My tuppence on the Iran Sailor Stories

Tuesday, 10th April 2007 at 9:00 UTC 3 comments

Well, I’ve been avoiding weighing in on this situation for some time, as I felt it was worth stepping back and seeing how it would pan out, and also as I felt there was little I could say. However, now we’ve come to the point where, Thank God, they’re free, back home and able to tell us what happened, sadly things have taken a turn for the worse…

First of all, I want to respond to those who think they shouldn’t sell their stories because they didn’t ‘pay the ultimate price’. First, I’ll want that clarified again when one of the 15 commits suicide. Given how many ex-service personnel do, its a fair bet one of them will. I once had a chat with someone who argued that rapists should be given tougher sentences than murderers. She had a point: at least murderers don’t leave their victims to relive the memories over and over for the rest of their lives. For all the images of the men playing pool now being released by the Iranian government, we should assume that these are scarred people.

Secondly, there seems to be some issue being made over the fact they’ve admitted to crying themselves to sleep. Apparently admitting this is humiliating. I’m sick of the fact that we now live in a world where to show weakness, to be human and proud of it, is somehow humiliating.

One of the things I find most disgusting about armed forces is that they still force people (including, increasingly, women) to put on that “stiff-upper-lip”. I thought we were passed that; I thought we realised that crying in public is the true sign of strength. But oh no, no space for human reactions in the military. We’re defending an inhumane system, therefore showing humanity would just be illogical, I guess.   And besides, Blair never has the guts to apologise properly for anything, so its no surprise the amount of discomfort being shown by those in the government at the sound of personnel making their apologies known.

One thought that crosses my mind is to ask what the MOD thinks will happen if the true story gets out? Will people find themselves seeing the real face of life in the military, and decide not to sign up? Is that what they’re embarrassed about? And are those who feel this is being blown out of proportion worried that it will look like the UK military is losing its touch as the global bully’s chief side-kick?

Anyhow, that’s about all my thoughts for now. Sorry they’re a bit rant-ish and probably made little sense.  I’m not exactly feeling 100% today, and there’s been no end of problems to sort out.


Entry filed under: Freedom, Iran, Peace, Politics.

Activist Dead in Argentina Where has the internet gone?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Helen  |  Friday, 13th April 2007 at 13:49 UTC

    I personally think it was a mistake to let them sell their stories in the first place, we’ve never done it previosuly so why now. If there is a need to tell the truth over what happened then they should be allowed to do it but there shouldnt need to be money involved.

    Also everyday people in the military have things that probably could be reported as stories but they don’t feel the need, they just get on with the job in hand. People each day are losing colleagues but still they go back to work, the world is never interested in that. People are only interested when they can lay blame with the armed forces or the government, theres no mention to the good work thats being done.

    And as for your point about what the MOD are hiding, there not hding it. When you sign up its quite apparent what you put yourself forward for and the risks you face. Its not like their pretending its all fun and games with no chance of dying. I think the country should have more respect for the people who go out everyday and do these jobs, without complaint rather than just permenantly criticise them and accuse them of just being there to kill people.

    It certainly hasnt reduced my interest in signing up once ive graduated.

  • 2. Helen B  |  Friday, 13th April 2007 at 21:59 UTC

    Er, oh, I was starting to write a response on this, and now I’m confused; the above Helen isn’t me, she’s someone else! (As you probably guessed from the graduation comment – I’m a graduate!) But it was me who commented on your “Blair shut up” post.

    Anyway, I agree with what you said about the stiff upper lip thing. Apparently seeing them together and looking cheerful reflected badly on the military.

    I am all a bit confused by it all. Was the objection to telling their stories, or specifically, selling them? I can’t understand all the fuss – it’s fairly obvious what went on anyway from the very out of character letters LS Faye Turney had to send etc.

  • 3. Graham Martin  |  Saturday, 14th April 2007 at 1:11 UTC

    There seems to be some implication that somehow the Armed Forces came into disrepute through the stories, which I really don’t get. I can sort of get why people feel hard done by seeing others sell their stories, but surely that’s just as good a reason for letting everyone do it.
    We need to know whats going on in our armed forces (save critical details which could get people killed), we need to be able to see that the modern battle field is no less filthy than it ever has been, and we need to know about the struggles these people are facing. It might not be in the ‘national’ interest to publish these stories, but its definitely in the interest of everyone one of us who value human life.


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