Surely a Conservative Prime Minister has preserved Britain as a global force to be reckoned with, even after the follies of his predecessor in Afghanistan and Iraq? Not so much. Despite William Hague's belief that a strong, capable Army, Navy and Royal Air Force is necessary to protect us from traditional threats and combat the malevolence of terrorists, the Conservative Party seems to have either disregarded Reagan's theory or confused it for "strength through weakness."
In effect the Westerners want to take sides in a multi-dimensional war, with no guarantee that their chosen protégées will prevail. Most likely, by arming the rebels they will give carte blanche to the Russians and Iranians to reinforce their support for Assad and his allies, including the Lebanese Shia faction Hezballah.
A year later it all seems quite surreal. Did it really happen? Did the authorities seek the arrest of the Pussy Riot women and actually put three of them on trial charged with the serious offence of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", a crime carrying a possible seven-year jail sentence? And were they really jailed? Sadly, of course, the answer is a triple yes.
While Jess sent Sheffield into a riot of fluttering Union Jacks and gold accessories on Friday, hundreds of miles away, three young women paid for their beliefs and courage with a trio of harsh two-year jail sentences handed down by a Russian court. No matter how you look at it, or whichever event has piqued your interest this August, one thing is not in doubt: the summer of 2012 is providing plenty of likely candidates to inspire the next generation.
Russia remains ever ready to subsume the worth of the individual under that of the state and in this way can never hope to nurture the responsible civil society which Putin himself claims to want. While Britain is at risk of becoming entirely listless and resigned to an inconsequential existence at odds with its unparalleled role in shaping the modern world.