Thursday, April 05, 2007

They Shot Admiral Byng, Remember.

The British sailors captured and later freed by Iran have returned to UK.

The have to undergo debriefing, etc. Already speculation is rampant on the conservative blogs about the private reception they'll get from the Navy and the UK government.

The sailors and marines didn't particularly cover themselves with glory or otherwise act in accordance with standard operating procedure for prisoners/captives. Frankly, they've been a disgrace.

It's possible that circumstances prevented them from resisting capture, e.g., rules of engagement that prohibited it, or even not giving them ammunition for their guns, which is often done in my (admittedly limited) experience.

Still, the marines and sailors should be worrying about the example that was made of Admiral Byng, who was shot for failing to fight back in the powdered wig days.

Voltaire said of Byng in his novel Candide: "In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."

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