Neo-Neocon writes:

In propaganda terms, the Iranians may have gotten everything they wanted—the humiliation of Britain, the British Navy, and the sailors—and have no reason to continue to hold them further if there’s any chance the ante will be upped.

In strategic terms, they may have learned what they wanted to find out: that they could get away with this and more, without real consequences.

The Brits just got sand kicked in their faces. The bully on the world-stage humiliated Her Majesty’s Navy. Will they muscle up or wimp out? Since the Falklands War, when Britain had a useful navy, the British have reduced their military spendings to the European norm, i.e. utterly dependent on the US.

The Great Britain of History would not take such affronts well. Shakespeare’s “Henry V” gave voice to the British spirit:

We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present and your pains we thank you for:
When we have march’d our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
That all the courts of France will be disturb’d
With chases. And we understand him well,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valued this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous licence; as ’tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.
But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
Be like a king and show my sail of greatness
When I do rouse me in my throne of France:
For that I have laid by my majesty
And plodded like a man for working-days,
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
Hath turn’d his balls to gun-stones; and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
But this lies all within the will of God,
To whom I do appeal; and in whose name
Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on,
To venge me as I may and to put forth
My rightful hand in a well-hallow’d cause.
So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin
His jest will savour but of shallow wit,
When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.
Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.

England took its revenge on France at the battle of Agincourt. But one fears that Britain is no more. Tony Blair has fought well, but he is no Henry, or Nelson, or Churchill, or Thatcher.

Where is Britain’s Henry V? Where is our Henry V? Is there a man or woman who can lead us to victory against an evil and pernicious foe that exploits our freedoms with surgical precision?