Sunday, April 08, 2007

Name, Rank, and Number

If Politaholic was taken prisoner by the Iranians - or by anyone - he would do pretty much anything to get home safe and sound. If they asked me to do a naked handstand in the town square I'd do it (or at any rate I'd try my level best). But I am not a professional soldier. In yesterday's Guardian Marina Hyde takes a hard line, arguing that getting captured is "a risk inherent in the type of work" for which the captured British sailors and Royal Marines "signed up". I 'm not sure I am quite so willing to be so hard-line, as a life-long "conviction coward" it would make me just a teensy bit uncomfortable. But the captives do seem to have rolled-over with remarkable ease. It also seems to me that having negotiated their release (there was clearly a quid pro quo involved since the Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi - held in Iraq - was released one day earlier and the U.S. has agreed to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit five Iranians captured by U.S. forces in Iraq in January) it is bad form to immediately call a press conference for the purpose of detailing how badly they were treated (in fact, they seem to have been treated a damn sight better than those held in Guantamano, but that, admittedly, is to set the bar rather low). Would it not have been better to maintain a dignified silence? Now we learn the captives are to sell their - presumably "sexed-up" account - to the press. I wouldn't have thought there was much to boast about; but it looks like they are about to become tabloid "heroes". For doing what is unclear: getting captured?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly wouldn't want to get captured by the Iranians, even if they did provide a nice Pot of Persian Tea! Seriously, this is one of the very few times I agree with crusty old generals (and William Hague, ahhhhh!) that these people are ACTIVE military personnel, who have taken the Kings Shilling, and should not profit from being stupid/unlucky enough to be captured and used as pawns. Terry Wait has captured for 5 years for christ's sake, and he was a Church Envoy, not in the Military. So all in all, £150k for two weeks as a pawn? I can think of people who've had worse outcomes from the War on Terror. (PS Are the MOD letting them sell their sexed up stories as part of the propaganda effort, maybe?)

11:36 am  
Blogger Politaholic said...

It's obvious, I think, that the MOD are indeed allowing them to sell their stories as part of the "propaganda effort". The MOD could presumably rule (if it wanted to)that they are not allowed to do this.

12:12 pm  

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