Anyone Remember Basra?
So Two British Guys Walk Into a Prison in Basra...
If you have a black sense of humor, prepare for a barrel of laughs. If you are disgusted by how many innocent Iraqis and Americans have been killed, this might inspire homicidal rage. Caveat Emptor.
So first of all, that photo that opened up this article? You were never supposed to see it. As Jeff (thanks for the photo) Wells notes on Rigorous Intuition:
Reuters appended a note to each photo over the wire: "ATTENTION EDITORS - THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT REQUESTS THAT THE IDENTIFICATION OF THIS MAN IS NOT REVEALED, EITHER VIA PIXELLATION OF THEIR FACES OR BY NOT PUBLISHING THE PHOTOS."
No, no, no --- wait, it gets better.
Deus Ex Machina
So when two British Special forces guys got captured, after shooting at a police station, in a car full of explosives....and oh yeah, did I mention they might have been dressed like Arabs? Accounts vary, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that count, since after all, they were captured after shooting at police from a car, full of explosives. And after all, they're clearly not dressed as Arabs in the photo.
These two dudes got bailed out by a tank and a battalion of Special Forces troops. Here's the scoop off the AP wire, a hotbed of anti-Bush liberalism:
British forces using tanks broke down the walls of the central jail in the southern city of Basra late Monday and freed two Britons, allegedly undercover commandos, who had been arrested on charges of shooting two Iraqi policemen. Witnesses said about 150 Iraqi prisoners also fled the jail. Violence flared earlier in the day as demonstrators hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at British tanks; at least four people were killed.
In case you ever wondered what an Iraqi police station looks like after you drive a tank through it, now you know.
Also, all the photos in this article are not generic "arab unrest" pics, they're actually BBC photos of the "rescue" attempt being disrupted by some very angry locals. Four British troops died in the rescue attempt, paying for sins they never committed.
Wait, Wait, Wait....
This is obviously just another wacky conspiracy theory, so don't get too upset over it. There is, after all, no evidence to back this up. Except for the following:
Washington Post: LINK
BASRA, Iraq, Sept. 19 -- Heavy clashes erupted Monday between Iraqi police and British soldiers based in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, witnesses said. The clashes are the latest in surging tensions in Basra, a Shiite-dominated city that had long been one of Iraq's calmest. Attacks have targeted British and Americans there. Monday's clashes stemmed from the arrest by Iraqi police on Sunday of two Britons, whom Iraqi police accused of planting bombs. A Western military spokesman in Basra confirmed "an ongoing disturbance" in the city on Monday but said Iraqi and British force were working together to try to quell it.
British forces in Iraq are patrolling a tense city after UK armored vehicles crashed into a detention center in Basra and later rescued two undercover troops apparently held by Shiite militia. The operation prompted condemnation by a senior local Iraqi official on Tuesday and renewed calls by a British opposition party for the UK government to withdraw from Iraq. The dramatic raid on Monday followed a day of rioting in the southern Iraqi city, sparked when the two soldiers were said by police and local officials to have fired on an Iraqi police patrol.