Little Green Footballs is logging some pretty impressive comment figures (500-600) on their posts about the contingent of British sailors and marines held captive for two weeks by the Iranians (compared to say 200-300 on other issues).
Some comments were relatively circumspect, there were plenty of irrelevant ramblings and some flame-wars as one might expect from any large blog thread. I didn’t have the patience to determine the majority viewpoint.
However there was a large contingent of the “Fighting 101 Keyboarders” who charged the British sailors and Marines as cowards and traitors for not fighting to the last man (or woman), and interestingly for not being abused-enough in their captivity to justify their televised “confessions”.
By the action or inaction of a mixed group of sailors and Marines on what was a maritime policing mission, members of the Fighting 101st are convinced the entire British military are cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
Following that logic, the entire US military is really a bunch of closeted homosexual rapists, murderers and torturers (as evidenced by Abu Ghraib, Al-Haditha, Guantanamo and various internment camps in Afghanistan—not to mention all the renditions that have taken place). But of course the fighting 101st doesn’t quite see it that way.
According to the fighting 101st this ad-hoc team of military personnel functioning as customs agents should have opened fire, and damn the facts that they faced overwhelming force, had nowhere to run, weren’t at war with Iran and were in no position to start one.
It is true that a soldier’s lot is essentially to fight and if necessary die for an objective. But each objective has a conjoined practical and political component in time of war—cities for example may be overrun or pounded into oblivion not for military gain but for significant political advantage. What possible advantage would have been gained by these British sailors and marines escalating a small confrontation into an excuse for open war?
But open war is what the fighting 101st want—not that they themselves will serve, nor that they expect to suffer the consequences. As they sit behind their keyboards they accuse others of cowardice and desertion, not recognizing their own.
To them, what is great and good in the world is strictly American and what’s American is defined by them exclusively. Everyone else who doesn’t subscribe to their view is “French”—even, it seems, the British.