In July of 2009 three American citizens hiking along the Iraq border mistakenly crossed the Iranian border and were arrested and charged with espionage. Now, almost two years later the closed-door trial had begun. Supposedly the three Americans had been living in Syria and working as journalists and one as an english teacher. (Link to the original Fox News.com story is at the bottom of this post.)
Since their arrest in 2009 the State Department has been working with Oman, and Iran to broker a deal for the release of the Americans. One individual was released on $500,000 bond although the other two have remained in custody. Throughout the negotiations Iran has been pushing for the release of Iranian citizens who are locked up in American jails. In particular, attention has been drawn to Amir Hossein Ardebili, an Iranian who confessed to attempting to ship sensitive U.S. military technology to Iran. Ardebili is currently serving five years in a United States federal prison.
Although I believe the State Department is acting as it should in this situation – it is supposed to act as an advocate for Americans in trouble abroad, no matter how dumb they are – I don’t think anyone is surprised at the political beliefs of the three American prisoners.
No person who is able to objectively look at the world, especially a region in like the Middle East – particularly Iraq, Iran, and Syria – would ever seriously consider vacationing in a country actively involved in a war. Yet these three leftists chose to go hiking along the Iraq border while an active war was being fought, while Iran continued to be defy the world on nuclear technology, and Syria continues to fund terrorism and just plain hate our country.
This entire story is an excellent example of the people who believe that all these dictators, thugs, and terrorists around the world are really just good people who are angry with the United States because of George W. Bush. The left, and particularly journalists on the left, like to believe that the world is not a dangerous place. These are the same people that will call for diplomacy again and again, even as a country is lining up its sights on America or its interests.
Every time something like this happens the media is shocked at the treatment our citizens receive overseas. They are shocked at the unfair foreign legal systems and the unwillingness of these countries to engage in any sort of diplomacy. Sooner or later maybe these journalists and others on the left will realize that when you take off the rose-colored glasses you see the reality of the word; it is a dangerous place.
I predict that when this trial is complete, the Americans will be sentenced to “time served” or some other light slap on the wrist. They have served the purpose Ahmadinejad intended, they have allowed themselves to be used as political bargaining chips, and pawns in a political game. They have also forced the United States into negotiations simply because they made an intentional dumb choice. I can only hope that we didn’t have to spend too much money or send much “aid” to Iran to buy the release of these three idiots.