Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thoughts on the Three Americans Being Held Hostage in Iran

Several days ago, Iran took three Americans into custody.

The three Americans - Shane Bauer, Sara Shourd and Josh Fattal - were hiking in the mountains of Iraq's Kurdish region when they crossed into Iranian territory, most likely unknowingly.

Iran has naturally accused them of being "CIA agents." By all appearances they are anything but.

Bauer went to Iraq to cover the Kurdish elections. He is a writer and photographer for the New America Media. The NAM describes its mission as "dedicated to bring the voices of the marginalized - ethnic minorities, immigrants, young people, elderly - into the national discourse." The usual left-wing crunchy granola. For his part, Bauer has written articles such as this one which suggest the Iraq Special Operations Forces could be acting as Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki's death squad.

Well, whatever one might think of Bauer's articles or whatever one might think of the wisdom of Bauer and his comrades in hiking near the Iraq-Iran border, Iran should not be kidnapping our citizens. This is Roxana Saberi all over again. And don't think for a moment the Iranians aren't watching Bill Clinton talking to Kim Jong-Il about obtaining the releases of Euna Lee and Laura Ling from North Korean custody? Wouldn't the Iranians love for Clinton - Bill or Hillary - to come talk to Ahmadinejad to obtain the release of American civilians?

Iran and North Korea are giving the rest of the world the impression that they can kidnap American citizens and be rewarded for it and the Obama Administration isn't doing anything to dissuade that notion. Unless Iran and North Korea learn there is a steep price to be paid for taking Americans hostage then other rogue regimes will soon follow. Can you say Venezuela?

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