My tuppence on the Iran Sailor Stories
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.