple - and there is no compromise possible or desirable with such evil. The radicals of any movement logically will exclude the middle-of-the-roaders, who will then have to decide which side of the road they want to move to. That applies to environmentalism, Islam, and even Objectivism (omitting the characteristic, in this case, of the rationality of the movement.)

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I agree, but the key point is that you name them appropriately. There are those of mixed premises who think there's a halfway between "pure environmentalism" and pro-humanity. What is the fate of the heretics in a theocracy? Bruce Ames, creator of the Ames test which bacteria to test for chemicals which induce mutations and cancer, was seen as a pal of the environmentalists because the test showed that 50% of man-made chemicals test positive. They rejected him after he went further and showed that 50% of naturally occuring chemicals also test positive... The same is happening with the dissenters on global warming.

True, but today's heretics might become tomorrow's successful radicals. Look at history -- Jan Hus was burned at the stake, but Martin Luther broke the back of the Catholic Church.

Look at China today: officially, it's still a Communist state, but it's a far cry from anything the radical Maoists ever had in mind. I can't guarantee that it will evolve into a fully capitalist economy, but the momentum is certainly in that direction. Vietnam, when it was accused of dumping shrimp below cost on the US market, declared, "Hey, we wouldn't sell below cost, we want our shrimp farms to make a PROFIT."

I can remember that when Gorbachev implemented Glasnost and Perestroika, a lot of US conservatives thought it was just a ploy -- that nothing had really changed, and that we would be facing the Evil Empire well into the future. Well, you know what happened. Of course, now we have a Gangster state in place of the Soviet state, but that's a different story, and -- unlike the Communists -- Putin's gangsters at least know how to run industries.

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Keeping in mind that the UK sailors were victimized, am I the only one disappointed by the fact that not one of them showed any fortitude in resisting Iran's propaganda efforts? Surely it would have been possible for them to not accept to be displayed on TV (especially in the last appearance), or to only accept to wear their uniform, and certainly refuse to speak, much less accept gifts, apologize repeatedly, and thank the local chief clown, by Jove! Can you imagine what the little buffonry yesterday would have looked like if in one corner of the room one of the UK soldier had been standing silently in their uniform, refusing to say anything else than their name and rank?

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