Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friends like These

Shitbag Mr Armageddon and his (not so ) adoring 'masses' - hat tip Azamehr

Last weekend, 15 of our sailors and marines -- part of an international force and under U.N. auspices (which means nothing nowadays)-- carried out a routine inspection of a merchant ship near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway separating Iraq from Iran. As they returned to their own vessel in small boats, two Iranian gunboats approached, signalling friendly intentions – fairly regular and normal encounters in these waters - according to the journalist on board HMS Cornwall at the time. However four more gunboats, armed with machine guns and RPGs surrounded the patrol boats and with the 15 sailors clearly outgunned forced a surrender. It appears the Cornwall lost sight of her patrol boat (not unheard of) and faced with RPGs a helicopter stood NO chance. Opening fire at this point (Cornwall or personnel) would have been an utterly futile and frankly, pathetic last act. As would hairy chested gung-ho knee jerk military action into a third front in a war with Iran. The IRG are well trained ffs.

The Iranians have their men in a pre planned mission and are now attempting to do what the Islamic world does best, drive propaganda and blood pressure levels to drive rifts between allies and the West in general, show Western ‘aggressors’ as weak and distract from popularity issues at home. How much more popular are service personnel along with their "confessions", in uniform, paraded & widely broadcast to get people feeling good about a government unpopular with so many.

It’s pretty clear now that some (unexpected) voices are doing their level best to play along with the Iranian ruse at a point when even the EU has stepped out of its traditional line!

Without a hint of irony, one jerk, in his helpful rush to pass judgment a week after the ambush, in some American rag I need to provide a link to (!), managed to heap blame on the British AND talk about Nelson spinning in his grave. As if Nelson was bobbing around in some dingy when he took on the French? The Cornwall unleashing any power on retreating boats would have done what precsiely? Anyone? He also manages to pour scorn on the British reaction and then bypass the facts that the US were caught hand-wringing for a ‘mere’ 444 days in the mother of all hostage crises that ended so tragically and went on to inspire the arab world. Mr Armageddon was even a main player in the abduction of those US staff in 1979. And sidesteps the fact that in Mogadishu in 1994 the greatest military power in the world was ill-prepared, out-manoevered, humbled and humiliated, its men paraded both dead and alive –to Bin Laden’s delight. Who cares they got their man when 2 Black Hawks were brought down and the American Goliath was dragged through the town?

The point is that in 2007 it really matters very little how they rumble you at the end of the day. The 'lame', 'spineless' accusations are just a load of useless tub thumping & music to Iran’s ears. To my surprise, there seems to be plenty of this in the US blogosphere. Why? UK forces, command & government have been no quislings (whether you support this as a war on terror or view them as tools in America’s 9/11 payback). Blair is isolating Iran and has done so quickly. He seems to playing his hand in this ludicrous game rather well. What do those who accuse the British government of being spineless specifically want them to do – RIGHT now.

Any war with Iran needs some preparation. However this progresses it's patently clear the Iranian government is holding a burning fuse (from the inside and out)..not a fucking candle!

(Christ on a bike - Pelosi blocks motion of basic support for the British hat tip Troll.)



At Saturday, 31 March, 2007, Blogger Tom Tyler said...

Sorry Alison, but I have to disagree with you on this. I think there ought to be at least a one-off, small scale military attack on Iran as a response to their clear act of war. Just to show them that WE, not them, are going to dictate the terms of how this plays out.
On 5 April 1986 Col. Gaddafi of Libya was behind the terrorist bombing of a bar in Berlin, in which US military personnel were killed. Pres. Reagan responded immediately (ie, a few weeks later) with a sortie of air attacks on Gaddafi's HQ (the planes took off from British bases, I remember it well), killing Gaddafi's daughter and about 100 others. It didn't start WW3 but it showed them clearly that they couldn't get away with such acts without a military response.
If we allow ourselves to play diplomatic games with Iran, they will only feel emboldened. Sure, we may get our soldiers back this time, but what about the next time, and the next?

At Saturday, 31 March, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an interesting post up about feminism and how Faye Turney must appear to the Iranians

At Saturday, 31 March, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fucking brilliant post btw. Such Americans as you speak of have reinvented English snobbery into military pomposity.

Tom you can just have a military strike on Armageddon HQ. The Iranian military are highly trained, and they have a high level of military technology and capability. And this would almost certainly be end-game for the hostages.

I do agree on a very firm position with Iran but as far as I can see it's a full scale take out with Israel and US on side - or nothing.

SAS are training rescue scenarios, but the Iranians are well aware of this. It was after all the Iranian Embassy in London that was liberated (annihilated all six captors) by the SAS not so many years ago

At Saturday, 31 March, 2007, Anonymous alison said...


I remember that too - but you point out it wasnt immediately - it was few weeks later eg it was a planned response (which i would be in favour of if required).

However that short sharp response which made us all feel better at the time has achieved nothing long term:

At Saturday, 31 March, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

C4 ran a great programme on the Iranian embassy siege. One of the SAS guys turn and killed a guy as he pulled 'something out of his pocket' - he was posing as one of the captives being escorted out down the stairs after they had freed everyone. Course if he had made a mistake that siege wouldnt been celebrated as a knock out success! Sometimes you can take a chance and it pays off. I also like the story they told afterwards when Thatcher went to watch the siege replayed on the news and was with the SAS guys at the time. One of them asked her to move her 'fucking head out of the way of the tv'. lol

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Anonymous nutjob said...

LGF says UK Humiliated Without Firing a Shot

Thanks, mate. What would we do without our friends?

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Indeed. In fact 'without firing a shot' implies dumb one upmanship over the 79 crisis, aimed at making THEM feel better rather than supporting a steadfast ally who has thrown more British men at their foreign policy adventures than any other nation - under Blair - the man they now openly criticise & more inappropriately at a senstive moment like this- sneer at.

'Rooting for America' sign on the side bar here - make you wince to support a country and Republicans doing their level best to *publicly* undermine your every move (US Colonel and Bolton for example)??

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Blogger Wolfie said...

Hi Alison,

You're not the only one who's somewhat tired of our stateside armchair generals, I think its quite evident who are Britain's real friends at this moment.

Notice in the photo above how empty that stadium looks, with the crowd moved aside to make it look as full as possible. Notice also on footage coming out of Iran how lacking in enthusiasm those "death to Britain" chants are looking. This is a regime on its last legs and the least fuss we make the more it will weaken their propaganda usefulness.

Noise of war with America from our thick-headed American "allies" only makes our sailors more useful to hold, Iran even made early noises of wanting a quick resolution but US diplomatic fumbling knackered that chance.

Like Steve said; this is a time to keep cool headed.

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Blogger Wolfie said...

P.S. The US actually has quite a lot to gain from this - as much as Iran. Think about it.

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Blogger associatecontributor1 said...

This wolfie cat is totally right Allie, the answer to this "crisis" is through "diplomacy" and the greatness of the "E.U" not with the "powerful" and "imperialistic" stupid-heads in evil "America."

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

wolfie -

im trying to see past all the tub thumping but on this occasion i am having trouble b/c i thinks its 1) pointless and 2) because of the kind of TRULY unhelpful statements Bolton made + the US commander (alongside the Cornwall). What a pair of pricks!

I think we need to focus on Afghanistan BADLY. We have a Spring Taleban offensive coming up - we need to focus as we cannot afford to balls this up or risk it descending into chaos and lets face it - kicking off shit against Iran would do exactly that.

I think Blair getting international consensus on this was good. Also people do need to realise the kind of regime Iran is in so far as being ambivalent about its nuclear ambitions.

Ideally it would implode but i think the sanctions will force this.

I read at EU referendum the ship had tv crews on board that day and the Commander may have taken his eye off the ball. Unacceptable sure. But what i dont get is how an international command which includes the americans arrives at decisions about patrolling, response, rules of engagement etc? Are we all working together or not?!

The other thing is NATO. Why is the UK ALWAYS ALWAYS the country throwing most manpower at this and taking most of the risk. If we are going to heap scorn it should be over this.


do you read azemehrs blog? you probably should -

At Monday, 02 April, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

I dont care for the EU in this at all - AC1. Frankly im sick of everyone on this - NATO, allies and all. Its just not the reaction i expected. Iran thrives off propaganda so why are some US figures (and UK figures) dancing to their tune?

At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why the fuck hasnt the Iraqi government gotten off its butt and gone to the UN to complain about the violation of IT'S territorial waters by a hostile power supporting part of the insurgency

At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Anonymous nutjob said...

Anon the Iraqis have I believe. They kind got their own problems though. I don't think it's fair to throw scorn on the Iraqi government either. They citizens are being executed everyday by agents of Iran, Al-Qaeda and Baathists.

At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

I disagree - if they want to keep control of these waters and stand up to Iran which was part of the point of the war then they need to stand firm on this. If anything i think it shows that this Iraqi government is either too weak - or too in bed with the Shiites

At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Anonymous thanksabunch said...

Alison I think Iraqi might have a problem or two of it's own. Somedays 100+ people are blown to bits.

Don't you think it would appear a bit hypocritical to go mental about the temporary capture of 15 British soldiers? If I were Iraqi and my government forgot the fact that Iraq is in near anarchy to coddle up to the British I wouldn't be too pleased!

It would be nice, and welcome for the Iraqis to stand up to Iran but that aint gonna happen in the near future.

At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Not sure its down to problems of their own as this is already one of those! Its their waterway which is what the entire legal dispute is based on. The point is if they dont dispute it then they are saying it doesnt belong to them which in turn causes then a problem. That was really the point. Of course if the hostage situation carries on, escalates or goes to trial, then they will be involved. They need to support that claim (which in turn would support the British). As an aside the Iraqi government just released an Iranian hostage which is being linked to the British hostage situation so, with all their obvious daily problems (which we share with them btw) it isnt beyond then to get involved in this.

At Tuesday, 03 April, 2007, Anonymous mahons said...

Alison: Don't be discouraged by a few tabloid rags, The overwhelming sentiment in the US is on the side of the UK.

At Friday, 06 April, 2007, Blogger Mike's America said...

I remember reading that op-ed with Nelson spinning too,but don't remember who wrote it.

It would be unfortunate, to say the least, to allow the Iranians to succeed in driving a wedge between us over this issue.

And I think we all have a responsibility to be mindful of that (ahem!).

However, we have a saying over here in conservative circles "What would Reagan do" in regard to a particular problem or crisis. In a recent post I asked "What would Winston Churchill do?"

I'm finishing the last of Churchill's six volumes on WW2 and at every point he urges his forces to fight and fight hard.

I saw the news conference today with your freed hostages and agree that in the situation in which they found themselves surrounded by the Iranians they had no choice but to surrender.

I'm wondering though whether they should ever have been in that situation where they could be left so defenseless?

Hopefully, you'll have a full discussion on what led to this incident and your rules of engagement and procedures.

I read the article in the Times by the former First Sea Lord Admiral West:

And I do hope that his suggestions are followed and that this incident isn't just swept under the rug.

It's also very sad to note that while this episode had a happy ending, 4 British service personnel were killed, most likely by arms supplied by Iran.

Another act of war that will also go unanswered?

At Saturday, 07 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad they will be sent home safe.
have a happy easter, hope everthing is going well for you, read post on ATW....

At Wednesday, 11 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you send an email to theboywithathorninhisside

At Saturday, 14 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Saturday, 14 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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