Sunday, April 08, 2007

The sun finally sets...

...on the United Kingdom. Not the "British Empire;" that has been dead for more than a half-century, but rather the pitiful island now led by a spineless prime minister who seems, along with his government and current military leaders, to take the French approach to international relations as a model: talk big, then surrender at the earliest opportunity.

Now comes word that the 15 marines and sailors captured by the Iranians have been given permission to sell their "stories" to tabloids and television, for which they may receive as much as $500,000.

If I was one of them, I wouldn't be so damn quick to take advantage of this offer.

Compare their behavior to that of many past hostages, some of whom eventually lost their lives at the hands of their captors. They, for the most part, made it clear from the moment of capture that such little "cooperation" as they might have displayed -- and the majority did not cooperate at all -- was forced. In contrast, most of the 15 wasted no time in taking the easy way out, appearing in videos that depicted them as happy in the hands of the Iranians, admitting "guilt" and, in the case of the one female hostage, writing letters home criticizing her nation's policies.

Yes, they have since said they were "forced," "tortured" and subjected to intense pressure. That's hard to accept when one considers the long tradition of POWs remaining true to their nations and military codes of honor in much worse situations.

This is real Jane Fonda stuff. One wonders if the North Vietnamese gave Hanoi Jane sweets and souvenirs as she left....

The shame of the British hostages must be shared with their leaders. None acted courageous; to a man -- and woman -- they let the Iranians play them like pianos. From Tony Blair to the top brass in the military, they displayed the kind of moral weakness that virtually guarantees future illegal acts by the Iranians and their ilk will not only happen, but will go unpunished.

I won't call the 15 -- or at least those among them who played the Iranians' game so well -- cowards. I have never been in their situation.* But it is no stretch to see the UK's official responses to Iran's actions as driven by moral cowardice.

Not that our nation serves as any kind of beacon for doing things right these days. Nancy Pelosi and her apologists have proven that sucking up to terrorists for political advantage at home is the way of the future as long as the lefty-loons are in power, and Bush's pathetic mishandling of the very real need to protect ourselves against enemies whose aim is to destroy us proves that we don't have the guts to stand up for what's right any longer.

One can only wonder what Horatio Nelson, Margaret Thatcher, Theodore Roosevelt or George Patton would think of those who are in charge now.

And one can only wish that those British soldiers who have died in service to their nation could tell us what they think of the marines and sailors who shook hands with a terrorist and are now free to cash in on it.

* Others who have endured similar captivity and worse, have used the "c-word," however.


Kelly said...

I don't think we can demand the same behavior of the British captives that we would demand of our own soldiers. We cannot expect the same amount of courage from those outside the U.S.

MrScribbler said...

kelly -- There was a time (not long ago) when the Brits demanded that courage of themselves. And, though it saddens me to say it, fewer and fewer Americans in positions of authority demonstrate or demand courage.

John said...

I'm reluctant to make any judgement on them since I wasn't there. I don't think the US or the Brits have their soldier's backs covered. Just the fact that they felt unjustified to defend themselves proves we're sending people in to play diplomacy and politics, at risk to their lives.
Rather than lack of courage, I'd say lack of resolve on the part of their government is the culprit.
They probably had more worry about firing against convoluted rules of engagement than they did about confessing to anything the Iranians suggested.