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A Texas Two Step

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Moral equivalency, again.


The Gazette Staff

Now that the two hikers, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, have been released from Iran and their lives are no longer in the balance, I wonder if the press will finally ask the question many here have asked themselves: Why would they go hiking in what was basically a combat zone?

In the past, they have been quoted as saying that they admire the Middle Eastern culture. Did they think that would give them some immunity?

Another interesting question would be to ask Mr. Bauer to expand on the statement he made after landing in Oman. Here it is: "Two years in prison is too long, and we sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in America and Iran." The phrase that comes to mind is "moral equivalency."

What prisoners in America was he referring to? Guantanamo perhaps? I thought those guys got picked after doing some nasty things on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't think they fit the description of "political prisoner."

The media here, including FOX, has never delved the background of the hikers. At the time they went hiking, Shane and Sarah Shourd, the third hiker who was released last year, were living in Damascus. They were living a somewhat privileged life, very different from that of ordinary Damascenes. According to a column by Debra Saunders, Shroud has described herself as a teacher-activist-writer. Bauer was a peace and conflict studies major at the University of California. Bauer wrote articles critical of America and Shroud wrote a piece, not hitting Bashar Assad, but Israel. Of course, they both must have been aware that any dissent against the Assad regime would have a fatal conclusion.

Shroud also wrote of spending time in Yemen and described the life of women in that region. Many are married off in their early teens to older men. There is no punishment for mistreating one's wife in that country and no recourse to law. Yet she concluded it was part of the culture and that the streets felt safe!

Then, at the press conference the two men gave after landing in the United States, they blamed U.S. foreign policy for their imprisonment.

Bauer said, "In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay. They would remind us in other parts of the world and the conditions that Iranians and others experience in prisons in the U.S.

We do not believe such human rights violations on the part of our government justify what has been done to us. However, we do believe such actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran to act in kind."

What would he have our current and previous administrations do? Cozy up to the mullahs who cruelly suppress and imprison and torture their people? Have tea with Ahmadinejad while he threatens to destroy Israel and the Jews? Ignore the nuclear threat?

They reflect the notion the Left holds dear – that if you make nice with tyrants and dictators, they'll change their ways. In doing so, they ignore all the lessons of history.

It's just another example of the Left using moral equivalency to put America down.