No, not the kind, sane, rational people who comment here! My post on “Writing from Ignorance” was largely based on having read the paper edition of the Guardian today. Out of curiosity I visited the online version to see what sort of comments people came up with. Wow. For a while, I had felt I was being harsh towards Marina Hyde and had tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Not so some of the people who commented.
Now, there are zillions of comments and I read very few of them — mainly the first and last as I find that is the best way to get a feel for the debate when there are loads of comments. Here the majority of insane posts come from people claiming to be Americans. I truly hope they are either lying through their teeth or they do not present a representative sample. Some blasts of wisdom are:
From StrengthAndHonor at 5:44pm:
I’d like to introduce you all to the American Soldiers Code of Conduct. After you read it try these two examples of it in action:
CODE OF CONDUCT
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
(… it continues for some time…)
You call us cowboys, but I’d rather be a free cowboy than a prisoner of a foreign hostile nation. You cross the boarder and attack us… that is your act of war. Why should I roll over and surrender? How is that honorable? That is why Iran chose the Royal Navy instead. It’s your Navy’s fault they got caught… it’s the individuals fault for embarassing your country by posing for enemy propaganda. Anything else is just an excuse. Somebody should tell your Admirals that the maximum effective range of an excuse is 0 meters. (… it still continues…)
Amazing. The US code of conduct for it’s armed forces is blindingly irrelevant. More importantly, the mandate it places on the soldiers often ensures that they die rather than smoke a cigarette on television. What lunatic has to be put in charge of the asylum for this to make sense. Despite article II, Americans do surrender. Despite all of it, we (UK/US) are still NOT AT WAR with Iran. Should the marines have returned fire, killing a few Iranians, ensuring the merchant ship crew were all killed in the gunfight and starting WWIII as they end their lives? Would that have been better? Seriously, what world do we live in here? The madness continues:
From Swiss2nz at 5:45pm:
I have no idea whether I would have fared better than the fifteen Royal Marines and sailors against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard interrogators. But I’m fairly certain that a people who welcome home as heroes, or at the very least make excuses for, military personnel who behaved as the fifteen behaved, are unlikely to ever prevail against adversaries who unflinchingly blow themselves up in order to take a few of their enemy with them. Beyond Iran, it is those people who will be most heartened by what they’ve seen and heard over the past two weeks.
Do I smell a slippery slope argument here? How were the 15 supposed to have behaved? Would dying have been better? It takes a long time to grow a Royal Marine Officer and a Royal Navy Officer not to mention the other ranks. I find this casual disregard for human life quite distasteful. The token insanity shows up: (this is long, sorry, but I just had to post it in full)
FromIf you will check the historical time-line, our hostages were taken by Iran, in 1979, when the boob/peanut farmer, Jimmah Cahtah, was our “Leader.” The MINUTE Reagan was sworn the cowardly swine/dog haters released them on 1/21/1980 at 1 PM EDT. Reagan was ill-advised to send a Bible and a chocolate cake to the madman Ayatollah Khomeni and the “Deal” with arms for Iran never occurred. He WAS sucessful in sending Stinger missiles to the Afghans whom used them to drive the Commies out of that nation for which many are still grateful. Sadly, the Taliban returned, bombed the centries-old Buddha shrines, halted all education of women, allowed ONLY the Koran to be taught to young men, disallowed all music and made all men wear beards. The one success was the eight year war between Iran and Iraq in which a million of the scum were said to have been sent to paradise–hard to imagine since they were all Moslems and not “Infidels.” [You might inquire at your local mosque if all Islam teenagers killed in battle receive their 72 virgins in the case they killed no infidels.] Oliver North was successful in furnishing some arms for Nicaragua and the Commies/Daniel Ortega were finally VOTED out of office. The larger question is WHICH religion is growing faster by the day and intends to install a world-wide law of Sharia with the old Moslem Caliphate? Islam perhaps? BTW, when it comes time for you diaper-wearing wusses to need help in the future, don’t bother to call us. We have a far larger amount of land in which to confront the towelheads and many of us are looking forward to doing just that. [Also, have you purchased your prayer rug and learned which direction to face, ON YOUR KNEES, to Mecca five times daily?]
Wow. Can you smell the froth? Obviously there is some treatment at a mental health facility which allows the patients to comment on news blogs… Others join in the fun:
From AnAussieInPrague at 6:08pm:
Here’s a note to RICHARDrichard: you dumb twat! The so called “marines” are an absolute disgrace to their uniform for having allowed themselves to be used for propaganda after just a few days of isolation, NOT torture. They are a bunch of weak, shameful and spineless Brits with no understanding of loyalty to Queen & Country. These days, it seems there are far more loyal subjects of the Queen OUTSIDE of the UK, than there are in your homeland. As the Royal Marines are supposed to be the best there is of a British fighting spirit, this incident is a bloody disgrace! Marina has shown more guts by speaking out loud and taking on the criticism of such mindless cretins as you appear to be. How can anyone be proud of being British when your armed forces are shown to be no more than a bunch of school yard sissies who break down and vomit upon the sound of a gun being cocked!??? No doubt they will all soon leave the forces and make US style mega-claims for compensation for their psychological damage. They would have been better off getting shot against that wall then coming back home as proven Iranian propaganda agents. Shame on all of you who condone this cowardness and criticise journalists like Marina who dare to expect your military to have something other than rubber for their spines! With this kind of defence forces, the islamists will soon take over the UK, so start memorising the Koran… Good luck to you all.
Don’t you just love people like this? How brave to rant anonymously as a commenter on a newspaper website.
Sometimes I am embarrassed to be human.