Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kidnapped hikers were peace activists

This story only gets sadder. These poor hikers must have thought the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are cool with pro-Palestinian American peace activists.

"Bauer and Shourd, who was freed last September, had been based in Syria before their friend, Fattal, joined them for a hiking trip in Iraqi Kurdistan on the border with Iran. Bauer and Shourd are peace activists who expressed sympathy for the Palestinians and had been organizing actions and demonstrations against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The two had worked in Syria with Palestinian refugees—their friends have praised them for their commitment to what those friends described as ending U.S.-Israeli aggression. From his base in Syria, Bauer made several trips to Iraq and wrote about the human cost of the U.S. occupation. His last article, for The Nation, was about death squads in Iraq that he said were supported by the U.S. Army. In a meeting with Ahmadinejad in New York last month, Shourd told him about their activism, citing it as proof of their innocence. But that history does not appear to have had any impact on Iranian officials considering possible clemency or amnesty.

...Last week a document released by WikiLeaks clearly indicated that the hikers were arrested inside Iraqi territory. "


Dolly said...

Since nobody goes to Iraq on a picnic, it's safe to assume they were spies. Jail them 40 years and we'll have them eligible for a review in 2050.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Aaargh! What idiots! Are they so blinded by the idea that the United States is the evil aggressor and everyone else is pure as the driven snow that they can't see the forest for the trees? And now that they've stepped into the muck and the mire everyone should drop everything and put their case on the front burner? I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound callous, but after reading your post my sympathy just took a nose dive. I do hope they get out of the mess that they've gotten themselves into, but stupidity is not an admirable quality.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"after reading your post my sympathy just took a nose dive."

That's the response I expect from conservative Americans. My immediate reaction was also "fools" but after thinking about their predicament I have greater sympathy for them. Imagine going to Iraq as an idealist American peace activist, as a protester of the US "wars of aggression" and then going to the Iraq-Iran border for a hike, thinking that there is no risk, that even if they encounter Iranians, that the Iranians will be friendly, and then getting kidnapped by criminals and then handed over to the Iranian government as "spies" for America. That's gotta be tough for them psychologically and emotionally.

I admire them for their idealism and their efforts to help the Palestinians and Iraqis. Their kidnapping makes the Iranian government look more like fools, in my view.

C.H. said...

"thinking that there is no risk, that even if they encounter Iranians, that the Iranians will be friendly"

If that is the case, then they really are stupid. Could they really have been so focused on helping Iraqis and Palestinians that they didn't have time to notice what was being done to the Iranian people a few weeks before they were kidnapped? Sarah Shourd's interview with the tent lady on Press TV and her meeting with AN indicates they did not.

Remember, they were taken in July 2009, while the Basiji were still mopping up the blood on the streets of Tehran.

I wouldn't say my sympathy has taken "a nose dive"...but I find this nauseating on so many levels.

C.H. said...

"Jail them 40 years and we'll have them eligible for a review in 2050."

You think that Khamenei's tyrannical "republic" is going to make it to 2050? The aging "revolutionaries" are a dwindling minority already.