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  1. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    ...is THE PENETRATOR

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 1:07am

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Did the British sailors captured by Iran behave correctly?

    I recently read an article in the April 27 issue of "The Week" about the British sailors who had been captured by Iran. It is a survey of different opinions about whether or not they behaved correctly. Since I do not have a military background and do not know what a sailor "should" do in that situation I decided to ask people here to give me their opinions.

    I can't find the article online so I'm typing it up below:

    The British sailors captured by Iran may be free, said The Times in an editorial. But they are still making propaganda for the enemy - and doing it for money. The Navy allowed the one female captive, sailor Faye Turney, to sell her story to ITV and the Sun; she told all about how she "felt like a traitor" while falsely confessing to being in Iranian waters. And 20 year old Arthur Batchelor, the youngest of the 15 captives, complained to the Daily Mirror that his guards called him "Mr. Bean" and that one of them "kept flicking my neck with his index finger and thumb," causing him to weep with terror. You couldn't make this stuff up. "Having a serving member of the military declare in print that he was 'crying like a baby' after being imprisoned will hardly serve as a disincentive to kidnapping British troops." It's bad enough that treatment no worse than solitary confinement and mockery made the troops fold so quickly. To admit it publically, in "a display of self-pity for profit," is appalling.

    These stories "inspire only embarassment and pity," said Allan Mallinson, a retired commander of the Royal Hussars, in the Daily Telegraph. Had the sailors told stories of heroism, rather than "victimhood", they might have managed to squelch our memories of their "fawning, unmilitary behavior" toward Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as they thanked him for their release. As it is, though, the Defense Ministry should have predicted the "tidal wave of revulsion" over the decision to go public - particularly since Turney reportedly reaped $200,000 in the media deal. Suddenly it's become more lucrative for our soldiers to surrender than to fight.

    The government is now trying to control the damage, said The Guardian. Defense Secretary Des Browne has forbidden any more soldiers to sell their stories. Yet this assertion of discipline comes too late. The sailors "surrendered to Rupert Murdoch even faster than they gave in to their Iranian interrogators." It's the Murdoch angle that has everyone so incensed, said Dominic Lawson in The Independent. Many in the Media thought that the sailors' "abject flattery of their Iranian hosts" was "a delightful poke in the eye for Tony Blair and George Bush." Yet now those same columnists act betrayed because Turney sold out to the Sun, a right-wing tabloid. "For some people, an accommodation with Rupert Murdoch is more sinister than one with President Ahmadinejad."

    How dare they criticize the troops for talking? said Andy McNab in the Sun. If the sailors had kept quiet, then the world would have believed Iran's lies about their treatment. Instead, we know that "Faye and the lads" were kept isolated and threatened with years of imprisonment, and that those films of them laughing and playing chess were misleading. Enough with the armchair experts who "whine and bitch about the hostages' every decision." The troops cooperated with their captors as they were trained to do. "I think we should totally be proud of them."

    Really? What if past British heroes had sold their stories? asked Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail. How about "Churchill: My Battle With the Bottle"? Or maybe "The Light Brigade: We Apologize to the Russians and Thank Them for Their Kindness." In another era, the freed captives would have been debriefed at some remote base, given a few weeks' leave, and then sent back to duty. In today's Britain, though, "the highest form of duty is to emote on prime-time TV."
    I'd always had the impression that British military personnel were unbelievably tough, myself, although I suppose it's not really an informed opinion on my part.
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  2. Yrkoon9 is offline
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    Brock Sampson

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 10:48am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    People are people. And being a POW is gonna break anyone down. Some people get broken down further than others. No shame. And certainly no judgement from someone who hasn't been in those shoes.
  3. Lu Tze is offline

    BJJ might make you a better ground fighter, but Judo will make you a better dancer.

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 11:00am

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     Style: Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Weep with terror" is hardly "crying like a baby", and the guy's 20, he's still a fucking kid.

    I'm more ashamed that our navy, which is still the puportedly the 2nd strongest in the world, and our greatest asset as an island nation... allowed itself to be outmanouevered, not once but twice, by a navy consisting of three Persians in a leaky tin fucking bath.
  4. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 11:13am

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     Style: creonte on hiatus

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    People break down under different circumstances and being a POW is not a cakewalk. The idea that every soldier can take it like Rambo is ridiculous. Not every soldier is a hardened veteran either. Every military has members with different ages and experiences. That 20 year old dude was probably a poor greenhorn put on a boat right off training camp. So, it is not unconceivable to see him (or somebody like him) breaking down.

    Having said that, I don't think it appropriate for these soldiers to be making money off their experiences (this is all assuming they are still active members of the military.)
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

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    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
  5. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 11:23am

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     Style: Tai Chi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm a brit and I remember quite a few people I know being surprised about how they behaved.

    Partly because they seemed to cooperate more with their captors than previous generations of service personnel allegedly would have behaved (I heard a lot of 'in the good old days servicemen were tougher than that' type comments, mostly, but not entirely from people who'd never done military service themselves). My view on this is that unless you've been captured by a hostile power on active service yourself, you shouldn't really comment. A couple of the old troopers who made these comments actually had, so they're entitled to their opinion.

    Another thing, which surprised even me quite a bit, was that the female crewmember who was captured was extremely overweight and was a chain smoker (including before her capture). I and a lot of other people could not understand how somebody in such poor physical condition had been allowed to undertake such dangerous and active duty alongside marines. The british army and navy have pretty rigourous fitness tests just to enter basic training, and this woman just did not look like she would be able to pass them. They must be really short-staffed if they let sent out on active duty with Royal Marines on a boarding craft.

    A lot of older people in the UK expressed disapproval of the fact that they made money selling their stories afterwards, and the Ministry of Defence introduced new rules to prevent this. Personally I think this is totally hypocritical and nobody should begrudge low-ranking service personnel who take the risks in the field putting a few grand in their pocket as long as they don't say anything which puts their colleagues in danger.

    It's not like anybody prevents politicians and generals from making money out of war memoirs.
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  6. kwoww is offline
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    poser

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 12:06pm


     Style: punching bag / crew jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Isn't taking a prisoner of war on a false pretext, y'know, an act of war?

    Shoulda just bombed the **** out of the palace in Tehran.
  7. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 12:17pm

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     Style: creonte on hiatus

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Easier said than done. Also, not every act of aggression should be taken as a pretext for a full-scale war.

    Cullion, the reason I don't find it appropriate for them to make some extra $$$ is that they are still in active duty. There are certain practices frowned up active members of a military. The image portrayed by members, while being active, is important.

    Once they are no longer actives, hell, they can do whatever they want with their memoirs. In any case, this was a very weird, unfortunate series of events, and I would say, a PR nightmare for the British military.

    At least nobody died or was tortured, so that's a good thing.
    Last edited by Teh El Macho; 7/05/2007 12:24pm at .
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

    My crapuous vlog and my blog of training, stuff and crap. NEW: Me, Mrs. Macho and our newborn baby.

    New To Weight Training? Get the StrongLifts 5x5 program and Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 2nd Ed". Wanna build muscle/gain weight? Check this article. My review on Tactical Nutrition here.

    t-nation - Dissecting the deadlift. Anatomy and Muscle Balancing Videos.

    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
  8. wetware is online now

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 12:24pm


     Style: BJJ/MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by El Macho
    Easier said than done. Also, not every act of aggression should be taken as a pretext for a full-scale war.
    Very true. Keep in mind the military is an arm of the political creature. You know, use of force to further global political objectives?

    My questions regarding this incident have always been things like this:

    What was a lone patrol boat doing so far away from the HMS Cornwall?
    Why was nothing done to interdict the Iranian boats before or after the capture of the British squids?
    Why did the British sailors and marines not call the Iranian's bluff and hightail it back to the Cornwall?

    As to the POW situation, yeah it's kinda sleazy that they're trying to sell their stories, but I can't really blame them. If you're captured by the enemy and interrogated/tortured you will eventually break and probably tell your captors everything they want to hear. As long as they didn't sell out their comrades in arms until the information was too dated to be of use, I have no problems with that.
  9. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 12:29pm

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     Style: Tai Chi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by kwoww
    Isn't taking a prisoner of war on a false pretext, y'know, an act of war?

    Shoulda just bombed the **** out of the palace in Tehran.
    It turned out not to be a false pretext and then the matter wasn't mentioned again in the news.
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  10. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2007 12:32pm

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     Style: Tai Chi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by wetware
    What was a lone patrol boat doing so far away from the HMS Cornwall?
    It wasn't very far away.

    Why was nothing done to interdict the Iranian boats before or after the capture of the British squids?
    Because they arrived very quickly and 'interdicting' the boats would have provoked a firefight which would have had the british personnel either caught in the crossfire of, or if after the capture, the british vessel would have had to fire at small vessels which had their own personnel aboard.

    Why did the British sailors and marines not call the Iranian's bluff and hightail it back to the Cornwall?
    Because they were outnumbered with guns pointed at them.
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