Tuesday, April 3, 2007
When the Enemy Crosses the Line
When the British sailors and marines searched the suspicious ship off the coast of Iraq, it appears there was no backup standing by. The Iranian vessels that overwhelmed the British boats should have been confronted with the prospect of deadly force long before they ever reached their targets. If backup was available and it was not immediately dispatched, this is unacceptable. If there was no backup available at all, this is unforgivable.
Other British military personnel have been captured before under similar circumstances. Such a risk should have been expected in the contested waters of Iraq. At the very least, helicopter gunships should have been on station over the British boats. Any approach by Iranian ships could have been met with a burst of gunfire across their bows. Such strength would have surely deterred the Iranians. If it did not, then it would have been their misfortune to perish for such a criminal act.
The rules of engagement by Coalition forces are necessary to the degree that our military personnel are not put in mortal danger. When risk to life and limb is imminent due to an attack by anyone, nothing should prevent decisive, forceful action.
The Iranians are Persians with a history that indicates respect for power, but contempt for those who appear weak. While it is true that the British or the Americans could “erase” Iran with their military power, politically timid and indecisive acts will only embolden the Iranians and our other Islamic fundamentalist enemies.
We are waging war against barbarians who only respect strength. If they walk up and stare you in the eye, they must be met with equal intensity. If they decide to reach out and touch you, then they have crossed the line. The only way to deal with such aggressors is to completely and utterly crush them to the point of their surrender or death.
If the British Navy had provided the necessary support to its own military personnel, there would be no hostage crisis. Instead, we would be watching as wreckage from the Iranian boats and the bodies from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard continued to wash ashore.
SFC Chuck Grist