08.04.07

Osterfriede?

Nun haben wir also, vorgestern, die glücklicherweise freigekommenen britischen Soldaten bei einer live übertragenen Pressekonferenz (am Freitag) gesehen. Da war dann doch die Rede von verbundenen Augen und gefesselten Händen und davon, dass die einzige Frau Faye Turney (die selbst nicht vor die Kameras trat) von den anderen isoliert wurde, man ihr zuerst sagte, die anderen seien nicht mehr im Iran. Natürlich waren die "Entschuldigungen" für den Aufenthalt in iranischen Gewässern nicht so gemeint gewesen bzw. unter psychischem Druck entstanden.

Erwartungsgemäss weist der Iran diese Pressekonferenz als Propaganda-Inszenierung zurück. Zwar gab es am 6. April keinen US-Angriff auf den Iran (den manche Quellen befürchteten, aber eben nur manche, sodass zu hoffen war, dass es nicht Ernst wird), doch ging der Ölpreis dennoch gerade aus Kriegsangst in die Höhe. Zur Kritik, dass der Iran Faye Turney als Mutter und einzige Frau unter den Gefangenen gezielt vorführte, wäre noch anzumerken, dass biografische Details (wie die Existenz einer kleinen Tochter) erst von den Briten bekannt gegeben wurden, ehe dies geschah. "Let Mummy Go" war eine der Medienschlagzeilen in England.

Dass irakische Fischer wohl kaum allzu viele Informationen über iranische Aktivitäten im Golf preisgeben können, führt zur Annahme, dass die Mission der 15 BritInnen doch Spionage war (bei der nebenbei bemerkt auch Fischerboote als Tarnung verwendet werden). Ja, und wo waren sie wirklich? Craig Murray meint anhand des Fotos mit dem kontrollierten Schiff und dem GPS-Gerät mit sichtbaren Koordinaten, das überall abgebildet wurde, dass sich an dieser Stelle kaum so ein Schiff befunden haben kann:

On British nautical maps, 29 degrees 50.36 minutes North 048 degrees 43.08 minutes East is 100 yards above the low water line. That is to say it dries out at low tide. The vessel pictured by the MOD is a substantial merchant vessel. No captain of such a vessel would knowingly take his vessel to such a position, let alone anchor it there for two days. In fact legally those coordinates are on land.

As always, it is a bit more complex than that. British charts use the Lowest Astronomical Tide - that is the furthest the tide normally goes out in a year. So on British charts the vessel is 100 yards above the low water mark when the tide is at its lowest. US charts, which show a more normal low tide, show it as being just below the low water line. But that still puts it in very shallow water indeed.

Consider this. There is very little tide in the Gulf. The highest tidal range there is a vertical fall of only nine feet, and that is closer to the Arabian sea. Perhaps someone can find the draught of the Indian vessel when it left port (Lloyds List should have this). But it was laden with cars. I cannot conceive of it having a draught of less than twelve feet, possibly a good lot more. In short, unless I am missing something very important, it looks like it would be very hard to get that Indian vessel to those coordinates at high tide, and it would certainly ground at low tide, pretty well at any time of year.

Mit anderen Worten: selbst bei Flut konnte das Schiff kaum in die behauptete Position geraten, geschweige denn bei Ebbe. Kein verantwortungsvoller Kapitän würde dort fahren und erst recht nicht vor Anker gehen. Bei Antiwar.com wird inzwischen die Frage erörtert, ob der "Zwischenfall" ein Vorspiel des lange vorbereiteten Krieges gegen den Iran sein sollte: This entire incident has been extremely odd, alright, but it isn't the Iranians who made it so. The behavior of the captured Brits is what struck me as truly bizarre. After all, two of them went on Iranian television, and, standing in front of a map, pointed out precisely where they were picked up by their captors – in what are clearly Iranian waters. Their televised apologies, it's true, were a violation of the Geneva conventions, but we in the West are hardly in the best position to raise that issue.

Freigelassene/r Gefangene/r sein ist eine lohnende Angelegenheit, wie berichtet wird: The story of Faye Turney, 26, the only female among them, is expected to be the most lucrative. She could profit by as much as £150,000 from a joint deal with a newspaper and ITV. Freilich wird dies auch kritisiert, unter anderem von Angehörigen Gefallener: Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon Gentle was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in Iraq, said the MoD (Verteidigungsministerium) should not allow the servicemen to sell their stories. “This is wrong and I don’t think it should be allowed by the MoD. None of the parents who have lost loved ones in Iraq have sold their stories,” she said.

Want to Earn Ten Years' Salary? Get Captured!
schreibt Craig Murray in seinem Blog: There is so much that can be said about this turning of the Iran captivity into an extension of the Big Brother house. The most important thing to say is that it stinks. It is, of course, a merging of the propaganda of those who want war on Iran, with the moronic celebrity culture that made a star of Jade Goody. It is worth noting that the MOD have announced that the ex-captives will be "Advised" by MOD press officers in writing their stories, which will be subject to approval by their commanding officer, both the MOD, the ex-captives and the tabloids will have an interest in exaggerating the horror of their captivity.

It is worth remembering now that the senior officer with the party said explicitly at their press conference that they were not subject to mock execution. Despite the newspapers giving the impression they were blindfold all the time, one of them said that they had blindfolds put on when they were led to the toilet. I am sure it was all a horrible experience. Perhaps it is the confidence of having myself on several occasions had cocked weapons pointed at my head while I was in government service, including by drugged-up Sierra Leonean rebels, that lets me point out that it wasn't that terrible. In particular, it wasn't that terrible compared to the horrible deaths of eight British servicemen since these others were captured. Nobody is offering hundreds of thousands of pounds for the story of the families of the dead.

Während die britische Regierung Spannungen reduzieren will, möchte die USA verstärkt durch Luftpatrouillen über iranischen Basen provozieren. Inzwischen erklärt der von den USA im Irak gefangengenommene und nunmehr freigelassene iranische Diplomat Jalal Sharafi, er sei von der CIA gefoltert worden. Wer hat eigentlich das Sagen im Irak? Die USA, ist nicht nur Craig Murrays Antwort. Er hörte einen iranischen Minister im BBC-Interview zur Frage der im Irak gefangengenommenen Iraner sprechen: Interestingly he said that the Iraqi government had asked the US government, several weeks ago, to release the five Iranians captured by US troops. The US is "reviewing the request".

There could be no clearer illustration that the idea that Iraq has a sovereign government is a sham. That the Iraqi government is not able to stop the US, against its will, capturing and imprisoning foreigners on the territory of Iraq, is sufficient proof that Iraq remains a state under hostile occupation. How do those who claim that we are in Iraq under a UN mandate to assist the Iraqi government, square this with the exercise of physical force and deprival of liberty by US forces against the express will of the so-called government of the country?

Was bedeutet es für ein Land, ein von den USA besetztes Nachbarland zu haben? Tom Engelhardt und Noam Chomsky drehen den Spiess um und fragen sich, was wäre, wenn der Iran eine Invasion in Mexiko gemacht hätte. Sie entwickeln ein komplettes Szenario, durch das sich nachvollziehen lässt, wie die starke militärische Präsenz der USA im Golf (die noch zunehmen wird) samt aggressiver Rhetorik wohl auf die "unberechenbare" Führung des Iran wirken wird...

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