Wednesday, April 04, 2007

In re: Iranian Crisis Over? For now...

Well Mr. Talabani (Forgive a full posting rather than a reply, but I needed to post a picture to respond), you’ve raised an interesting point.

A Picture is Worth 1000 (Swear) Words

I find it intriguing that the group’s response was not uniform. If you look at one of the publicity photos, it becomes clear immediately that the soldiers are not in agreement as to a reaction. Some in the middle are hamming it up for the cameras while those on the far right of the group don’t seem particularly relieved—they seem furious. I think this is a visual cue that some members of the group were coerced (some ’79 hostages were tortured).

Documents Shmockuments
As for the confession, at least one of the letters (I suspect them all, but only challenge one here for the sake of brevity) was penned by a person writing English as a Second Language. Have a read and, if you disagree, I suggest you talk to anyone who’s ever taught ESL—one sentence: “I am writing to you as a British service person who has been sent to Iraqi, sacrificed due to the intervening policies of the Bush and Blair governments.” is clearly problematic.

Islamic Fashion Sense and Other Travesties
The business suits are nice but it looks like the Islamic Republic skimped on ties. Of course, I’m being facetious because wearing a tie in Iran is more of a political statement than one of fashion, ties being the uniform of the West. The suits aren’t tailored and show that odd Middle Eastern habit of sewing the buttons mid-chest rather than a bit lower, but they seem nice enough. Faye Turney, the women sailor, sports a ghastly manteau typical of middle-of-the-road Iranian women- neither overly showy nor totally covering. What’s vital is that they are not sporting uniforms; hence, they are hostages not POWS.

Stiff Upper Lip
As for embarrassing or understandable, I return to my original point about the reactions being individual rather than collective. I think most of us, with the huff of bravado that comes from being nowhere near danger, would like to think we’d hold out and resist our captors to the last. In their situation, I’m not sure how I’d react because as the movie “The Recruit” notes, “Don’t get caught,” because anyone will crack under torture. We have no idea what they’ve been through and it’s probably best to wait before proffering judgment. That having been said, if torture wasn’t used, revealing anything but name, rank, and serial number is a national disgrace for Britain. The former is forgivable because it’s a human reaction, the latter is an accommodating act of cowardice.

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