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Ransom is ransom

Two American hikers held in Iran for the last two years are back on American soil today, but I’m still asking myself why, with the entire globe available to them, they chose to go hiking along the Iran-Iraq border in the first place. At the very least, it was incredibly stupid. And now that the Iranians have extorted a $1 million ransom for their release, every American abroad is a little less safe than before.


  1. It was very unwise, obviously, but it seems to me the hikers did the world a favor, in a way. They demonstrated how an oppressive theocracy acts, even in the twenty-first century. Rather than being less safe, I submit that Americans are more wary now and thus actually more safe. The missionaries who wandered too close to Somalia are in the same category, I would say.

    • Surely there was already evidence enough to warn any thinking person away from the Iranian border. But now there’s a demonstrable payoff for landlubbers as well as the seagoing Somali pirates. I don’t recall hearing about missionaries near the Somali border, however. I guess I’ve been too focused on the pirates.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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