There’s a post here by Cyrus F. posing this question at the end:
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman claims these are “staged” statements. But what would the marines lose? Would they face an uncertain period of time apart from their families and loved ones? Would the costs of telling the truth be so high for them that not even one would confirm his or her statements made in Iran? Does the Iranian spokesman really expect the sane people of the free world to believe him instead of 15 free men and women?
It’s a fair question. I do think that the British servicemen/woman who were captured by Iran where under some sort of pressure to make the kind of statements they did, particularly Turney’s 2nd and 3rd letters.
However, I also think that they should and probably did exaggerate their bad treatment by the Iranians. The reason is that criticism of their behavior has been pretty outrageous. Take this article for instance by a British conservative who thinks that the sailors’ confessions questioned, not only the cause of the war on Iraq and the Royal Navy, but the entire British culture.
An American general has gone as far as saying,
Well, they’re idiots, he [the sailor who apologized at length on Iran TV] and the other 14 are, have to be, because there’s no excuse for this kind of behavior.
I can tell you that they wouldn’t take me without firing a shot. I would take as many with me as I possibly could.
They weren’t in captivity more than 28 microseconds before they started … briefing, in front of a big map about where they were, and apologizing, and so on—absolutely despicable behavior, deplorable behavior.
They are going to have—and they should have—a lot to answer for when they finally get home.
They acquitted themselves horribly and dishonorably.
So these sailors and marines, who do need some sort of a future in their military/navy jobs can’t live with the embarrassment of what they did, unless they provide plenty and exaggerated accounts as to why they made such statements. (We all have sort of an idea how merciless the higher-ranks can be in the military environments, and we can see how seriously upset a part of the British public has become with how the Iranians showed the other face of ‘the lion’).
Now, why would these soldiers/marines, who were obviously not physically-tortured or held captive for more than a few days, sell their pride and cooperate to that extent with their captors?
Here’s what I think: they just realized how the ‘brutal enemy’ treated them reasonably well, compared that with how their bosses treat the enemy’s captives and doubted their cause even more than before.
What’s the merit in standing for a cause that has no value, for a bunch of lies, for a group of greedy, power-hungry thieves at the expense of one’s own life and some other poor folks’ future?
This is the question a lot of these soldiers might be asking themselves at one point or another, and that’s why they could never fight like Iranians did against Iraq or the Vietnamese did against the U.S.
Politics, Freedom of Expression, Iran, Nuclear, Middle East, Oil, War on Iran, Bush, Ahmadinejad, Larijani, Iranian Society, Hoder, Iraq, Tehran, NPT, Security Council, Mottaki, Persian Gulf, British Sailors, UK, Blair, Britain