Fools, Dupes, Tools, and Iran

The only explanation for our prolonged detention is the 32 years of mutual hostility between America and Iran. The irony is that Sarah, Josh and I oppose U.S. policies towards Iran which perpetuate this hostility.

–Shane Bauer

The media like to inject a narrative into the description of public figures. Rodney King was a “motorist,” not a violent drug abuser. Louise Woodward was an “au-pair,” not a selfish baby killer. Amanda Knox is an “exchange student,” not a psychotic knife murderer. The modifier humanizes those whom the Old Time Media decide deserve sympathy. By contrast Lawrence Brewer’s modifier was “white supremacist,” demonstrating the power of a few extra words. The media has dubbed Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd “hikers,” but ‘fools,’ ‘dupes,’ and ‘tools,’ also apply.

The three are clearly fools, for they were picked up by the Iranians after having strayed near or across the Iraq-Iran border in 2009. As lovely as they may have found these mountains, there are others not so close to a war zone and bordering an anti-US fascist theocracy. They are from the US, not Iraq; they chose to travel to one of the most dangerous places on earth for a hike. They may have been hikers when walking, but they were fools the entire trip.

The three are also dupes for the Iranian fascist regime. In his press conference, Mr. Bauer equated the US with Iran, stating that the tensions between the countries are due to US policies. Well, no, Mr. Bauer. Iran is a repressive theocracy that kills innocent protestors for exercising their universal right to petition their government through peaceful assembly. Iran funds terrorists around the world, including those who tried to incite a civil war in Iraq and those who seek to destroy Israel. Mr. Bauer did touch on the injustices Iran commits against its own people, but the differences between the US and Iran are those of good and evil. Just as US leftists tried to equate the US and Russia during the cold war, Mr. Bauer’s argument is based on the false foundation of moral equivalency. Mr. Bauer is like Swift’s Laputa with his head in the clouds and in need of a flap or two to open his eyes.

The three were also tools because their detention was almost certainly calculated to give Iran diplomatic leverage. The three US liberals operated under the false assumption that because their views were sympathetic to Iran’s dictators, they would be spared. Or perhaps the three simply assumed that Iran would be just and reasonable since the US was not. Again, the communist example explains why the three became tools. Evil is its own agenda, and it has no allies other than those of convenience. Stalin went from befriending Hitler and helping him invade Poland to being his arch-enemy. The progressive intellectuals of Russia, Cuba, and other countries were eventually locked up and murdered once they became more of a threat than a revolutionary mouthpiece. Evil turns on its stated principles based solely on convenience. Evil has no friends, only tools, as the three hikers learned bitterly.

The three alleged spies did not deserve their treatment, but their incarceration apparently did not wise up Mr. Bauer. He remains faithful to the dogma that equates the US with the oppressive regime that unjustly jailed him for two years. The lesson is not that more dialog and understanding would prevent such future injustices; the lesson is that regimes like Iran abuse innocents to gain even the slightest political advantage. The lesson is that where individual rights are not the highest priority, life becomes cheap, and people like Mr. Bauer are often abused at the hands of evil. Two years in jail failed to teach him this valuable lesson.

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