(The following was published in the Newsleader on May 28, 2010)
Now let's see. I want to go on a vacation. I want to take some friends with me. We decide hey, wouldn't it be a great idea to go for a little hike along the border separating Iraq and Iran? What could go wrong? After all we know this is a war zone and people are getting killed by the thousands every day here, but we are just innocent tourists. Who would bother us?
Is there anything about the above conversation that you would find a little ridiculous? Of course I am talking about the three young people who have been taken prisoner by Iran for illegally entering their country, and have spent over one hundred days in captivity. We now have learned that they are going to be charged with espionage.
First of all, if these idiots are spies, they have to be the most incompetent spies in history. If they work for the CIA, I want that agency fired. No, I don't believe for a moment they are spies and neither does the Iranian government. As a sidebar, I read recently that if you illegally enter North Korea or Iran you get tried as spies and sentenced to hard labor. If you illegally enter the United States, you get a Social Security card, free health care, and a driver's license. But I digress. What is happening in Iran over these three morons is something quite different. Iran sees this as an opportunity to get the US to kiss their rear end and make concessions that ultimately could endanger the entire free world. I am sure they intend to hold these people until they get what they want.
I am truly sorry for the relatives of these three youngsters, but if it were up to me, I would tell Iran to proceed with any trial they choose but to do so at their risk. These three put themselves in serious jeopardy and they put their country in jeopardy as well. We must decide whether they are worth putting the world at risk to save their sorry hides. Iran must decide whether they, if they try these kids, are willing to put their country in harms way like they could never believe.
I have a few thoughts on a possible solution for this incident and for future such events. Too often countries such as Iran see these incidents as opportunities for gaining concessions from us. There is no doubt in anyone's mind who has given this matter any thought that Iran intends to have nuclear ability. They want to be the master of the Middle East and nuclear warheads will give them such power. We must never let that happen.
We need to send a message to Iran. Do what you wish to save face as you see it, but if you choose to harm or imprison any American, you do so at your peril. We need to end this blackmail once and for all. We will retaliate in any way we see fit. If we believe embargoes will be enough that is what we will do. If we believe more stringent sanctions up to and including military action is warranted, then we reserve the right to do that. It is up to Iran. If these three so called hikers are lost because of our actions, they brought this on themselves. If however we get them back in this country, we need to prosecute them fully for their actions.
Here then would be my message to Iran or any country who would dare challenge the power of America. Iran, are you willing to sacrifice your entire country to try these people? How much are you willing to lose? Do you really want to take that chance?
As long as we allow our might and our sovereignty to be compromised, these things will continue to happen. Let's just end it. Let us use this incident as a teaching opportunity for the rest of the world. Sooner or later we are going to have to deal with these thugs, why not just get it over with.
Ron Scarbro November 15, 2009
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