Monday, April 09, 2007

Sign 'ere Gunga Din

David Seaton's News Links
It is amazing how quickly things deteriorate once they start. Certainly Rudyard Kipling would have a hard time making any sense of all this. Bush's idol, Winston Churchill must be getting up quite a torque in his grave.

Iran has truly taken the "West's" measure. This is useful information for all of us if studied quietly.

The bright side is that it is hard to imagine a war breaking out in such a low comedy atmosphere, but of course it could. Maybe that is the real tragedy of our times. DS

Anger over Iran hostages' media deals - Guardian
Abstract: The Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy were accused of undermining the reputation of Britain's armed forces last night over the decision to allow the 15 sailors and marines held by Iran to sell their stories to the media. The navy's move to suspend its usual rules - taken "as a result of exceptional media interest" and with the agreement of the defence secretary, Des Browne - was condemned by opposition politicians, former officers and the families of dead service personnel. Faye Turney, the only woman in the crew, has agreed a joint deal with the Sun newspaper and ITV's Tonight With Trevor McDonald for close to £100,000. But amid the complaints about the decision, fears were voiced that it has devalued the work of other serving forces and handed Iran a propaganda victory.(...) Colonel Tim Collins, who commanded the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq, said: "This episode has brought disgrace on the British armed forces and it comes from complete ineptitude at the top." He contrasted this case with the capture of 11 members of the Royal Irish Regiment in Sierra Leone. "They were held hostage and there was a real chance that they would be killed before they were eventually rescued by the SAS. There was not so much as a peep out of any of them afterwards, no talk and certainly no mention of money." Mike Aston, whose 30-year-old son, Corporal Russell Aston, was one of six military policemen killed by a mob in Majar al-Kabir, Iraq, in June 2003, said he was "absolutely amazed" by the MoD's stance. "I think to actually sell [my] story it would besmirch my son's memory." Ms Turney, whose salary as a leading seaman is recorded as being between £23,535 and £29,576, was interviewed by Sir Trevor McDonald ahead of a screening tonight. She gave a separate interview to the Sun, telling the paper she had been kept on her own in a small cell for five days and had at times feared for her life. Ms Turney was one of the personnel absent from a joint press conference held by six of the crew on Friday and agreed a deal with the Sun and ITV that day. William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, told Sky News's Sunday Live: "If, whenever people have been in a difficult situation, they are going to be allowed to sell their story quickly after that, then I think we are going to lose steadily that dignity and respect for our armed forces." READ IT ALL

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