Beyond the call of duty

Richard Davis
Marquette University (PhD)
In April, 2007, 15 Royal Navy sailors and marines were taken prisoner and held hostage for nearly two weeks by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Their crime? Allegedly crossing over into Iranian waters. Within 48 hours a British sailor was plastered all over Iranian TV publicly confessing that the Britons were entirely at fault in the matter. Another sailor wrote a letter—no doubt under some duress— calling for the UK to withdraw all of its troops from Iraq. Then to cap things off, the British soldiers were paraded in front of the Iranian President, where they gave him a big “thumbs up” before being allowed to go home. If you were one of the captives, what would you have done? Would you have cooperated with your captors? Or would you have resisted them, possibly putting your own life at risk? Not surprisingly, the British people recoiled in shame. As one commentator put it, “The honorable thing would have been to renounce their coerced behavior, denounce the Iranians’ use of them for propaganda, and acknowledge that anything they endured was nothing..
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