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The big news story today (21st September) tells of two SAS soldiers who were arrested by the Iraqi police in Basra and then, presumably because the Iraqi police force has been thoroughly infiltrated by Saddamist agitators, handed over to a local militia group.
It's an intriguing tale and, the SAS being the secretive organisation it is (and the British government being the secretive organisation it is) we'll probably never know all the facts.
What is apparent is the splendid reaction of the Commanding Officer of British forces in the area. Did he report the matter to his superiors and wait for instructions? Did he assume that the only possible course was a diplomatic one? Did he creep around the bent coppers in the usual politically-correct softly-softly touchy-feely manner?
Did he buggery. He said "Sod this for a game of soldiers. I'VE GOT TANKS!" and went and got the squaddies out.
Lord knows what the repercussions will be. No doubt he'll have set British-Iraqi relations back by several years. But what the hell - wasn't it fun? He can park his tank in my driveway any day.
I suppose it's a good thing the two men were British soldiers and not American. Can you imagine the mess the Yanks would have made of it?

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