The bitterly ironic aspect of this assumption is its underlying paternalism. Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, as well as Barack Obama, no doubt regard the nineteenth century British colonialist notion of the “White Man’s Burden” to civilize nonwhite peoples as racist, arrogant, and ethnocentric; nonetheless, they hold to a modern-day form of the same racist, arrogant and ethnocentric notion.
In Shane Bauer’s world, as bad as the Iranian government is, it is only bad because it is reacting to the evil actions of the U.S. government. This assumes that the Iranians are passive reactors who cannot formulate any decisions or take any actions of their own; they can only react to the actions of the Americans. If the Americans treat them unjustly, they will in turn act unjustly also, but they ultimately hold no responsibility for their actions. Only the Americans have any such responsibility.
The idea that the Iranian government might have hated and mistreated him and his friends for reasons of their own, unconnected to anything the U.S. government had done or could do, never seems to have occurred to Bauer. The possibility that the Islamic contempt and hatred for unbelievers, and the jihad that is prescribed for Muslims to wage against those unbelievers, might have been a motivating factor in his abduction, show trial, and imprisonment, doesn’t seem to have entered Bauer’s mind for a moment – even as he subsisted on bread and water and paced around his cell in Tehran. The possibility that even if the American government had behaved with perfect and utterly unimpeachable rectitude toward Iran, the Iranians still would have abducted, imprisoned and tortured him, appears inconceivable to Bauer.
And so it is clear that Shane Bauer is not only suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and identifying with his captors; he is also a racist and Western supremacist of the first order, holding the benighted Third-World Iranians utterly free of responsibility for how they treated him, for after all – he essentially said – what else can one expect from such people?
If Shane Bauer took realistic stock of what happened to him over the last two years, he would accord his captors more respect than that. He would grant them the respect of being thoughtful agents who could do more than simply react to the actions of the U.S. (and, presumably, the Zionist Entity). He would throw off the unconscious paternalism of the Left and excoriate the Iranians for pursuing their jihad against America even against unarmed and obviously innocent Useful Idiot leftist hikers.
But his press conference on Sunday showed no sign that such an awakening was in the offing.
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