For a good overview of the current Iran hostage crisis here’s a selection of links:
EU referendum covers the Rules of Engagement, my comment is that British Naval Regulations have always been of the strict “damned if you do, damned if you don’t ” variety, and they have always relied on the judgement and courage of their captains.
In this case, the captain should have attacked with helicopters, called in reinforcements, and done his best. However the response could have been a courts-martial regardless. Historically breaking of rules has been overlooked only when the British captain returns successfully triumphant. Had he sunk six Iranian gunboats, and taken a few casualties, what would the response have been, would moving to war with Iran have been considered a triumph? Not in the current environment.
Charles at Little Green Footballs posts on Khatami’s latest blather.
Jerry Pournelle prints a letter from a serving officer with some incisive analysis of the situation.
Meanwhile, Peace activists in Britain side with Iran, as we knew they would, this direct from IRNA, the mouthpiece state-run newspaper of Ahmadinejad:
British naval personnel arrested by Iran last week should not have been carrying out military operations in the Persian Gulf, according the UK’s biggest peace campaign network.
“Their detention is a consequence of the illegal occupation of Iraq. Whether they were in Iraqi or Iranian waters is immaterial. They should not be there at all and we demand the withdrawal of all UK forces from Iraqi territory,” Stop the War Coalition (STWC) said.
The STWC also criticized the US for setting a “path of escalating confrontation and provocation with Iran – threats of attack (including nuclear attack), arrest of diplomats, economic sanctions.” “Incidents like this are a consequence of that policy. The answer is de-escalation of tension and commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for Iranian sovereignty,” it said in a statement.
The STWC also said that it believed that the arrested sailors and marines should be allowed to return to Britain as speedily as possible like other soldiers in Iraq.
This is as much a test of Iraq as it is of the British, it was from the sovereign waters of Iraq that the sailors were kidnapped by flagged forces of a neighboring country. If the Brits apologize, then it semi-legitimizes Iran’s claims to the waters, so it would be foolish to do so.