Saturday, April 14, 2007

Iran Hostage Crisis, what they are saying in the Gulf

And I expect elsewhere as well. Ted in a comment on this article highlighted this, in the Gulf Times. It does not make comfortable reading. However here are some extracts.
Lot number two, the highlight of this unique auction, ladies and gentlemen of the press, is a female sailor, 26, who is instantly recognisable after auditioning for various parts on Iranian television recently. Indeed, her on-air endorsement of Camel Lights drew rave reviews from media buyers across the world.

Now we know what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meant when he said he was giving Britain a gift for Easter by releasing the 15 sailors and Marines held in Tehran for 13 days.

He was in fact giving the rest of the world the opportunity to observe a country whose moral judgment was finally declared bankrupt.

The Ministry of Defence, once the upholder of everything that was revered about the British Armed Forces, treated hundreds of years of tradition with derision by allowing the released hostages to sell their stories to the media for up to a reported $500,000.

It was in stark contrast to the Royal Air Force pilots shot down during the early stages of the first Gulf War in 1991. They appeared battered, bruised and heavily sedated as they were paraded with one foot in the grave in front of cameras for the world to see.

Did they bring shame to their profession? No, they were barred by the MoD from talking to the media and have shared the mental scars only with family and friends ever since.

So what has happened in the intervening years? A MoD official was quoted as saying to the father of one of the hostages: "Go out there, tell the truth and make the money."

Every year on November 11 Britons celebrate the lives of lost soldiers with Armistice Day. Every year the number of those who served and survived in the First World War becomes fewer and fewer. Those with the faculties to understand what the ‘blood money’ negotiated by the military personnel of today represents have every right to feel abandoned. As do the families of all the victims of war.

For the record, the standard payment to a serviceman losing an arm in combat is about $100,000.

That puts the shameful auction of Easter weekend into proper perspective.
It is shaming that we can't really argue with that isn't it?

For more on the Hostage crisis see here.

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