Thursday, March 29, 2007


Female sailor at centre of media storm

I figured I would weigh in with my two cents on the big international incident doing the rounds right now. This is of course Iran's capture of British sailors and marines who were allegedly in their waters. The British dispute this and claim they have proof they were in fact in Iraqi waters.

Now I don't know which side is telling the truth really but quite frankly I'm amazed at how eager the British media have been to whip the nation up into a big frenzy over this issue.

Case in point, a few days ago I heard British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett demanding evidence that the sailors were being treated OK. The Iranians said they were being treated fine but the British demanded evidence of this.

So, the Iranians have now released footage of the sailors proving they are indeed doing alright and, suddenly, according to the British media they have been "paraded" before the world and this is deemed "unacceptable".

Not only that but the camera footage of the lone female sailor, Faye Turner, is being analysed about as much as the Zapruder film. Talk about hysteria. Rupert Murdoch's fair and balanced Sky reported that she looked "worried" while the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner said he thought Turney's words had been scripted:

"She did not sound there like somebody who was saying those words of her free will. Obviously she had been told what to say."

It's not obvious at all. She's not crying or anything. She's not openly distressed. It is ridiculous to claim that she has "obviously" been instructed on what to talk about. The footage also showed the eight Royal Navy sailors and seven Royal Marines eating a meal. They looked a damn sight better than prisoners in certain other parts of the world.

Not exactly Guantanamo Bay, is it?

A letter was also released by Faye Turney and people have suggested it has been worded very strangely which is a possible sign it was written under duress. Dear oh dear. What will they dream up next? Talk about seeing what you want to see.

"Ooh look at how little she's blinking. That could be her way of saying 'I'm in danger, please send help'. We must attack Iran now!"

Give me a break. I then happened upon someone called 'Patty' on A Tangled Web (a new recruit apparently who seems to be to the right of Andy McCann) and she wrote this charming bit of lunacy. I couldn't believe my eyes as I read this...

"I don’t blame Seaman Turney for her pathetic and illogical murmurings. I would do the same if I were in her shoes. She is either scared to death, or maybe suffering from Stockholm Syndrome."

I'm not even British but I will defend the poor woman as I find these remarks way out of order. Clearly Patty is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Patty, if you would do the same if you were in her shoes, why then do you find her "murmurings" to be "pathetic and illogical". Does that make any sense? By the way, irony alert - Patty labels this post of hers "Kidnappers are Friendly, Thoughtful and Compassionate!" Well they're more friendly than you it would seem!

Patty cleverly (not) wraps up with this question...

"If the kidnappers are so thoughtful and compassionate, why don’t they release all of the captives??"

Have you not followed the story, love? They're not releasing the captives because they claim they were illegally occupying their waters. Patty also blames the BBC for "reporting this PR stunt, without skepticism or judgment". Um, isn't that an example of good journalism? What do you want? Biased views? I don't know about you but I'm not a fan of Mr Vance's latest recruit!

It seems according to the British war hawks there can only be one of two possibilities regarding the video. The first is that the captives are being told how to act and behave, the second is that the captives have succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome. If it's the latter that must be a world record as I don't know how so many people could become victims of Stockholm Syndrome so soon! Permit me to present possibility three - that the Iranians are actually serious about getting to the bottom of all this and that they have actually been treating the British sailors well!

In recent hours it has emerged that the Iranians have offered to let UK officials have access to the sailors. The Iranian Foreign Minister has said the stand-off would be resolved if the UK admitted that the sailors and marines were in Iranian waters.

Not exactly the cold, brutal and uncaring attitude that some people would have you believe.

Obviously this is not an easy issue but it's nothing diplomacy can't fix. It is annoying to hear all these British figures, desperate for a bit of action, trying to increase tensions between the countries. This incident has been blown way out of proportion in my opinion.

The female sailor should be released soon and the other sailors will follow. In a week's time this story will be over and done with.

It's smooth sailing from here on in. Just ignore the storms.


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