The Silence Of The Ponies

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Mark Steyn points out a few news items that have generated no real media coverage to speak of. Iran, having gotten away with it numerous times in the past, is holding hostages again. American hostages.

How do you feel about the American hostages in Iran?

No, not the guys back in the Seventies, the ones being held right now.

What? You haven't heard about them?

Odd that, isn't it? But they're there. For example, for two months now, Haleh Esfandiari has been detained in Evin prison in Tehran. Esfandiari is a U.S. citizen and had traveled to Iran to visit her sick mother. She is the director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, which is the kind of gig that would impress your fellow guests at a Washington dinner party. Unfortunately, the mullahs say it's an obvious cover for a Bush spy.

Among the other Zionist-neocon agents currently held in Iranian jails are an American journalist, an American sociologist for a George Soros-funded leftie group, and an American peace activist from Irvine, Ali Shakeri, whose capture became known shortly after the United States and Iran held their first direct talks since the original hostage crisis.

Two months in an Iranian jail is no fun. Four years ago, a Montreal photo-journalist, Zahra Kazemi, was arrested by police in Tehran, taken to Evin prison, and wound up getting questioned to death. Upon her capture, the Canadian government had done as the State Department is apparently doing – kept things discreet, low-key, cards close to the chest, quiet word in the right ears. By the time Zahra Kazemi's son, frustrated by his government's ineffable equanimity, got the story out, it was too late for his mother.

Still, upon hearing of her death, then-Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham expressed his "sadness" and "regret," which are pretty strong words. But then, as Reuters put it, this sad regrettable incident had "marred previously harmonious relations between Iran and Canada." In his public pronouncements, Graham tended to give the impression that what he chiefly regretted and was sad about was that one of his compatriots had had the poor taste to get tortured and murdered onto the front pages of the newspapers.

With an apparently straight face, Graham passed on to reporters the official Iranian line that her death in jail was merely an "accident." The following year, Shahram Azam, a physician who'd examined Kazemi's body, fled Iran and said that she had broken fingers, a broken nose, a crushed toe, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, and internal damage consistent with various forms of rape. Quite an accident.

Steyn points out that nobody appears to be paying any attention to this. Iran is counting on that response, of course. While the Congressional one-trick ponies posture and prance trying to figure out a politically viable method of surrender in Iraq, there is no chance that the US will actually do anything about Iran. Again, the Mullahs are counting on that. Once upon a time, American politicians, regardless of party, were concerned with hostile foreign governments who kidnapped and held Americans. That ended under the inept Carter administration, of course. The Mullahs learned that lesson well.

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