However belatedly, Britain’s Defense Ministry did the right thing by reversing itself and banning military personnel from selling personal stories to the news media. As in those 15 British sailors and marines who had been held hostage in Iran. And as in those notorious London tabloids.
Alas, it wasn’t soon enough to prevent two Brits, Faye Turney and Arthur Batchelor, from hustling their accounts to the Sun and the Daily Mirror , respectively. This seemed especially crass and exploitative given that they were foremost among the sailors and marines who not only didn’t challenge their capture but went way beyond name, rank and serial number in accommodating the propaganda aims of the Iranian government. Everything but a power-point presentation.
Not exactly a Churchillian moment.
This move by the Defense Ministry prevents Iran from adding any more arrows to its PR quiver. Tehran had already noted – with smug cultural superiority and irony – that it was Britain, notwithstanding all the West’s condemnations of Muslim ways with women, that allows mothers of 3-year-olds – such as Faye Turney – to go to war.