08 April, 2007

Iran's Great Victory.

Here we go again. For the not so grand reopening, I was going to begin with a few remarks on Iran's great victory over the United Kingdom but, in the Chicago Sun Times, Mark Steyn does it better than I ever could, analysing the issues with his customary style and prescience: Iran's Bluff Humbles Britain.

Of the reams of UK press coverage, the Sunday Times leads the way, with the Sunday Telegraph some distance behind.

The Guardian unleashes Will Hutton, who seems to think the affair was a victory for the UK and a defeat for Iran.

Beyond the imagery and the jingoism lies, at least in relation to Iran, an unappreciated success that points the way to more. After all, the sailors are home and there has been no deal. Better still, the Iranian government, obviously looking for a propaganda coup, has revealed itself as a government prepared to flout international law and mistreat prisoners in its quest for an accommodation. Britain has clawed back a little of its shattered reputation and kept its head. Indeed, by arguing, talking and repudiating sabre-rattling, we have, paradoxically, weakened Iran's argument that it is an injured innocent and strengthened our own that the international community should be watchful of this power and its nuclear ambitions. Soft power works.
You could not make it up.

Over at the Independent, I expected Robert Fisk to be having a field day but there was no sign of him. Instead, the liberal self-haters tie the "hostages" story in with a doom and gloom account of looming disaster in Iraq.

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