The Clearest Example of Picking a Fight EVER

iran-captives.jpg

Ok, so this Iran thing. 

I watched the video of the hostages, er, “captives,” and got the impression that, as a group, they seem healthy, calm, and composed.  Standing in sharp contrast is the portion of the video showing Faye Turney, dressed in a hijab, telling the world that the 15 Brits are being treated well by their “very nice” Iranian captors.  It’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that her statement was coerced and at least partially dictated.  The strongest evidence of this, I feel, comes from the letter she was “allowed” (read: ordered) to write.  Excerpts:

“We were out in the boats when we were arrested by Iranian forces as we had apparently gone into Iranian waters. I wish we hadn’t because then I would be home with you all right now. . . .I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologise for us entering into their waters. Please don’t worry about me. I’m staying strong. Hopefully it won’t be long till I’m home to get ready for Molly’s birthday party and with a present from the Iranian people.”

Sure, that’s sincere and spontaneous.  And my name is Marilyn Monroe. 

The very fact that these soldiers were detained is at best suspicious, and at worst an explicitly belligerent act of war.  First of all, whether or not the small British craft intruded upon Iranian waters is in dispute; at worst, they went 1.2 nautical miles over the line.  That’s not a lot.  And the lanes in which the Brits were allowed to travel are narrow.  This situation is not comparable to say, that of a Russian sub turning up off the coast of California and saying, “Whoops!.”  

Assuming that the British craft did indeed cross the line into Iranian waters, their doing so could not be construed as anything but simple error.  A state acting in good faith would’ve simply turned them around and escorted them back across the line, at which time the trespassers would receive whatever administrative spanking was appropriate under the circumstances.  But of course, Iran did no such thing.  My question is this: if Iran is not at war with Great Britain, why have they taken prisoners of war?

Well, because it’s great PR for Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah.  They know the consequences will be minimal: finger-shaking and ham-handed attempts at “diplomacy” (i.e., polished groveling).  But the message they can send by virtue of taking these prisoners is clear and priceless to a state bent on confrontation: See how easily we can put your women in their place?  See how their freedom and strength is an illusion?  We can put them in a hajib whenever we wish. 

The implied message is also pretty clear: We can put YOU in a hajib whenever we wish. 

Here’s where I say something controversial.  Ok.  Here it is: I’m a little peeved that Ms. Turney donned the hajib as rapidly as she did.  We’re all aware of what that garment represents, and what it means to force a Western, non-Muslim woman to wear one.  Could she have put up a better fight, perhaps?  I’m not saying I wouldn’t ever don the slave veil, but I sure as shit would make them beat me to a pulp before I did it.  Yet just a few hours after being taken into captivity, with not a mark on her creamy skin, Turney submits.

Or did she?  We know very little.  The way I see it, there are two possibilities: 

(1) The rest of her body might well be covered with bruises, and the video doesn’t show the guys holding guns/machetes out of frame (and you can be assured they are there).  It’s pretty clear Turney is afraid of something.  Perhaps she really had no choice.

(2)  Faye Turney folded like a cheap suit.

I really hope it’s not (2).  (2) is what Iran wants everyone to believe, and it would really suck if they were right.

I am a big supporter of women in combat positions as long as they can hold their own.  That includes bearing up under psychological and physical duress.  Did the Iranians focus on Turney because they particularly relish the idea of humiliating and oppressing a free, Western, non-Muslim woman?  Or did they focus on her because she was the weakest link in the chain?  I’d like to know the answer to that one.  In the meantime, I hope Tony Blair, the UN, and the rest of the civilized world grow some balls and take Iran down on this one, hard.  The detention of these soldiers is completely groundless and unacceptable.

If we (by “we” I mean the West) do not respond quickly and decisively to this belligerent act, Iran will just be encouraged to step up its efforts to start a war.  Right now we’re in the pushy-pushy stage: lots of big words and chest-puffing.  If we don’t nip it now, we’ll be dealing with a far more lethal situation.  Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah he speaks for have been doing their damndest to pick a fight, and they just raised their game.  Do we want to wait until they have nukes before we smack them down?

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~ by lewdandlascivious on March 29, 2007.

8 Responses to “The Clearest Example of Picking a Fight EVER”

  1. So what do you think we should do? I’m just curious, because I don’t really know. I really don’t think we (meaning us or the British) should send a force in to retrieve them, which might start off a war.

    I think Iran now is like a little, self-conscious kid who will say or do outrageous things just to get some attention. I think that’s what this is all about. They just want to be recognized as legitimate, and they’re not getting it. I don’t think they really want war with us, nor are they deserving of one.

  2. As scary as it sounds, the best course of action probably lies with the E.U. Read the last part of this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2045054,00.html. With the economic ties between Iran and the EU, the EU could flex some muscle and end this quickly. But we all know the EU won’t actually do anything. Instead they will blame the kidnapping on the US and sit on their hands.

  3. I have a post comparing how the Iranians put a scarf on Turney and the religious benefits the Gitmo detainees have.I believe she complied with the Iranians when it was surely put to her it was required.
    This is pure saber rattling,middle finger in the air action on behalf of the Iranians. They chose the British knowing the US has a much more aggressive rule of engagement protocol and they wouldn’t get away with it.
    As far as what we should do. The EU has less power than one may think. Germany is the primary source of imports and are unlikely to take a hit. Iran has dramatically increased it’s trade relations with Asia and don’t need trade with the west.
    The solution lies with the Brits ability to accept an Iranian face saving diplomatic solution or they tweak Ahmindingaling to a point that the Revolutionary Guards do something else that warrants inbound Harpoons from the USN.

  4. To expand on #1: yes, the bruises could have been out of sight.

    Perhaps they told her that if she didn’t do it, they would beat or kill her fellow Brits.

    Maybe they raped her. Perhaps they threatened that – which would have made almost any woman move heaven and earth to stop.

  5. Crosby,
    Unfortunately, history has (or should’ve) taught us to take threats from guys like Ahmadinejad seriously. Millions and millions of people get killed when the ambitions and clearly stated belligerence of the world’s Hitlers are ignored or explained away as harmless posturing.
    As for what we should do–at this point, there’s not much. It’s not exactly This is why the “international community” is there: it will be interesting to see if the UN or EU can contribute to a solution. Plus, these weren’t our soldiers. If they WERE U.S. soldiers, I would absolutely support measures that were as aggressive as necessary to get them back.
    My main point about Iran is that if they are doing this shit now, what makes us think they’ll all of a sudden be rational and reasonable when they have nukes? I mean we all need to GET REAL.I don’t understand that kind of self-deception, except that it is the luxury of very sheltered people.

    Theobromophile,
    Who knows what the circumstances were. And I don’t know how British soldiers or officers are trained to deal with prisoner-of-war situations. The soldiers’ training is a very important factor, as are facts concerning the level of threat, potential rape, etc.
    But–and this is a big “but” that applies ONLY if the facts reveal a low threat level: I’d still like to see a little more backbone.
    And generally speaking (I’m not saying this in regards to this specific situation), women shouldn’t go into the military if they can’t take on the extra danger that being a woman in a combat zone creates. And yes, that includes rape. If you want to fight with the big boys and be treated as an equal, you can’t dishonor your country and then later hide behind your delicate femininity and special fears.

  6. Good points, in2thefray–and nice post on your blog.
    I still say they’d have to beat the living shit out of me before they got that slave rag on my head. Ugh that makes me so sick.

  7. Here’s Newt’s plan, its the best I’ve heard so far:
    “I think there are two very simple steps that should be taken. The first is to use a covert operation or a special forces operation to knock out the only gasoline producing refinery in Iran. There’s only one. And the second is to simply intercede by naval force, and block any tankers from bringing gasoline to Iran… I would right now say to them privately, within the next week, your refinery will no longer work. And within the following week, there will be no tankers arriving. Now if you would like to avoid being humiliated publicly, we recommend you calmly and quietly give them back now. But frankly, if you’d prefer to show the planet that you’re tiny and we’re not, we’re prepared to simply cut off your economy, and allow you to go back to walking and using oxen to pull carts, because you will have no gasoline left.”

  8. No disagreements, Lewd. 🙂 What cracks me up is how feminists want women to be drafted, but would throw a fit if they were taken prisoner and raped (which is a pretty good way of torturing a woman, if you are to do so).

    Interesting CNN commentary – all very “You Go, Girl,” but little that addresses the underlying issues of women in combat situations:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/03/28/detained.sailor.ap/index.html

    Mostly, I’m curious to see what she and the other 14 will say once they are released (well, if they are released). I’m also not surprised that the one woman in the group was picked to make statements: one sad reality is that men will give up more to save women – and no amount of psychological or physical training will undo the enemy’s natural desire to use that tactic.

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