"They took everything from me apart from my knickers. Then some cotton pyjamas were thrown in for me to wear and four filthy blankets. The metal door slammed shut again."
So says Leading Seaman Faye Turney, youngest of the recently released Royal Navy personnel from Iranian captivity.
Let’s be quite clear about this most recent episode of one-upmanship between the Islamic world and the secular western world. A term known as counting coup, which originates from the American early west, sits well with this situation. Iran is proving a point. That she, Iran, can reach out whenever and where-ever she wishes and touch the western world in a way which brings embarrassment and challenge. The taking of the Royal Navy personnel, whether or not they were in Iraqi or Iranian waters, is a clear challenge to the western occupiers of Iraq that Iran is not to be dismissed lightly.
Additionally, this episode has been a test of western resolve to maintain a given stance without appearing wishy-washy. Bannerman is afraid that Britain has failed that test. It’s been pretty much common knowledge that one or more Iranian diplomates have been held captive by coalition forces in Iraq for some weeks now. The Iranian ’counting coup’ episode seems aimed directly at achieving the release of those persons. Scuttle-butt says that the desired end has been achieved. Western news services have been reporting such in the lead-up to last week’s release of the RN and Marine personnel, even though Britain denies this is the case.
To the Bannerman, this is yet another case of just why anything in the media concerning the Iraq-Iran sphere simply can’t be believed. Who’s telling the truth here? Iran? Great Britain? Bannerman noticed that even ’Dubya’ weighed in at one stage, obviously on the coalition side. Who was in whose waters? Why would a small group of RN & Marine personnel be running around close to Iranian border precincts? Surely said personnel would be in a sizeable vessel, instead of what Bannerman presumes they were captured in – a zodiac-type boat. This detail was strangely missing from every news report. Funny that.’
And now we hear that Leading Seaman Turney is under scrutiny, as are the other 14 former captives, for presumably ’selling’ their stories to the british media. Bannerman says let ’em! Why shouldn’t the media be made to pay, and pay well for a real inside scoop? Of course, there is the ever present chance that something which wasn’t meant to slip out, might just do that. Freedom of speech?!! Freedoms of the press?!!
No, dear reader, very little of what we read, see and hear these days is acceptable at face value. One thing is very certain though. We are most definitely not being told the truth of the matter, whatever the matter might be.