Sarah Shourd at The Daily Beast
The irony that has often been pointed out is that Shane, Josh and I, as journalists, activists, and educators, are the type of Americans that the Iranian government supports and even celebrates in rhetoric. The reason I moved to the Middle East was because I wanted to do solidarity work with Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, a choice that stemmed from my long-term opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. President Ahmadinejad appears to pride himself on making a clear distinction between American people and their government, celebrating Americans like Rachel Corrie, whose life was taken after she stood up to an Israeli tank about to demolish a Palestinian home in 2003. Rachel’s life and sacrifice was recently acknowledged by having a street in Tehran named in her honor.
So, why would a supposed anti-imperialist government take three innocent Americans hostage, punishing them for the exact same policies of their government that they themselves have spent their lives criticizing?
Every time the Iranian government does something as blatantly unjust as taking innocent hostages, it has expanded the international support for the opposition. It’s good that our story brought attention to this brutal regime, and hopefully aided in speeding its downfall, but victory in Iran must be homegrown, not as a result of our government or any other government interfering.
Perhaps it wasn’t dishonest of me to thank the Iranian government 16 months ago, but now I can be more specific. Thank you for using us to further deepen your own crisis of legitimacy around the world and with your own people.