Monday, March 26, 2007

Iranian Hostage Games

The Iranian regime says that the 15 British sailors and marines seized by Naval Pasdaran units are "well" and it is considering charging them with illegally entering its waters.
Next they'll be calling the inflatable boats the Britons were using "nests of spies" and claiming that they're sorry, but from a distance the British boats looked a lot like foreign embassies. Maybe I'm behind the curve and they're doing this already: as both Captain Ed at Captain's Quaters and Wretchard at Belmont Club point out -- the Iranian threat to try these uniformed British sailors and Royal Marines as spies violates Article 46 of Protocol I of the Geneva Convention of 1977. (To be fair, the Iranians have signed this, but never ratified it, although customary International Law, which binds everybody, accomplishes the same object). Funny how none of the usual Lefty suspects can be troubled to look up from their Abu Ghraib photographs to notice this. I guess, for them, only Bush and America violate international law.
The Persians do love the hostage game don't they ? Probably they will keep loving it until they lose an oil port or something.
The Iranians are clearly playing games, but it should be remembered that this is at least the second time that such an incident has occured in the waters near the Iranian/Iraqi frontier. Why was there no resistance ? Did the British have no communications devices to call for help ?
I wonder what orders the captured British personnel had regarding challenges from Iranians ? Surely this possibility was considered. I wonder whether the captured personnel had rules of engagement precluding resistance; whether such would have been hopeless; and, finally, (given that this is a disputed, contentious border area), whether there were stronger British units in supporting distance ?
I cannot fathom why the local commanders would leave their sailors hanging out vulnerable to capture in this manner. That's not the Royal Navy that used to run the world. I strongly suspect that political considerations were in play, and the British commanders have orders to avoid lethal incidents with Iranians. But if this is the case, why were those sailors and marines mucking about near the border ?
The Iranians are at fault, and need to be slapped down. But the British have some questions to answer.

4 comments:

Escort81 said...

On the Royal Navy ROE question, see this interview with Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord in 2004 (when the last incident took place).

I have read elsewhere that U.S. forces have different ROEs in the northern PG and would not have stood down. Perhaps the Pasdaran knew that and were looking to engage Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

louielouie said...

this has leave iraq and your boys come home written on it. you could write on it, give us our generals back and your boys can come home also.
honestly i can't comment on this issue. EJM I will quickly call me out for being a Cato follower, but my latin is not that good.
imo the biggest issue of EJM I comment is regarding ROE.
michael goldfarb on his blog related an incident similar to this but on land and with US soldiers. a small arms engagement that occured with the iranians playing the cat/mouse game across the iraq/iran border. mg did not mention it, but i believe there is code in his related content that indicates the iraqis in question were in collusion with their iranian cousins, attempting to set up a kidnapping similar to the earlier effort that resulted in the four american soldiers being killed.
in conclusion, cue Cato......

louielouie said...

if it is amphibious operations you are looking for, or even the first in EJM I new schloss, or dacha, i still don't know the difference, to have one of these sitting in your driveway. this could be the only vehicle to take you from the schloss to the lake home. the two seater would be great for the heir, no?

El Jefe Maximo said...

Funny, LL, that you should linke to a piece on hovercraft/hydrofoil developyment. The Imperial Iranian Navy, in better days, was much interested in hovercraft/hydrofoil technology. Seems like they had some minimal lift capacity with them.