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Thursday, 29 March 2007

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and the fourth question is what are you going to do about it?

Just a thought re the headscarf. It's compulsory in Iran and possibly not worth her kicking up a fuss about when asked/told to wear it.

I haven't really followed this closely either. Isn't there some doubt as to whether they were in Iranian waters? If not an they weren't up to no good from the Iranian point of view, wouldn't that account for why they appear so ill prpared for the possibility of capture?

As for why I am unable to type this evening, I can offer no explanation.

'PS', I don't want to "do anything about it" because the powers-that-be will be doing their murky best. However, I would like answers to my questions - but I'm not holding my breath!

Klarewill, I dont no why you cant type this evening any moor than I no wy I cant eever!

(In my case, but not yours, I'm sure, it may have something to do with my courageous, single-handed, single-malted support for a well known Scottish export - thank you, I don't mind if I do!)

Ok then, I'm not remotely qualified to answer them but here we go:

1. Because destroying an Iranian ship would probably be regarded as a hostile act by Iran, and nobody would believe Blair when he said it was a purely defensive move.

2. I don't think the Iranian’s amateur attempt at propaganda for the Arab world is evidence that the sailors lack training in anti-interrogation training.

3. Eye Candy for the officers

Frankly though it is rather amusing to see the powerlessness of the government, as all it is doing is resorting to “we really would like our sailors back now Mr Iran, and if you don’t hand them back we’ll get really really cross and our newspapers will write strongly worded editorials”.

Another explanation is that this is exactly what 'the Brass' intended to happen.

(dons tin-foil hat)

Letters in the Telegraph suggested that the frigate involved was too far away to do much (she draws too much water to get closer in) and, designed for anti-submarine duties, was anyway not well-equipped to do much. The notion that his high-and-mightiness, the Supreme Tone, would put our people in harm's way, while failing to provide them with adequate protection cannot, of course, be countenanced for a moment.

'PS', as you cheerfully admit to your non-qualifications, let me offer my view which is that 'They' (ie, the government, the Brass, the intelligence services) should have been very well aware of the risk given that the same thing had happened before and that only just recently the Americans had arrested several Iranian businessmen/military advisors (take your pick) in Iraq. 'They' (see above) chose to ignore the risk and it is now increasingly obvious that the Navy Brass failed to stand up to the government by refusing to undertake such operations without maximum firepower in support.

It is also obvious, especially now that a Marine Commando has folded meekly, that the troops have not been trained to resist interrogation. Apparently, the policy relating to how British troops taken prisoner should conduct themselves was quietly changed a while back from the old 'name, rank and number' days of old, on the sensible grounds that none of our likely enemies will abide by the Geneva Convention, in fact, just the opposite, they would almost certainly torture anyone they take. However, yet again, it was the secrecy of this change that has caused the trouble. If the MoD had announced, very publicly and loudly, that henceforth all British military personnel taken prisoner would sign and say anything without the slightest hesitation, that would have deflated the shock of seeing an unmarked, fit-looking Marine Commando acting as a stooge for the Iranians.

'Dearieme', Telegraph letter writers are usually well-iformed on such matters but we do have heavily-armed Lynx helicopters which could have offered protection. As for the suggestion that our 'Tone' would needlessly risk others lives in pursuit of his own place in history, Heaven forefend!

A letter-writer also commented on the Lynx but I didn't really understand his point well enough to paraphrase it.

I think your most relevant point has to be to do with why they are carrying out such duties with zero protection. This is a messy one. We say X, they say Y....

Sadly, proof that they weren't in Iranian waters won't see them freed.....I shouldn't be annoyed by this, but I am.....

Maybe NIB has a point....

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