Take Down The Union Jack and Raise the White Flag

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We all much of last week worried — commenting, anticipating and praying for a group of British Royal Marines and sailors that were held hostage by Iran, and ultimately released 13 days later.

There’s no questioning that we — I, and the ubiquitous they — are all ecstatic that the 15 servicemen and woman are back home. But, why is it that we all feel a little used and embarrassed, with many saying, “Uhhh?” I certainly cannot speak for anyone else on this, or any other issue, but for me, this is about capitulation, giving up, no mas, waving the white flag … all in a time of war.

Let us review (and there will be a test). Fifteen British Royal Marines were patrolling 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters. This little fact is important, as Iran will and does claim that the Brits were in its waters. At first, Iranian rubber boats approached the British rubber boats in a friendly manner. Then, in a less friendly manner, they challenged the Brits, pointed guns at them and took them hostage.

Now, how do we know all this? Well, for sure the Iranians told us, but we first got word of this from the Brits themselves, who had a destroyer-sized boat and armed helicopters right there on the scene. But, hold on, it gets better — the captain of the HMS Cornwall, a boat as big as a building, whose job it is to protect the Royal Marines and sailors, was required to ask permission to interfere in the hostage taking.

Yes, that’s right; he had to ask permission. The captain called London and said, “Mother may I” protect the British Marines? And, London said, “NO.”

The nation from which our great country was born, a nation that is our strongest ally in this war (or at least was) refused to protect its soldiers … why am I not surprised?

Is it any wonder then that the Royal Marines, members of a once storied and impressive combat unit, fully cooperated and went on television in support of the Iranians, because the Iranians made them uncomfortable? Hey, “brave” soldiers, go talk to your fellow soldiers from the SAS, who were held hostage in Iraq during the last war, or Americans held captive for years in North Vietnam or North Korea. Go tell them all how “uncomfortable” you were for 13 whole days.

Our British friends used to be made of sterner stuff. Their government went limp and turned its back on the rest of us. Iran has won yet again — there is no other way of looking at it. The Brits did not protect their soldiers, the soldiers capitulated over nothing more than the threat of violence and some minor discomfort, and we lost another battle in this war with terrorism and terrorist states like Iran.

All I can say is, I remember when you used to wave a white flag — it had to have some of your blood on it.

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Colonel David Hunt has over 29 years of military experience, including extensive operational experience in Special Operations, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Operations. Click over to buy a copy of his most recent book, "On the Hunt." You can read his complete bio here.