Meanwhile, Britannia no longer rules waves

As long as I’m on a naval-news kick today, this was in the Daily Mail — you know, the paper the "Paperback Writer‘s" character’s son worked for:

    Iran turned up the heat in the propaganda war with the West yesterday by parading a Royal Navy boat through Tehran.

    The boat had been captured in 2004 together with six Royal
Marines and two sailors in the Shatt al Arab waterway that divides Iraq
and Iran.

    To outrage in Britain, Tehran humiliated the servicemen by
parading them blindfolded on TV and forcing two to read out apologies
after alleging they had strayed into its territorial waters – claims
categorically denied by Britain.

    Yesterday Iran sought to embarrass Britain once again, trundling the boat through the capital raised up on the back of a lorry.

In the back of a bleeding lorry, of all things. This being too late for Jack Aubrey to conduct a cutting-out expedition to get it back (sorry, but I’m going to keep trolling until I find somebody who’s read those books), I suppose we and our special-relationship chums will just have to keep a stiff upper lip over it all.

Of course, it’s kind of pathetic that the Iranians are so proud to have captured something so small that a post captain’s coxswain would be mortified to see him riding ashore in it (yes, that was another esoteric stab in the dark). On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised were the Admiralty to ask the Cousins for some help in developing an anti-Ahmadinejad missile.

10 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Britannia no longer rules waves

  1. Gordon Hirsch

    Maybe the UK will take out Iran for us. Check out last week’s Economist, cover story “Has Iran Won?” The ayatollahs are feeling pretty smug these days, and for good reason. Blame it on the CIA.

  2. bud

    Britain’s decline started with WW I, continued with it’s failed occupation of Iraq and was completed with WW II. That’s about all war ever gets you, even when you win, a declining nation state.

  3. Gordon Hirsch

    Funny how perceptions differ, bud. I actually thought Britain won WWII, holding out against fascism where all Europe had failed, defying Nazi bombardments, and living to see the day when their singular bravery would be regarded with international respect. They may be faded, but in my mind the UK is still one of the world’s great civilizations. … Considering their matriarchal history and your love of Hillary (not to mention a love of cross-dressing), I’d have thought there’d at least be some sense of kinship on your part.

  4. Richard L. Wolfe

    Bud, I thought you were a big science and evolution type guy. The only thing going on in the universe is conflict and resolution. Don’t take my word for it ask the scientists, biology is all about war.

  5. Brad Warthen

    I’m sure bud misspoke. I’m sure he was just momentarily forgetting that getting-rid-of-Hitler stuff when he said “that’s about all war ever gets you.” Or maybe he thought the “about” part covered that.

  6. weldon VII

    “That’s about all war ever gets you, even when you win, a declining nation state.”
    Yeah, Bud, I guess Brad’s right. Surely you misspoke.
    I’m sitting here thinking how the Revolutionary War turned us into a declining nation state.
    Sooner or later, I guess. But here’s hoping we can ride the wave for at least another 230 years.

  7. bud

    Sure Britain was on the victorious side of World War II, World War I for that matter. As usual, everyone focuses on WW II in isolation of events that occured before then. But the real lessons should come from WW I. WW II was but an extension of the Great War. Everything has to be viewed in context. The nations of Europe did everything they could to bring about the events that led up to WW I. All the alliances and imperialistic occupations of Africa and Asia. Britain did more than it’s share to create an environment that was ripe for conflict. Then in the aftermath of the Great War the French and British continued to pursue imperialistic endevours, including the occupation of Iraq. The punitive nature of the Treaty of Versaille made the rise of Hitler and, to some extent, the war lords of Japan inevitable. So what we ended up with was a sequel to the Great War.
    Yes Hitler was a monster and if viewed entirely from the events of the 1930s the Brits had no choice but to defeat him. But by so doing they ended up spending enormous amounts of money and in the end their status as a world power ended forever. Had the nations of Europe understood the folly they were getting into in 1914 perhaps 100 millions lives would have been spared over the next 31 years.
    But now the Europeans are starting to get it. They understand that war can only bring about bad results. Killing and squandering of wealth cannot bring about a positive result. If only our leaders could understand that, then maybe we could move toward a less beligerent posture in the world. We’d be so much better off if we did.

  8. weldon VII

    Gee, bud, now I get it. Britain’s decline started when the redcoats lost the Revolutionary War.
    But the Brits still had enough in them during the ’60s to give us the Beatles and the Stones, not to mention a band of other bands, so I guess that was their revenge.
    That British invasion certainly worked economically. Last I heard, Sir Paul was worth $1.6 billion, and with British tax rates on upper income levels dwarfing ours, the Brits must certainly have had a boom in the ’60s.

  9. Gordon Hirsch

    “But now the Europeans are starting to get it. They understand that war can only bring about bad results.”
    Europe gets it, bud. That’s for sure. France may not fight, but it sure has hell knows how to sell bombs, jet fighters, nuclear technology, and assorted small arms to the Mideast, Africa, and Third World despots. Britain may be a shadow of its former self, but they build some awesome warplanes and warships, mostly for export. Italy’s weaponry exports topped a billion dollars last year; Belgium still makes some of the world’s best firearms, en masse; and even rinky-dink Spain makes a point of selling arms to just about any country we embargo, such as Venezuela. It’s a nice market niche for them.
    So don’t give us this peace-nik crap about Europe, please. They’ve proven over and over again that they’ll sell anything to anybody with the cash to close a deal.

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