Ralph Peters is a regular columnist with the New
Register here for access to the Post's Online Edition.
Goody Bagful of Dishonor
It was a fitting image of the 14 wimps and a sob sister arriving back in the United Kingdom yesterday: skulking away with pink goody bags in hand.
The color was no accident - although yellow would've been more appropriate.
The released hostages weren't allowed to make any more statements. Apparently, the Blair government feared they'd repeat their lavish praise of their Iranian captors.
Ralph Peters - Contributor
Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of 19 books,
as well as of hundreds of essays and articles, written both
under his own name and as Owen Parry. He is a frequent columnist
for the New York Post and other publications. [go to Peters Index]
Look, we're all glad they're home safe, if not necessarily sound. But why on earth is Britain, the land of the legendary stiff upper lip, celebrating cowards who clambered over one another to shame their country?
Wouldn't the Brits do better to make a fuss over the many soldiers of the queen who've served bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why break out the cakes and ale for officers who enthusiastically briefed Iranian propaganda for the TV cameras and who let their subordinates behave as if the Revolutionary Guards were their best pals?
One almost expects that Royal Marine captain and his Navy lieutenant sidekick to receive Victoria Crosses.
In a sharp signal of the difference between our military and the politically beleaguered Brits, our chief of naval operations gave an interview to CNN (which he knows the Iranians watch), making it clear that if Tehran tried such a stunt with our sailors and Marines, we'd feed their thugs to the sharks.
The admiral also stressed that if captured, our troops are still taught to give name, rank, service number - and very little else.
Those blubbering Brits were only playing dress-up in the military uniforms they happily swapped for Iranian loan-shark suits at Wednesday's kissy-face meet-and-greet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
They hadn't been through the Bataan Death March. They didn't suffer four years in Changi Prison after the fall of Singapore. They didn't spend a five-year lifetime in the Hanoi Hilton. And we have yet to see evidence of torture.
But they started criticizing their own country within days.
Tehran won this match. Hands down. Contrary to the "wisdom" of Western pundits, the hostage catch-and-release strengthened the hard-liners' position and image, both within Iran and throughout the region. Ahmadinejad not only knew how much he could get away with, he knew when to bring down the curtain.
He worked his scam so well, I almost admire the jerk.
Earlier this week, I had dinner with a retired American Marine colonel who worked with and respected the Royal Marines. He could only shake his head.
Several times, he had started to reach for the phone to ask his old counterparts if there was some insider explanation for the conduct of those Cheshire-cheese-eating surrender monkeys gushing their thanks to Ahmadinejad and the Iranian people for all the hospitality.
My friend, a man with a chest full of combat ribbons, never made the call. He knew the answer. And he didn't want to add to the shame of the splendid Royal Marines with whom he'd served.
latest book is Never
Quit The Fight.
piece first appeared in the New York Post
copyright 2007 - NY Post