Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Blair Standard On Detainees

All the rabid frothing from Blair and his court jesters about Iran’s capture of British sailors and marines is - to use that now trite word - hypocritical. Those who have crowed the most are those who have no doubt climaxed at the sight of kidnapped orange jump-suited men and children and now dream of cruise missiles raining down on Tehran.

Had the Iranian regime followed the example of the "War On Terror" shackled the sailors and marines in chain-gang style, tortured them (while euphemistically calling it something else), refusing access to legal counsel, denied them the status of combatants and all the legal restrictions that go with it, flown them around in chartered planes and introduced to seasoned torturers, cruise missiles would be raining down on Tehran. Perhaps there is a woman in a U.S. "ghost prison" called "Fayetima Turneyma".

Had the Iranian regime followed the example on the "War On Terror" and said that commenting on the captives would be to capitulate to terrorism (no more ridiculous than the children held in Guantanamo said to be terrorists), the cruise missiles would be raining down on Tehran. It’s lucky, then, that the Iranian regime says no such thing and, instead, states that it is conducting its investigations and will come to a decision.

When Guantanamo detainees are pictured, tortured and forced to confess, that is part of the "War on Terror". When British sailors and marines are pictured tucking in to some food (let alone "waterboarded"), that is an outrage. As it is, unbelievably, amazingly, unimaginably, the Ayatollahs are operating at a much higher moral plane regarding detainees than the democratically elected and liberal Blair government.

Hypocrisy is said to be refusing to apply the same standards to yourself that you apply to others. The passionate Blair has surpassed the standard of hypocrisy quite admirably. Few have noticed that he refuses to apply the same standard to his conduct that he demands of others.


Snowball said...

Excellent post.

Richard Marchese said...

Their hypocrisy is blatant, but only to be expected. This is, after all, the same Prime Minister who floats the idea of 'no fly zones' in Darfur to protect its inhabitants in the same week that it is revealed that his government is deporting Darfurs back to Kahrtoum to face torture.

That said, and as much as I believe British troops should leave Iraq now, I can't but help feeling sorry for the soldiers.

It is also surely the case that this incident will make it far easier to soften up public opinion in this country for an air assault on Iran.

Tawfiq Chahboune said...

It goes without saying that the soldiers and sailors are to be pitied. They are stuck in an impossible situation. And here I'm not just referring to those detained by the Ayatollahs. I'm speaking generally. The sad thing is that of the few soldiers and sailors I've met, they honestly believe they're over in Iraq to do good, not the military might of an imperial policy - or an imperial one that's backfiring.

Just listened to Any Answers. Other than the lunatic who called in to say that he would resolve the situation by nuking Tehran (I guess that would solve the hostage situation if the hostages are held in Tehran), nearly all were sceptical about what we've been told. Notwithstanding all the known stuff about "self-selection" in call-ins and all the rest of it, there does seem to be a national scepticism.

Three good points made that I didn't make in my original post. One, British citizens, like Muazzam Begg, were held for some three years in Guantanamo and tortured, without a peep from Blair and chums, other than to say it was an a. Two, the Vietnam war started in these same circumstances. Three, Blair and Co. are making the situation worse and guaranteeing the sailors incarceration, presumably, knowingly.

Well, Blair wants a "legacy". Perhaps war with Iran will clinch, if it wasn't established already, as the maddest, baddest and most dangerous MP this nation has known (unless you're a Bee Gee or Cliff Richard).

Louisefeminista said...

What about Iraqi women in custody in Iraq who haven't been charged with any offence and have no protection. No front page outrage about their treatment.

It is rank hypocrisy.