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A Question For Our British Readers

Ever since the British sailors were released, MSNBC's "military expert" — Colonel Jack Jacobs — has been on the air relentlessly calling them "stupid," "disreputable" and "dispicable."  Yesterday without knowing any of the details of what went down from the hostages themselves,  he said that if it had been him, they never would've taken him alive (funny, I didn't know Britain was at war with Iran, the things you miss).

Today the sailors reported that when they first entered the prison, they "were put up against the wall, hands bound, blindfolded, and  people were cocking weapons in the background."  They also said they were under orders not to engage in force unless they were in imminent danger.  To which Jacobs said:

JACOBS:  I think it was really despicable to say that the real reason that they didn't act honorably is because a) they were scared, and b) they wanted to go home, both of which they said.  All it did was solidify in my mind  — and by the way in the minds of many people I know who have  worn the uniform of this country — that these people acted dishonorably.  Very dishonorably.  

Jacobs goes on to say that "no American" would have done what they did, and then Noron gets to the heart of his beef:

NORON:  And your bottom line, Colonel, your concern is that what they did essentially played into  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's PR stunt.

JACOBS:  Now there's an international incident that could have been avoided by acting professionally and appropriately.  I'm very concerned about the Ministry of Defense parading these guys out in front of everybody, giving tacit approval of what they did.  It was very dishonorable from start to finish and I and a lot of people who wear the uniform are very concerned about it.

So there you have it.  Because they didn't Rambo-out, grip a knife between their teeth, jump the gunwales and fight to the death so George Bush could escalate his war with Iran, the British sailors are a big bunch of girls.

I understand that conservative British tabloids are saying much the same thing, but it's one thing to have your fellow countrymen saying something, it's quite another for the Administration to send out one of its shills to chide them for being sissies who just wanted to go home, particularly in light of the fact that four British soldiers were killed yesterday in and ambush in Basra — something nobody who wants to second guess the sailors seems to be mentioning.

So my question is, and I would really like to know — as a British citizen who has lost 140 of your fellow countrymen to George Bush's war of ego, how does it feel to have him sending his proxies onto TV to call your Marines a pack of cowards?

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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