None of us know how we would behave if taken hostage by a government run by irrational men. But one might dare to hope that captives who disgraced themselves might have the decency to be ashamed. That is not what happened:

“The Guardian newspaper said [lone female hostage Faye] Turney had agreed to a joint deal with The Sun and ITV television for close to 100,000 pounds ($197,400), about four times her annual salary.”

Ms. Turney is not the only beneficiary, of course. An article in an English newspaper explains what Iran got out of England’s disgrace:

 “Iran has got what it wants. They have secured free passage for smuggling weapons into Iraq without a fight,” one US defence department official said.

“It is also clear that the Iranian government believes that the outcome has strengthened its position over such contentious issues as its nuclear programme. Hardliners within the regime have been lining up to crow about Britain?s humiliation, and indicated that the operation was planned.

However, a British Government official familiar with the negotiations said that while the abductions had provided Ahmadinejad with a platform from which to humiliate the West, such behaviour would have undermined Iran’s ambitions for its nuclear programme. Countries which might otherwise have supported Iran would now be questioning whether a regime that took hostages could be trusted with sensitive nuclear technology.

“Ahmadinejad may have got some short-term PR bounce out of this, but the more cerebral members of the regime may be quite alarmed that they have squandered their perceived right to be treated as a country that should be trusted with a nuclear enrichment programme,” he said. “In the long term, they may have lost out.”