Saturday, March 24, 2007
A Bulldog No More
I'm English by ancestry, but American by birth. While I'm often very critical of the US federal government (rightfully so, say most), I remain a defender of the America that might be and ought to be. I'm a veteran of a short, not overly distinguished career in the US Navy, of which I'm proud. I've felt embarrassed for our Navy and the rest of our military on a very few occasions.
The first in memory was the USS Pueblo incident in 1968. It still seems like dereliction that a nearly unarmed naval vessel (two .50 caliber machine guns) was sent into potentially hostile waters with no backup. The Korea Navy captured Pueblo after some attempts to maneuver away, and some shooting by the Koreans, in which one American sailor was killed. It seems even worse that the government went to Korea hat-in-hand to "begotiate" for the return of the crew. The Pueblo remains in Korea to this day.
Next, (not including our politicians' blundering into and embarrassingly out of Viet Nam) was the Iran hostage event in 1979. President Carter stumbled around for over a year before newly-elected President Reagan finally brokered a deal to get the hostages released.
I know I've omitted an number of other politically-inspired blunders, many of which resulted in many innocent people being killed and maimed. All of them cost taxpayers a lot of money.
My British acquaintances could undoubtedly tell of many similar blunders committed by their government, though in recent decades, I doubt any of theirs reaches the size and scope of ours. I'm sure that many British folks have been killed, maimed, impoverished and embarrassed by the stupidity of their politicians.
I'm thinking that the capture of the fifteen Royal Navy sailors and marines by Iranian Navy "pirates" in the Persian Gulf falls into this category. The sailors and marines were attached to British frigate HMS Cornwall, and were patrolling in small boats when they were captured by the Iranians.
Tales from British history lead us to think that the Royal Navy isn't a force one should take lightly. Not the case any more, apparently.
I'd have thought that Cornwall would've blown the Iranian savages out of the water before they could capture the patrol boats, and then dropped a few bombs 'pon the nearest Iranian Navy base to teach them a lesson. Looks like Tony Blair is more of a yipping terrier than a bulldog.
Fitting everyone in Europe for burqas.