Thursday, April 05, 2007

British naval sailors released but Blair is ungrateful

Fifteen British sailors and marines held captive by Iran returned home Thursday. Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted that no deal had been cut for their release and he called for continued international pressure on Tehran.

Blair thanked his European allies and the UN but not Iran or Presiden Ahmadinejad. Blair should thank his Creator that his sailors and marines were held by Iran and not some other developed and civilised countries including at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

The British servicemen and woman were not hooded, given the electric shocks, suffered beatings and sexual abuse like those at Guantanamo although they were held by "uncivilised bunch" in the axis of evil.

Actor and film director Terry Jones, commented in The Guardian on Saturday March 31 and I quote: "I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turner to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God's sake, what's wrong with putting a bag over her head? That's what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it's hard to breathe. Then it's perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can't be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are."

Jones went on to say that "it is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn't be able to talk at all. Of course they'd probably find it even harder to breathe - especially with a bag over their head - but at least they wouldn't be humiliated.

"And what's all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It's time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That's one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantanamo Bay."

"The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn't rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it's just invaded. The inmates of Guantanamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

Jones also stated that the Iranians "are not giving their British prisoners any descent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting 'stress positions', which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles."

"A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It's all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

"It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turner has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioral psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is "unhappy and stressed".

"What is so appealing is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her 'unhappy and stressed'. She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on".

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