A lot of Americans are upset with the way Iran treated the U.S. Navy crew that was captured after entering Iranian waters this week. But many others are also criticizing the sailors for their apology to the Islamic republic.
"It was a mistake that was our fault and we apologize for our mistake," a U.S. sailor, now identified as 27-year-old Lt. David Nartker, stated in footage released by Iranian state television.
"It was a misunderstanding. We did not mean to go into Iranian territorial water. The Iranian behavior was fantastic while we were here. We thank you very much for your hospitality and your assistance."
Outraged by the video, Fox News analyst Ralph Peters opined that Nartker should be punished for what Peters calls the sailor's display of weakness.
“This is what our military has come to!” he cried. “That was aid and comfort to the enemy! He should be court-martialed!”
Peters' views were reiterated by his colleague Sean Hannity, who questioned if Nartker’s apology violates the U.S. military code of conduct. In fact, Hannity went even further in his criticism, suggesting President Barack Obama should have bombed “the living crap" out of Iran in response.
While the role of the U.S. government in securing the sailors’ release is debatable, calling out the sailors for their actions is a little absurd, especially when there’s a possibility that they did all that under duress.
"It is quite possible they were coerced or threatened into an apology. It certainly doesn't make us look good,” former Navy SEAL Chris Heban told Inside Edition.
Sure, Americans kneeling down in front of Iranians could be used as anti-American propaganda, but it’s understandable that the sailors, at the time, did what was necessary to get their crew safely out of what was clearly a life-threatening situation.