08 April 2007

Unexpected Sense of Proportion

I think my fears, expressed on Friday, that too much of a fuss had been made over the captured boarding party in Iran, were misplaced.
Certainly there was a lot of media attention, but on reflection, the attention was not so much the result of an unhealthy over-sentimental concern whether they lived or died, but was just the latest Reality TV spectacle.
The Sun caught exactly the right note with the headline "We went to Iran and all we got were these lousy suits".
On the same basis, I think the authorities are right to allow them to sell their stories. Treating global conflict as "I'm a Lieutenant, get me out of here" might make us look decadent, but, let's face it, we are decadent, and it's going to be very difficult to appear otherwise.
On the other hand, it also makes us look strong in a strange way. The Iranian regime is fighting for its life, and perhaps hit on the desperate tactic of kidnapping a British naval unit in international waters. If, rather than panicking, we treat the whole affair as a joke or a bit of cheap entertainment, it really drives home the fact that we're not really even trying. Just imagine how much damage we could do if we actually gave a shit!

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