There are very few things more nauseating than black pudding, but the possibility of Britain’s newest ‘heroes’ selling out to the press may be one of them. Citing “exceptional circumstances,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense has decided to allow the 15 sailors and marines to sell their stories of Iranian captivity for sums estimated at about £250,000. What’s happened to good old-fashioned heroism? Or, more to the point, what ever happened to just doing your damn job? I suppose nowadays, everyone is trying to cash in—including members of the Armed Forces.
It is all bitterly ironic considering that British soldiers in Basra and elsewhere are giving their lives for their country without any pageantry or press deals. Indeed, when the 15 were finally released on Thursday, four more British soldiers were killed in Iraq. 15 received a hero’s welcome and money offers, and four were easily forgotten in the hoopla. If these 15 have any intention of profiting from their experiences, they should at least put the money towards a service charity which will honor those British forces that have fought and died. At least that will make the MoD’s decision a bit easier to swallow.