Hiking Fellow Travelers and the Iranian Threat


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Wedged between emotional accounts of their imprisonment and gratitude toward friends, family and campaign leaders in a press conference just hours after landing in New York, hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer surprised many when they pinned blame on American policies.

“From the very start, the only reason we have been held hostage is because we are American,” Fattal said at the opening of his talk, often repeating this point. “Iran has always tied our case to its political disputes with the U.S.”

And that very well may have been the case. They were political pawns. They may have been used for political bait or a prisoners’ swap, as is often the case, and particularly a pattern we have often seen in the three decade rule of the Mullahs in Iran.

To fault American policies for their more than two year imprisonment in the hands of the Iranian regime, however, is completely unjustified.

The hikers didn’t see their imprisonment as a unilateral offense on the part of the Iranian regime that often incarcerates those with dissenting political, religious, cultural and even social practices.

After 781 days at Evin Prison, it is completely audacious for the hikers to point any fingers at the U.S. and to still see the evils of the Iranian regime as only relative to the crimes of this nation or any other.  This is the same naïve mindset that possessed them to go hiking in that area in the first place, something that they still have yet to address.  It’s a refusal to believe that evil exists and that fundamentalist ideology wants death and destruction for the West.

The irony of it all, Bauer said, “is that Sarah, Josh and I oppose U.S. policies towards Iran which perpetuate this hostility.” The comment received a nod from third hiker Sarah Shroud who was released last year.

They find irony in the fact that since their political ideologies differ with those of the U.S. then they did not deserve to be imprisoned. Does that mean that perhaps someone who does agree with U.S. foreign policy then, does? Or are they merely using their five minutes of fame, and their first public appearance, to make political statements against the democracy in which they live?

The only irony here is that they are making these allegations against a country that actually gives them the podium to make these political critiques.

The point that the three completely miss is that their lives were saved precisely for the fact that they are American.  Had they been Iranian, they would have stood the probable chance to be executed like the many innocent natives who are put to death every year, some just for attending a protest, others for their sexual orientation or religious beliefs.  And while they speak about the brutality in Evin Prison, hearing the “screams of the other prisoners being beaten” and even having “experienced a taste of the Iranian regime’s brutality” themselves, they fail to connect their own fate to the fortune that spared their lives.

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  • Ken

    We can alwasy send them back. I being grateful and thankful for the efforts to free them is too much to ask. They had to use their 15 minutes of fame to flaunt their ideology. Typical of leftists and progressives, and 99% of people from Berkeley.

  • mrbean

    These two omega males and their girlfriend are too stupid to even suspect that they are stupid.

    • tarleton

      two modern day metrosexuals …it's all about the femminisation of the West

  • mike b

    Compare with the killing of Quaker (?) Tom Fox and the statements of Christian Peacemaker Team members after Fox's death. These imbeciles give aid and comfort to thugs, blame the U.S. and west for the miseries of those living under tyrants, and continue to blame the U.S. and west when the tyrants and thugs kill and torture one of their so-called peace-makers. … Too stupid to even suspect they are stupid for sure.

  • davarino

    They are activists, not hikers, or country bumpkins that just happened to wander across the border. No one is that stupid, even students from Berkley.

  • tagalog

    When the United States invaded Grenada and brought the American medical students on that island back to the U.S., some of the students kissed the ground when they got off the airplane upon arriving back in America. God bless those people. These people, they weren't worth the effort to try to free them.

  • sharpsrifle

    Send these morons back…they're typical Berserkley types, and we have too many of them here already.

    • imaputz

      Plus they are out on bail. We wouldn't want to help bail jumpers not face "justice" would we? If they weren't from The United States, they probably wouldn't have been jailed as they claimed=they would have been executed.

  • Jaime

    What a trio of ignorant, abject losers. They should stay in Iran. The morons don’t deserve America’s freedoms earned by those who allow deadbeats such as these three, to live in comfort. I’m glad to be a Cal Poly Mustang and veteran when I see Berkeley losers feeding at the trough.

  • Linda Rivera

    These Leftists ought to be ashamed of their words. The brave Iranian people who oppose the barbaric regime of the Mullahs are HEROES. Instead of speaking up for the huge numbers of jailed, suffering Iranian heroes, they criticize America?

  • guest

    you cant fix stupid. If they were citizens of ANY non Muslim country they would still be rotting over there. The USA got them out. They can shove that left excrement up their butts.

    We wasted our efforts bringing back this human garbage.

  • Linda Rivera

    It is a betrayal of every innocent on this earth that US and other Western leaders have not dealt with the nuclear threat from Iran to prevent a nuclear holocaust.

  • maturin20

    It is completely audacious, you're right. Well done, guys.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer look like they have the kind of rockingly good sex that can only come from not being afraid to hike in Iran. Fortunately, I know what that's like.

    • Western Canadian

      Another example of your disconnect from reality. How sad. And yet, how fortunate. Your genes will not be passed on. If the world is lucky.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        You know best.

  • UCSPanther

    Fools. They walked into a hostile country, and spent two years in a prison that could be described as Iran's "Auschwitz" (As far as political prisoners are concerned), and got freed at great expense, and this is how they repay us.

    Pathetic. Next time they do something this stupid, let's hope they can't be helped as easily next time…

  • Moishe Pupick

    Tu., 09/27/11 common era

    The Iranian prison conditions sound (if that's possible) even worse than Israeli prisons'.
    These 2 guys, and their gal pal who was released last year, are now proven useful idiots for The Moslem Brotherhood. They will be adored in Berkeley.

    Shana Tova 5,772!

    • Thomas

      Take your Culturally Marxist Common Era and shove it up your ass.

  • qpro4inc

    Are you people too young to remember "brainwashing?" It is happening before our very eyes. Why do you think that the Iranians released these dolts? It was not just the million dollar bribe, It was also because they had converted these jackasses to the Iranian cause.