The “Hostage taking move”

Today the LATimes has a story about how in Afghanistan ever since the exchange of 5 Taliban prisoners for the Italian journalist held hostage, kidnapping as a maneuver has increased.

“Before, the Taliban had one gun in their hands. Now they have two,” said Shukria Barakzai, a member of the Afghan parliament.

“It was really a big mistake….

The Taliban claim they hold 10 hostages including 2 French aid workers.

And yet in other news, Iran is looking for British “goodwill” in their own hostage exchange. Iran’s ambassador to London has said Britain should respond “in a positive way” to the release of the 15 Royal Navy personnel held for 13 days

So here we have live indicators showing that once you give in to hostage takers, then you are stuck with more hostage taking and yet the Iranians want British “goodwill”. Pffft
I don’t think so.

Meanwhile as the details grow concerning their ordeal (ie, being blindfolded, tied and lined up against a wall and thinking they are going to be executed) speculations continues about what they “should have done”.

I’m not a military person but in all the codes of conduct going around it really needs to be noted that the UK is not at war with Iran. That should change the dynamics just a bit. You don’t just go shooting New Zealanders who have strayed into your waters. You might pick them up and take them to their embassy, which is exactly what those Brits thought was going to happen.

Talk amongst yourselves about what should have occurred once they realized things were different. I know I’m a whimp.

But moving on to more links on this situation. Iranmania is noting that Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are all preparing for war. Why is that? Because they actually believe what the President of the US says.

President George W. Bush has vowed to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions by the time he leaves office in early 2009.

That comes from being who he is. You’ll note they aren’t just taking American hostages in hopes that our “goodwill” will be granted once they are released.

And finally I think this story is awesome. It’s about an Iranian who has converted to Christianity. NZ has granted him refuge status because his life is in danger if he returns to Iran now. We should write that in our own refuge laws. I wonder what would happen to the status of Islam under those circumstances. Islam might not have quite the number it thinks it has once the threat of death is no longer part of the belief sytem.

3 thoughts on “The “Hostage taking move”

  1. First and most important, obviously, I was not there, nor have I ever been a hostage or POW. But, I have recieved survival training to include resistance training, the part where you are given a small dose of what it’s like to be a captive and shown techniques to resist.

    My guess is that the Royal Navy sailors had probably never been through any resistance training but the Royal Marines probably had. Having said that, I find that the boarding teams should not have been put in a position where they could be overhwelmed by a numerically superior force. In plainer terms, there should have been the ship and or helicopters close by to support them.

    So, I will generally not criticise their decision not to resist at capture, although it does strike in my craw that they didn’t open up (their weapons), they are probably right in that not all of them would have survived.

    But, their actions as hostages, captives, detainees, whatever the hell you want to call them, was certainly not Britain’s finest hour and a wholesale revamping of the British training and philosophy towards POW and detention of personnel.

    They claim that they independnatly came to the conclusion that only after a few days, they needed to provide video to their captives is simply sad. They should have had the awareness that this situation would be all over the media, that English and International pressure would surely be brought to bear, and that they most certainly would not have been killed or held for 7 years.

    Their “confessions” no matter if they were parsing their words and their subequent praising of their captors and especially the Iranian President, were pathetic. It is time for them to seek alternative ways of life.

  2. I truly appreciate you sharing that. My “impression” is similar but I hate to presume knowing how out of that loop of life I am.

  3. T,
    what’s interesting is that our military has recognized that there are now various circumstances that can confront our folks. There are various levels of survival training based on liklihood to be confronted by a bad situation, but a few years ago, the services started training folks on what could happen if you are scooped up by someone that is not a signitor to the Geneva Conventions.

    The point there is that a person is pretty much on their own in that situation because despite your country negotiating, pressuring, etc, it may not help. The classic example is if you are captured by a terrorist organization, the best example would be the F-4 backseater Ron Arad from Israel who’s been (alleged) held for almost two decades.

    I mean, the mind boggles on what you would do if you are a Jewish aviator, who obviously might have been involved in bombing Lebanon, and the Shiite Amal militia captures you.

    So, you have a situation where 15 British troops surrender without firing a shot, and are then filmed on camera essentially agreeing that they violated Iranian waters.
    Not good.

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