Saturday, April 07, 2007

Whither Britannia

Words of shame for Britain and the 'frightened fifteen:'

Mark Steyn

And I think we have to say that while we all wish we will behave well, and do our country proud if we happen to be taken hostage overseas, if you’re just a traveling salesman or a secretary or whatever, I think we’re all a bit more understanding of that. But I do think when you’re talking about the Royal Marines, that you do expect them to take a name, rank and serial number attitude when they’re actually caught in these situations. And the fact that they appear on these propaganda videos to be willingly going along with this kind of Ahmadinejad leisure wear approach to the situation, I think is deeply damaging.

The point of the matter is that we have effectively let these guys get away once again, with yet one more provocation against the rules of civilized society. And that is not good for us.

Ralph Peters

The once-proud Brit military has collapsed to a sorry state when its Royal Marines surrender without a fight, then apologize
to their captors (praising their gentle natures!) while criticizing their own country. Pretty sad to think that the last real warriors fighting under the Union Jack are soccer hooligans.

Think about Sen. John McCain with his broken limbs undergoing torture in that Hanoi prison - and refusing an early chance to be repatriated because he wouldn't leave his comrades behind. Think he'd do a Tokyo Rose for Tehran?

and again

Look, we're all glad they're home safe, if not necessarily sound. But why on earth is Britain, the land of the legendary stiff upper lip, celebrating cowards who clambered over one another to shame their country?

Wouldn't the Brits do better to make a fuss over the many soldiers of the queen who've served bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why break out the cakes and ale for officers who enthusiastically briefed Iranian propaganda for the TV cameras and who let their subordinates behave as if the Revolutionary Guards were their best pals?

Charles Krauthammer

Iran has pulled off a tidy little success with its seizure and subsequent release of those 15 British sailors and marines: a pointed humiliation of Britain, with a bonus demonstration of Iran's intention to push back against coalition challenges to its assets in Iraq. All with total impunity. Further, it exposed the utter futility of all those transnational institutions -- most prominently the European Union and the U.N. -- that pretend to maintain international order.

You would think maintaining international order means, at a minimum, challenging acts of piracy. No challenge here. Instead, a quiet capitulation.

The quid pro quos were not terribly subtle. An Iranian "diplomat'' who had been held for two months in Iraq is suddenly released. Equally suddenly, Iran is granted access to the five Iranian "consular officials'' -- Revolutionary Guards who had been training Shiite militias to kill Americans and others -- whom the U.S. had arrested in Irbil in January. There may have been other concessions we will never hear about. But the salient point is that what got this unstuck was American action.

The capture and release of the 15 British hostages illustrate once again the fatuousness of the "international community'' and its great institutions. You want your people back? Go to the EU and get stiffed. Go to the Security Council and get a statement that refuses even to "deplore'' this act of piracy. (You settle for a humiliating expression of "grave concern"). Then turn to the despised Americans. They'll deal some cards and bail you out.

and Jack Jacobs

The capture, internment and repatriation of the British sailors and marines can only be described as a shoddy spectacle. From start to finish, the Brits heaped nothing but ignominy on themselves, and one can recall few instances in recent memory in which a group of uniformed service members acted with less professionalism and more dishonor.

From lgf a video of Jack Jacobs on MSNBC:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill


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