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TheDeaconofGroves

Iran captures 15 British Soldiers

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Apparently the same radical state that illegally takes control of privately owned Romanian Oil Rigs and holds its civilian workers prisoner. Who would have thought?

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The thing that really kills me here is that Ms. Turley has been made to wear a headscarf for the press release.

 

Now, what If a white Anglo were to force a cultural establishment on one of our prisoners? It would cause an international incident. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if an Al-Qaeda fighter at Guantanimo or Abu Grhaib were forced to wear a rosary. The double standard here is ridiculous, especially since

 

a) There's possibility that the the arrest actually took place in Iraqi territory.

B) The Iranian navy has acted agressively towards non-threatening European presences before (See Romanian Oil Rig).

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The thing that really kills me here is that Ms. Turley has been made to wear a headscarf for the press release.

 

Now, what If a white Anglo were to force a cultural establishment on one of our prisoners? It would cause an international incident. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if an Al-Qaeda fighter at Guantanimo or Abu Grhaib were forced to wear a rosary. The double standard here is ridiculous, especially since

 

a) There's possibility that the the arrest actually took place in Iraqi territory.

B) The Iranian navy has acted agressively towards non-threatening European presences before (See Romanian Oil Rig).

I fail to see how the "double standard" justifies either position. Are you suggesting we start forcing prisoners to wear rosaries? Would that break the enemy's spirit? Would that suddenly solve all the world's problems if we finally let loose and started behaving in the same way that you would call "barbaric"? Its wrong for them to do that to the prisoner, but that doesn't mean we should do it.

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I fail to see how the "double standard" justifies either position. Are you suggesting we start forcing prisoners to wear rosaries? Would that break the enemy's spirit? Would that suddenly solve all the world's problems if we finally let loose and started behaving in the same way that you would call "barbaric"? Its wrong for them to do that to the prisoner, but that doesn't mean we should do it.

 

I think what he is trying to say is that "making a reporter wear a headscarf is the same as us making their reporters/prisoners wear rosaries"

 

His point is that because we don't force them to wear rosaries, they shouldn't force us to wear head scarfs. So it is a bit of a double-standard.

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I fail to see how the "double standard" justifies either position. Are you suggesting we start forcing prisoners to wear rosaries? Would that break the enemy's spirit? Would that suddenly solve all the world's problems if we finally let loose and started behaving in the same way that you would call "barbaric"? Its wrong for them to do that to the prisoner, but that doesn't mean we should do it.

 

It justifies no position, but it certainly does weaken the image of the 'opressed', no?

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It justifies no position, but it certainly does weaken the image of the 'opressed', no?

Who's opressed? Are you talking about the Iranians or the woman? Because I don't think anyone opressing Iran (unless you mean the people of Iran). In the case of the woman, yes its wrong/"opressive" for them to force their religious views upon her, but that doesn't undermine the wrongness of American torture and wrongdoing. We need to stop looking at these "double standards" as tieing our hands, and see them as something that makes us distinct from opressive regimes.

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1) The wearing of a chador is a respectful gesture that she'll at least abide by a social and cultural (in this case relgious) norm.

2) There's a difference between forcing customs and respecting soceital standards.

3) That's remedial...

A) Gitmo has serious human rights violations plus the defacement of Islamic texts and icons.

B) Wearing a chador doesn't neccesarily have a religious connotation if done by an outsider and is ANYTHING but malicious...

If you're in my house and I ask you to take off your shoes...there's no dehumanization occuring...

4) The Romanian Oil Rig Incident was a COMMERICAL dispute and it wasn't a militarial seize. It was Iranian POLICE that took action against the rig that was in a legal despute with a Dubai based oil company and the UAE legitimately returned the rig to the IR due to pressure of it's connection with Halliburton and Oriental Oil.

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I dont think she willingly put the fuckin thing on.

 

Defiantly right, I would suspect that there was a large amount of torture / threats there of that lead her to go in front of a TV and willingly admit to the entire world that yes, the British were in the wrong, the Iranians have every right to be holding us, and, oh, by the way they are treating us really, really nice...

I don't think it is a coincidence that they pull the one women out of the group to put in front of a camera and tell us what the "truth" is.

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Defiantly right, I would suspect that there was a large amount of torture / threats there of that lead her to go in front of a TV and willingly admit to the entire world that yes, the British were in the wrong, the Iranians have every right to be holding us, and, oh, by the way they are treating us really, really nice...

 

1) There's no clear cut way as to saying if the Brits did or did not breach Iranian waters. Iran has historically had their ocean borders breached and every once in a while will take action to deter it from occuring again. My assumption is that this is one of those statements...

2) The question is now if the actions taken were justified, think if the converse happened what would occur. Honestly, I don't see the Brits bein empathetic towards any Middle Eastern nations potentially infringing on their oceans, especially if there was a means of aiding a radical restructuring of power in a nearby nation.

3) I'm not saying the IR isn't being coercive, if anything I'm positive they are...but I doubt they honestly are planning on keeping the Seamen for very long and thus it wouldn't be advantagous to "torture" or dehumanize the sailors.

4) I know that the student protests in the Hostage Crisis in '79 was secular to Khomeni's movement, but they were actually quite accomadating for hostage takers. They treated the American captives with dignity and a suprising level of respect although they were representatives of their ideological rivals. I don't see any ground that the Iranians are overtly harrassing the Brits. No one will know for sure until they're brought back home...

 

I don't think it is a coincidence that they pull the one women out of the group to put in front of a camera and tell us what the "truth" is.

 

WTF are you talking about? The higher ranking woman is supposedly the weaker of the crew? If anything you perpetuate the stereotype yourself of women equating to inferior beings. The IR's state ran television has shown clips of her without a chador, it was (all speculative mind you) a neccesary article of clothing for her to appear on televison.

There seriously needs to be a distinction made...

Putting her on TV to say "XY and Z"...sure, it's atrocious

Having her wear a hijab as a means of a cultural smack in the face...not concrete

Wearing a chador...a critical component of a female that will be publicly televised

Nothing more...

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WTF are you talking about? The higher ranking woman is supposedly the weaker of the crew? If anything you perpetuate the stereotype yourself of women equating to inferior beings. The IR's state ran television has shown clips of her without a chador, it was (all speculative mind you) a neccesary article of clothing for her to appear on televison.

There seriously needs to be a distinction made...

Putting her on TV to say "XY and Z"...sure, it's atrocious

Having her wear a hijab as a means of a cultural smack in the face...not concrete

Wearing a chador...a critical component of a female that will be publicly televised

Nothing more...

It doesn't change the fact that they made her put it on. And why should she have to bow to the religious norms of Iran? How does that show "respect"? I suppose we'll just have to wait to hear her point of view on the issue though, our speculations on respect mean nothing until we acually know what's going on.

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Iran Says British Captives to Be Freed

 

NASSER KARIMI | AP | April 4, 2007 11:37 AM EST

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TEHRAN, Iran — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would free the 15 detained British sailors and marines Wednesday as an Easter holiday "gift" to the British people.

 

Iranian state television said the 14 men and one woman, who were seized while on patrol in the northern Persian gulf on March 23, would leave Iran on Thursday. An Iranian official in London said they would be handed over to British diplomats in Tehran.

 

Ahmadinejad's surprise announcement came at a news conference shortly after he pinned a medal on the chest of the Iranian coast guard commander who intercepted the sailors and marines.

 

"On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet (Muhammad) ... and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people _ with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial _ forgave those 15," he said, referring to the Muslim prophet's birthday on March 30 and the Easter holiday.

 

"This pardon is a gift to the British people," he said.

 

The office of British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it welcomed the news. President Bush, who had condemned the seizure of the Britons and referred to them as "hostages," also welcomed it, said his national security spokesman, Gordon Johndroe.

 

Their release would end a 13-day standoff between London and Tehran that was sparked when the crew was seized as it searched for smugglers off the Iraqi coast. Britain denied Iranian claims the crew had entered Iranian waters.

 

After the news conference, state television showed Ahmadinejad meeting with the British crew, dressed in business suits, outside the presidential palace. He shook hands and chatted with them through a translator, and a caption to the video said the meeting was taking place as part of the "process of release."

 

"We appreciate it. Your people have been really kind to us, and we appreciate it very much," one of the crew could be heard telling Ahmadinejad in English.

 

Another said: "We are grateful for your forgiveness."

 

Ahmadinejad responded in Farsi, "You are welcome."

 

Among the crew at the palace was sailor Faye Turney, the sole woman among the captives, wearing a blue jacket and floral-patterned blue and white headscarf.

 

Iranian TV said the British captives had watched Ahmadinejad's news conference live and were ecstatic when a translator told them what the president had said.

 

In New York, British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said "if this news is confirmed, then it's tremendous news and we're delighted."

 

Recent days saw talk of direct negotiations between Britain and Iran, and a decrease in tensions that had risen after Iran broadcast videos in which Turney and the others "confessed" to violating Iranian territorial waters, and Britain expressed outrage.

 

Ahmadinejad said the British government had sent a letter to the Iranian Foreign Ministry pledging that entering Iranian waters "will not happen again."

 

The British Foreign Office responded: "We haven't gone into detail of what was in the note. But we have said all along we made our position clear (about being in Iraqi waters)."

 

A Downing Street spokeswoman said Blair's office was "establishing exactly what this means in terms of the method and timing of their release."

 

An Iranian official in London said the crew members would be handed over to British diplomats in Tehran and that it would then be up to the Foreign Office to decide how they would return home.

 

"They will go through some brief formalities and then they will go to the embassy," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. "They can go on a British Airways flight to Heathrow, they can go through the UAE (United Arab Emirates), it is up to the British Embassy in Tehran in coordination with the Foreign Office here."

 

In London, a Foreign Office spokesman said wanted to "make sure we've actually got them in hand, and that they're safe and well," before making travel plans.

 

A group of British service members who were seized by Iran in 2004 were sent back to the British sector of southern Iraq aboard an Iranian commercial flight, after stops in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

 

Ahmadinejad's announcement came after Iran's state media reported that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Another Iranian diplomat, separately seized two months ago by uniformed gunmen in Iraq, was released and returned Tuesday to Tehran.

 

Ahmadinejad said Iran will never accept trespassing in its territorial waters.

 

"On behalf of the great Iranian people, I want to thank the Iranian coast guard who courageously defended and captured those who violated their territorial waters," he said.

 

"We are sorry that British troops remain in Iraq and their sailors are being arrested in Iran," Ahmadinejad said.

 

Ahmadinejad asked Blair not to "punish" the crew for confessing that they had been in Iranian waters when they were seized by Iranian coast guard. Iran broadcast video of some of the crew giving confessions, angering Britain.

 

He also criticized Britain for deploying Turney in the Gulf, pointing out that she is a woman with a child.

 

"How can you justify seeing a mother away from her home, her children? Why don't they respect family values in the West?" he asked of the British government.

 

Iran has denied it seized the Britons to force the release of Iranians held in Iraq, and Britain has steadfastly insisted it would not negotiate for the sailors' freedom.

 

Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency said earlier Wednesday that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet with the five detained Iranians in Iraq but gave no further details.

 

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said, however, that American authorities were still considering the request. The spokesman, Maj. Gen. William C. Caldwell, said an international Red Cross team, including one Iranian, had visited the prisoners but he did not say when.

 

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told The Associated Press that the case of the five Iranians detained in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish self-governing region in northern Iraq, had no connection with the British captives.

 

Zebari, a Kurd, said his government had been relaying Iranian requests for a meeting with the five detainees, but could not confirm the request had been approved.

 

In a commentary, the Iranian news agency said the movement on the Iranian prisoner issue was due in part to "the new American political and military appointments in Iraq."

 

The agency was referring to Gen. David Petraeus, who assumed command of U.S. forces in February, and Ryan Crocker, who began work as the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq last month.

 

U.S. troops detained the five Iranians on Jan. 11, accusing them of links to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard network that was supplying money and weapons to insurgents in Iraq.

 

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said President Bush had approved the strategy of raiding Iranian targets in Iraq as part of efforts to confront the government in Tehran.

 

Iraqi Kurds, like the country's Shiites, maintain close ties with Shiite-dominated Iran, despite their warm relationship with the U.S. _ and have been upset over the arrests in their own capital.

 

Iran denounced the raid and insisted that the five were diplomats who were engaged exclusively in consular work. The Iraqi government said they were arrested at an office that was supposed to become an Iranian consulate.

 

The British newspaper The Independent reported this week that the Irbil raid had escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran and may have set the stage for the March 23 seizure of the British naval personnel.

 

Also Wednesday, a Kuwaiti newspaper quoted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem as saying Damascus was also mediating the case of the 15 Britons.

 

___

 

Associated Press writers Raphael G. Satter in London and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

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It doesn't change the fact that they made her put it on. And why should she have to bow to the religious norms of Iran? How does that show "respect"? I suppose we'll just have to wait to hear her point of view on the issue though, our speculations on respect mean nothing until we acually know what's going on.

 

1) What I'm saying is that Iranian customs find it appropriate that a female be covered if they're going to be displayed on TV. I'm not saying if the IR should have put her on TV or not, but there are customs.

2) She should have to abide by Iranian norms because she's there. It doesn't matter how, but she is.

3) Wearing a hijab means that she is complying with the traditions. I'm saying that there is a secular context of wearing a hijab.

4) I doubt there will be any actual narration from any of the Brits...I'm sure it was outlined in the negotiations between the two nations.

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British Soldiers have returned home

 

British hostages: 'It's just a relief that this is all over'

 

By Terri Judd

 

Published: 06 April 2007

 

 

 

Before they stepped from the plane and back on to British soil, the 15 sailors and marines were given a stern reminder that they were still on duty.

As relatives waited to embrace their loved ones, the freed hostages would have been aware that, elsewhere in Britain, four other military families were facing the knowledge that their own sons or daughters would never come home.

On their flight back to London, passengers heard the sound of laughter from behind the curtain and cheers as the plane touched down. But their mood was sombre as they descended from the plane, now fully briefed on the latest losses suffered by British troops in the Gulf. At the exact moment the team had touched down safely at Heathrow, Tony Blair emerged from No 10 to talk of the "sober and ugly reality" of the four British personnel and one interpreter killed by a roadside bomb near Basra.

A country that had celebrated with unbridled joy on Wednesday was reminded just 24 hours later that the war in Iraq continued unabated.

After the crew touched down at Royal Marine Base Chivenor in Devon, they were welcomed home by Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, who said: "They seem very happy and in great shape. They did exactly what they should have done and we are extremely proud of them."

Minutes later there were emotional scenes as the group were hugged by their relatives.

Marine Joe Tindall's grandmother, Diane Andrews, said she felt "just relief that it's all over and we can stop waking up with empty feelings in our stomachs".

The marines and sailors then issued a joint statement. It read: "The past two weeks have been very difficult but by staying together as a team we kept our spirits up, drawing great comfort from the knowledge that our loved ones would be waiting for us on our return to the UK. It is only now that we have learned of the enormous public support we have all enjoyed in the UK and we wish to thank everyone for their thoughts, kind words and prayers. It means so much to us all."

After medical examinations, the group was expected to undergo a full debriefing, which experts suggested would last "hours rather than minutes".

"The timescale might be based on what their individual needs are. The priority is how they feel," said a spokesman for Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth.

Dr Eric Grove, director of the Centre for Security Studies at Hull University, said: "The Iranians are not stupid but clearly what they [those debriefing] will want to know is what kind of pressures were they put under in order to make the kind of statements they did."

The focus of the intelligence gathering will undoubtedly fall on the two officers, Royal Marine Captain Chris Air, 25, and 26-year-old Naval Lieutenant Felix Carman.

Officially, the Royal Navy insisted it was proud of its team, but other military sources claimed their home coming would be "tough".

"They cannot expect a hero's welcome. There are some very senior intelligence people who have come to the base and will begin the debriefing," said one source, adding: "There is a strong feeling this group played into the hands of the Iranians and their so-called confessions were simply too compliant."

However, Dr Grove added that a psychological assessment of how they fared in captivity would also be a key aspect of their return, with counselling if required.

The director added: "It was obviously a traumatic experience and the people who meet them will make an assessment."

He added: "I do not think there will be any recriminations but we will try to milk it for as much intelligence as possible and the Iranians will milk it for all its political worth."

 

Find it at: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2426278.ece

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1) What I'm saying is that Iranian customs find it appropriate that a female be covered if they're going to be displayed on TV. I'm not saying if the IR should have put her on TV or not, but there are customs.

2) She should have to abide by Iranian norms because she's there. It doesn't matter how, but she is.

3) Wearing a hijab means that she is complying with the traditions. I'm saying that there is a secular context of wearing a hijab.

4) I doubt there will be any actual narration from any of the Brits...I'm sure it was outlined in the negotiations between the two nations.

1-Why should a woman from a western country and presumably a different religion be forced to conform to religious beliefs in a country she is being held prisoner? I think that coercion of prisoners outweighs the so called cultural values of another country.

2-What? This argument makes no sense. So if I go to China i need to become a communist? Or if I go to Vatican City I need to follow Catholic religious views? Obviously location has nothing to do with the correctness of her having to cover her head.

3-There is no secular context. The covering of one's head is based off of religious not secular views.

4-Ok. At most that means we won't get a verification of either of our viewpoints from the prisoners themselves.

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reed British sailors allege torture by Iran: Why do the media ask no questions?

by wsws (reposted)

Monday Apr 9th, 2007 9:27 PM

The British media have accepted without qualification or question the claims of Iranian mistreatment made by the recently released sailors and marines at a press conference organised by the armed forces last Friday.

There was clearly no evidence of physical ill treatment during repeated appearances before television cameras during their detention. But in a joint statement the 15 said they had been “psychologically tortured” after being captured by a regional Revolutionary Guard commander responsible for Iranian waters within the Shatt al Arab waterway on March 25.

 

Immediately after landing at London’s Heathrow airport, all the 15 marines and sailors, who were clearly fit and well, were taken to the Royal Marine base at Chivenor, near Barnstaple in Devon, to be debriefed by MI6. At the press conference held the next day, the two most senior officers, Lieutenant Felix Carmen and Captain Chris Air, accompanied by just five of the sailors and marines, read stiffly from prepared statements.

 

....

 

With so much riding on the veracity of the report of such controversial events, any journalist worthy of the name would have been forced to ask probing questions of the captives. Especially given that they included eight members of the navy’s elite commando unit, who were supposedly all prepared to lie about where they were captured after just over a week in detention and faced with little more than threats and isolation.

 

One must recall that statements to the contrary including a televised press conference featuring none other than Captain Air and Lieutenant Carmen.

 

The two most senior officers captured had admitted that they “had trespassed without permission” before adding, “So far we have been treated very well by all the people here. They have looked after us and made sure we are given enough food and treated very well by them, so I thank them for that.”

 

The two men looked in good condition, wearing military fatigues on April 1. And, by way of explanation for his televised appearance, Air had said then that the authorities had shown him Global Positioning Satellite data proving that they had been seized inside Iranian waters.

 

Air is in any case not best placed to make unchallenged statements as to what actually happened during the past weeks. On March 13, he had admitted in a little reported television interview, two weeks before the incident, that his crew were gathering intelligence on the Iranians, under cover of an anti-smuggling operation that included boarding other ships in the waterways.

 

Find at: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/04/09/18393040.php

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