Saturday, September 25, 2010

Iran must release American hostages

I can't believe the Iranian government is still holding American tourists hostage more than a year after they allegedly crossed into Iranian territory while hiking the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. I admire those Americans who decided to spend their vacation hiking in northern Iraq. They should not have been taken hostage by Iranian goons.

I read somewhere that Sarah Shourd, the female tourist among them who was recently released, had to pay a half million dollars in "bail" for her release. Shouldn't the Iranian government be paying Shourd for the year of her life they took away from her? From this article I just learned that Oman mediated the bail. Bravo Oman! It's good to see Arab countries like Oman helping Americans.

"Her 410 days of solitary confinement in an Iranian prison were mostly cramped quarters and endless monotony, but Sarah Shourd chooses to savor the few moments of joy: a proposal from her boyfriend and a birthday celebration complete with a chocolate cake.

Shourd, her boyfriend Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal were captured in 2009 while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border. Shourd talked about her experiences Thursday with The Associated Press in one of her first interviews since her release on Sept. 14 after officials in Oman mediated bail."

Shourd was smart to meet with Ahmedinejad yesterday in New York to try to make him understand that she and her friends are not spies. Hopefully he will understand and release the two Americans still in a prison in Tehran.

I heard this on BBC the other day:

"Of all the places I have ever been to in Iraq, this is by far the most beautiful, and the most peaceful.

This is not the Iraq we know from our televisions screens. Not the Iraq of "Shock and Awe", nor the Iraq of the near-daily suicide bombings. This is Kurdistan.

Wedged in between the borders of Iran and Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan runs its own affairs in the north-east of the country. It is mountainous rather than flat, green rather than arid. And most importantly, it is relatively safe."


Bruno said...

Good post.

Myself, I can't believe that America still has innocent people locked up in its Gitmo gulag seven years after they were captured.

But, American imprisonment is better than any other sort of imprisonment.

It's so great you might never leave!

Don Cox said...

I think political discussions would go much better if use of the word "innocent" was banned.

Bruno said...

I think that if people who have been held for many years without being allowed a fair trial were called what they are - innocent - America would raise itself several notches in the world's esteem.

Bruno said...

Or, are you arguing that the American hikers were somehow 'guilty' of something? I'd take a stand against that, too.

Don Cox said...

I am arguing that the word is splashed around all over the place as a cheap emotional trigger. It doesn't encourage reasoned discussion.

Dolly said...

The thing is, if they knew they were holding a Yemeni person named e.g. Abdul Qadir in Huantanamo Bay, and if they knew this person was innocent of charges,
they would still want him held there, and they would still consider his incarceration a victory and success.

That's because war-supporters in the U.S. have a certain animosity towards Ayrabz and mozlems, so you cannot possibly shame them by bringing up their various gulags.
They think it's actually a fun idea to build dungeons for random darkies.

The only thing that might upset them about your Gitmo remarks, is if they see it as an attempt to put blame on America.
But definitely they are not concerned about the fate of any innocent captives.

Also: the reason Americans support torture in these camps, is NOT merely because of intelligence gathering, but sadism.

Aton said...

"Pioneer Iran blogger sentenced to 19 years prison"

Bruno said...

@ Don Cox


Bruno said...

[aton] "The only thing that might upset them about your Gitmo remarks, is if they see it as an attempt to put blame on America.
But definitely they are not concerned about the fate of any innocent captives."

Tend to agree with this as well.

Toady said...

Let's just turn them all over to the Saudi's because Saudi prisons are much more humane.