About Those Three Hikers…

About those three hikers…

In yesterday’s New York Times, a representative of the Iranian government wrote, “It is also our position that the three American hikers entered Iranian territory illegally, and that it is the right of every government to take action, particularly when issues related to national security are involved. Iran is only doing what any sovereign country would do.”

As a guy who likes to do a lot of hiking, I didn’t have a whole lot of sympathy initially for the three Americans. Sure, we’re all human. Screw-ups happen. But really, you know you’re right on the border. You know relations between Iran and the US aren’t, ah, exactly great. Wouldn’t you carry a compass? Maybe figure out where the border is before you go wandering around? Any time you’re pushing the envelope, like they were and I sometimes do, you should be as prepared as possible so that you don’t unnecessarily impose on others.

So I think the three hikers should have been charged with illegally crossing an international border. And then, after suffering a consequence commensurate with their “crime,” they should have been sent home.

Instead what happened is that they were thrown in Evin Prison, accused of being spies (although there appears to be no evidence to support this charge), and are now being used as pawns in an international chess (make that checkers) game.

Which brings me back to the IRI’s statement in the yesterdays New York Times: “Iran is only doing what any sovereign country would do.”

That is a complete crock.

What the IRI is doing is the kind of thing North Korea would do. Remember Laura Ling and Eura Lee, the reporters who strayed across North Korea’s border earlier this year and were held until Kim Jong Il got to look like a big shot by meeting with Bill Clinton?

We’ve seen this movie before.

What happens next is that the IRI will continue to use the hikers as a way to try to deflect attention from the nuclear issue. At some point, however, they’ll decide such a strategy has become counterproductive. Whereupon the hikers will be released and IRI will demand to be applauded for their magnanimous gesture.

They’ll demand respect, as if they actually merit it.

Ferdowsi, Hafez, Sadi…the IRI. Talk about a nation of contrasts.

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