Friday, April 06, 2007

British Sailors Say, " We were in Iraqi Waters"

Fourteen days, 15 British Royal Marines and Sailors were held captive by the government of Iran. the Iranians claim the crew aws in Iraian territorial waters. The boundary itself is in dispute, but it cannot be denied that since 1975, Iran has not challenged the boundary as expressed by the British government and the international maritime community. Iran committed an act of piracy, and act of war. Fortunately, actors in Iran convinced those in control that nothin could be gained from holding the kidnappees any longer.

From CNN -

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The following is the full statement of the freed British sailors, read out by their two most senior members, Lieutenant Felix Carman, 26, and Royal Marine Captain Chris Air, 25.

"Yesterday we were reunited with our families after a 14 day ordeal that none of us will forget.

"On arrival at London Heathrow we were given the news that four UK servicemen and a civilian interpreter had been killed in Iraq. We would like to pass on our thoughts and condolences to the families of those who died serving their country.

"We would also like, as a group, to thank the staff of the British Embassy in Tehran and the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence for all their work in securing our release. We understand a great deal of effort has been going on behind the scenes to enable us to be returned to the UK and for that we are very grateful.

"We would also like to thank British Airways and London Heathrow for making our return so comfortable, quick and easy.

"Lastly I would like to thank the very many members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who have been working so hard over the last 2 weeks supporting our families and friends and for arranging our return to here."

Lt. Carman went on: "On Friday 23 March I along with 14 of my colleagues were part of a routine boarding patrol. We deployed from HMS Cornwall in two Rigid Inflatable Boats and patrolled into an area south of the Shatt Al Arab waterway. This was meant to be a routine boarding operation and followed approximately 66 similar such boardings over the previous four weeks.

"We approached an unidentified merchant vessel that our supporting helicopter had identified as worth investigation. We carried out a completely compliant boarding with the full cooperation of the Master and crew. The RM secured the vessel and the RN element of the boarding party then arrived and commenced a thorough search of the ship. This was in complete accordance with our UN mandate and as part of an International Coalition.

"We were equipped with Xeres true navigational equipment and hand held GPS for backup. The helicopter in support provided continuous navigational confirmation and we were also linked to HMS Cornwall who were monitoring our exact position at all times. Let me make it absolutely clear, irrespective of what has been said in the past, when we were detained by the IRG we were inside internationally recognized Iraqi territorial waters and I can clearly state we were 1.7 nautical miles from Iranian waters."

Capt. Air continued: "It was during the boarding that we noticed the helicopter had returned to 'Mother,' and we started calling the ship on VHF to find out why. A short while later two speed boats were spotted approaching rapidly about 400 meters away.

"I ordered everyone to make their weapons ready and ordered the boarding party to return to the boats. By the time all were back on board, two Iranian boats had come alongside. One officer spoke good English and I explained that we were conducting a routine operation, as allowed under a UN mandate.

"But when we tried to leave, they prevented us by blocking us in. By now it was becoming increasingly clear that they had arrived with a planned intent.

"Some of the Iranian sailors were becoming deliberately aggressive and unstable. They rammed our boat and trained their heavy machine guns, RPGs and weapons on us.

"Another six boats were closing in on us. We realized that our efforts to reason with these people were not making any headway. Nor were we able to calm some of the individuals down.

"It was at this point that we realized that had we resisted there would have been a major fight, one we could not have won with consequences that would have had major strategic impact. We made a conscious decision to not engage the Iranians and do as they asked. They boarded our boats, removed our weapons and steered the boats towards the Iranian shore."

Lt. Carman said: "On arrival at a small naval base, we were blindfolded, stripped of all our kit and led to a room where I declared myself as the officer in charge and was introduced to a local commander.

"Two hours later we were moved to a second location and throughout the night were subjected to random interrogations. The questions were aggressive and the handling rough, but it was no worse than that.

"The following morning we were flown to Tehran and transported to a prison where the atmosphere changed completely. We were blindfolded, our hands were bound and we were forced up against a wall. Throughout our ordeal we faced constant psychological pressure.

"Later we were stripped and then dressed in pajamas. The next few nights were spent in stone cells, approximately 8ft by 6ft, sleeping on piles of blankets. All of us were kept in isolation.

"We were interrogated most nights, and presented with two options. If we admitted we had strayed, we would be on a plane back to the UK soon. If we didn't we faced up to seven years in prison. We all at one time or another made a conscious decision to make a controlled release of non-operational information.

"We were kept in isolation until the last few nights when we were allowed to gather for a few hours together, in the full glare of Iranian media.

"On day 12 we were taken to a Governmental complex, blindfolded and then given three piece suits to wear. We watched the president's statement live on TV, and it was only then that we realized we were to be sent home.

"It goes without saying that there was a huge moment of elation. We were made to line up to meet the president, one at a time. My advice to everyone was not to mess this up now -- we all wanted to get home.

"Afterwards -- and still blindfolded -- we were taken back to the hotel and for the first time met with UK representatives including the ambassador before boarding our flight back to Heathrow."

Capt. Air added: "In the short time we have been back we have not been able to see all that has been broadcast or written about our ordeal. We are aware that many people have questioned why we allowed ourselves to be taken in the first place and why we allowed ourselves to be shown by the Iranian authorities on television.

"Let me be absolutely clear, from the outset it was very apparent that fighting back was simply not an option. Had we chosen to do so then many of us would not be standing here today. Of that I have no doubts.

"The Iranian Navy did not turn up lightly armed; they came with intent, heavy weapons, and very quickly surrounded us. We were equipped, armed and had rules of engagement for boarding operations within Iraqi water.

"We were not prepared to fight a heavily armed force who it is our impression came out deliberately into Iraqi waters to take us prisoner. Reasoning with the Iranians was our only option. We tried. We did our utmost to de-escalate the situation, but our words fell on deaf ears. They had come with a clear purpose and were never going to leave without us.

"The Iranians are not our enemies. We are not at war with them. Our rules of engagement at that time stated that we could only use lethal force if we felt that we were in imminent danger of a loss of life. By the time the true intent of the Iranians had become apparent - and we could have legitimately fought back - it was too late for action.

"We were completely surrounded, and in addition to the loss of life, any attempted to fight back would caused a major international incident and an escalation of tension within the region. Our team had seconds to make a decision and we believe that we made the right decision. We still believe this was the right thing to do."

Lt. Carman went on: "Some have questioned why HMS Cornwall did not provide greater protection for the team. HMS Cornwall is there to guard the vital oil platforms and command the coalition forces. She is also the platform by where boarding teams can launch from and patrol out. Not only should she not have been closer to us but she physically could not have been, the water is simply too shallow. We are all immensely proud to be members of her crew and look forward to rejoining her.

"I would just like to stress three points at this stage:

"When taken by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard we were well inside Iraqi territorial waters.

"The detention was clearly illegal and not a pleasant experience.

"We as a group held out for as long as we though appropriate. We then complied up to a point with our captors.

"We remain immensely proud of our team. Their courage and dignity throughout their illegal detention was in line with the best tradition of the service.

"Throughout our ordeal we have tried to remain very much a team. No one individual should be singled out but we are now very aware of the special treatment singled out to Faye Turney. Faye is a young mother and wife. She volunteered to join the Royal Navy and is very proud to continue to serve. She is a highly professional operator and we are incredibly proud to have her as part of our team.

"The fact she is a woman has been used as a propaganda tool by Iran. This is deeply regrettable. She is coming to terms with what has happened to her and not only Faye and her family but all of us are finding the press focus very uncomfortable and difficult and specifically request that you give all of us the space and privacy we need when we return to our homes."

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Global War on Terror Banned Out of Existence

The Global War on Terror never flowed trippingly off the tongue of anyone who used the term, but at least it was an inclusive name. And that was probably the reason the House Armed Services Committee has banned its use in the 2008 defense budget.

This is not because the war has been won, lost or even called off, but because the committee’s Democratic leadership doesn’t like the phrase.

A memo for the committee staff, circulated March 27, says the 2008 bill and its accompanying explanatory report that will set defense policy should be specific about military operations and “avoid using colloquialisms.”

The “global war on terror,” a phrase first used by President Bush shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., should not be used, according to the memo. Also banned is the phrase the “long war,” which military officials began using last year as a way of acknowledging that military operations against terrorist states and organizations would not be wrapped up in a few years.

Committee staff members are told in the memo to use specific references to specific operations instead of the Bush administration’s catch phrases. The memo, written by Staff Director Erin Conaton, provides examples of acceptable phrases, such as “the war in Iraq,” the “war in Afghanistan, “operations in the Horn of Africa” or “ongoing military operations throughout the world.”

“There was no political intent in doing this,” said a Democratic aide who asked not to be identified. “We were just trying to avoid catch phrases.”
Of course there's a political motive involved. Since 9/12, the Democrats have tried to turn the clock back to 9/10, but they can't do it, the arrow of time only goes in one direction. So what they are doing now is redefining and rewriting the history of the the last several years. By eliminating the Global War on Terror, all the operations are disconnected, existing only as singular events which can be revoked piecemeal. Afghanistan and Iraq are not separate wars, they are battles in the same war, just as the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle for Guadalcanal were battles in the same war.

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House puts it thus:

Now apparently, the Democrats have simply abandoned the idea of a general war at all and will pigeonhole each operation as separate and unrelated to any other operation underway around the world.

This is the culmination of nearly 6 long years of work by Democrats to banish 9/11 as a seminal date in history; that America was a different place after the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans than it was before.

And the reason the Democrats have been so anxious to change the dynamic regarding the “War on Terror” is shockingly political; they see a huge advantage accrue to the Republicans as a result of the attacks on this country and have been seeking for 6 years to destroy that advantage. Despite a transparent attempt to change the narrative of 9/11 to reflect badly on the President, to this day the President’s performance on 9/11 and the days following is seen as the highlight of his presidency by the majority of Americans. Unable to undermine history by substituting their own cockeyed narrative of the events on that day and immediately after, the Democrats are doing the next best thing; they are trying to remove the impact of 9/11 on our military and foreign policy and the subsequent decisions made by the President to fight Islamic radicalism all over the world.
The enemy doesn't have a problem with a global terror war. USCentCom reports an April 4 posting to a jihadi website had this notice:

"After a long absence by the shaykh of mujahidin, whom we have missed as well as his speeches, some news is being leaked indicating that Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, God protect and preserve him and make him a thorn in the throat of the enemies, will make an appearance. The news indicates that Al-Sahab Media Establishment, which specializes in publishing Al-Qa'ida leaders' speeches, has recently finished producing a video featuring Bin Ladin's speech to the entire Islamic nation."
The US Central Command continues -

Furthermore, the poster of this note maintains that the speech includes several messages to the "mujahidin" in Iraq, the Palestinian People on " the capitulation choice which HAMAS gave in to," the Riyadh Arab summit, the "fears" of America and its allies of the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate state in Iraq, and the "good tidings of victory in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The bad guys are comfortable talking about conducting a global terror war which includes Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, and ordering the assassination of the Dalai Lama. The terrorists even tell us about their intention to establish the "Islamic Caliphate state is Iraq", i.e., the center of the future Islamic world empire is Iraq. It is to block the establishment of a caliphate in Iraq is one of the reasons we are currently in Iraq.

The words can be changed till hell freezes over. But the terrorists will still know their goals and the appeasers around the world will never get.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

War Was Averted - For Now

'We Gathered Intelligence'
Updated: 22:05, Thursday April 05, 2007

The captain in charge of the 15 marines detained in Iran has said they were gathering intelligence on the Iranians.

Sky News went on patrol with Captain Chris Air and his team in Iraqi waters close to the area where they were arrested - just five days before the crisis began.

We withheld the interview until now so it would not jeopardise their safety.

And today, former Iranian diplomat Dr Mehrdad Khonsari said if the Iranians had known about it, they would have used it to "justify taking the marines captive and put them on trial".

Captain Air and his team were on an 'Interaction Patrol' where their patrol boats came alongside fishing dhows.

The operation was mainly to investigate arms smuggling and terrorism but Captain Air said it was also to gain intelligence on Iranian activity.

Home after their ordeal - the sailors land back in Britain He told Sky Correspondent Jonathan Samuels: "Basically we speak to the crew, find out if they have any problems, let them know we're here to protect them, protect their fishing and stop any terrorism and piracy in the area," he said.

"Secondly, it's to gather int (intelligence). If they do have any information, because they're here for days at a time, they can share it with us.

"Whether it's about piracy or any sort of Iranian activity in the area. Obviously we're right by the buffer zone with Iran."

The UK Defence Secretary Des Browne told Sky News it was important to gather intelligence to "keep our people safe".

He said: "Modern military operations all have an element of gathering intelligence.

"We need to understand as much as we can about the environment we operate in and intelligence gathering is an every day part of that."

He added: "The UN mandate would clearly empower the military taskforce to gather information about the environment in which they were working."

Captain Air said that fishing dhows had been robbed by Iranian soldiers on a number of occasions.

"It's good to gather int on the Iranians," he said.

Fifteen sailors and marines were taken captive nearly two weeks ago after the Iranian government claimed they had strayed into their waters.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Islam Knows Not Shame

The Islamic war on Buddhism goes on. Believe it or not, Buddhism is even more hated than Judaism because Buddhisn is essentially an atheist religion. There is no godhead; there is no untimate superior being; there is only man. Dhammajarat, the pen name of a Buddhist writer, told FrontPage Magazine of an experience in under the boughs of the holy Maha Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, one of the most sigificant sites in all of Buddhism.

“Allahu Akbar”! The tinny P.A. system tore asunder the pre-dawn peace and quiet.

I was jolted in my mind, almost like experiencing a car wreck, suddenly and without any warning. This totally incongruous sound intruded upon and encompassed everything, causing even the birds to rustle in the darkness.

It was just after 4 a.m. I was seated underneath the holy Maha Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, in the state of Bihar in India. It was a few days past the full moon of May 2004, a few days past Veesak. This was my second visit to this unparalleled location, the site of the Lord Buddha’s attainment of full Enlightenment over 2,500 years ago. Now, towards the end of my 10 day stay, I had applied for and been granted the great honor of permission to spend the night within the Maha Bodhi compound.

My plan was to spend the entire night practicing seated meditation, walking meditation, and circumambulation of the great Maha Bodhi Stupa. The air was warm and my practice was going very well as I alternated between the three practices, as the hours passed.

The beautiful waning full moon light filtering through the glistening leaves of the Maha Bodhi Tree, the soft fluttering of the leaves, the serene quiet, took me back to that time long ago when the Buddha himself had sat very near this same exact spot.

Or so I thought…….

The mussein’s call to prayer for the faithful of Islam, here in this most sacred location to all of Buddhism, ripped me back to modern reality. I was stunned! How could this be? Here in one of the most significant spots of Buddhism, loud speakers come on at four in the morning every day, to shock and intrude upon meditators and Buddhist practitioners using this spot for that which it has to offer in its most special way?

How could this be allowed? It is…

The Muslim call to prayer seemed to go on and on…..20 minutes to a half-hour later, the scratchy recording thankfully ended and quiet returned.

My concentration was thoroughly blown. Instead of following my breath, I found myself looking at the great distraction and paradox I had just experienced.

I thought about Mecca!

Could any other religion intrude itself there in the holiest of places to Islam, as the tenets of Islam had so intruded itself here in the holiest place of Buddhism?

No way! I could imagine immediate death being visited upon anyone that would even try – that is, if they would be admitted anywhere close to the Muslims’ holy Kabah – let alone be allowed to set up a loud public address system that would broadcast the message of another religion across the courtyards of the Grand Mosque, or any other Moslem religious site. The hypocrisy was astounding.

After awhile, I ceased to be so shocked and began to calm down. I began to see that this was merely a continuation of a long and sad trespass against Buddhism perpetrated by the faith of Islam.

In my previous visits to India, I had visited every site that was specific to the actual life of the Lord Buddha. At every location the pattern was the same: Just the partial foundations remaining of what had once been great Stupas or elaborate religious universities of Buddhist learning and practice. Even the place of the Buddha’s birth had been destroyed and buried, with modern day excavations only now giving some restoration.

I had learned from guides on location, and then from further studies once I returned home, that these locations had all been laid to waste in the early Moslem invasions of India, starting in the 900’s by Turkic hordes issuing forth from what is now Afghanistan, and continuing for over a thousand years until the Mughal era. A prolonged and calculated assault, an assault designed to wipe an entire belief, an entire religion, off the face of the Earth. The long history of Islam, being spread by the sword and by fire, had left its indelible mark on these wonderful peaceful, harmless, legacy sites of Buddhism.

I learned how the monks and nuns and religious students were slaughtered without mercy and piled up and burned, and all terrified survivors were driven like dry leaves before a strong wind, out of the region of India entirely, wherever this Islamic wind blew.

I was told this is how Buddhism actually came to Tibet and Southeast Asia, by Buddhists fleeing for their lives! My faith had been rendered a refugee faith via the tender mercies of Islam.

I learned how Islam was particularly unkind and brutal to Buddhists, because to Moslems the Buddhist represented the most reprehensible type of human personality: the “atheist” holding no monotheistic God image as their object of worship and veneration. We were worse even than the far more numerous Hindus, with their vast pantheon of multiple gods. The Buddhists, to the Muslims, only worshipped the image of a man, and no God higher.

Apparently they did not bother to look into the philosophies of Buddhism any more deeply. That was enough for the sword to come down and the fire to be applied. And so they have over the centuries until today.

I remember, some years back, before the gripping situations that we face today had quite come in to focus for many of us, I followed the story of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan, in sad and war torn Afghanistan. The Russian war was over, and the rein of the Taliban was in full force, but they were not content to merely rule the people with an iron hand by the strictest applications of Sharia law. They had to physically erase the “infidel” past, as well.

I remember shedding tears as I saw the footage of those magnificent Buddhas, the tallest ancient statues in the world, being reduced to rubble by explosive charges and artillery shells. I remembered hearing on the news footage, that same cry of “Allahu Akbar!” – as the dust of Bamiyan settled to reveal the emptiness of the destruction. The same cry that destroyed my meditative absorption under the Bodhi Tree.

Now, I pray we never hear this call in this our home, America. Not until and unless Islam totally and completely reforms itself after over a thousand years of ravaging and sweeping all others before it.

I feel, through my direct experiences of it, that Islam has not changed its ways in the least. In fact it has become more aggressive now than at any time since its period of greatest expansion in the 900s to the 1200s. “Modern” Islam seeks to return humanity to those very same times – a revival of the dark ages of Islamic slaughter, mayhem, and pillage – all in the name of Allah.

We Buddhists must realize that we, and our cherished practices, would be swept away entirely and crushed utterly, should Islam ever gain ascendancy in this world in which we live. Islam is the only belief that propagates itself thus – by the sword.

And it is very patient.


The Maha Bodhi temple was built in 200AD-600AD. The Bodhi Tree was grown from a branch from a branch of the original bohdi tree under which the Buddha sat when enlightenment came to him. Muslims of the religion of peace and tolerance hacked the original bodhi tree bits. Because the tree is propagated through cuttings, the tree grew back many times over to the consternation of the Muslim barbarians.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Kill the Dalai Lama, orders bin Laden

The Dalai Lama told The Daily Telegraph, a year ago that if al-Qaida head guy Osama bin Laden were killed, the resulting hatred would create ten more just like him. Terrorists should be treated humanely, he added.

Now, Osama bin Laden wants the Dalai Lama dead. Bin Laden, says the Australian, has recently denounced "pagan Buddhism" and is including the generally peaceful philosophy in his war plans against anything non-Islamic. Involved in nearly every terrorist attack in India, Lashkar-e-Toiba is believed to be al-Qaida's franchise in South Asia. The assassination threat is probably based on the extremist jihadi movements hatred of everything and everyone not enslaved to Allah, the Muslim god.

The Taliban and al-Qaida destroyed the two colossal statues of Buddha carved into the sandstone cliffs of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. It was done to eradicate any vestage of a foreign religion in an Islamic utopia envisioned by bin Laden.

The 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama to be the reincarnated manifestation of the Bodhisattva (Buddha) of Compassion, who has chosen to reincarnate in order serve the people. The assassination of the current Dalai Lama would be the continuation of the destruction of a religion and people by the Religion of Peace as preach by the pedophile, the Prophet Mohammad.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Heart Valves and Blood Types From the Lab

A human heart valve has been successfully grown outside of a human host, says a leading heart surgeon. The valve was produced by a British research team using adult stem cells.

Sir Magdi Yacoub, professor of cardiac surgery at Imperial College London, has worked on the process for more than a decade and has finally produced tissue that works the same as natural human heart valve tissue. If the animal testing scheduled for next year works out, thousands of people who suffer and die from heart disease will have an entirely new avenue of treatment options derived from their own stem cell tissue.

The stem cells are harvested from the patients own bone marrow. It is then placed on a special scaffold where it can grow into any organ or tissue replacement needed. Since the tissue is an exact match to the patient, the possibility of rejection of that tissue is eliminated. To date, researchers and doctors have grown tendons, cartilages, and bladders. And now heart tissue. The replication of entire hearts is only a matter of a few short years.

The Guardian

Blood types A, B, and AB can now be converted to type O, the universal blood type, is the news from Denmark. Dr. Henrik Clausen, of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark has discovered enzymes that can remove a molecule from the surface of A,B, and AB blood types. The research has been going on for more than twenty years.

The various blood groupings, types, are based on a protein molecule called agglutinogen. The agglutinogen is found on the surface of red blood cells. Blood types A,B, or AB will coagulate when mixed causing the patient to die. Blood type O does not react to the other blood types and is used when type specific blood is unavailable. The research original process could remove the surface proteins, but the large quantity of enzyme to protein made the process unworkable for mass usage.

The discovery by Clausens team of two previously unknown enzymes is important because only small amounts of the enzymes are required to convert the type specific blood groups to the universal type O. This makes the production of the life saving fluid far more economical and efficient. It's also hoped the discovery will improve the blood supply while enhancing the safety of clinical transfusions.

Nature Biotechnology, online April 1st, 2007, via Reuters UK.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.