Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hostage Taking -- Part Two

By Alan Caruba

According to the August 6 DEBKAfile, the three American hostages that Iran is now holding are all likely to be declared “Israeli spies” and put on trial as such. That’s a hanging offense.

Frankly, my first thought was this: How STUPID do you have to be (a) American, (b) Jewish, and (c) hiking along an unidentified area close to the border or possibly in Iran?

My second thought was: Since all three have writing credits with legitimate publications, might they, like the two Chinese-American girls, also be considered “journalists”? And, if so, is there a private plane warming up to send former President Clinton to do some official or unofficial groveling on behalf of the greatest superpower in the world?

That’s not going to happen.

The three hostages are Shane Bauer from California who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, and New American Media, all liberal to the core. I suspect young Bauer will return, if he is not hung, a conservative.

His partner, Sarah Short, also from California, writes for Matador, whatever that is, and Joshua Steel Petel, from Oregon, a former yeshiva student, writes for Jewish Week. Oy! (See correction below)

They range in age from 27 to 30. How does one reach the age of 30 and not know that Iran has been hostile to the United States and Israel since its Islamist Revolution in 1979?

How does one conclude that a hike along Iran’s border does not constitute a distinct threat? Petel’s family had its origins in Iraq and had emigrated to the United States. Did no one tell him that leaving Iraq was a very good idea for a Jew and that returning there was a very bad one?

Obama, like all liberals, has never met a dictator he did not like, but Mamoud Ahmadinejad may prove a problem. For one thing, he’s miffed that Obama did not send him a note of congratulations after his “election” victory. You know, the one that brought Iranians out in the streets of Tehran to protest it?

Mamoud must have fell to his knees, faced Mecca, and thanked Allah for providing him three of the most stupid Americans, all Jews, as a means to jerk Obama around. But does he know that Obama doesn’t like Israelis and/or Jews? Just ask his pastor of twenty years, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

In the same way the taking of U.S. diplomats in 1979 put an end to President Jimmy Carter’s first and last term in office, these three dimwits may just provide the same exit for Obama unless he can somehow extricate them.

The question—which will be shrouded in darkness—will be the asking price. It’s the kind of answer that distorts foreign policy because Obama will be thinking about himself, not the hostages.

A former Prime Minister of England, Harold MacMillan, was once asked what he feared most and his answer was, “Events, old chap, events.”

The three hostages are now an event.


One of the detainees is identified as Joshua Fattal, not Petel. Notable among the early reports on the three detainees is the misspelling of the name Bauer as "Bower" as well. Their ages are initially reported as between 27 and 36.


Rich Kozlovich said...

You know, this all is so familiar. In 1985 Lebanon collapsed and everyone was told to get out, including the journalists. Terry Anderson deliberately ignored those warnings and became a hostage for seven years and then we had to endure the righteous indignation of his sister, Peggy Say, demanding that everyone drop everything they were doing and get her brother out at any price.

These journalists do stupid things and then everyone else has to bail them out. I wish no ill will on any of these people, but they are all grown up and are responsible for their own stupid actions.

When you deliberately put yourself into harms’ way, whether it is for a good reason or not, you have to expect that harm will befall you sooner or later.

As for the two women captured by the N. Koreans; I would also like to point out that the media never once mentioned all the S. Koreans kidnapped by N. Korea over the years who are still there, and they didn’t go looking for trouble.

Alan Caruba said...

I actually briefly met Terry Anderson, but neglected to ask him why he stayed on when any sensible person was getting out.

Rich Kozlovich said...

As I remember it, he was actually asked that question. His comment was, as I recall, that he felt that American journalists were so vital in publicizing what the radicals were doing that he felt that he would be safe.