The Stations of the Cross kept me from here yesterday, and the day also passed without a US attack on Iran, as had been suggested by some sources last week. No mea culpa from Seanachie, I never exactly said that I thought it was going to happen. Well, the British prisoners returned from Iran (unlike the British media, I don't think journalistic impartiality would permit them to be called 'hostages') and they are telling all about their ordeal, which included being blindfolded and being subjected to the sound of guns being cocked around them. I am given to a certain degree of scepticism here as the prepared statements no doubt have Whitehall's imprimatur on them, and I trust the Blair government no more than I trust the current administration in Teheran (and I will make no apologies to anyone for such 'moral fudging'). And, in the latest, hilarious twist to the story, Teheran has accused the British of dictating the sailors' testimony. But, as I said earlier this week, I would not like to be held prisoner by the Revolutionary Guard and the reported treatment is not entirely incredible.
What is particularly repulsive is the treatment of the released detainees by the armchair generals of the British media: 'the seized personnel lost no time in admitting to having trespassed and in apologising for their mistake. The old military practice of giving name, rank and number, and no more, has obviously been abandoned,' muttered the Daily Telegraph, sore at Britain having been 'humiliated'. While it is true that Blair handled the crisis in an atrocious way and played right into Ahmadinejad's hands, it is only those moronic old Imperial nostalgists such as the Torygraph and Geoffrey Wheatcroft (a man who questions the right of the Irish to commemorate the 1916 Rising) that will feel the sharp pang of humiliation.