The other side of being an illegal alian

Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That’s why so many of them are in jail.
Don DeLillo-novelist

Three illegal aliens, captured July 31, 2009, have been held in jail since then. Today, one of them, the female, who spent the entire jail time in solitary confinement, is being released because she is ill. The government says she is refusing medical treatment; her mother says she is being refused medical treatment. Apparently the illness is severe enough that they are saying the release is “for humanitarian purposes.” Still, the release is not very clean. Friends, family or government (no information available) had to put up a $500,000 bond to insure her release.

The three illegal aliens have maintained that they were simply hiking and accidentally crossed a poorly marked border. It was an accident. Yeah, right. Who is going to believe that?

By now, you should have realized I am talking about Sarah Shourd and the other two Americans who were allegedly captured on the Iranian side of the Iran/Iraq border. At this late date, there is no real way to determine which side of the border they were actually on, but it does not matter. They are being held as spies.

Maybe I am overly sensitive because of the tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing the border into the United States; doesn’t anyone else wonder about this incursion into a hostile country. It is not exactly something that could have happened to just anyone.

According to the news reports, Shourd was teaching English and learning Arabic in Damascus, Syria. While she was enjoying a few days off from her teaching duties, she, her boyfriend Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal decided to go for a little hike.

The thing all three of our intrepid hikers had in common was graduation from the University of California, Berkeley. Sarah Shourd had a degree in English. Shane Bauer received an honors degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. He is now a Middle East correspondent for New America Media. Josh Fattal, 28, is an environmentalist who worked for three years at the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon, which teaches sustainable living skills. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 with a degree in environmental economics and policy.

Now then, about my confusion: from Damascus, Syria, to the border of Iran, is a trip of over 500 miles (as the crow fillies) across Iraq. When our Berkeley graduates went on their hike, there was an active war going on in Iraq. Americans captured there were subject to beheading. Why did they cross through 500 miles of war zone? Could Bauer really have gotten an honors degree in Peace and Conflict studies without enough common sense to know better than take his girlfriend to a place where Americans were the enemy? Would Fattal, who worked three years at a place, which teaches sustainable living skills, do something that shows he has no sustainable living skills?

Finally, could someone explain why Iran would hold them for spying. That would indicate they were working for the United States government. Graduates from U. C. Berkeley working as spies for the government? Give me a break. Berkeley graduates have been trying to undermine the government for decades. They would be the most unlikely candidates for spies

The only scenario that might make any sense is Bauer trying to get some kind of exclusive story for New America Media; however, that raises the question: would he be so callous as to use two friends and a camping trip as a cover story? Well, he has a story now. We can only hope it was worth it, and he lives long enough to get it published.

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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