Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rejoice, Rejoice!

The Navy 15 have been released, which rather scuppers Mark Wallace's demo outside the Iranian Embassy this afternoon. I must admit I had conflicting emotions while watching the conversations between the Navy personnel and the Iranian President after his press conference. As Tim Marshall, Sky's excellent Diplomatic Editor, put it, they had to do what was necessary, say what was necessary and then get the hell out of there.

It will be interesting to see what the MoD allows the 15 to say publicly when they get back to this country tomorrow. There will be a great media clamour for a full press conference. We should remember that these fifteen men and women are members of the Armed Forces and not celebrities. When this has all died down, they still have an important job to do.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

And when they are saely home we should send over a volley of cruise missles to say thanks to the Government of Iran

Anonymous said...

Would that be the Royal Navy and the Royal Marine personnel, or as the BBC have been calling them over the last few days "the British Navy". How much longer will the white Ensign fly on the back of Grey Funnel Line?

Anonymous said...

Maybe not the moment for political point scoring but I can't resist pointing to this:

The foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, today cautioned against hopes of a "swift resolution" to the crisis over 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, warning that a number of issues remained to be resolved.
Her comments followed rising optimism that the captives could be released soon, following some seemingly conciliatory remarks by Iranian officials. Tony Blair said the next 48 hours would be "fairly critical".

"I would urge you to be cautious in assuming that we are likely to see a swift resolution to this issue," Mrs Beckett told reporters in London, while stressing that Britain wanted to keep talking to Iran.

Anonymous said...

Rather than celebrating, a lot of us would like to know what the navy/marine are going to do to prevent future patrols in the Gulf from being ambushed by Iranian gunboats and getting captured.

Free The Navy 15! said...

PROTEST CANCELLED- CELEBRATORY DRINKS INSTEAD

We are of course overjoyed that the British personnel are being released from their captivity. Their families, like the rest of the British people, will of course be relieved when they are back, safe, on home soil.

The protest planned for 6.45 this evening outside the Iranian Embassy in South Kensington is therefore cancelled and is being moved to a celebratory drink in the nearby Hoop and Toy pub round the corner from South Kensington tube station.

Wed April 4th, 6.45pm, Hoop and Toy pub, 34 Thurloe Place, South Kensington SW7 2HQ

Map here: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=526860&y=178899&z=0&ar=Y


We will bring a couple of "Free the Navy 15" placards with us so you can recognise us.

There will also be someone opposite the Iranian Embassy at 6.45pm to bring along anyone who turns up there.

We will let you know as soon as we learn when and where the hostages are to arrive back in the UK, so we can organise a welcome party to greet them.

Mark

mike said...

Anonymous said...

And when they are safely home we should send over a volley of cruise missles to say thanks to the Government of Iran

What a stupid comment made by a moronic poster,not a friend of "tom tyler "s are you ? he makes cretinous statements like that.

ghost of john trenchard said...

we have the Iranians to thank for making us finally realise that:

1. The EU is useless
2. The UN is a joke

we should seriously reconsider our membership of both.

Ken from glos. said...

I would like to send my sincere (Not) thanks to the United Nations for all their efforts in trying to obtain their release.We were after all working for them.(Never trust that bunch again)

I also send my thanks to the E.U for putting tremendous pressure on Iran by not even using the threat to suspend trade between us because France and Germany might lose money!!

With friends like these who needs enemies !

Anonymous said...

I must say I am not please, this namby-pamby diplomacy what does it achieve? On the 24th March, the day after they were captured we should have given the Iranians 48 hours or else we cud have decommissioned Trident over Tehran.

That would have taught them a lesson and shown what a great country we are. How can the UK claim a victory, if no foreigners die?

Irony: For those so stupid not to realize.

Anonymous said...

How fortuitous that this news has 'broken' on the day that the Boris story hit the limelight.

Another Houdini escape for Mr Johnson..

Chuck Unsworth said...

Believe nothing until you see confirmation that these fifteen have been released and are in British hands.

We have been here too often in the past, and the Iranians have not proved entirely trustworthy or consistent.

Let's not forget the internal factions within Iran, and the apparent contradictions of various recent statements.

That said, I hope the report is accurate.

CityBlue said...

I think the demo should still go ahead. The sight of our people being humiliated in a photo call with Ahmedinajad was sick making. Strategically, we have come of worst in this little escapade.

The Druid said...

Good news of sorts. Great the crew is coming home. As for the rest.....

The Iranians have play their hand well. This is a sideshow but it has been an important one. It has proved that Iran is willing and able to stand up to the West even when it is clearly in the wrong. Her credentials as the champion of Islam against the "Western imperialists" have been strengthened. Moreover, today's release makes Ahmadinejad look statesman like. For Iran the PR value has been considerable. We have looked vacillating, confused and weak, and completely at the will of Tehran. The Royal Navy's reputation has taken a bashing, being unable to undertake coastal protection adequately.

One of the greatest mistakes of the Bush administration was Dick Cheney's rebuff of Iranian overtures to strike a deal in 2003. Its been downhill for the West ever since.

Anonymous said...

o" say publically "

or "publicly" even

Londoner said...

The appropriate thing when they get back will be a photocall with no questions and a joint statement saying they are glad to be home and thank their friends, families and the public for their support PERIOD.

If they get into interviews they will either have to go back on their "confessions" (thereby humiliating the Iranians and stirring them up to do something similar again) or stick by their "confessions" which is not in the national interest either.

It's such a "no brainer" that even the No 10 spin doctors should be able to understand it!

Anonymous said...

I welcome their return but what makes me think that this country has been made to look complete fools. Our goverment has been played like a puppet by the Iranians and they have come out of this whole affair looking like the good guys...I'm beginning to think they are.

beachhutman said...

The important job, according to your google ad, is voting labour on the 3rd May........

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened 'name, rank and number'?

Where they actually tortured into 'confessing'?

Little Black Sambo said...

"Mike" is constantly awarding marks for all the other comments posted here. Perhaps he should be made responsible for moderating them all in the first place, to ensure that there is no danger of any wrong opinion being expressed.

normal norman said...

mike said...
Anonymous said...

And when they are safely home we should send over a volley of cruise missles to say thanks to the Government of Iran

What a stupid comment made by a moronic poster,not a friend of "tom tyler "s are you ? he makes cretinous statements like that.

April 04, 2007 4:39 PM

Maybe not a friend of Tom Tyler's but certainly a friend of Verity Ahmadinejad who suggested similar action.

I expect Verity is quite disappointed to know that millions of Iranian children are not going to be orphaned as a result of the diplomatic activity which has brought about the decision to release our sailors and marines. Who, incidentally, have behaved with the utmost dignity, common sense and bravery in the face of adversity.

Looks like I was right again eh! Verity.

Peace and Love.....you know it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Melanie Phillips will be really upset, she was desperate to press the big red button.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time for some court martials.

The captain of the RN ship the patrol boat came from for failing to maintain adequate backup & protective cover for the patrol boat.

The various members of the captured crew who said more than name, rank & serial number to their captors.

mike said...

Little Black Sambo said...

"Mike" is constantly awarding marks for all the other comments posted here.

You offend me,your comments offend me,and your blog name offends me.

Richard said...

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/04/mysteries-grow.html

It is not the captain of HMS Cornwall that you need to look to for a court martial, but court martial there must be.

a patriot not a neocon said...

None of the sailors would have got out alive if Iain and his barmy neocon army of keyboard warriors had had their way and Iran had been attacked militarily.

You brave boys must be so disappointed it's ended with a whimper and not a bang.

mike said...

normal norman said...Looks like I was right again eh! Verity.

I also find the incessant posting of verity to be objectionable and now ignore it,added to that is the fact she is also incredibly boring don't you find Norman ?

Iain Dale said...

And where, pray, did I advocate military action? Sometimes I despair...

Anonymous said...

Richard

>It is not the captain of HMS
>Cornwall that you need to look to
>for a court martial

Absolutely the captains ass must be toasted. He is the man on the scene on who's desk the buck stops for such daily operational matters.

a patriot not a neocon said...

You were whipping up the hysteria and plenty of your regulars were advocating air raids, nuking, and other such nonsense.

Meanwhile diplomatic efforts were going on quietly behind the scenes and the 15 have got out alive.

Perhaps you and your bunch of US neocon worshipping armchair heroes will learn to keep a clear head the next time something like this happens.

Anonymous said...

You heavily implied that it would be a preferred option, Iain, by directly comparing Thatchers response to the Falklands invasion to Blairs response to this, often making Blair sound negative, and implying that a Thatcherite "Falklands solution" was needed. Even heading this post "rejoice! rejoice!" is making the comparison again.

As always, you have used implication to avoid being quoted on anything, but it has been a cheap political points scoring exercise for the past two weeks, something that I thought even the new cuddly Tory Party wouldn't have stooped down to. Obviously I was wrong.

normal norman said...

mike said...
normal norman said...Looks like I was right again eh! Verity.

I also find the incessant posting of verity to be objectionable and now ignore it,added to that is the fact she is also incredibly boring don't you find Norman ?

April 04, 2007 8:34 PM

Come on Mike, Verity has to practice objectionability somewhere.

Let's give thanks to our generous host for providing this blog wherein we can all be objectionable (up to a point) in our own little ways.

As far as Verity being boring is concerned, just read the responses to my postings under the heading 'Brittania Rules the Waves'.

Verity provided such a variety of insults towards me which quite frankly impressed me with their thoughtlessness and thoroughness.

So let's show a welcome that helps Verity and colleagues get over the obvious great disappointment that they must be feeling now that those millions of Iranian children are not going to be orphaned.

Move along the bus please, plenty more room inside.

ghost of john trenchard said...

theres another aspect to all this that i dont think anyone has pointed out yet.

how does Iran raise money to fund the re-arming of Hezbollah, for a Hez-Israel war part 2, WITHOUT touching its own coffers?

why, kidnap some British soldiers - the price of oil will jump, and those coffers will grow by a factor of several million over a few days.

They've now made enough money from the oil spike to fund their re-armament of Hez plans. thus , the prisoner release.

They calculated - rightly - that there would be no military response or blockade. They now have a tried and tested way of raising millions for their Hez proxy war.

Dont be surprised if Iranian agents ambush and kidnap some soldiers in Basra next - for raising oil derived funds for funding a new wave of insurgency in Iraq.

We have set a VERY dangerous precident.

Matthew Lloyd said...

I think this Iran fiasco is dreadful. So the Iranians take 15 UK servicemen hostage, treat them appallingly for nearly two weeks, then let them go (though not yet!) to demonstrate their largesse to the British public.

They WIN/WIN - Win when they take them - win when they release them. But most dangerously, prove beyond doubt that they can provoke the UK/EU/UN to the limits and 'we' will run scared of any 'escalation'. Looks like they can now push ahead, full steam, building nukes; 'cos sure as hell, we won't stop them.

Only the US called them 'hostages'. And Blair didn't even thank them tonight (but did thank the UN and EU - hah! Thanks for nothing.)

ghost of john trenchard said...

"You were whipping up the hysteria and plenty of your regulars were advocating air raids, nuking, and other such nonsense. "

More nonsense from the loony left...

errr . wrong. Newt Gingrich advocated a taking out ONE target - Irans only petroleum refinery and a Naval blockade.

Frank Gaffney went for the naval blockade,which would make the refinery run dry. Result - not a drop of petrol in Iran.

Look it up - Hugh Hewitt talk radio last week.

Hugh had TWO British conservative commentators on - a Conservative MP Brooks Newmark and a journalist Gerard Baker (of the Times) - both advocated diplomacy.

here's the podcast feed

The Difference said...

Interesting observation just made by Steve over at The Difference:

So much for "no quid pro quo": see this BBC report: Iran 'access' to Iraq detainees and this from the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader: Iranian diplomat’s release raises hopes for standoff’s end

Anonymous said...

What is up with the BBC?

Is it me, or is there something not quite right and a bit suspect about the BBC's coverage of the release of the UK sailors from Iran? Why the question? Well, for starters, on the Ten O'Clock news this evening the newsreader - as if on cue - smiled when announcing their release, like the grimace of someone reading the news on behalf of North Korean or Chinese state television. BBC news presenters don't do that when reading the news, so why now?

The dodgy tone of celebration felt odd. 'Our sailors are home - hurrah!' type thing: cue pictures (such a cliche) of 'family and supporters' having a celebratory drink in the local pub - in the afternoon, for heavens sake!

The sailors were paraded again in front of Iranian TV thanking the President and saying: "I'd like to say that myself and my whole team are very grateful for your forgiveness. I'd like to thank yourself and the Iranian people... Thank you very much, sir." And yet no critical comment by the BBC.

The possible reason? The sailors are still being held by Iran and are due to be released tomorrow. I hope that the BBC has not tailored its coverage as part of the handling of Iran, but it is possible. Objectively the BBC should have gone hard on the fact that Iran has broken international law and held captive and humiliated UK citizens. But, perhaps, there is a concern that Iran may be watching coverage as 'part of the deal' for their release and the BBC has towed the line.

Whatever, as of this evening the UK by its news coverage comes across as supine and 'grateful'. It feels bad.

Keir Hardie said...

So your earlier talk of Britain's 'weakness' and your gloating prediction repetition of Portillo's "chilling prediction" turns out to be nonsense, doesn't it Iain.

Little Black Sambo said...

"Mike" said: "You offend me,your comments offend me,and your blog name offends me."
And: "I also find the incessant posting of verity to be objectionable."

All about YOU, isn't it, Mike? A true Blairite.

garypowell said...

There seems to be some chaps on this site that seem to think that because these 15 people are being released this middle-east war is all over, game finished, and home for tea and cakes.

Instead of just an opening political salvo during the prelude, to its beginning.

There again, if it helps them sleep at night to 'think' so, they can all carry-on dreaming, if they wish too.

Because its clear that what the British, American or Iranian people hope or wish for, will not make a Brown bogies worth of difference, to what IS GOING TO HAPPEN anyway, one day quite soon.

One good outcome is that this event has forced the BBC kicking and screaming into the real honest world. Now they have finally had to admit that a war with Iran is a strong possibility and may, just may, have been the REAL point of the Iraq invasion.

If the BBC can deliberately hide the biggest legal robbery inflicted from the British public ever, for a whole 10 years. That is GBs now famous 'Great Pension Robbery.'( Ronny Biggs eat your heart out )

The BBC can hide a whole WORLD WAR until we have well and truely lost it, with its eyes closed, standing on one foot.

Tom Tyler said...

I'm glad they have been released, but appalled at our weak handling of the situation. Iran now knows it can get away with far worse, and it's only a matter of time until they up the stakes again. I can only hope that the USA and Israel's military strategists already have advanced, detailed plans to deal with Iran once and for all, and that the only reason we did not launch an attack was that it would have upset those plans.

bebopper said...

I'll be happy to apologise if it's found that the 15 were threatened with death or torture, or were actually trained to cooperate,involving grovelling apologies to their captors.
But if the 15 decided unilaterally to grovel, then that was shameful and humilliating for this country.
Let's see the outcome of the debriefing.

garypowell said...

Mike
Please tell it to someone that cares, like your mummy. I for one could not give a Flying F..K, whether you are offended or not about anything whatsoever.

If you have something to say, say it. Its still a free country, if only just, thanks to people like you.

How offended you are by other peoples opinions of how they think a war is best avoided or at least ended ASAP with the western world 'victorious', is simply not relevent to anything at all.

This site is for grown-ups. Does your mummy know you are using your daddies PC?

Take my advice and dont look at daddies favorites list you may find some of the contents 'confusing,' for one so young and sensitive.

It was estimated that the deaths of over 4 million people were avoided by the use of nuclear weapons before the end of WW2. It is conceivable that WW2 would still be going on now if Truman had not santioned there use. The Korean War for example still is and could 'blow up' again at any time.

Once certain parts of the world think, they know for sure that the USA and Britian will never use them under any circumstances. The whole present world econemy order MAY over a short amount of time completly disintergrate. Possibly resulting in the deaths over time, of half the worlds entire population. That may even include you.

So please try to realise that life is not as simple as you may like to see it. And nowhere near as safe.

Richard said...

Richard

>It is not the captain of HMS
>Cornwall that you need to look to
>for a court martial

Absolutely the captains ass must be toasted. He is the man on the scene on who's desk the buck stops for such daily operational matters. >>

Look at who was in command of the Coalition Task Force 158, a man who had twelve warships at his disposal yet chose to send two inflatable boats to do an inspection 8 miles from their mother ship, with no escort.

You will find that it was not the captain of HMS Cornwall.

normal norman said...

Matthew Lloyd said...
"I think this Iran fiasco is dreadful. So the Iranians take 15 UK servicemen hostage, treat them appallingly for nearly two weeks, then let them go (though not yet!) to demonstrate their largesse to the British public."

Having seen most of the news coverage of this event, our captive Service personnel didn't seem to me to have been treated appallingly for nearly two weeks.

Although there has been criticism of L/S Turney being shown wearing a hijab, this seems to be no worse than the BBC's female correspondent wearing the same garment when questioning Mr. Ahmadinejad. Could it possibly be that it was worn as a mark of respect. I noticed that in other footage L/S Turney was bare headed in the company of her fellows and they all seemed to be in good spirits. Hardly the images of folk who had been treated appallingly.

I am pretty sure that the Iranian Security Forces know exactly how to do 'appalling' to a greater degree than has been seen in either Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo and can only surmise that our personnel were spared this treatment as ,maybe, part of some greater plan or could it be that Mr. Ahmadinejad is a lot smarter than we give him credit for.

The de-briefing of these personnel should be quite enlightening.

Voyager said...

GPS

Bit depressing really...must avoid those coastal roads !

Observer said...

The Captain of HMS Cornwall assumed command 20 November 2006. The ship F99 was flagship of Commodore Nick Lambert on his fourth tour in The Gulf

The BBC was on board on 23rd March filming and distracting

Anonymous said...

"The Navy 15 have been released, which rather scuppers Mark Wallace's demo outside the Iranian Embassy this afternoon."
Why so negative? You could argue that the first demo was an overwhelming success.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else hear Norman Lamont on Today this am? The victor of the "defend General Pincochet" campaign is now apparently a representative of the "save Ahmedinajad" group, also known as the "Iran-Britain trading group" or some such. His opinion was that we shouldn't have gone to the UN, we should have been more calm, we should have apologised, generally been much, much nicer to the lovely Iranians, etc. I couldn't help wondering what's next. Moral support for the Sudan murderers? Send texts of support to China for it's excellent policies in Tibet? Help Mugabe with beating people up in Zimbabwe that none of us like very much? And to think this man served as Tory Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher. Well well.

Anonymous said...

Talk of Court martial is premature, without knowing The Rules of engagement in Theater.
For all those lap Top commandos , it ain't all Black and White out there.

Anonymous said...

Glad they are coming home; however my fear is if any of the crew dare to say anything nice about the Iranians - such as they were nice to us; looked after us etc.

Yes they might not, but I am sure if they do the press will turn on them, asking were they brainwashed etc...

Oh the joys of a "free" press.

wrinkled weasel said...

Nobody has stopped to thank this "Resident" - the guy who appears to be a cross between a playboy and consular official, and who is always known as

"our man in a dinner jacket"

Was he instrumental in releasing our boys and girl?

mark williams said...

Someone said ..

"Although there has been criticism of L/S Turney being shown wearing a hijab, this seems to be no worse than the BBC's female correspondent wearing the same garment when questioning Mr. Ahmadinejad. Could it possibly be that it was worn as a mark of respect."

Mark of respect, my *rs* - pardon my Farsi. Iranian laws require all women to cover the heads at all times when in the presence of men other than their relations, and this is enforced by the basiji state-funded enforcers of Islamic revolutionary principles - they make the French CRS look like angels.

mike said...

garypowell said...

Mike
Please tell it to someone that cares,"If you have something to say, say it". Its still a free country, if only just, thanks to people like you."

"Please tell it to someone that cares" you appear to care garypowell a great deal of thought has gone into your posting,and that is a good thing,well done,excellent.With regard to the "If you have something to say, say it" I do silly fellow so why are you complaining ? Thanks to the free country, free speech available to me I would just add your posting after the initial attack on me was too long and rather boring,and you are silly twerp.

mike said...

garypowell said.....

God you are the most boring poster in the history of boring,tedious in the extreme,a long winded buffoon,a wearisome plonker,be quiet you stupid person.

Mikowesme£5 said...

Mike,

Please put your lecture notes away.

There really is no need for you to matk out of ten everbody's postings. The posting marks itself.

Your postings similarly have been marked.

normal norman said...

Well Mark Williams, if, as you say, the wearing of the hijab is the Law in Iran and enforced rigourously by the relevant authorities. Would you suggest that L/S Turney should have refused?

Having already been accused of maritime trespass, blatant refusal to wear the hijab would, IMHO, have possibly brought about a different result than the joyful one that we have today.

It has to be noted that L/S Turney was shown on TV, bare-headed in the company of her colleagues and they all seemed to be in good spirits. Why was this 'Law' not then enforced in the manner that you suggest.

It is still my contention that our Service personnel acted in a wholly appropriate manner, given the circumstances, and I further contend that there is more to this incident that possibly meets the eye.

The de-briefing, if published, should prove to be most interesting.

normal norman said...

Well Mark Williams, if, as you say, the wearing of the hijab is the Law in Iran and enforced rigourously by the relevant authorities. Would you suggest that L/S Turney should have refused?

Having already been accused of maritime trespass, blatant refusal to wear the hijab would, IMHO, have possibly brought about a different result than the joyful one that we have today.

It has to be noted that L/S Turney was shown on TV, bare-headed in the company of her colleagues and they all seemed to be in good spirits. Why was this 'Law' not then enforced in the manner that you suggest.

It is still my contention that our Service personnel acted in a wholly appropriate manner, given the circumstances, and I further contend that there is more to this incident that possibly meets the eye.

The de-briefing, if published, should prove to be most interesting.

David Lindsay said...

The ghastly John Bolton's incandescence at being denied his war with Iran is magnificent to behold.

But are these sailors and marines now to be sent back to Southern Iraq, where they were a lot less safe than in in Iranian custody? If that realisation - that our forces are actually
safer, better fed, better looked after and what have you as prisoners of the Iranians - doesn't prompt (among much else) full British withdrawal from Iraq, then what the hell ever will?

garypowell wrote "Once certain parts of the world think they know for sure that the USA and Britian will never use [nuclear weapons] under any circumstances". But the whole world has always known that about Britain: Nasser knew it, Galtieri knew it, the IRA knew it, everbody has always known it.

Even the Soviet Union was deterred by the American and French ones, if at all (there is mounting historical doubt that there was ever any serious Soviet threat to invade Western Europe).

And even the Americans never used them in Vietnam, never dropped an atom bomb on Korea, and never nuked Afghanistan even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The first George W Bush Administration was the only one that might ever have used them, and it didn't. There'll never be another.

The Russians and the Chinese would use them, if sufficiently provoked. So would the French, though with a much higher provocation threshold, and even then it would depend who was President at the time. India and Pakistan might use them against each other, but probably wouldn't. It's not at all clear against whom North Korea might ever actually wish to use them. And it says a great deal, on several levels, that Israel has never used them.

But America, almost certainly not ever, and certainly not now. And Britain, never, ever. So why we're spending another £76 billion on them, I cannot begin to imagine.