In what harks back to haunting images seen from Iraq, Korea and Vietnam of captured American POWs, Iran released chilling footage of 10 detained U.S. Navy personnel this week.
The video above, showing what is portrayed to be an unidentified American sailor, is an interview in English relating the events of the Americans falling into the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The American was calm and collected, even apologizing for the incident.
The footage was released by Iran’s Shargh Daily news service. Some while the sailors were in custody, some after they were repatriated.
An earlier video, shown below, shows two 52-foot U.S. Navy Riverine Command Boats surrounded by IRG armed speedboats. The 10 U.S. Sailors on their knees with their hands behind their heads and the muzzles of their boats’ crew served weapons pointed to the sky.
U.S. officials confirm the vessels, on a training mission from Kuwait to Bahrain, suffered mechanical issues close to Iranian territorial waters and drifted into the custody of IRG personnel.
As noted by the U.S. Naval Institute, the images are scaring.
Some blog posts are best put together with few words, but lots of pictures. Pictures matter. Pictures also need to be understood in each cultural context in which they are viewed.
Yesterday’s events that led up to the capture and release of our 10 Sailors will be better known in time, and is best reviewed then. That “how they got there” story is a very separate story than the more important story about what the Iranians did with the opportunity we gave them.
Think about not so much the view with your eyes, but with the eyes of those who do not wish our nation well; those who are on the fence, looking for the strong horse; those friends who lean heavily on their confidence in the great United States Navy.
Look and think about this part of the story – it will have much longer impact on our nation than the tactical details about how we got to the point where our flag was pulled down, our Sailors had their hands behind their heads, and from that sad view in the corner, our female Sailor appears to have been forced to wear a head scarf.
ویدئو: لحظه دستگیری ملوانان آمریکایی در حریم آبی ایران در خلیج فارس pic.twitter.com/KPAf3USGrA
— روزنامه شرق (@SharghDaily) January 13, 2016