Military Veterans Rage At U.S. “Surrender” To Iran

"As a US Navy Veteran I am OUTRAGED," one writes

Jan 14, 2016 at 5:02 AM ET

The news that Iran released 10 American Navy sailors less than 24 hours after seizing their boats in the Persian Gulf could be considered good news—a sign of friendlier relations between the United States and Iran. But for some military veterans, the sight of U.S. sailors with their hands behind their heads, saying sorry for intruding on Iranian water, along with Iranian officials on an American navy craft, was just too much. Many vets took to Twitter railing against what they said was Washington’s submission to Tehran.

Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated the release of the sailors with Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif after two patrol boats drifted into Iranian territorial waters late Tuesday and were captured by Iranian forces. Mechanical difficulties reportedly caused the error. The diplomatic success was applauded by many as a sign U.S.-Iran relations were warming. Iranians themselves exhibited a mixture of anger or relief that the saga didn’t escalate into hostilities.

Iranian state media, however, relished the opportunity to showcase its military prowess and the United State’s seeming weakness. Images of the sailors sitting on carpets awaiting news and Iranian officials flipping through American passports made it onto Iranian television screens for the evening’s newscast.

U.S. military veterans took to Twitter to criticize the way the whole thing was handled. On Wednesday, a video of one of the captured soldiers apparently apologizing was shown on Iranian state television. Veterans were furious at a report that Kerry had apologized for the soldiers’ wandering into Iranian territory, a claim the U.S. government rejected.