Now as we're seeing the situation unfold in which British troops allowed themselves to be captured without a fight, read confessions on television and the British government has all but ruled out military action and is preparing to apologize, it's worth taking a look back at how US soldiers handled an Iranian abduction attempt.
"U.S. soldiers from the 5th Squadron 73rd Cavalry 82nd Airborne were accompanying Iraqi forces on a routine joint patrol along the border with Iran, about 75 miles east of Baghdad, when they spotted two Iranian soldiers retreating from Iraqi territory back into Iran. A moment later, U.S. and Iraqi forces came upon a third Iranian soldier on the Iraqi side of the border, who stood his ground.
As U.S. and Iraqi soldiers approached the Iranian officer and began speaking with him, a platoon of Iranian soldiers appeared and moved to surround the coalition patrol, taking up positions on high ground. At that point, according to the Army's statement, the Iranian captain told the U.S. and Iraqi soldiers that if they tried to leave they would be fired on. Fearing abduction by the Iranians, U.S. troops moved to go anyway, and fighting broke out. Army officials say the Iranian troops fired first with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, and that U.S. troops fell further back into Iraqi territory. American forces killed at least one Iranian soldier who had been aiming a rocket-propelled grenade at their convoy of Humvees."
Long before the Iranian abduction of British troops, the British presence in Basra had degenerated into allowing the Shiite Iranian backed death squads to do anything and everything they liked. While British commanders boasted as to how well they knew how to handle the natives, as opposed to the Americans, they left the area open to Sadr's forces.
When Sadr militamen killed British troops, the British stopped patrolling the streets.
When Basra residents demanded the expulsion of 'al-Sadr's people', British Major Ian Clooney said, "I can understand what the Iraqis are saying, but confronting violence with violence is not going to work."
Only when two SAS commandos were seized by Iraqi "police officers" answering to Sadr, did the British military use force to rescue them. The British demonstrated repeatedly that they would allow Iran to bully them. Iran has taken them at their word. Blair's pullout plan did not make violence against British forces less likely, but more likely. In a point that Westerners repeatedly refuse to comprehend, retreat in the Middle East makes you an easier target and who doesn't like taking on easier targets?