Everyone seems agreed that the Iranian whacko won this one hands down. Debate tepidly rages on about the conduct of the servicemen and how little time it took for them to crack. The Iranians seem to have had side-splitting fun intimidating them, without actually doing them any physical harm.
A former Iranian hostage from the Carter Crisis, guesting on Hannity and Colmes was obviously trying real hard to be kind, but invidious comparisons with the behaviour of the (mostly civilian) men and women who endured far worse for 444 days were impossible to ignore.
Colmes said, we got them back and isn't that all that matters? The media basically had to line up real war heroes to say their conduct was reprehensible - those of us who aren't, aren't supposed to criticize until we've been in their shoes.
Oh horse pucky! I don't know how I'd react in the same situation - but when it comes to the defense of me and mine, I want men who are tougher than I am mounting guard on this fat, happy, clueless country of ours.
And these were Royal Marines! In the UK, the Marines are far more of an elite outfit than even the USMC. They are mostly commandos trained to a standard comparable with any of the elite forces in the world.
And what few people have had the guts to ask is, what the hell was a mother with a child at home doing in a combat position? And what effect does this have in that ulta-patriarchal culture to parade her in front of the media, pat her on the head and say (in effect) "There there now little girl. You go home and play with your baby." Convince them that the forces of the West are composed of women and real sensitive guys?
But in all this, I think everybody has missed the point. Yes you could say that they betrayed their country. But don't forget - their country betrayed them first.