Friday, April 06, 2007

British Sailor Ordeal - - Update.

via CBS News.

Marine Capt. Chris Air said the 15 British sailors and marines faced an aggressive Iranian crew. "They rammed our boats, and trained their heavy machine guns, RPGs, and weapons on us. Another six boats were closing in on us. We realized our efforts to reason with these people were not making any headway, nor were we able to calm some of the individuals," Air said. "We realized that had we resisted there would have been a major fight, one we could not have won and with consequences major strategic impacts. We made a conscious decision not to engage the Iranians and do as they asked."

Did they take a vote, or something? What's with this "we?" In a situation like that, the senior officer present assumes command and makes all the decisions. Thus, it was Air's decision; his responsibility, his the rewards or the blame.

Air added: "From the outset it was very apparent that fighting back was not an option. If we had chosen to do so, many of us wouldn't be here today."

It was, of course, an option. The movie 300 shows what is possible when a small force confronts a larger one; so does the movie Zulu. Both of these movies are based on real battles; in one, the defenders died; in the other, although many died, some lived. Again, Air will have to answer to this as senior officer present.

The crewmembers insisted they were inside internationally-recognized Iraqi waters when they boarded a ship in the Persian Gulf on March 23.

Some of the British sailors held in Iran for 13 days said they were blindfolded, stripped, interrogated and pressured psychologically and emotionally during their captivity.

Exactly what did they expect?

Lt. Felix Carman said the crew was isolated and slept in stone cells on piles of blankets.


"All of us were kept in isolation. We were interrogated most nights and presented with two options. If we admitted that we'd strayed, we'd be on a plane to (Britain) pretty soon," Carman said at a news conference. "If we didn't, we faced up to seven years in prison."

Self-interest prevailed over patriotism, then. Didn't seem to need much persuading, did they?

I don't think they'll be stood against a wall and shot like Admiral Byng, but I don't think they'll be getting any medals for this, either.

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