Today, he learned that some Marines from his beloved Blighty are being returned to Mother England -- not to be horsewhipped and tossed in the gaol until the sun sets on the British Empire, but to the joy and relief of their countrymen! Rather than celebrating the release of his fellow men -- acheived at the cost of no bloodshed -- the Derb -- who apparently didn't get the memo that if you ever criticize our men and women in uniform, you are a vile subhuman traitor -- is flipping out, calling the Marines "wimps" who displayed "cowardice" and should be court-martialed and given dishonorable discharges after a lengthy prison stay, if not actually executed: "I wouldn't shed a tear if some worse fate befell them."
The Derb, you see, believes that all soldiers should behave like G.I. Joe dolls -- that their first and only option confronted with any situation should be to unleash the fucking fury, and whip out their assault rifles, running up and down the picnic table going "Ackackackackack! Pew! Pew! KABOOOOOM" until all the other action figures are laying face down. It does not seem to have occurred to him that, when detained by Iranian forces, they might have actually been ordered by their commanding officers not to open fire on the representatives of a nation with which they were not at war. It does not seem to have crossed his mind that they would have looked to their superiors for instructions on how to behave, as every military man is trained to do. It does not appear to be in his universe of knowledge that the training manuals for soldiers in every country on earth do not read, on every page, for every situation, "KILL KILL KILL". It appears to have escaped his notice entirely that the British sailors were quite sensibly told by their commanders something along the lines of "Say, lads, rather than touching off an international incident for no good reason, what say we hang back and see what the top men have to say?", just as any soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines in any other country might do in the same situation. Lacking this somewhat obvious knowledge -- that the armed forces of a nation are trained military operatives who exist as part of an organized command structure and are not, in fact, Viking berserkers -- he goes on to make a lot of statements that are, to put it mildly, asinine:
It is the job of a Royal Marine to fight, and if necessary suffer and die, for his country. They know that when they go in. It's what they are told!
Indeed it is, and that argument would be applicable if they were captured, say, during the course of a naval assault upon an enemy nation in which their commanders ordered them not to surrender. Unfortunately, none of the words in that clause even remotely applied here, so the whole statement is totally irrelevent. Next?
I nurse a quiet hope that if put to the test, I would stand up as well as any Marine. Whether or not I would, however, is irrelevant. Whether or not I could stand up well to torture, I expect Marines to.
The Derb can't resist a chance to imply that he, a doughy 62-year-old math nerd, is very possibly tougher than a Royal Marine. Again unfortunately for his argument, there is no evidence that the sailors were tortured, so this argument is also irrelevant and merely serves as an example of this impotent stooge playing big-dick.
The girl sailor had that headscarf on within hours. From what I've heard of torture, even weaker cases can hold out for a few days.
What the Derb has heard of torture could fill a thimble and still have enough space for what he knows of everything else. Everyone from professional interrogators to 24 says that everyone breaks under torture, and even "mild" tortures like waterboarding cause CIA spooks and U.S. Marines to beg for mercy after an average of 20 seconds. But again, since no torture took place, this is just an irrelevancy introduced by Derbyshire to paint the troops he and his Keyboard Kommandoes always claim to admire and honor as chickenshit -- and dig the barely disguised misogyny, as the chides the "girl sailor" for failing to withstand the imaginary torture for even as long as "weaker cases"!
In any case, a trained soldier will have been instructed that these Iranian fanatics are without any scruples.
Really? Is that in the standard-issue handbooks for British sailors? Is it right after the part about how to tie a sheepshank? "SECTION 184.108.40.206.A: PROPER DISPOSAL OF DRAINED OIL CANNISTERS; SECTION 220.127.116.11.B: HOW IRANIAN FANATICS ARE WITHOUT ANY SCRUPLES."
It should be assumed that everything the Iranians say is a lie. If they say: "Do this, and we won't harm your mates," and you do it, they will harm your mates anyway. Of course, this kind of truth is much harder to get across to young people who have been brainwashed from elementary school to believe that their own culture is corrupt, evil, and false, while the cultures of Third World barbarians are morally superior...
The fact that the sailors were certainly acting on -- or at least waiting for -- orders from their superiors, again, does not seem to have occurred to the Derb. So he constructs an imaginary world where the Iranians are like the sneering, buck-toothed "NO MORE SERGEANT!" Chinaman of a Jack Webb propaganda film, and the Brits are sniveling, weak-willed Neville Chamberlain types, softened up by multiculturalism and university postmodernism. In Derbworld, the soldiers are made of plastic, the rules of engagement are written on clouds of gossamer, and all claims of supporting the troops are inscribed on a big stinking British turd.