Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kidnapping Sailors, the Prequel

The BBC reports that before the Iranian Navy had tried to kidnap British sailors, they tried it with Australians.

Iranian naval forces in the Gulf tried to capture an Australian Navy boarding team but were vigorously repelled, the BBC has learned. The incident took place before Iran successfully seized 15 British sailors and Marines in March. ...

The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched, aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be "highly colourful language".

Who swears, wins. Click more to get a sense of the attitude which the Iranians would have encountered.


Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Call me crazy, man, but I think the guns had something to do with it.


6/21/2007 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The story in The Australian went into a little bit more detail:

..."What I've been told by several sources, military sources, (is that) there was a similar encounter, in this case between the Royal Australian Navy and Iranian gunboats, some months ago, or at least some months prior to the seizing of the British sailors," Gardner said on ABC radio today.

"The Australians escaped capture by climbing back on board the ship they'd just searched. I'm told that they set up their weapons.

"No shots were exchanged but the Iranians backed off and the Australians were able to get helicoptered off that ship and they didn't get captured."

He did not mention the name of the Australian ship.

Australians ships rotate through duties in the Gulf, chiefly searching ships.

"What I'm hearing is that it was a pretty robust attitude by the Australians," Gardner said.

"The words that somebody said to me was that they used pretty colourful language but I'm sure that alone didn't make the Iranians back off.

"They reacted, I'm told, incredibly quickly, whereas the Brits were caught at their most vulnerable moment climbing down off the ship (and) getting into their boats."

Gardner said the British should not be embarrassed about the incident, but the issue was whether military intelligence had been passed on.

"The point of this story is not that the Aussies were fantastically brave and the Brits were a bunch of cowards, although I'm sure some people will interpret (it that way)," he said.,20867,21948930-601,00.html

Yep. That's pretty much how I intepreted it.

6/21/2007 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

"Blooming idiots" is more like it, I think. The Aussies were (and area)a fighting force. The Brits apparently were just there for show.


6/22/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Pax Federatica said...

So far everyone (including the BBC) has missed what may be the most remarkable aspect of this story: that after this incident Teheran didn't play victim and publicly accuse the Aussies of aggression against their vessel.

6/22/2007 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Four boats of Iranians vs. one boat of Aussies? Surely even a Persian can count well enough to understand that he'd be laughed off the planet if he claimed victimhood in that case.

To *me* the interesting thing is that we have now heard of the Iranians trying to kidnap Americans along the border (we shot back); Australians on the water (they cussed back); and British also on the water (they meekly went along). I think we have to assume there may have been many more of these incidents, but the question is, "why?"

I don't believe we've set loose those Iranians we took captive in Iraq several months ago, have we? So it doesn't appear to be for a prisoner exchange. And even a dumb Arab must know you're not going to get top-level information out of a foot patrol snatched from along the border.

Do they want the uniforms? The weapons? What?

Or just the amusement of being able to dangle their hostages in front of the world's TV cameras?

6/23/2007 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

nahncee, the harder-line Iranians want the captives in order to show the less hard-line iranians proof that the western forces arrayed in the gulf are only there for show. The best way (I can think of) to do that is to capture the crews in an act of war and let the lack of response from the west make your point for you.

6/23/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said... an act of war and let the lack of response...

I may be being really stupid, but this does not compute. If you're "in an act of war" doesn't that mean that you're shooting AT the Iranians? If there's a "lack of response", doesn't that mean you're NOT shooting at anyone?

What does "only there for show" mean? That just because we're blowing up terrorists from the air, on the ground, and from the ocean, we don't really mean it, so Iran doesn't need to worry?

6/23/2007 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Amir said...

I request MODERATORS to remove BELMONT CLUB's abuses against me

As long the abusive content against me online at will remain at the blog of Belmont Club, this blog of mine against them will continue as a protest. As soon that is removed, it will be removed accordingly.

Amir Ali Tayyab

6/26/2007 08:30:00 AM  

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