Sarah Shourd gets half a clue

Sarah Shourd, one of the three hikers who found herself in an Iranian prison after an idiotic adventure gone awry back in 2009, has finally written a full-length exposition trying to set the record straight about some disturbing statements she made after her release last year. Writing in The Daily Beast, Shourd explains that she praised and thanked the Iranian government only so as to protect the lives of the fellow Americans she left behind, fearing that any anti-Iranian statements would endanger them. But now that they’re all free and safe on American soil once more, she can say what she really feels about the Iranian government — and she pulls no punches:


Iranians understand what we went through better than anyone else. Their government is rapidly devolving into a neo-totalitarian regime that uses random arrests, assassinations, show trials, and executions to manipulate, silence dissent, and set an example….

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. Thank you for laying bare your total disregard for justice, fairness, and human liberty. Thank you for taking my voice away so that it could be that much stronger when, thanks to my family and friends, I got it back. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to highlight that what you did to me and my friends, you continue to do to thousands.

While it’s a relief to learn that Shourd was not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, or perhaps was a willing participant in some kind of bizarre double-reverse Iranian psy-ops, the news is not all good. While her essay nicely trashes the evil Iranian regime, she still manages to retain her original nauseating anti-American and anti-Israeli politics, spending well over half the essay bashing U.S. policy and making ignorant meddlesome suggestions about how we should conduct our foreign affairs.

Note to Sarah Shourd: Just because you blundered your way into prison doesn’t make you a foreign policy expert. It just makes you a fool — a very very lucky fool.

I take this news as a mixed bag. People like Sarah Shourd and I have fundamental disagreements on most political topics, and those differences will probably never be resolved. But there’s one area that Sarah and I, and that all leftists and “conservatives” should agree on, and that is the fascistic and dangerous nature of political Islam. But even so, far too many of Sarah’s leftist colleagues are finding ways to legitimize and support Islamic extremists, assuming that any enemy of America must be a friend of theirs. Perhaps this half-awakening by Sarah will open the door to other liberals and radicals to come clean over their real feelings about Islam.


Sarah Shourd may not be the next Christopher Hitchens, but perhaps her half a clue will help to create an atmosphere on the Left in which a million little Hitches can emerge.


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