Video: Royal Marine Captain says “fighting back was not an option”; Update: Col. Jack Jacobs rips sailors; Update: Iran rips press conference as, um, stage-managed

posted at 12:13 pm on April 6, 2007 by Allahpundit

I’ve got Col. Jack Jacobs’s reaction to this coming up, but the clip’s still uploading so it’ll have to be in an update. In the meantime, Sky News has all the video you’ll need in bite-size form; they weren’t beaten, but as you’ll see in the clip, “We Feared the Worst,” they were made to believe they were going to be executed at one point. Below you’ll find Capt. Chris Air explaining why the Brits didn’t resist. Barnett watched it live and was horrified.

air2.jpg

One clip that I don’t see here which I’ll try to cut is where one of them insists that their propaganda statements were always phrased conditionally — “we’re sorry if in fact we entered your waters,” “I can understand why the Iranian people would be upset assuming things happened the way you say they did,” that sort of thing. Here’s the video from last week of Chris Air and Felix Carman confessing on Iranian TV; the conditional statements have naturally been edited out.

Sky’s got a handy dandy bulletpoint treatment of the presser. Lots of updates coming here, including/especially Jacobs. Stand by.

Update: The Jacobs clip is up. He does not mince words.

Update: Sir Jonathon Band, the head of the Royal Navy, defended them in an interview earlier today:

Admiral Band also defended the way they acted in detention, despite criticisms that some had been too willing to give interviews and “apologise” for their actions.

“I think they acted with considerable dignity and a lot of courage. They appear to have played it by the rules, they don’t appear to have put themselves into danger, others into danger, they don’t appear to have given anything away,”he said.

“I think, in the end, they were a credit to us, the way they dealt with the situation when they were said goodbye to by the president.”

Update: Here’s the quote to which I referred above about the conditional nature of the confessions: “It was more like, according to this GPS map we’ve been given, then apparently we were in Iranian waters – and if that was the case we apologise.”

Update: Very quietly, the Brits have temporarily suspended cargo inspections off the coast of Iraq, a development to which I’m sure various unsavory parties will be taking full advantage. If they haven’t already:

In the deep south of the country, the Basra police commander said the type of roadside bomb used in an attack that killed four British soldiers on Thursday had not been seen in the region previously. Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Moussawi’s description of the deadly weapon indicated it was a feared Iranian-designed explosively formed penetrator.

Two more of the bombs were discovered planted along routes heavily traveled by U.S. and British diplomats in Basra. Weeks earlier, the American military had claimed Iran was supplying Shiite militia fighters in Iraq with the powerful weapons, known as EFPs. They hurl a molten, fist-sized copper slug capable of piercing armored vehicles.

The appearance of EFPs in British-controlled territory coincides perfectly with a British standoff with Iran. Fancy that.

Update: We’ll probably never know what really motivated Iran here, but if I had to guess I’d guess it was to produce editorials in western newspapers like this:

Because the U.S. relationship with Tehran is likely to remain confrontational, Britain’s handling of the crisis offers a model worth studying. London did not posture or threaten the Iranians, which would have been counterproductive. Yet neither did it apologize for a territorial trespass it insists its sailors did not commit. It has since agreed to discuss with Tehran territorial issues and operations in the tense Persian Gulf, which is a good idea in any case…

The events of the last two weeks show how important it is that the Iranian government be deterred from acquiring nuclear weapons or the means to produce them. This lesson holds even if the tough economic sanctions required to dent Tehran’s bravado are equally punishing to Western, Russian and Chinese commercial interests, and even if mustering such international resolve requires the West to make unpleasant political compromises. But the crisis also shows that a Western strategy of speaking softly in public — with a big stick lurking in private — is more likely to succeed in changing Tehran’s behavior than explicit threats and bluster.

Except the “big stick” wasn’t lurking in private; it was sitting off the coast of Iran in the form of several U.S. aircraft carriers. No matter, though — the fact that the carriers didn’t need to be used to obtain the sailors’ release is evidence for doves that Iran can ultimately be dealt with peacefully, and even act pseudo-magnanimously when need be. You can already imagine Ahmadinejad’s speech to the UN next year, in which he compares and contrasts Iranian treatment of prisoners — illegally seized in another country’s waters, but never you mind that — to Abu Ghraib. They already had Faye Turney mention AG in one of her letters, in fact. The whole thing is aimed at persuading the left and the Third World members of the nonaligned movement that Iran has the moral high ground in its confrontation with the west. Shouldn’t be too hard given how eager they are to be persuaded.

Update: I missed this on Wednesday, but Toby Harnden of the Telegraph wasn’t waiting until the sailors were home to ask the $64,000 question: “Am I the only one who finds the conduct of the 15 on camera cringeworthy?”

Update: In a world of nuance, Iranian nuance is the most nuanced of all.

Iran’s state television said the British military “dictated” to its sailors what to say in a press conference Friday, in which they said they were pressured while in custody to admit to being in Iranian waters.

In its news report on the sailors, Iranian state TV said they held a “pre-organized” press conference in which “the British sailors only read from pages dictated to them.” “They made statements completely different from what they had said in Iran and claimed that they were in Iraqi waters when detained,” the TV newsreader said.

Update: Krauthammer draws the obvious lessons here about EU/UN impotence.

Update: Initial British estimates of the blast damage from the bomb that killed the four British soldiers indicates that it wasn’t an EFP, but the prime suspects are a wing of the Mahdi Army that’s now loyal to Iran. They also don’t address the Iraqi commander’s assertion that two bombs similar to EFPs were recently planted elsewhere.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

…and to top it all off, the Brit Commanders follow suit of their recently repatriated underlings, and give in without so much as a growl or a snarl. They suspended inspections of the very ships that have been carrying armaments and supplies for the terrorists who have been killing thiers, and ours, soldiers. Funny, that. The terrorists have been using men and equipment from Iran in Iraq to terrorize and kill civilians, police, and soldiers… now they can cruise right on in with whatever they want because the Brits haven’t the stomach to stand their ground. I guess it’s an epidemic in their military. I thought the French were bad… huh!

SilverStar830 on April 6, 2007 at 4:31 PM

wankers.

Misha I on April 6, 2007 at 4:57 PM

Most of these posts make me ill. Iraq has dragged on longer than WWII, and now the good guys (the US and the UK) are turning on each other, saying some lightly armed British troops sent to inpsect a ship should have started a fire-fight after they were ambushed. The Iranians clearly knew the British were outgunned. No doubt that’s why they chose that moment.

Are the British armed services as well armed or trained as our’s from top to bottom? I doubt it. I doubt any army in the world is comparable today (including Israel’s). These English men and women know that, but they are there sticking their necks out anyway. I don’t think many of you know who our friends are. You’re too busy hunting for enemies. That’s the kind of paranoia that usually you would expect to see on some left-wing blog.

Thanks to reports linked from this and other web sites we know Iranian troops have been crossing into Iraq hoping to take US soldiers hostage. It’s what they do, and the British refused to be drawn in.

It appears most commentators here would not have been satisfied unless these English men and one woman died out on the water. But please, I’m sure everyone holding such views always makes the best possible decision, every time, even when they are facing armed enemy soldiers.

doufree on April 6, 2007 at 5:39 PM

doufree on April 6, 2007 at 5:39 PM

Well, you’re wrong on several counts…

WWII lasted 8 years, it started in 1937 when Japan attacked China and it ended in 1945 when Japan surrendered. We haven’t reached 8 years yet, much less surpassed it.

No one I can see has condemned the Brits in their dingys for not shooting it out with the Iranian’s in their PT boats. The crux of the problem is their behavior while in custody of the Iranians. Howver, one point of consideration is how the Brits were abandoned by their command ship and support which DID have the firepower to blast the Iranians into oblivion to protect their crew. Or, at the very least, warned the Brits when the Iranians were coming from very far away.

The Brit sea & ground soldiers are definitely as well armed as our sea & ground soldiers in all respects. If you ask them, they are as well trained also.

No one here or anywhere else, in their right mind, would wish death on those Brit soldiers. They simply didn’t even try to resist the Iranians efforts to use them as puppets. Nay, they cheerfully, happily, and willingly cooperated in all respects it seems.

However, if you can’t see for yourself what all the grumbling is about, you’ll never be made to understand.

SilverStar830 on April 6, 2007 at 6:06 PM

The crux of the problem is their behavior while in custody of the Iranians.

That’s true, but personally I also think the problem is, why were these guys were on an operation without support? There is no way you can sneak up on someone, in a surface vessel, on the ocean, in 2007.

Now if these Iranians held in Iraq are suddenly released, then we have a whole new problem…

BTW, I assume they kept the boats and the uniforms? That could be problematic.

reaganaut on April 6, 2007 at 7:06 PM

doufree on April 6, 2007 at 5:39 PM

Here is an example of what can happen when people don’t think the way you do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorke's_Drift

179 Brave men defeated over 5000 of their enemy.

Using your logic, the Texan’s in the Alamo should have surrenderred to Santa Anna.

As a veteren, I find the behaviour of these brits repugnant and cowardly.

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 6, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Ummmmmmd, I little confused.

Their mission was “Cargo Inspection” as an ally to the United States in the Global War on Terrorism, in the “theater” of Iraq.

Let’s leave out the Iranians for a minute.

Let’s say they came across a fishing boat, approached it, borded it, searched it, opened a hatch and found a hundred bad guys with guns, bombs, and bad breath……

What would they have done then?

What would the British War Ship that sent them do?

Why are they inspecting ships again? A Holiday? A bit of ‘slap and tickle’?

PinkyBigglesworth on April 6, 2007 at 10:43 PM

Sorry, I must remember to proof read…….

PinkyBigglesworth on April 6, 2007 at 10:44 PM

WWII lasted 8 years, it started in 1937 when Japan attacked China and it ended in 1945 when Japan surrendered. We haven’t reached 8 years yet, much less surpassed it.

Yeah yeah, I knew some fool would go back to that, but hey, why not go back to when the Japanese attacked the Russians at Port Arthur. Be reasonable, count it from 1939 or 1941, when it truely was a World War.

Howver, one point of consideration is how the Brits were abandoned by their command ship and support which DID have the firepower to blast the Iranians into oblivion to protect their crew. Or, at the very least, warned the Brits when the Iranians were coming from very far away.

Well, at least we agree on something.

The Brit sea & ground soldiers are definitely as well armed as our sea & ground soldiers in all respects. If you ask them, they are as well trained also.

Wrong, and yes, I’ve known my share of UK fighting men during six years I lived there. They don’t pretend to have our capabilities on most levels, outside of SAS and perhaps the RN’s missile subs.

No one here or anywhere else, in their right mind, would wish death on those Brit soldiers.

Well you’re half right, no one here in “their right mind.”

doufree on April 7, 2007 at 12:12 AM

As a Brit, I thought we were allies with America. In it together. But the slander and abuse I see being dumped on my country and its servicemen & women, I am seriously starting to doubt that.

I’m sure Mahmud is happy to see your abuse and hostility, though.

Next war – try asking the French to support you.

uptight on April 7, 2007 at 2:49 AM

As a Brit, I thought we were allies with America. In it together. But the slander and abuse I see being dumped on my country and its servicemen & women, I am seriously starting to doubt that.

uptight on April 7, 2007 at 2:49 AM

Dear Ally,

Many times I’ve noticed that, of late, justified criticism is considered as lack of love–of whatever variety that love is: erotic, brotherly or spiritual. The love between Americans and Brits is of the brotherly variety, but, as with the other two types, that love does not preclude the aforementioned justified criticism. Indeed, this criticism set forth by your brothers and sisters, has a purpose: your survival and, ultimately, our own.

If you don’t understand that, here’s hoping that the vast majority of your countrymen will.

baldilocks on April 7, 2007 at 3:01 AM

As a Brit, I thought we were allies with America. In it together. But the slander and abuse I see being dumped on my country and its servicemen & women, I am seriously starting to doubt that.

Dear uptight,

I have the utmost respect for your armed services and their traditions. When your country went to war with Argentina, we transfered some of our advanced munitions to your forces while underway. And most of us were glad when you reclaimed the Falkands. When your Queen stood with us after 9/11, and ordered the Guard band to play the Star-Spangled Banner, we were grateful beyond your knowing.

Do not take the criticism over this event as defamation of your country. Please.

You were with us in the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Your country has offered us a base for our forward-based supply ships, as well as airbasing facilities at Diego Garcia. You have been a good ally of the United States and most of us here, know it.

I think most of us posting here are angry at your politicians, in the Admiralty and in the Cabinet, for THEIR failure of courage in dealing with is crisis.

I think most of us here fault the Lt commanding the boarding party for not dealing with either the capture or the incarcerationg in the best traditions of the Royal Navy. But most of us also know that junior officers make mistakes — that’s because they are young and inexperienced. Hopefully, the young Lt will be given a chance to learn and grow and is not made into the scapegoat for this incident.

I would bet that all of us know in our hearts, that Lambert must have been pounding the bulkhead with his fists (or maybe his head) in absolute frustration for being ordered to stand by and do nothing.

HMS Cornwall could have intervened; she had the power to prevent the capture; and she had the power to utterly destroy the naval base used by the Revolutionary Guards. But the politicans in London would not even let her fire a warning shot across the bows of the patrol boats once they crossed into Iraqi waters.

Finally, I think I speak for most of us Americans posting here: This incident frustrates us to no end. Just as we are frustrated that Iran is NOT being punished for being directly responsible for the deaths of 170 Americans in Iraq. Just as we are frustrated that our government is ignoring the illegal immigration problem we have. Just as we are frustrated by the political party runing Congress doing everything possible to engineer our defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please accept my apology for what you think as defamation and abuse. I believe in my heart, that it is not meant as such. If anything, consider it our lament for our ally, instead.

georgej on April 7, 2007 at 5:01 AM

This is one of those events that opens an eye-popping insight into the thinking some people have about the military and what military service is and means. The gap between what is appropriate and normal military behavior and what some say in these threads is so wide it seems pointless to argue.

But just for one point, the argument that their behavior is fine because we aren’t at war with Iran is fatuous. One’s behavior in military service is not conditioned on the state of affairs between countries. It isn’t even an issue for consideration.

If what’s been said about the Brits’ ROE is true then they really cannot be blamed for being captured. Again if it is true, ROE that send these guys out to interdict smugglers (terrorists importing IED’s into Iraq) are outrageous.

It seems we learned nothing from Vietnam. We (the US) have apparently allowed Maliki to veto our targeting enemy combatants in Baghdad (Moqtada’s army). That’s worse than Lyndon Johnson hand approving every bombing target – hell we’re letting a foreign leader do it this time. The Brits are putting servicemen and women in the line of fire with (metaphorically) empty weapons.

We cannot win this way.

Dwilkers on April 7, 2007 at 9:51 AM

Fighting back not an option
Good Lord. What if our fathers said that at Normandy, Anzio, Tarawa, Midway, Khe Sanh….

bloviator on April 7, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Comment pages: 1 2