It would be nice to live in a world where the [note: fictional, written by me for the purposes of this post] piece below was a representative sample of the London media. It’d be even nicer to live in a world where it was a representative sample of the Tehran media – but ‘getting your own house in order’ has become a cliche for a very good reason:
Our country is embroiled in a major diplomatic incident with a foreign power. Relations between us and the foreign power are poor, although have so far fallen short of outright war.
The other side says we are at fault; our government says the other side is at fault. Nothing has been conclusively proved either way – while we’re naturally inclined to believe our own side, the fact remains that our government has something of a record of dishonesty when it comes to international conflicts.
The charges laid by both sides – an incursion by hostile forces into sovereign territory on the one side, and the unjustified seizure of troops acting outside of sovereign territory on the other – are relatively serious.
However, both pale into utter triviality when compared with the possible consequences if the situation is allowed to escalate, with [our and our allies’ governments, in cahoots with the media, whipping] up public opinion into hatred for the other side and outright desire for a destructive and bloody war.
We urge our government to [distance itself from the] hate-filled rhetoric against the other side, and to swallow its pride and make whatever concessions are needed to bring this dispute to an end.
Finally, we insist on our own right to defend ourselves in a harsh world from terrorists and nuclear states that are publicly hostile to us by whatever means necessary, while also respecting the other side’s right to do the same.
By the way, if you can think of any ways in which the piece above is factually inaccurate – whether applied from a UK or Iranian perspective – please comment below and I’ll note them. It is intended to be a balanced commentary on the facts as understood at this point.
Update: Cleanthes has successfully pointed out some factual inaccuracy – square bracketed bits of the article have been changed to remove it. See comments for more info.