LONDON--Officials in London have confirmed that the corpse of Lord Horatio Nelson in a crypt at St. Paul's cathedral has spun in its grave. Its theorized that Admiral Nelson, the greatest seaman of a once great seafaring nation heard the news from the Persian Gulf Friday after 15 British sailors were seized by Iranians as they inspected a freighter in Iraqi waters.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair immediately began begging Tehran for the release of his illegally seized sailors, but insisted that begging was not all he was capable of.
"We have sent the message back to them very clearly indeed," said Blair. "They should not be under any doubts at all about how seriously we regard this act, which is unjustified and wrong. If they are not thoroughly annoyed enough by the sound of my whining voice then I'll get really mad and stomp my feet as well."
The 14 men and one woman have been taken to Tehran, where the Iranian mullahs intend to try them as spies. U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Erik Horner, executive officer of the USS Underwood, which shares patrol duty with HMS Cornwall, said "it's sad the British have lost their balls to the degree that they let their sailors and marines be taken without a fight."
"U.S. Navy rules of engagement say we not only have a right to self defense, but also an obligation to self defense," Lt. Cmdr. Horner told the British newspaper the Independent. "Our reaction was 'Why didn't your guys defend themselves instead of acting like a bunch of pansies?'"
The Brits say their rules of engagement "are very much de-escalatory, because we don't want wars starting, which can be very icky" the former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West, told the BBC.
"Rather than standing up for ourselves and roaring into action, sinking everything in sight we try to step back and throw up our hands saying, 'sorry, sorry.' That, of course, is why our chaps were, in effect, able to be captured and taken away," he said.
"We know that Iran has committed an act of war," West continued. "It's a clear violation of Article 46 of the Geneva Conventions, but the fact is we're a little bit scared that if we fight back they might call us names no one wants that."