Opinion Ninja: The rescue double-standard 


Two American hikers arrested on the Iran/Iraq border may soon be released on bail for $1 million. The area is historically known for encompassing very vague, unmarked boarders. The hikers were arrested and charged with espionage and sentenced for eight years in Iran. They have been captives for more than 750 days.

I have been very outspoken about this issue: the idea that if you, an American, are kidnapped and falsely imprisoned, there is nothing that the United States will do for you.

There is a reason why everyone should look at this as a major political issue. We have around 900 bases in more than 130 countries around the world manned by American soldiers. By definition, we are the American Empire.

For a long time, I was OK with the idea of bases scattered throughout the world.  If there ever was an event where I needed to be rescued or evacuated, the Marines would fly their helicopters in and fly me out of harm’s way. I just assumed that was the purpose of our big bloated defense budget.

We have done it before.  On April 10, 2009, Americans were kidnapped at gunpoint on the high seas. The Navy came in and on April 12, Navy SEAL marksmen shot dead the captors.

There was no difference between pirates kidnapping the ship and Iranian soldiers kidnapping the hikers some three months later.

The president called the hikers stay an “abomination,” the United Nations Secretary General called for their immediate release and many countries have condemned the event and have requested their freedom. As actions speak louder than words, however, we should have come in and rescued them long ago.

If we are not going to use our army for the defense and protection of the Americans abroad, then what are we doing in over 130 countries? It seems like this global militarism just a big waste of rich people’s money.