Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

David Cox believes...

...that someone else should have sacrificed their lives and health to make him feel better about being british.

god these kinds of people piss me off.  if he so badly wants to see someone prove how tough the british are, why doesn't he just travel to Iran and insult someone?


http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/david_cox/2007/04/shameless.html
Permalink Send private email zestyZucchini 
April 10th, 2007 1:56pm
Idiot.  If they'd been killed while standing on principle, he'd STILL have criticized them -- probably for being stupid.

One has to be very careful where one invests his Honor and worries about Shame.  Otherwise you get stuck in Vietnam, and can't get Peace With Honor, so you have to keep killing people.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 10th, 2007 2:13pm
>If they'd been killed while standing on principle, he'd STILL have criticized them

How could you *possibly* claim this? You have no idea what his reaction would be.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 2:15pm
True, that's a fair cop.

I still think his claim of having a peacable nation, yet espousing a philosophy which gets people killed, to be hypocritical.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 10th, 2007 2:21pm
>if he so badly wants to see someone prove how tough the british are, why doesn't he just travel to Iran and insult someone?

I think you're sort of missing the point of having a professional, voluntary armed services. Helpfully providing propaganda material to potential adversaries (which in this case proved to be very effective for Iran) isn't generally one of their services.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 2:25pm
> You have no idea what his reaction would be

When we read this:
> These were men at arms who would vomit with terror
> at the sound of a gun being cocked.

I think we get a picture of his character. People should be tortured to the end not to say what everyone knows is a coerced in the first place?


> Yet, the truth is that today few of us have much ambition for any of these things.

Ambition is isn't invading the Faulklands or Iraq. Ambition is going to the moon. He's just another chicken hawk. Very tasty these day.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 10th, 2007 2:25pm
Cox makes some good points.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 10th, 2007 2:32pm
"I think you're sort of missing the point of having a professional, voluntary armed services."

I think you are missing the point of having a professional, voluntary armed service...its _not_ to protect the citizens of their country from entirely harmless propaganda.
Permalink Send private email zestyZucchini 
April 10th, 2007 2:36pm
>I think we get a picture of his character. People should be tortured to the end not to say what everyone knows is a coerced in the first place?

There's a difference between torture to the ends, and seemingly rolling over under the most superficial of pressure. And no, everyone doesn't know that it was coerced -- many of the, err, anti-chicken hawks used the smiling, chess-playing Brits as a clear demonstration that Iran is a benevolent lover of small children and apple pies. Didn't I read you saying something very similar for that matter?
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 2:40pm
> There's a difference between torture to the ends, and seemingly rolling over under the most superficial of pressure

What's the difference? Roll over, say their stupid script, as long as they don't give away any actionable intelligence. That's smart play.


> And no, everyone doesn't know that it was coerced

Captives not coerced. They certainly must be FOX viewers.

> Didn't I read you saying something very similar for that matter?

What you read and what you perceive are often very different. I am sure you have me giving money to Iran and baking them cookies. A true chicken hawk should force people into a war and say they have other priorities when it comes to their service.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 10th, 2007 2:45pm
>its _not_ to protect the citizens of their country from entirely harmless propaganda

Aside from the hardly "harmless" propaganda (precedent is an *incredibly* powerful thing, and a terrible precedent has just been made), British forces have been shown to be -

a) Pussies. Yeah, it's tough talk to say that, but when they're 15 armed soldiers on a UN mandate, with a nearby warship and various choppers, it really is quite a spectacle when they so easily lay down arms (with, apparently, not even a single radio message to the nearby warship. They couldn't have thrown down arms quicker it seems). Yes, they were outgunned from a local perspective, but it was doubtful the Iranians would have fired given that it would have likely exploded into a fullscale war.

b) Easy pawns. Do you want some overly eager smiling actors to fluff your image? Why, just go take some Brit soldiers hostage! They'll capitulate in an instant, and then do their best to help you out.

Really, do you think there was a chance in hell that the Iranians would do the same to American soldiers? Think about that for a minute, and understand why there isn't the slightest chance they would.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 2:45pm
"Really, do you think there was a chance in hell that the Iranians would do the same to American soldiers? Think about that for a minute, and understand why there isn't the slightest chance they would."

Really, DF, and you called me on predicting what this idiot's response would have been to his people getting killed.

Why wouldn't the Iranians do the same to American soldiers?  Are you suggesting that it's the Iranian's RESTRAINT with American soldiers that's keeping Bush's finger away from the missle button?  What kept Bush from using the British sailer seizing as an excuse already?  They're our allies, after all.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 10th, 2007 2:50pm
> Really, do you think there was a chance in hell that the Iranians would do the same to American soldiers?

Oh those Americans. Quite skilled. It took a shorter time to pacify Germany and Japan than Iraq. Perhaps they see the way the US rolls over for North Korea. Perhaps they see us recyling our soldiers into Iraq and spendings our kids into mountain of debt. Perhaps they know once the planes leave and the americans puff themselves up about how many and how smart their bombs are, they will go away, and live another day.

If the US cared a whit about Iraq they would surge with hundreds of thousands. There's no reason for Iran to be afraid. Look at Afghanistan.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 10th, 2007 2:51pm
"Aside from the hardly "harmless" propaganda (precedent is an *incredibly* powerful thing, and a terrible precedent has just been made)"

oh? what terrible precedent exactly? it seems to be that the 'captives will say anything you like to stop you from being mean to them' precedent is pretty old.

", British forces have been shown to be -


a) Pussies. Yeah, it's tough talk to say that, but when they're 15 armed soldiers on a UN mandate, with a nearby warship and various choppers, it really is quite a spectacle when they so easily lay down arms (with, apparently, not even a single radio message to the nearby warship. They couldn't have thrown down arms quicker it seems). Yes, they were outgunned from a local perspective, but it was doubtful the Iranians would have fired given that it would have likely exploded into a fullscale war. "



they laid down their arms not because they were scared but because they were aware of the possibility of actually starting a war without orders.

personally I think they did exactly the right thing.  they were aware of the political ramifications of the situation and responded in such a way so as to minimise them.

Iran has gained nothing beyond a little propaganda, britain has lost nothing, its all good. 


"b) Easy pawns. Do you want some overly eager smiling actors to fluff your image? Why, just go take some Brit soldiers hostage! They'll capitulate in an instant, and then do their best to help you out."

too right.  whats the problem there exactly?



"Really, do you think there was a chance in hell that the Iranians would do the same to American soldiers? Think about that for a minute, and understand why there isn't the slightest chance they would."

what exactly?  taken them captive?  I thought they had in times past?

probably not at the moment though, bush desperately wants a war with Iran and Iran knows it, I imagine they specifically chose british troops because they thought the british were less likely to nuke their capital as a negotiating move.


OTOH if you are claiming that american soldiers would have fought to the death in similar circumstances then I think perhaps you are an idiot.  if you are claiming that they wouldn't have said whatever they were told then I can only imagine you are calling our troops idiots and I must caution you against showing your contempt for our soldiers on this forum, I will not stand for it.
Permalink Send private email zestyZucchini 
April 10th, 2007 2:54pm
>Why wouldn't the Iranians do the same to American soldiers?

Precedent says that it would be enormously unlikely that American soldiers would lay down arms -- more likely there would have been a standoff, quickly followed by some air power. The Iranians would know that a fired round would have quickly been their death, regardless of their superficial local supremacy.

Hence, Iranians don't try taking American soldiers hostage. It's that crazy concept of precedent that actually *keeps* people safe (and avoids unnecessary), versus the pussy position that basically encourages more of the same.

BTW: I'm Canadian. Oh, and we cycle in and out of doing exactly the same boarding actions that the British were busy doing.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 2:58pm
>if you are claiming that they wouldn't have said whatever they were told then I can only imagine you are calling our troops idiots

US forces are extensively trained to only state name, rank and number in such a scenario, and this has been their training for decades. In many documented cases they have demonstrated extreme dedication to this concept, under much more duress than the British soldiers faced.

So yes, I'm saying that it's likely that they wouldn't have said anything, and wouldn't have acted as such propaganda stooges. Maybe after some serious beatings they would have caved, but I sincerely doubt they'd try so hard to be such a credible actor (really, the excessive smiling was just a *tad* much).
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 3:04pm
Oh, and son-

>It took a shorter time to pacify Germany and Japan than Iraq.

Yeah, the US is quite a weakling: It took them so long to completely decimate the way all the way to Baghdad that pretty much the only constraint was the speed of their vehicles (damn tracked vehicles slowing them down).

Occupying is a lot harder, obviously, and you can never defeat a popular insurrection. If push came to shove, I doubt the US would be interested in occupying Iran.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 3:09pm
"In many documented cases they have demonstrated extreme dedication to this concept, under much more duress than the British soldiers faced. "

...and in many documented cases they haven't...


just out of interest, in this particular scenario, what is the advantage to be gained by them having not said a word?

whose minds do you think were changed about the situation by the soldiers saying whatever it was they said?

was yours?  do you believe the iranians have had changed hearts since hearing what the soldiers had to say?  the british?

what, exactly, was affected?
Permalink Send private email zestyZucchini 
April 10th, 2007 3:11pm
>just out of interest, in this particular scenario, what is the advantage to be gained by them having not said a word?

What do you think was gained by Iran using them in such a way?

Do you think Iran just felt like doing it for fun? By your analysis, they gained nothing doing that.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 3:18pm
This case just begs for the suggestion of an all-male milatary!
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 10th, 2007 3:21pm
The female member of the team was hardly any more guilty than many of her peers.
Permalink DF 
April 10th, 2007 3:52pm
No, but the male members are more concerned with what will happen to the female member than to themselves.
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 10th, 2007 3:59pm
Now now chaps lets all be civil
Permalink Tony Blair 
April 10th, 2007 4:02pm
Rick, promise me you'll never change.
Permalink Lurk Machine 
April 10th, 2007 4:06pm
No.
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 10th, 2007 5:03pm
"Do you think Iran just felt like doing it for fun? By your analysis, they gained nothing doing that."

not at all.  they sent a message to the US, britain and their own people...one that would have been sent regardless of whether or not the hostages said stuff.
Permalink Send private email zestyZucchini 
April 10th, 2007 5:08pm
message was ... "we have no idea what we're doing but our pistachios taste good and we don't force our hostages to wear neckties."
Permalink bleating heartsheep 
April 10th, 2007 5:21pm
"we don't force our hostages to wear neckties."

Sign me up.

Had a job like that. Once. Only once.
Permalink Kepala Kelapa 
April 10th, 2007 5:29pm
> but the male members are more concerned with what
> will happen to the female member than to themselves.


This is a variant of women being responsible for getting raped because they are so damn attractive. Take responsibility for your own behavior. Is that impossible for the male member?
Permalink son of parnas 
April 10th, 2007 6:00pm
Obviously your country was never in a war where females are treated differently.
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 10th, 2007 6:05pm
> Obviously your country was never in a war where females are treated differently.

Just kill them and torture them like everyone else. They will understand.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 10th, 2007 6:57pm
Having shaped his argument around the compliant captive Brits, David Cox moved on to point out that moral relativism is government policy.

I'd be worried if it were not, frankly. Governments run on ideological rather than pragmatic precepts tend to get people killed unnecessarily.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/25/newsid_2503000/2503899.stm
Permalink trollop 
April 10th, 2007 7:42pm
I think the handling of the situation by the Brits was most excellent.

It makes Bush politics look like the shit that they are. It also likely did avoid a war. We'd still be blowing shit up right now if the Brits had made so much as an angry sigh of contempt over it. Bush has an itchy trigger finger on the highest caliber weapon known to man.

It does seem the sailors capitulated rather easily in their surrender. I believe the subsequent cooperation is neither here nor there.

I also allow for the possibility that their capture was by no means accidental. Maybe they had some goals in mind.

I don't know much about those waters, but I know that it is very hard to surprise someone on a boat with just about anything but a submarine. They had to see them coming?
Permalink JoC 
April 11th, 2007 6:17pm

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