An Iranian "diplomat" (a k a Mister Terror Kingpin) suddenly resurfaces in Tehran after having been reported in American detention, his release purely coincidental, we're told. But it's the kind of coincidence that ensures more of your men will be kidnapped and ransomed in the years ahead. And, just to remind the world who makes the rules, six more British subjects were killed in southern Iraq even at the moment of the hostages' release. The Iranians have exposed America's strongest ally as the soft underbelly of the Great Satan.Mark Steyn
Europeans and more and more Americans believe they can live in a world with all the benefits of global prosperity and none of the messy obligations necessary to maintain it. And so they cruise around war zones like floating NGOs. Iran called their bluff, and televised it to the world. In the end, every great power is as great as its credibility, and the only consolation after these last two weeks is that Britain doesn't have much more left to lose.
He's wrong, though. America's strongest ally is Australia.
UPDATE: Also Steyn:
the language you deplore - "Some of the Iranian sailors were becoming deliberately aggressive and unstable", "Throughout our ordeal we faced constant psychological pressure" - seems less a reflection on these men than yet more evidence of how therapeutic psychobabble has become the default mode of our culture - even unto the military. Indeed, insofar as you can use martial talk, it's only for the bloodless pseudo-battles of politics - Clinton's "War Room", etc. A year ago, I reviewed a book on this very topic:If you're wondering where the psychobabble comes from, wonder no more.From the bloody battles of history, strategies for winning the subtle social game of everyday life.So Alexander the Great and the Duke of Wellington can teach you strategies for beating Darlene in Accounts to the big promotion, but our fighting men talk like they're guesting on Oprah.