Monday, April 02, 2007
The crisis that ain't. posted by Richard SeymourIran releases British servicemen! Sorry folks, that's from almost three years ago. It does go to show, at any rate, that in principle such problems can be solved with minimal fuss in the space of a few days, provided that no one wants to get a war going. Robert Tait mentioned it in a piece for Friday's Guardian but, although he does have some interesting things to say about British involvement in Iran (about which, see Ellis Sharp), it wastes this point in a narrative about popular distrust of Britain (ie the British state) in Iran.
Because this piffling matter could have been resolved in much the same low-key diplomatic way that it had before, and the fact that it hasn't been handled this way is, as Craig Murray points out indicative of the intervention of Number 10. The elevating torrents of claims to outrage from New Labour ministers is reaching a nauseating zenith. I don't know about you, but I think it became slightly less okay for the Prime Minister to evince disgust at the poor treatment of anyone when he became a mass murderer and an accomplice in torture. He has some moxie, this man, telling us that he is "disgusted" because 15 marines were shown on fucking television eating their dinner, because it's humiliating. When the British soldiers want to humiliate someone, they either knock them off, rape them, or beat the shit out of them. The Sun, for its part, has discovered the Geneva Conventions all of a sudden. They are eagerly furious, splenetic, on the verge of literacy, at the way in which the marines have been "paraded".
Now, as you all know, no one cares more about British soldiers than me. I have tried - God knows I have - to talk them out of this foolish debilitating condition. Try a different career, I say. Don't go and kill brown people for the British ruling class, it's bad and wrong. I don't wish, for all that you may do or have done, to see you get killed, I say. I urge them to seek expiation, hand their weapons over to the resistance and run like fuck back to Birmingham. My heart literally fucking bleeds for them, and I even hope that these marines arrive back in the UK quite soon with all their pieces intact. I will raise a hearty simper when they hug relatives on television screens and read out the propaganda scripts written for them by the Ministry of Defense. Yet, for all my human kindness - so such sour milk - I can't raise that much empathy for a bunch of hired thugs simply because they happen to be unwilling participants in an Iranian propaganda broadcast. There are worse fates. Try being a prisoner in the Bread Basket, or in Belmarsh come to that. Try being kidnapped by MI6 instead of the Revolutionary Guards - no fucking television specials in that. Try being buggered by military intelligence, stabbed with knives, hung, beaten and frozen. Try etc. (It's a monstrous fact that etcetera contains the worst of it).
Anyway, news is that the Americans are preparing to bomb this Friday, and it seems their warplanes have made incursions into Iranian air space. I wouldn't waste time poring over the Geneva Conventions if I were you - the news are certain not to broadcast any of the victims.