Thursday, April 05, 2007

British Sailors Fly Home with Iranian "Goody Bags"

The New York Times relates that,
Fifteen Royal Navy personnel detained at gunpoint in the Gulf were heading home to Britain today, seated in business class on a British Airways flight from Tehran with shiny new suits and goody bags filled with traditional Iranian gifts.
"Goody Bags"? "GOODY BAGS"????????

And "shiny new suits"?

I should think that they ought to have prefered to wear their British uniforms and, as for the "goody bags," they ought to have dropped them into the nearest trash recepticle as a token of their esteem.

I have so much respect for the British government and the British people. They have been time and again the last bastion of civilization in Europe and our closest and staunchest ally in just about everything you could name. Yet today I am of two minds.

One part of me wants to laugh at the image of these kidnapped British sailors smiling and waving and carrying on with handshakes and "thank yous" and videotaped confessions and apologies made to the representatives of a government who were using and abusing them of every conceivable legal right and stripping them of every shred of human dignity that they could get. The Onion could not have come up with a scenario such as this. National Lampoon could not have come up with a cast of such wild and crazy kids as these seemingly air-headed sailors turned out to be.

The other part of me just wants to cry. Is this the best that Britain has to offer? Who trained these young men and woman? Do I feel safer knowing that these are the modern representatives of what was once the greatest navy in the world? Czn these possibly be the progeny of Lord Horatio Nelson who gave his right eye at Corsica, his right arm at Tenerife, and his life at Trafalgar.

These 15 British sailors will never find themselves honored with a state burial in St. Paul's Cathedral. But they do have their "goody bags."