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Crazy Notions About The British Naval Party Drama

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Conspiracy theorists are coming up with the standard mad ideas about the capture of the 15 British Royal Navy sailors and Marines, nabbed by Iran in the Persian Gulf while doing ordinary stop-and-search naval work. Though released and returned to Britain over the weekend, rumors are more rife than ever.

So here are the facts – you be the final judge.

Two weeks ago a small group of very lightly armed sailors and marines in two small rigids were routinely inspecting an Indian-flagged vessel a few nautical miles from shore. It was so routine that the patrolling helicopter providing nominal cover for the naval party had already headed back to their frigate, HMS Cornwall. It was situated some kilometres away and thus was unable to render any assistance.

The Cornwall had lost radio contact with the party, but was apparently told by the helicopter pilot that two Iranian gunboats were in the vicinity – still, not an unusual event in the Gulf and probably no real cause for concern at that stage.

Once they arrived on the scene, the Iranian crews (since revealed to have been members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard) were reportedly quite pleasant to the members of the Naval Party.

The gunboats were very heavily armed. They had RPGs and heavy-calibre weapons that could have blown the two small British boats to bits within seconds. Soon, they became quite menacing and aggressive, and were then joined by another FOUR gunboats… so six in all (and about 50 crewmen), who then corralled boats into a circle before turning about to head up the disputed Shatt-al-Arab to Iranian territory nearby.

It's worth noting here that the Royal Navy and other coalition ships, including those of the US Navy, are under orders not to engage the Shi'ite Iranians, partly because of the tensions in neighbouring Iraq, where the British area of control is in the mainly Shia south. The marines and sailors were only armed with a few SA80s, the standard assault rifle for the British military, and a few sidearms.

They had no choice but to do what the Iranians wanted. Any other action would have been suicidal and put the lives of all 15 at grave risk given the firepower ranged against them. The British didn't take action later either, and for good reason. It’s not the retaking of the Falkland Islands, but simply a waterborne peace-keeping and security mission.

Some conspiracy theorists thought it unusual that the British had their "green beret" special forces "commandos" on the rigids (and who obviously knew exactly what they were doing in going with the Iranians and were specially set up to do so to raise tensions that would serve as an excuse for an attack on Iran). That’s a lot of bunkum.

While the Royal Marines are certainly an elite force, nearly all except for band members also wear the "commando" patch. Their basic training includes commando training and is acknowledged to be the longest and most intense infantry training course in the world: a total of 32 weeks. Once they have completed it, they are entitled to wear the patch and the marines' green beret. So they are not really special forces soldiers at all in today's parlance. My guess about the whole thing: the officer in charge of the Marines realised the party was massively outgunned and took the sensible course of action. That they are alive today is testimony to his clear-headedness.

As for the British claim that they were in Iraqi territorial waters, no doubt they were spot on, and the co-ordinates publicly given were accurate and did indicate they weren't in Iranian territory. It's interesting too, that the first set of co-ordinates given by Iran, and quickly changed a few days later, also put the British in Iraqi waters.

The problem here is, according to whom? Iran and Iraq have long disputed the border in this stretch of water, and agreements between the two thrashed out in the past have been ripped up by both parties.

Perhaps the final word on that issue should go to Commodore Peter Lockwood of the Royal Australian Navy. He is the leader of Task Force 158, the Coalition's fleet in the north Gulf. And, as he has succinctly pointed out, there is no agreed maritime border …

And there's also nothing new about Iranians capturing sailors on routine stop and search duties, either. In 2004, six Royal Navy personnel were taken and paraded before the cameras in Tehran in similar circumstances. What no-one watching the drama on TV knew at the time was that they had also been subjected to a number of mock executions.  You know, the ones where you only know it's mock when you hear the empty click and it doesn't blow your brains out.

Time will tell as to whether we learn that the party released this week was subjected to the same kind of treatment, and given that they appeared to be reading scripted statements, you'd have to say they were at least mistreated by their captors.

Rather than trying to find excuses to attack Iran, the truth is the U.S.-led coalition is looking for reasons not to – despite the kinds of provocations from Iran that we've seen these past few weeks, and others that include the training and arming of terrorists throughout the Middle East, including Iraq.

That's why British Prime Minister Tony Blair stood his ground and refused to be conciliatory. There is nothing to be conciliatory about: British personnel were taken, and if everyone subsequently refused to call them hostages, I say that's just semantics.

There's a bit more to it all, though. In January, six Iranian "diplomats" were captured by U.S. forces in northern Iraq, and one other held in southern Iraq was released last week just before the release of the British sailors. The U.S. has also announced that consular access would be given to the six held up north.

Perhaps that's the real reason for the whole sorry incident: a cynical decision by Iran to use the lives of the 15 as bargaining chips.

It seems to have worked, though, and with Iranian President Ahmadinejad saying he was "pardoning" the naval party and freeing them as a gift to the British people, he's certainly scored a PR coup of sorts. But what I don't notice in the aftermath is a build-up of coalition forces spoiling for a strike on Tehran. Anyone who believes that will happen, given the current debacle the coalition is embroiled in right now in Iraq, is living in la-la land.

Yes, the Iranians are like blow flies and are annoying the U.S. no end by getting up the noses of the current administration. But they do have a history, and the coalition is looking for ways to leave the region rather than blow the living shit out of Iran as well.

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About the silver surfer

  • moonraven

    As usual, when someone tells me that he or she has The Facts, I have to ask: WERE YOU THERE?

    I happen to know that you were not.

    This piece is labeled “opinion”.

    Don’t try to have it both ways.

  • Lumpy

    Did I misread the title? What does this story have to do with the BNP?

  • ali

    I think the writers’love for beer is gone a bit too far as tothe point of delusions.May I sujjest to him to take the trouble of looking through internet news or listen to sky news or read the irish times that all point to the fact that according to british officer, DETAIND not taken hostage,they were on spying mission or the so called intellegence gathering.And according to the GPS mounted on their own vassels they were in the iranian waters.If you want to give information to people to help them make up their mind research a bit on the subject and have a bit of fairness.It goes a long way.

  • moonraven

    Some folks are only interested in smearing propaganda over the issue.

  • Clavos

    Some folks are only interested in smearing propaganda over the issue

    Too true.

    ali (#4) did a good job of it, too.

  • moonraven

    Oh really?

    The same information was in the newspaper here. And also in the weekly news mags.

    And on several other news sites that are neither British nor gringo and are also not Middle East sites.

  • Clavos

    Stan:

    The British crew were just on US network news in a press conference.

    They confirmed all the salient facts you included in the article; in particular that they were NOT in Iranian waters when seized, and that they were mistreated. Interestingly, the female says she was kept apart from all the others, and that early on was told she was the only one still alive.

    Nice report, mate!

  • Clavos

    Correction to my #8:

    Leading seaman Faye Turney was told she was the only one still left in Iran; not the only one still alive.

  • STM

    Yeah, true, I wasn’t there but you weren’t there either Moonraven (or you Ali, and I’d suggest to you that the Irish Times report is another nonsense conspiracy theory report), but I’ve at least had access to information that you haven’t, mainly because I chose to make a few phone calls. The Iranians have also done this stuff before, so it’s nothing new.

    And there won’t be any attack on Iran. Bush might be a goose, but he’s not that much of a goose.

  • Dave Nalle

    Nice writeup, btw, Stan. Thanks.

    Ali. If they were ‘detained’ illegally – as all indications are they were – and then Iran asked for their ‘diplomats’ to be released in exchange, then it’s quite clear that the Brit sailors were hostages by any definition of the term.

    Dave

  • STM

    “Some folks are only interested in smearing propaganda over the issue.”

    Says the queen of both smearing AND propaganda …

  • STM

    Thanks Dave … events overtake all this though, as four British soldiers were killed in southern Iraq around the time of the release by what news agencies are saying was an Iranian-made bomb.

  • STM

    Members of the Naval Party are reporting from their base in the UK today that they WERE mistreated … subject to a mock execution (blindfolded, handcuffed and pushed up against a stone wall in the Tehran prison where they were held) and kept in isolation cells and interrogated nightly. Faye Turney was also isolated and told all her colleagues were gone. They were also told that unless they agreed to say they had been in Iranian waters, they faced 7 years’ jail in Iran.

    Gotta love them Iranians …

  • http://vakratunda.livejournal.com Joshua Geller

    The Royal Marines may be the ‘best trained infantry in the World’. I don’t know. I was in the straight leg American infantry, many years ago.

    But there’s something I was taught that the Royal Marines apparently weren’t: It is your duty to resist interrogation, not to make confessions that are not to the advantage of your country. Everybody cracks eventually: make them work for it. Name, rank and serial number, as long as you can manage it.

    I don’t know if I would have caved as easily as these folks did. I’d like to think not. I’d like to think that if I did cave they wouldn’t be able to put me on TV right away because they’d want the marks to heal.

    But if I did cave this easily, I wouldn’t think that I deserved anything but a court-martial. I might very well demand one in any case, wanting my name (and my honor) to be cleared.

  • pc

    That is interesting. “If they did NOT agree to say they had been in Iranian waters, they WOULD face 7 years’ jail in Iran.”… Just read between the lines — This is apparently ILLEGAL — They were NOT even in Iranian territory, so why should they receive any jail time? It does NOT make any sense. I just do NOT understand what those Brit sailors were thinking and why they finally agreed to say YES. Should it be an excuse in the first place?

  • STM

    Yeah, yeah, Josh, zzzz … don’t be a dickhead, now … it’s hard to know how it’d work with you stripped, held in an isolation cell and having mock executions carried out on you. But if you (you, personally, I mean) did everything you say you could, THEN you could come back and brag about it. Otherwise, it just sounds like typical never-really-done-anything jingoistic nonsense (unlike some other vets on this site).

    Anyone can sit in their lounge room at home and pontificate on a web site about how they’d act under stress if they’d been captured. Big problem is, they haven’t been – and are usually sitting in the comfort of a lounge chair with a beer in their hand … and tell me too where the story says they are best-trained infantry in the world. You made that up. They have the longest and most intense training course, is what I said, and they do … still, that’s not what the story is about, is it?

    And I say, if all this gets you hot under the collar, go and do your part. Re-enlist in the straight-leg whatever and get over there and serve your country. Much better than a bit of anonymous day-after armchair soldiering. And if you get captured, remember: keep your mouth shut, your chin up and your “honor” intact.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    There’s a difference to admitting to whatever the captors want you to say and revealing military secrets and plans. Doing the former makes some sense, but the former should be resisted at all cost.

    But let’s put this in perspective. Prior to the outbreak of the French and Indian War, George Washington was captured while spying on the French in the Ohio Valley. They forced him to sign a false (well, actually kind of true) confession to having committed attrocities and being a spy in exchange for releasing him and his men. Washington signed it without hesitation, because he knew that no matter what the French did with it, no one who mattered to him in Virginia or in England would give a rat’s ass because it came from the French. And as it turned out he was hailed as a hero among his own people on the basis of the crimes he had committed, because they thought the French deserved it.

    So there you go.

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave, true, and they were probably following orders … ie, tell them whatever they want to hear, without actually telling them anything.

    As you point out, pretty standard stuff, really.

    And just like George Washington, today they are being treated as heroes back home.

  • STM

    Lol. It’s worth going to Joshua’s site where he’s called the British “wimpey”.

    He’s right of course in what he says: not everyone can be as tough as Americans. It’s enough to make you cringe, isn’t it?

    Josh – get your hands above the keyboard, give yourself a damn good upper cut – and put one of those four arms to practical use.

  • jajabor

    Harsh interrogation methods like those employed by Iran are completely illegal by Geneva Conventions and Iran should be taken to the International Criminal Court. The marines were quite clearly coerced into making false confessions.

    Given that they are some of the most endurance tested personnels in the world, it makes one wonder about the validity of confessions made by detainees in Gitmo. What’s most surprising is how some “guests” who’ve been held for over 4 years are still maintaining their innocence.

    I digress from the topic of discussion, but wanted to highlight how we choose to get worked up only when evil is done unto us.

  • S.T.M

    No, I agree with you. No one should be held without trial in those kinds of circumstances for the length of time they have been. No matter what some of them have done, they are at least entitled to the full protections of the same laws that serve to protect us.

    Otherwise, seriously, what have we all become?

    The fact that we do have the protections of those laws is the point of difference between “us” and “them” …

  • Cyrus the Great

    STM,
    Look at the difference. 6 Iranians in Iraq and one retired Iranian general in Turkey were were kidnapped. It was promised by the kidnapper that they will be confessed soon about Iran’s connection to terrorism in Iraq and etc. NONE of them came in front of cammera and confess like a scared cat and we know from Abugharib prison experience how they have been treated!!! Compare them to your Brithish heros. They were taken from water like dirty rats without any resistance.

  • S.T.M

    Yes, those damned British. A bunch of dirty rats, indeed. Good for nothing buggers … long history both of cowardice and the losing of battles and wars, unlike the Iranians with their military history going back to the time of Hannibal.

    My belief is that Napolean was right. Before the Battle of Trafalgar, he dismissed the British with a flick of his hand, declaring them a nation of shopkeepers.

    Hitler was right too, in the next century, declaring that eventually they’d be forced to come onside or be crushed under the heel of his jackboot.

    Now the forces of darkness are milling around again, plotting their demise once more. And as usual, I can’t for the life of me see how those awful British are going to survive.

    Yes, a pack of dirty rats they are, and they should damn well be ashamed of themselves.

    Consider this a little slap across the wrist, you pommy bastards

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “And there won’t be any attack on Iran. Bush might be a goose, but he’s not that much of a goose.”

    That is the only place where your views of this and mine diverge, mate. For the most part, the article was a fine piece of reporting. And it is true that the Iranians have pulled this before. But the American fleet sits off the Persian Gulf not for a view of the girls bathing in the beach, but for a view of the target to the north.

    And trust me, at some point in the not too distant future, that fleet will go into action.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Napoleon was wrong, we’re a nation of shoppers, not shopkeepers! Trust me on this, my wallet knows!!

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Has anyone seen specifics of how the Brits in question were tortured?

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    “Some folks are only interested in smearing propaganda over the issue”

    Isn’t propaganda your middle name Moonraven?

  • Cyrus the Great

    We will see STM. Briths by themselves can’t do a damn. But, US military machine is different. It can outgun and outman Iranians. Israel army, navy and airforce are several times of England’s.
    If Hitler was not on drugs and wouldn’t attack Russia before finishing with England, the history would be written differently.

  • Bill

    Coooooooool down STM!!!!!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Cool down? If you want Stan to cool down give him a pint – or two – or five…

    Seriously, the closest I have ever seen this mild mannered reporter from a great metropolitan newspaper to getting annoyed is when he wrote about the bombing in Bali that killed so many Aussies on holiday.

  • moonraven

    None of us know the truth–and I think it’s a big leap to assume that the Brits were telling the truth at any point, either.

    Do they have a history of being any more truth ful than the Iranians? I think not–especialy given those 22 Pakistanis that Blair keeps on the payroll to bail him out by being arrested for some half-baked terror scheme every time his own people threaten to run him out of 10 Downing Street on a rail.

    I think it’s interesting that you automatically believe that the Brits are telling it like it is and immediately assume the Iranians are lying.

    We wouldn’t be seeing racism here–oh my god save the queen, no….

    In the game of geopolitics it is wise to believe that everyne is lying and that everyone is up to no good to protect their own interests.

    Any other posture is just sheer unadulterated STUPIDITY.

    Which seems to be wildly rampant on this site.

    Ruvy is right, I saw not only the 5th fleet ships in Bahrain but the doubling of navy personnel as I am not blind, stupid and afer all I was living 3 blocks from the base.

    Spying is always what you call what the other folks do–and when you do it it is, as the Brit commander said, normal gethering of intelligence.

  • moonraven

    So sorry for the typos–it’s dark in here.

  • Cyrus the Great

    STM sounds to has had several pints before writing his worthless article. This could not come out of a healthy mind. He reminds me of Brithish football fans!!
    About, US attacking Iran. This is nothing new. But, why it hasn’t happened yet? Don’t give me diplomacy crap. Nobody care about international laws anymore. Two other neighboring countries already are occupied. Why not 3rd one and then 4th and…..
    Ruvy has been dreaming about war with Iran and destruction of this country and massacre of its people for months if not years. Look at his posts before. I hope he takes his dreams to his grave as they are full of blood, hatred and death.

  • moonraven

    Cyrus: Nice choice of moniker by the way, considering the topic,

    STM doesn-t need to have any pints in him to come off as football rabble. In fact, I have yet to see any other attitude from him on this site.

    He definitely gives folks from Australia a bad image.

  • moonraven

    But, specific to the topic, the only good thing I can say for the Brits is they had the sense to refuse the US offer to “help” by buzzing strategic site in Iran with the planes they have in the Gulf.

    The Brits told them they could help by staying out of the whole thing.

    Shows that they are not QUITE as stupid as the yankee gringos.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Wow, what a lot of to do over a simple misunderstanding between two cultures with nothing in common.

    I was a Green Beret, Special Services, & Delta operative in SE Asia in the mid ’60s. I got caught once and them damn [obscene comment about someone edited by writer] tortured me forever…or so it seemed. But I held out. When they cut off one leg, I just grew another, which scared the shit out them. They cut off an arm, and I grew two more. Then they let me go. I still have three arms, which is awkward but useful in certain situations better left unspecified.

    Yessiree, them Iranians were right to capture and torture them Brits, probably with hummus and falafal…anyone who thinks this was just an “oops, what you doin’ in our water, Brit Boy” is smoking too much dope & not sharing.

    I’ll make it simple. Iranians Bad, US & Brits Good. Just remember this when making judgments and you’ll never go wrong. We don’t need no stinkin’ truth.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Clavos

    Oh God, NOOOOoooooo, not the hummus and falafel!!!

    I’ll confess!! I’ll confess!!

    Gimme a pencil and paper!! What do you want me to write???

    And McCain thinks he knows torture…all the Vietnamese had was Nuoc Mam.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    There’s a very detailed article on icwales which clears up a lot of the questions raised here.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Stan,

    I am not sure why we should buy what you are reporting?

    You are basically saying, the British are right and the Iranians are lying.

    Uhmmm, prove it.

    You also left out the the Iranian diplomat that was captured and used as a bargaining chip said that he was tortured by the U.S.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Zedd, the ‘iranian diplomats’ were fifth columnists supplying munitions and aid to terrorists.

    And if it comes down to deciding who’s likely to be lying, anyone who doesn’t think the Iranians are more likely to lie than the Brits is either foolish or drinking some special kool-aid.

    Dave

  • S.T.M

    MR wrote: “He definitely gives folks from Australia a bad image.”

    And hooray to that …

  • S.T.M

    MR said: “So sorry for the typos–it’s dark in here.”

    Where’s that, in the bat cave or in yer box?

  • MAOZ

    Stan, nice report.
    I just want to say something in Joshua’s defense at #14. Seems to me he’s saying that he doesn’t know how he would have acted had he been in their shoes, but he hopes he would have been able to resist longer.

    Reminds me of a story of a rabbi asking his students, “What would you do if, on Shabbat, you found a $100 bill on the ground?” [Jews are forbidden to handle money on Shabbat.]
    The first student replied, “Of course I wouldn’t touch it!” The rabbi gave him a rather “Yeah, dream on!” sort of reply.
    Seeing the rabbi’s blatant skepticism, the second student said, “Well, yeah, I would pick it up.”
    “What! You would dare to desecrate Shabbat like that?!” the rabbi exclaimed.
    The third student answered: “Well, honestly, I’m not sure what I would do. I hope that I would resist the temptation to pick it up; but until I find myself actually facing the predicament, I can’t know for sure how I would react.”
    “Ah, at last we have a true answer!” the rabbi replied

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, it can only be those tinted lenses of yours that make you believe some politicians are more likely to lie than others. The entire global political class is lying on a massive scale and doing all us normal folk a massive disservice.

    Conventional politics is heading towards being as big a threat to we the people as religion already is. It’s the spinning of dogma, secular or spiritual, that is our common enemy. Left/Right, Christian/Muslim/Jew, it’s all divisive bullshit that harms us all, like some bizarre amorphous mental or spiritual cancer. A curse on all their houses.

  • Clavos

    Christopher,

    Despite your curmudgeonly (and, IMO, sometimes selective) editing practices, I do find myself oft agreeing with you. This is one such occasion:

    Conventional politics is heading towards being as big a threat to we the people as religion already is. It’s the spinning of dogma, secular or spiritual, that is our common enemy. Left/Right, Christian/Muslim/Jew, it’s all divisive bullshit that harms us all, like some bizarre amorphous mental or spiritual cancer. A curse on all their houses.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: all human activity is selective and I make no apologies for that.

    As for “curmudgeonly”, you are surely confused. If you knew me, as opposed to your imagined image of me, you’d know that I spend large parts of the day laughing my head off at one thing or another and generally enjoying that which I choose to do.

    “crusty: brusque and surly and forbidding; “crusty remarks”; “a crusty old man”; “his curmudgeonly temper”; “gruff manner”; “a gruff reply” ” – none of this applies to me. You’ll just have to take my word on that of course, unless you want to wobble out of your Floridian lair and come to Antequera, where you’d be most welcome…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, it can only be those tinted lenses of yours that make you believe some politicians are more likely to lie than others. The entire global political class is lying on a massive scale and doing all us normal folk a massive disservice.

    I agree that all politicians are inclined to lie, but some lie more stupidly and more freely than others, and some lie primarily when it’s in their clear best interest and relatively easy to cover up and explain away. And it’s certainly true that some nations are more trustworthy than others – not in the sense that they don’t lie at all, but in the sense that their behavior is predictable and follows certain patterns.

    The pattern from Iran is to do whatever serves their fanatical agenda, which includes a blanket dispensation in the Koran to lie to infidels whenever there’s an advantage in it. The Brits on the other hand, have very little reason to lie and very little to lie about in this situation.

    So taking the situation and the players involved into consideration it’s reasonable to find the Brits more credible than the Iranians.

    And just for the record, I do know of several politicians who do NOT lie. It’s a miracle they ever got elected.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    For a self-professed political person, you’re incredibly trusting and/or naive Dave.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I’d actually call myself cynical, Christopher.

    You just fail to understand in your usual tunnel-visioned way.

    I start from the assumption that all politicians lie. But that doesn’t mean that their behavior is not predictable.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, I’m amazed you can spell cynical, but don’t worry, you’re not; gullible now, that’s a whole other thing.

    As to your laughable cheapshot about tunnel vision, that really cracked me up. You’re the idealogue with the fixed mindset, I’m a floating voter using opportunity where I find it.

    Your own behaviour is very predictable, why, I practically feel I can write your own ripostes for you. Why don’t you pop out and shoot something whilst I carry on for you? ;-)

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Christopher, what you interpret as a laughable cheapshot, was an accurate description of your behavior. The fact that you don’t see that is what makes these little exchanges so pointless.

    You are completely without even the slightest amount of self-reflection. It’s like your entire reality is artificially constructed. You project your own shortcomings onto me and ignore valid criticism that someone a bit more open minded might benefit from.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, you really ought to be charged with crimes against language!

    What reality isn’t an artificial construct? Especially one that is created by an idealogue like yourself. I’ve told you many times now that I don’t believe in very much at all outside of a few basic principles, but most especially the dubious and shallow political and/or spiritual themes that make up a large part of our contemporary life.

    When you wake up from your cultural fugue state, you may even understand what some of these ideas you’re projecting actually mean, until then, I’d advise you to just try and get through your days without causing too much damage to the world we share.

    Open minded? You? George Orwell himself would be aghast at the outrageous doublespeak! Smug, arrogant and intellectually lazy would be far closer to the truth of it.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    We’ve gone over this before, Christopher. You call me an ideologue. I then ask you to define my oh-so-obvious ideology. You then fail utterly or try to back out.

    You haven’t got the first idea what I’m thinking or what my motivations are or what I believe and your compulsion to boil things down into simplistic stereotypes and project your assumptions on others prohibits any real insight.

    But sail on, oblivious one.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    *Hands Dave a mirror so he can see what he’s talking about*

    Mirror shatters!

  • Zedd

    Dave sed:And if it comes down to deciding who’s likely to be lying, anyone who doesn’t think the Iranians are more likely to lie than the Brits is either foolish or drinking some special kool-aid.

    Uhmm, it depends on your perspective. Again the Brits have pretty much trampled the world. It wasn’t by being honest and loving. They are best at lying and looking earnest and dignified. Scary stuff actually. Although I must say that Blair missed out on the dignified thing. He sounded a lot more like GW at the beginning of the “crisis”. I’d be more apt to hedge my bet on the emotional over talkative guy who talks proudly about his misdeeds (because he things they are ordained) then the cool calm confident guy with a history of slottering almost all aspect of humanity without flinching or getting dirty.

    This entire thing smacks of a staged event. Off course the believers that many of you are will just go with the guy in the “white hat”. Grow up!

    As to the diplomat and his spying activities, Grow Up again. You think that Americans don’t do such things? The point is that we are not supposed to torture people. We say we don’t. That is the point.

  • Cyrus the Great

    I’m sure you have seen movie patriot staring Mel Gibson. In one part Brithish officer ordered burning of a church with people inside it. I bet he was one of STM ancestors! Maybe not on paper.

  • Clavos

    Christopher,

    Thanks for the welcome. You should be more careful; I might show up on your doorstep one day…

  • STM

    “Again the Brits have pretty much trampled the world.”

    Come on Zedd, everyone knows the British are a peace-loving people.

    And as for Cyrus’s nonense about that ridiculous, cringe-worthy Mel Gibson movie The Patriot (well, I’d be cringing if I was American), all I can say is: Mel’s a giood bloke but he’s off his tree. I knew him when we were younger … he’s as mad as a cut snake, and always has been.

    And all the better for it, too, I might add …

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    STM, Zedd has a clear-cut case of anglophobia. She can’t see the good the Brits did for the world, despite the overwhelming evidence.

    Look around the world. It’s not the areas colonized by Britain which are the world’s danger spots and disasters today. Former British colonies and protectorates are among the best and most successful societies on the globe.

    Despite the shortocmings of British rule, the nature of British colonialism was far more beneficial than the alternatives available during that era. I attribute it to the desire of many Brits to do good even when their government and institutions may have been pig-headed and short-sighted.

    Dave

  • STM

    Yes, I agree, and in truth, there is not a lot of love lost between where I am and Britain. We are not the greatest fans. However, we have them to thank (as do you, and many other peaceful societies, including Zedd’s new South Africa) for many of the great institutions that guarantee peaceful rule of law and government.

    It is the reason why I will never be happy if this country ever decides to remove the Union Jack from our flag. It’s not because I want us to be seen as an outpost of colonialism in the South Pacific, as we are very much an independent nation, but for the reasons I give above …

    The story I wrote was simply an attempt to write the facts of the issue, without all the usual paranoid nonsense clouding the issue.

  • STM

    Zedd will get notional comeuppance when the anglosphere arrives! It’s coming …

  • Clavos

    Stan,

    I just saw video said to be released by the Iranians and shown on the evening news here in Miami, which shows the British sailors in what appears to be a nice living room style room.

    They are all relaxed and smiling, and two are playing chess, while the others are all lounging around the room. They are wearing regular civilian clothes and appear to be quite content.

    The Miami announcer said that the video was provided by the Iranians as proof that the Brits were not mistreated while in custody.

    Do you know anything about this?

  • STM

    Yes, they were dragged out of their cells, shoved in a living room and told to behave for the cameras. I believe it happened after Ahmadenijed decided in the last few days of captivity that they were to be freed. They were also provided with three-piece suits (I hope the Tehran tailor made sure he added the extra bit under the armpits so when they raise their arms, their heads don’t disappear).

    A bit like those Nazi concentration camp films or Japanese POW camp films made for propaganda where everyone appears to be having a wonderful time.

    “Dear Mum, having a lovely time at Mathausen, central heating good, wish you were here … ”

  • Clavos

    …Or Potemkin’s villages, eh?

  • STM

    Yes … and you know what mate, given the insane things the current Iranian Mad Mullahs’ regime has done over the years (are American memories that short? And remember, this a society that still stones women to death), I can’t believe anyone would even doubt the veracity of the British claims.

    They have nothing to gain by bullshitting. I believe had they been in Iran’s waters, they would have said so and appologised. I don’t doubt the mock executions claim either. That’s a trick the Revolutionary Guard has played before. Iran is one of the great fomenters of trouble on the globe at the moment.

    Fair enough, if you don’t like what the US does, stand up and say your piece. That’s your right, aa the US is a long way from always being right … but the sabre-rattling always has that unpredictable edge to it, and it defeats the object of the exercise Iran claims to undertake: that of remaining non-aligned.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an article from the Chicago Sun Times with a different perspective on the incident.

    It’s written by a bloke named Mark Steyn, who I believe is a Brit, but who lives here.

    Steyn has a best-selling book out here titled “America Alone.” The book is decidedly anti the Muslim radicals.

  • Clavos

    Steyn’s a Canadian, not a Brit…

  • STM

    His points are relevent, but in my opinion not that accurate. An obvious example: About 25 years ago, I was laid up in hospital with a badly smashed up leg, and had only the TV and newspapers with which to amuse myself.

    One day I switched on the TV and saw the pictures of the capture of Naval Party 8901 after a firefight with Argentinian troops who had just invaded the Falkland Islands. Although vastly outnumbered, the Marines had put up a pretty hectic fight until finally ordered by the Governor to lay down their arms.

    The mood in Britain (where I had been not long before) at the time had been that the country had become a toothless tiger. To many, those pictures of the British soldiers lying face down at gunpoint in Port Stanley only reinforced that notion (although I must admit, they did look a bit more defiant than the current crop). I admit too, that I felt the same way about Britain’s lack of resolve.

    The Argentinians certainly thought that was the case too, and rejoiced (deluxe, and foolishly). They probably saw it as the ultimate PR victory.

    The one thing I didn’t think they’d have the balls to do was to send a Naval Task force steaming off to the South Atlantic and launch an amphibious landing to retake the islands. I was gobsmacked and saddened when they sank the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano with huge loss of life.

    I thought they’d just kind of slink around going through the diplomatic channels, determined not to put more lives at risk, and then sheepishly find a solution that involved allowing the Argentinians to keep the islands with some face-saving stuff built in.

    There’s an obvious difference between then and now though, with British troops being killed in southern Iraq (four on the weekend) and the public finding it hard to remain interested in keeping it going. Noo British territory has been invaded, either.

    Still, my tip and as many others have discovered to their peril about the British, would be: never underestimate their strength of character, mistake their reluctance for unwilligness or cowardice, or try to second-guess what they might do or how they might react.

    Cause you just never know what’s on the agenda … not, though, I am certain in this case, does it involve an attack on Iran.

  • moonraven

    I continue to be amazed that you idiots automatically assume that the Iranians lie (because they are a bit brown-skinned–although they are Atyans) and the Brits (pasty pale-faces) tell the truth.

    Nobody on this site–and most of us are white–knows the truth or tells it.

    Why should folks whose BUSINESS–in the sense of it being what they reciev money for–is to lie be telling the truth.

    My point is that if you went beyond the borders of your xenophobic country–or xenophobic mindset in the case of STM–you would be–I HOPE–far less gullible.

    Nalle is the worst of all because when someone points out the obvious–that he is full of shit–he sticks his fingers in his ears and shrieks sandbox insults.

    Here’s a particularly good quote I read someplace yesterday:

    “When the political sun is very low, even a dwarf projects a long shadow.”

  • moonraven

    Aryans. I am going to have to find an Internet cafe with better lighting….

  • Paul2

    I can’t believe the hype that the media creates about this ‚hostage crisis’ and its ramifications here.

    There is no reason to believe the British more than the Iranians and the whole “affair” is blown out of proportion.

    The current UK government has entirely lost any legitimacy. They were the ones who said they had evidence of WMD in Iraq (“The Iraq Dossier”) and later it was later revealed that they had downloaded an old research paper from the internet as a “source”. Jack Straw as Foreign Secretary actually sat down in front of the United Nations Security Council and said “Everyone knows he [Saddam Hussein] has these weapons” – a deliberate lie and an insult to the international community.

    As for international law and its application that the UK suddenly demanded here – they invaded Iraq having no legitimacy either and they simply didn’t give a fuck about it. And they don’t care about it, when they seize Iranian diplomats in Iraq either.

    None of the ‘hostages’ were physically hurt (as far as I have read). British and US forces in Iraq have physically and psychologically tortured many Iraqis, without much reaction from their respective governments.

    The hostage hype created here reveals a racist attitude towards human rights and international law. Apparently it supposed to be strictly applied to the British military fighting an illegal war (the UK gov’t actually demanded evidence about their marines being in Iranian waters), but when it comes to Iraqis and Iranians, it simply doesn’t matter that much. What a farce.

  • STM

    The only problem is, they aren’t at war with Iran. Just that fact alone makes what the Iranians did illegal. Mock executions aren’t a bit of fun for the Revolutionary Guard – they’re a criminal act. In the meantime, in your scheme of things, Iran can continue meddling in Iraq’s affairs with impunity, and arming terrorists around the world and it’s all good. One country here hopes to bring some stability to the region, the other is determined to undermine it. Ahmadinejad is a puppet of the radical mullahs, and a single word he speaks shouldn’t be believed.

  • Paul2

    STM, you can’t draw conclusions from an assumption that might be invalid. No one knows what happened. The “hostages” were released after seven days, unharmed, whereas prisoners in Guantanamo have been held –and some tortured– for five years. So let’s get perceive this matter in perspective.

    As for executions by the Revolutionary Guard, they are despicable. But its always the same pattern that is being revealed that these issues are only put on the agenda when they serve political strategy. At the moment is seems that Iran is supposed to be demonized, possibly to prepare military intervention. Human rights in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan are not being addressed, an the situation for women in these countries is often worse than in Iran. Pakistan and Israel have obtained nuclear weapons and not a word is spoken by the US and the UK concerning this matter.

    As for Ahmadinejad being a „puppet“, that is not a revelation. His position according to the constitution is not as important as a president in a western democracy, due to the theocracy introduced after the revolution. His reform-oriented predecessor, an educated and intelligent man, Mr. Khatami, did introduce reforms. But he was not supported by the West and Iran stayed isolated, one of the reasons why he was not re-elected. After September 11, Iran did offer help in fighting terrorism, an opportunity that could have improved relations with the west, was declined.

  • STM

    We’re not talking about hostages in Guantanamo. They are two separate issues, and if you chose to read my posts you’d see where I stand on that. I think it’s a disgrace, not just that they are there but that they are to be tried by a kangaroo court and denied the proper protections of law afforded US citizens.

    I am not making judments in that story one way or the other, BTW. I am trying to dispel the notion that there was something more to it than Iran taking captives – that there was some kind of hidden agenda.

    And yes, I know that under Khatami, Tehran was the only muslim city where a mass cabdlelight vigil was held for the dead of September 11. That Bush can’t see the wood for the trees when it comes to dealing with states he should be making peace with will come back to haunt the US, but this is a separate issue.

    The big problem now is that the Revolutionary Guard is taking control of Iran, and they are loose cannons.

  • moonraven

    Folks are either held as hostages, or they are not. Nothing indicates a hostage situation, and anyone apart from a jingoist retard would use the term CAPTURED.

    I have indicated several times, STM, that YOU have no inside information about the illegality or legality of the Brits having been CAPTURED by Iran. If you have said inside info, show it to us–or shut up. You are just a blowhard.

    In the truly trivial interest so typical of The West NOW the big story is that after having been given permission to sell their stories to the media, the captured Brits have had that permission rescinded.

    Really silly stuff. But it gets you would-be bullies all hot and bothered.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Since they were taken outside of Iranian waters in a time when the Brits were not at war with Iran the proper term is ‘kidnapped’ not ‘captured’, and it’s a simple criminal act.

    ‘Hostage’ is the proper term for kidnapees if they were then subsequently used as bargaining chips to secure the release of Iranians held by the Britain or its allies. If they were freed voluntarily then they were just kidnapping victims.

    Dave

  • Paul2

    Dave, you don’t know where they were taken. So you can’t qualify it as a criminal act. And if you choose to argue the legal path, you need to apply legal measures to anyone and not just in those instances where it suits your argumentation.

    It is a criminal act to abuse prisoners at Abu Ghraib, to deny prisoners of war their rights granted by the Geneva Convention and it is a criminal act to kidnap citizens across the globe as the CIA has done and fly them to “rogue states” to abuse them. Thats why state attorneys in Italy and Germany have issued arrest warrants for CIA officers. It is also a criminal act to arrest Iranian diplomats.

  • moonraven

    It is also a criminal act that someone gave birth to Dave Nalle.

    He ALWAYS lies, though–in that he is consistent–which, although not a virtue, makes him predictable.

    According to Dave: He was there next to the boat that was boarded by Iranians. That’s him–bobbing his head in the water next to the red buoy.

    According to Dave: Bush II is the greatest leader the world has ever produced.

    According to Dave: Shooting stray dogs means that he (and by the capturing en passant of his tantruming teenage chum Liam) will be given a Pulitzer Prize.

  • STM

    MR: “and anyone apart from a jingoist retard would use the term CAPTURED”.

    I believe I did in the post above. So would that be held captive like the entire population of Cuba?

  • Clavos

    Paul2,

    The very fact that they were released so quickly by Ahmadumbass proves they were not in Iranian waters when seized.

    Had they been in his waters, Ahmashithead would have made lots of political hay out of the incident, complete with show trials and plenty of propaganda.

  • STM

    Ahma-bin-a-bad

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, you don’t know where they were taken.

    Sure I do. The sailors have said they were 1.7km inside Iraqi waters and the Iranians confirmed that location accidentally right after seizing them, though they changed coordinates shortly thereafter. Who’s lying, the Brits who have stuck by the same story the whole time or the Iranians who changed their story when it became clear the truth would get them in trouble?

    So you can’t qualify it as a criminal act. And if you choose to argue the legal path, you need to apply legal measures to anyone and not just in those instances where it suits your argumentation.

    I don’t believe there’s any claim that anyone but the Iranians committed any kind of crime here.

    It is a criminal act to abuse prisoners at Abu Ghraib,

    The British were involved in Abu Ghraib? News to me.

    to deny prisoners of war their rights granted by the Geneva Convention

    Can you provide me with some examples of this? All the actual prisoners of war I’m aware of have been treated according to the convention. Terrorists captured without uniforms and not part of an organized military are specifically excluded from the protections of the Geneva Convention. You should read it sometime before you start babbling about it.

    and it is a criminal act to kidnap citizens across the globe as the CIA has done and fly them to “rogue states” to abuse them.

    Rogue states in many cases being their home countries where they are already considered criminals?

    Thats why state attorneys in Italy and Germany have issued arrest warrants for CIA officers.

    The ‘ABu Omar’ case in Italy is a good example of what I mention above. The ‘abduction’ of Nasr may be under investigation in Italy and there may be warrants for CIA and Italian government agents involved, but it’s more in the nature of a forced extradition than an abduction. Nasr was wanted in Egypt and he was captured in Italy and then removed to Egypt – not generally considered a rogue state – where he was questioned and eventually released.

    Your German example is presumably the el-Masri case, which has not resulted in charges against CIA agents as yet, though they are wanted for questioning in what is essentially the German equivalent of a US civil case. This case was the result of a mistake made by the Macedonian police, and once the CIA and German intelligence had determined he was the wrong suspect they released him unharmed.

    I agree that the practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’ is a bit scary o the surface. But all the research I’ve seen suggests that since it first originated as a policy of the Clinton administration it has been used very few times, mostly in criminal cases rather than instances of terrorism, and generally only when there was an outstanding warrant or even a conviction from a legitimate country on which to base the arrest.

    It is also a criminal act to arrest Iranian diplomats.

    The Iranians arrested in Iraq were not credentialed diplomats. They were there without official sanction of the Iraqi government and were for all intents and purposes the equivalent of spies or agents provocateurs, regardless of what the Iranians called them.

    There’s plenty to criticize the US and even Britain for, but you will get a lot farther if you inform yourself and try to stick to the truth rather than regurgitating propaganda and disinformation.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    STM

    I am not sure where you and Dave picked up that I dislike the British. I supposed it was Dave. He morphed into the simplistic “America love it or leave it” mindset. Stating a negative about a person or a country doesn’t mean that you hate it or them. I was just surprised that you jumped on the bandwagon Stan. That was a bit unsettling to read.

    I am not sure why you attribute the rule of law to the Brits. I know that you realise that human beings have been governing themselves since the conception human structures. The system that the Brits “developed” came as a result of an evolutionary process from other systems. Also the cultures in SA had their own manner of organization which contributed to the manner in which everything has taken place.

    Regardless, none of what you have said erases what I said which is that the British have a tragic history to destroy then calmly lie about it.

  • Zedd

    Stan

    Excuse the typos.

  • moonraven

    I repeat, for the umpteenth time to you Oh So Factually Informed blowhards:

    1. YOU were NOT there when the Brits were captured–and therefore know NOTHING.

    2. YOU are a damn fool if you believe that people are lying or telling the truth just based on whether they are Brits or Iranians.

    3. YOU are a damn fool if you believe anything in geopolitics has to do with the truth.

    4. The Iranians came out of this as The Good Guys, just like Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia did in 1968 when he released captured US soldiers–except, as H.D.S. Greenway pointed out yesterday in a Boston Globe article, the new suits were of white linen in the Cambodian case.

    When you rant about the president of Iran, think about those sweet fellows, the Khmer Rouge, who were encouraged by the US (who else?!) to put a coup against Sihanouk.

    After him, the deluge: the killing fields and HOW many millions?

    Oops, forgot; you gringos are 100% in favor of killing all the non-white folks on the planet.

    But the Iranis are Aryans, remember that.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Some “reasonable” opinions…

    1. I dislike the argument that you have to be there to have an opinion on principle. It’s the same one Ruvy uses to try to prevent people outside of Israel opining on what happens there.

    2. True. All politicians lie far too much and they fail us all when they do. The state of contemporary global politics is appalling and may be one of the key reasons democratic participation is falling so much. The political classes are failing the people.

    3. True. See above.

    4. True. To a degree.

    moonraven, you are also doing your point of view a major disservice. As you can see, there can be agreement on some of what you say but then you have to make the same mistake over and over, that of going too far and adopting absolutist positions.

    It is simply not true that “we gringos” are in favour of “killing all the non-white folks on the planet” and you undo any good your political insight may have to offer by this kind of over-statement.

    You then compound this by adopting an insulting and unjustified condescension towards people with whom you disagree.

    I look forward to seeing whether you respond to my remarks or simply attack the messenger.

  • Clavos

    I look forward to seeing whether you respond to my remarks or simply attack the messenger.

    I’m setting up a pool…

  • moonraven

    Well, Chris, we are going to have to agree to disagree (of course you can always abuse your power as comments editor by continuing to attack me personally and deleting my responses–that’s cool, too.)

    In regard to point Number 1, Nalle ALWAYS insists he knows the white people are telling the truth. Just BECAUSE. And he uses such specious “logic” to justify his position that even making fun of him–his head bobbing in the water next to the boat–doesn’t address the magnitude of his absurd statements. One of the statements that we analyzed thousands of years ago when I was in university was “Mushrooms are poisonous, but I don’t believe it”–which is the model for almost every statement he has made on this site.

    When there is a question of who is telling the truth and who is lying, it used to be the case that International Law was given priority in the sense that the Captor was the one with possession and therefore would be assumed to have that law on his or her side.

    Now since the Brits, gringos and aussies have thrown out International Law, the Geneva Convention and just about all other legal hallmarks of a civilized international exchange as being OBSOLETE (Alberto Gonzalez dixit), whoever is the more skilled manipulator is the one who appears to have truth on his or her side.

    In this case, the more skillful player was Iran.

    My statement, “You gringos are in favor of killing all non-whites on the planet” is deliberately provocative.

    BUT, the historical evidence seems to indicate that it is also TRUE, and here is some of that evidence:

    1. How many Native Americans were murdered under the war cry of Manifest Destiny?

    2. How many Mexicans were killed when Polk’s troops invaded Mexico?

    3. How many Cubans and Filipinos were killed during the War against Spain?

    4. How many black US citizens have been lynched or otherwise murdered since the US was founded on the principle of All Men Are Equal?

    5. How many Japanese were murdered in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    6. How many Vietnamese were murdered in the name of preventing the Domino Effect?

    7. How many Iraquis have been murdered in the two Gulf invasions?

    8. How many Panamanians were murdered in the Bush I invasion?

    9. How many Centroamericans were murdered by US-financed death squads?

    10. How many Nicaraguans were murdered by US-financed (illegally–Iran Contra existed, remember?) “contras”?

    I could go on typing these questions for the rest of the day, Chris, and would still not cover the magnitude of genocide committed by the US government and the US people.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    moonraven, none of those questions actually justify your remark. It would only be true if everybody had been killed and they obviously weren’t.

    Therefore, you are overstating your case and undermining your own plausibility. That does your cause a major disservice. Ratchet back the overstatement anfd you may yet discern greater support for some of your views than has so far been the case.

    To the best of my belief, I have not abused my position at all, but would be happy to reconsider if presented with some actual evidence.

    For example, in my last comment above, I agreed with you quite substantially, yet you started your response by saying we would have to agree to disagree.

    Furthermore, I am not editing anything of substance of yours, only small parts where you are simply being excessively rude for my doubtless fragile sensibilities.

    If you pay close attention, you will find that I am also doing the same to the comments of others when the same occurs.

  • Clavos

    If you pay close attention, you will find that I am also doing the same to the comments of others when the same occurs.

    I’ll vouch for that, mr!

  • Lumpy

    What does anything moonraven wrote in her last comment have to do with this topic or with the real world for that matter? Why no matter what the topic does every argument from her come down to calling people racist and blaming all the world’s ills on americans or the US government. There are REAL villains in the world, but she seems to be on their side.

    As for the facts of this case. As someone pointes out earlier the Iranians incriminated themselves, so it’s not a matter of believing the white people or the brown people, it’s a matter of fact vs. lies. Moon chooses the lie as usual.

  • moonraven

    Chris,

    The US has only been a nation since 1776. It’s pretty hard during a little more than 200 years to kill all the non-whites on the planet, so your comment about their not having killed all of them (YET?) is completely specious, as well as HIGHLY OFFENSIVE to non-white peoples.

    It is probably the one statement in the poorest taste that you have made yet on this site. In fact, it’s even more offensive than the comment made by Imus about the women’s basketball team that is being discussed on another thread.

    You should be hanging your head in shame for that gaffe.

    In addition, the INTENT to kill all non-whites has been made abundantly clear in the behavior of the US government and its people.

    But, back to YOUR behavior: On this site you have blithely chosen to overlook the call to kill all Mexicans who cross the border into the US made by several posters–Arch Conservative and JOM come to mind, but Dave Nalle has also made comments about “shooting rabbits” when referring to Mexican immigrants.

    If I choose to “overstate my case and undermine my plausibility”, I fail to see how that is any business of yours.

    In fact, after your latest caper, I suggest you resign from your volunteer position on blogcritics. This time you have simply gone too far.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    moonraven, I see the more exuberant aspect of your personality has responded to my last post. How unfortunate that it is the part of you that is comprehension challenged. That isn’t a personal attack, by the way, it is a description of your action.

    Calls to kill Mexicans who cross the border are indeed somewaht vile and stupid, to say nothing of highly irresponsible in my opinion, but they are not personal attacks on other commenters, which is what is proscribed here.

    You are, of course, entirely free to make any suggestion you care to although I would rather suspect that you will not find much support for that view from anybody other than those who support unfettered freedom of speech and object to my role on principle. Alas, past experiment along those lines has shown that to be impractical and unworkable.

  • moonraven

    Chris,

    You are a VERY active poster on these threads–which I have complained about as it is an abuse of power–yet you never say boo when someone calls for the murder of an entire national group–at least not if the target is non-white.

    I am deeply offended by your trivializing of genocide.

    There is no excuse for it.

    And don’t try to whinge back in the game by saying it is British Humor. I was a BIG Python fan and they never trivialized genocide like you so gratuitously have.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    moonraven, you are mistaken. There is no abuse of power involved in my active posting on this site and, as I explained in #93 above, there are no grounds for editing or deleting remarks simply because one disagrees with them.

    If this was a European site, I rather suspect a stronger line would be taken than here. Blogcritics is a site run under US mores and freedom of speech is generally considered more important.

    I have not trivialized genocide at all and therefore your sense of being offended is misplaced. Nor have I made any humourous remarks about genocide whatsoever.

    Again, as I said above in #93, your comprehension seems to be somewhat disfunctional today. I hope you will feel better tomorrow, for that is when I will next see any further comment of yours. Here in Spain it is almost midnight and I for one am shortly off to bed. Goodnight to you madame.

  • moonraven

    Chris, I am not kidding around here. Your saying to me that my claim that gringos support killing all non-whites on the planet is false because they have not killed them all is absolutely despicable.

    It is also illogical.

    And I am not “comprehension challenged” in any way, nor will I accept any further of your condescending misogynist ageist racist comments.

    You can go straight to hell.

  • STM

    Rosey wrote: “Blogcritics is a site run under US mores”.

    Chris, you knucklehead, don’t you mean morays?

  • STM

    Zedd wrote: “Regardless, none of what you have said erases what I said which is that the British have a tragic history to destroy then calmly lie about it”.

    Zedd, I am joking when I say the British are a peace-loving people. They obviously aren’t averse to putting on a stink every now and again, and their colonial history leaves a lot to be desired.

    But consider this: pretty much wherever they have been, countries once part of their empire are stable and operate under democratic principles, either as republics/parliamentary democracies or parliamentary democracies keeping a constititional monarch.

    The reason? While there’s no doubt they exploited the people and the resources of the places they colonised, they were also quite benevolent, unlike the other colonising powers. When they did do the wrong thing, they faced an angry public at home. It’s probably why their empire spread across the world and why much of remains intact today, even under a different name: the Commonwealth, a loose grouping of nations that owe their democracy to the British. The one blot on all of this was their handling of Irish independence, although being half Irish I can tell you there was just as much bloody-mindedness on the other side of the ditch.

    They also had the balls to stand up and decry many of their actions: slavery, and imperialism and colonialism among them. That they are willing to confront their history, warts and all, without glossing over any of the ignominious stuff, and learn from it, is worthy in my view.

    They are by far not the worst people on this planet. And the rights afforded to Britons in their own country may now even surpass those given to US citizens. A people constantly evolving under rule of law and stable government does not indicate to me that they are a bad people. That they supported America in the wake of 9/11 seems to me a given, really, and the 20-20 hindsight their critics are blessed with ignores the fact that at the time, the threat seemed very real indeed. Subsequent bombings in London, Bali and elsewhere only confirm that view.

    Of course, their big problem now is that they invented all these wonderful sports like cricket and rugby that bring joy to millions worldwide, and which they exported around the world, and now they get flogged on a regular basis by their former colonies.

  • STM

    Zedd: I left out the other major blot .. that they abandoned Palestine to the zionist movement because it was all too difficult in the post-war atmosphere.

  • Zedd

    STM

    I agree that they weren’t as cruel as some other colonizers.

    I would not call stealing something from someone while being polite benevolent. I would simply call it stealing.

    That is my very point. They are polite criminals. They mastered the technique.

  • STM

    Zedd … since the day humans were put on this Earth, they have been moving to land that didn’t belong to them and if not colonising it, at least picnhing it. Your own Zulu tribes did the same thing. The British as a race are made of a whole lot of tribes and peoples who spent the best part of a thousand years doing it to each other.

    I don’t suppose this acquiring of an empire is that much different – just done on a grand scale and the first example of globalism.

    Whatever we think of them (and as an Aussie you know where I stand on that), they are not anywhere near as bad as they painted.

    It’s worth noting that of all the nations in Europe, they were the only ones to make the effort to have thousands of Jewish children taken to safety in Britain prior to the outbreak of WWII proper. It was also the British who were the prime movers on the world political stage to bring an end to apartheid.

    True, they have done plenty of harm (I am just reading some trial records from the Old Bailey dealing with transportation to Australia – fascinating stuff), but more good than harm when you look at it realistically.

    You have expressed as much to me in the past, so I must say I am baffled by the sudden change of heart and your calling them criminals.

    I don’t see them that way. I see them as a genuine civilising influence on this planet.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I agree that they weren’t as cruel as some other colonizers.

    I would not call stealing something from someone while being polite benevolent. I would simply call it stealing.

    The difference with the British is that while they did come for profit and did a lot of harm in the process, they left behind a permanent and positive cultural influence, as well as institutions and knowledge which benefited the people they dominated. The result is a hundred nations around the world whose people are more educated, more civilized and more advanced than they would be had they not come into contact with the British. And they’re certainly way better off than they would have been if they’d been influenced by one of the other major colonial powers.

    Dave

  • Paul2

    STM writes “Iran can continue meddling in Iraq’s affairs with impunity, and arming terrorists around the world and it’s all good. One country here hopes to bring some stability to the region, the other is determined to undermine it.”

    There is no evidence of Iran funding terrorism “worldwide” on a large scale, the same argument proved wrong for Iraq. Besides that, the US also uses illegal and criminal acts to secure their political interests — and not to “stabilize” regions.

    Anthony Cordesman, an influential researcher at Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies and therefore unlikely to be suspected of harbouring Islamist sympathies, wrote about the relationship between Iran and the Hizbollah fighting Israel:

    “Analysts and reporters need to be careful to stick to the facts in covering Iran’s role in the current fighting. A number of sources, including Israeli officials and officers, have begun to use the Lebanon crisis to find new reasons to attack Iran, partly because of the nuclear issue and partly because it is now seen as Israel’s most serious enemy. The end result is blowing up suspicions and limited facts into full-blown conspiracies. US intelligence has not seen evidence that Iran dominated or controlled Hizbullah, but for most of Hizbullah’s existence, it has seen Iran as a major source of money and weapons”.

    LeMonde Diplomatique August 2006

  • Paul2

    Dave

    you still don’t have a legitimate claim to know what happened. Of course you can choose who you believe, but thats about it.

    About the “legality” of the “seizure”, the point that I was making is that legality is neither important to the US nor the UK and it is therefore inappropriate to demand that Iran moves on legal grounds.

    You know very well that the British had their own abuse scandals in Iraq and that under much criticizsm about the proceedings not one was found guilty:
    Guardian, Feb 14

    The crimes committed here and in Abu Ghraib are a lot more severe than a 7-day imprisonment.

    You should know that the US did deny protection under the Geneva Convention, in effect assuming that prisoners in Guantanamo have no rights at all, which contradicts the basic principles of law itself and which US courts have overruled . And if the US speaks about a “war,” than ultimately its participants are POW. If its not a war, then the Afghanistan war was just as illegal as the war in Iraq.

    As for the El-Masri case:
    An innocent person person on vacation was abducted in Macedonia and brought to Afghanistan and questioned and abused for MONTHS. You say this was a “mistake” by which you intentionally trivialize and which is beside the point because he wasn’t the only one.
    Your assumption that the German prosecutors want the CIA agents merely for “questioning” is a lie: They’ve issued ARREST WARRANTS for deprivation of liberty and for grievous bodily harm.

    Guardian, Jan 31

    As for extraordinary rendition of “people with a criminal record” – your fundamental rights don’t cease by stealing a car and your not entitled to abuse either.

    So when you demand legality from the Iranian gov’t demand legality from the UK and US gov’t as well.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    you still don’t have a legitimate claim to know what happened. Of course you can choose who you believe, but thats about it.

    You can say that no one except those involved actually knows. But in order to function and discuss the subject we have to take what we do know and draw a conclusion. Any reasonable person would reach the conclusion that the claims of the British sailors are correct, because they have better evidence on their side and they are inherently more credible than the government of Iran. If you don’t agree then you’re either a shill or a fool, take your pick.

    About the “legality” of the “seizure”, the point that I was making is that legality is neither important to the US nor the UK and it is therefore inappropriate to demand that Iran moves on legal grounds.

    Of course it’s important to the US and the UK. Both nations are founded on the rule of law and are scrupulous about observing international law.

    You know very well that the British had their own abuse scandals in Iraq and that under much criticizsm about the proceedings not one was found guilty:
    Guardian, Feb 14

    Your Guardian link doesn’t work, but I sure hope it’s not to that stupid story about Brit soldiers shooting corpses.

    You should know that the US did deny protection under the Geneva Convention, in effect assuming that prisoners in Guantanamo have no rights at all, which contradicts the basic principles of law itself and which US courts have overruled . And if the US speaks about a “war,” than ultimately its participants are POW. If its not a war, then the Afghanistan war was just as illegal as the war in Iraq.

    Read the damned Geneva Convention. Read it twice. Look in particular at the definition of who is and is not protected by it. The definitions are very, very clear.

    Your assumption that the German prosecutors want the CIA agents merely for “questioning” is a lie: They’ve issued ARREST WARRANTS for deprivation of liberty and for grievous bodily harm.

    That’s news to me. Last I saw it was their equivalent of a civil case solely for damages. Are you sure you aren’t referring to the prior criminal case which was thrown out by the German high court? Your guardian article doesn’t go into any detail on specific charges and suggests that the warrants are issued for aliases rather than for the actual people. Very peculiar stuff.

    As for extraordinary rendition of “people with a criminal record” – your fundamental rights don’t cease by stealing a car and your not entitled to abuse either.

    Actually, they do. Former felons are denied a variety of rights in the United States and many other countries.

    So when you demand legality from the Iranian gov’t demand legality from the UK and US gov’t as well.

    Well, of course. But in this instance they aren’t at fault.

    Dave

  • STM

    “The crimes committed here and in Abu Ghraib are a lot more severe than a 7-day imprisonment”

    Except – and it’s a fairly major except – there might have been some truth in the notion that many of those jailed in Abu Ghraib were people wanting to blow the living sh.t out of coalition troops.

    I agree that it doesn’t excuse the behaviour of the reservist military police (which in my view is the real reason it occurred, many of them being serving US correctional officers, and most having never been outside their own community in the US and unaware of the sensitivities around the people they were guarding) – but the two things are separate issues.

    The British naval party was doing a routine stop and search, and was not at war with Iran. They weren’t firing shots in anyone’s direction.