Saturday, April 18, 2009

American Journalist Sentenced

Iran has convicted American Journalist Roxana Saberi, a 31 year old dual American-Iranian citizen of working without proper press credentials and sentenced her to 8 years in prison.  At least, officially, that's what the charge was.  She was apparently arrested after buying a bottle of wine, and the judge involved in the case also accused her of passing classified information to American intelligence services.

Of course, we all know the last accusation was completely bogus.  There is no way an NPR reporter would be passing anything along to the CIA or any other intelligence agency.

Of course, none of the actual charges likely have any validity.  This is really about an opportunity for Iran to jail a high profile American for just being an American, and more than likely, for reporting on the way people, particularly women, are treated in Iran. The results of the trial were no surprise.

While it seems that on the surface, the Iranian government is creating the appearance of being willing to talk to the United States about improving relations, that talk is most likely a smokescreen to reduce the saber-rattling by the U.S. regarding their nuclear arms program.  Ahmadinejad had made it clear that he intends to develop nuclear arms and that, once he does, he intends to use them against Israel, and possibly against other Western Nations, including the United States. Recent rocket tests by both North Korea and Iran are suspected to be, in reality, a test for a delivery vehicle for weapons of mass destruction. Anything they can use for a distraction from this goal, including talk of improving relations, and imprisoning an American journalist, would serve the interests of Iran achieving this goal.

The Obama administration response has been ... well, rather soft, so far. They've expressed displeasure, but that's about it. They haven't even pulled out the ultimate weapon ... approaching the U.N. security council about passing a resolution. That approach didn't work out so well the last time they tried it.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what I would expect the administration's response to be. George W. Bush would probably have ordered the army into Iran, overthrown the government, and brought the Journalist back home, safe and sound. The only thing those people seem to understand over there is brute force, but I don't think we really need to spend several billion dollars on another war, right now. Short of that, what do you do?  Maybe this new, softer approach might actually accomplish something.  Give it some time.  We'll see.


Chuck April 19, 2009 at 7:58 AM  

The Obama administration is "deeply concerned" about this.

I think she is stuck right where she is, a casualty of a new day in diplomacy in which the US is no longer comfortable making demands on other countries during Obama's imperialistic America apology tour.

Mark April 20, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

The fact that the Obama administration is "displeased" is probably more out of concern that a Liberal journalist has been incarcerated, than if it had been a FOX news reporter.

I truly believe he is that Liberal.

Don't assume George W Bush would have gone to war over this. It simply isn't that important. At least, not as important in the overall scheme of things. I believe he would certainly have taken a more forceful and aggressive stance, but wouldn't have gone to war over it.

Anonymous,  April 20, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

I don't see Bush going to war over this.

I do, however, see this poor lady as basically poker chip at some point in the future when the genocidal psychopaths who rule that country want to make some sort of "good will" gesture or offer a concession.

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