Sarah Shourd, one of three hikers arrested in Iran for suspicion of being spies for the US, has been released and is back home (and on Oprah!!!). Of course, we are all happy she has been released (on a bail of $500,000 from an unknown donor) and hope her two companions will join her soon. So why does this story interest me?
Well, I did a little research on Sarah and discovered that she is a UC-Berkley graduate from California and is an English teacher, activist, and writer. She has traveled and written articles on social issues in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Mexico. Most recently, she had been teaching English in Damascus, Syria. One has to wonder why a young America girl would enter an Islamic country that is suspected of harboring and sponsoring jihadists and terrorists that are bent on the destruction of America. Would you, as an American, choose to live in a country where you would stick out like a diamond in a goat’s ass? I don’t think that she and her friends wanted to be captured by Iran and stuck in a hell-hole for over a year; but, I am a little puzzled of their motives in traveling to a remote part of the Kurdistan region of Iraq! Now, I am guessing that most people (like almost everybody else) would not choose Iraq as a place to vacation! Secondly, I sure would not wander off into the desert! I am not saying that they deserved their fate….but, I am saying that they exhibited really bad judgement in their choice of spots to visit! After all, having lived in the area for more than a year, you would think they would have been smart enough to know where not to go. And, the cynic in me screams out that, as a free-lance writer, Sarah has a very, valuable story to sell! I wonder how much she got paid to appear on Oprah!
And, why would she choose Syria? Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, was elected with 97.4% of the votes cast! Does that seem like a legitimate democracy to you!!! Maybe she sincerely believes that she, somehow, can make a meaningful difference in a region of the world that is, to be kind, unsettled! Maybe she sympathizes with their plight! She holds “no animosity” towards Iran and wants to “meet with Ahmadinejad!” Maybe she is keeping her mouth shut until her fiance and friend are released! Who knows? There are too many open questions in this story……something is just not quite right!
Perhaps she and her friends are just naive idealists who believe the world is a big, loving, happy place!!! If so, they she did not learn much at UC-Berkley! Or, maybe, she learned exactly what they wanted her to learn! Another brick in the wall?
Either way, Ms. Shroud will soon be a full-fledged capitalist millionaire after her up-coming book deal, tour of the network TV shows, and maybe a movie! Ain’t America a great place and a land of opportunity!!