The Hostages: Winners and Losers

This was a big defeat for the Brits and a small defeat for the West.


1. The Mullahs

They showed that Brits – the “Little Satan” – can’t and/or won’t fight. And they got their terrorist back.

On Tuesday Iraq and America freed an Iranian “diplomat” they had been holding, and the next day Iran turned around and announced it would release the 15 royal marines it had been holding hostage.

2. The Islamic Fear States

No longer do these have to bear the humiliation of seeing thousands of their terrorists exchanged for the bodies of a few Israelis – now one Iranian equals 15 Brits.

3. The Falkland Islanders

The Argentinians can press for sovereignty over these folks, safe in the knowledge that the Brit military is now weak.

4. Brit Appeasers

They’re already crowing that appeasement works – they call it engagement, respect, and diplomacy. Which it does – until the crocodile has eaten all the others.


1. The Brit Military

Until this episode, it’s been a common Brit view that although the American military had the best equipment, the Brits had the best trained armed forces in the world. Now they know that at least their Navy is a disorganized rabble.

That disillusion is likely to lead to cuts in defense spending – why waste money?

2. Tony Blair

Red state Americans hate appeasement, and this episode showed Blair at his appeasing worst. This will hit his wallet- red staters were the biggest potential audience for lucrative lecture tours in his retirement.

3. The Royal Navy

The Brit Army and Air Force have performed competently in much more difficult situations than the one the Navy just fumbled. So in the brutal politics of inter-service budget rivalry, the Navy will lose out.

My guess it’ll lose it’s projected aircraft carriers – its rivals will jest “They’ll only give the bloody things to the Iranians!”.

The RN will also suffer externally – other navies will no longer rely on it.

4. Women in the Military

Whatever her excuses, the images of the captured woman wearing Arab submission dress, smoking immediately after surrendering, and whining on TV will remain etched in our memories.

5. Brit Pride

For a while at least, Brits will be treated with rather less respect by their Muslim immigrants, and by foreigners when abroad.

6. The US Administration

The administration’s biggest ally just showed itself to be a loser. Americans don’t respect losers, and contempt for the Brits will rub off on the president.


As previously noted, Brits have started all their modern wars with displays of world-class incompetence, then become efficient fighters after clearing out their incompetents.

Let’s hope they repeat that process.


3 Responses to The Hostages: Winners and Losers

  1. Jay says:

    “Americans don’t respect losers”

    I dunno if it’s quite that simple. Lots of events have winners and losers and that’s the way it goes – it’s how good a fight the loser puts up that determines respect, at least to an extent. An extreme example could be Patton’s attitude toward the Germans (losers) and the french (“winners”) in WWII.

    Of course in this case since no fight was put up at all . . .

    (or did you mean losers in the more generic sense of “what a bunch of losers”?)

  2. gandalf says:


    You’re right, it’s not a permanent loss.

    The Navy and its political masters just have to establish exactly what went wrong, then fix it.

    I don’t see the hostages as losers – just kids who were poorly trained and led. The losers are their chain of command.

  3. gandalf says:



    And of course I should have said Americans don’t respect people who don’t fight!

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