Monday, April 09, 2007

It's all a matter of perception - and propaganda?

With news of the 15 released Britons having sold their stories to the media - and the hugh and cry which has ensued - lost in all of this is seeking to establish what the true facts really are. Were the Britons tortured, physically or mentally? Where has propaganda entered the picture and who is trying to outdo the other in the pr stakes?

It seems that it is all a matter of perception - and political agenda? - if this piece from the LA Times is to be believed:

"Worlds apart, but a few clicks away on the remote control, Western and Middle Eastern media presented starkly opposing views of the standoff over Iran's capture and release of 15 British sailors and marines.

According to CNN, the 14 men and one woman had been subjected to "mind games, isolation, aggressive interrogations" at the hands of the Revolutionary Guard after their capture while on patrol last month in the Persian Gulf.

But on Al Arabiya, a pan-Arab news TV station, the Britons' revelations after their release "showed contradictions" and appeared staged. And Iran fired off its own allegations of abuse Saturday, charging that U.S. officials and the CIA took part in the kidnapping and torture of an Iranian diplomat in Iraq.

From beginning to end, the strange standoff between Britain and Iran over the detention of the sailors was shaped more by underlying geopolitical tensions and mistrust than the maps and satellite coordinates trumpeted by both sides."

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