Jason Rezaian

Iranian Hostages


Who the Hell complains about American hostages and prisoners being released by an enemy nation? Republicans. Specifically Republicans running for president.

They’re upset they were taken in the first place, which we all are. But they say their capture is a result of the disrespect the world has for President Obama, as if it wouldn’t have happened with a Republican president. Americans, members of the military or civilians, have never been taken by a foreign power during any other presidential administration. Oh wait…yes they have. OK, not during a Republican administration….oh yeah…they have. During George W. Bush’s first year in office China captured several military personnel. When they were released Bush apologized to China and let China keep all the technology inside their plane.

They’re also upset with the way Iran promoted the capture by showing video of the sailors on the knees, hands behind their heads, while guns were pointed at them. I agree that’s sickening and it shouldn’t be promoted. But we do it too. After we killed Saddam Hussein’s two sons we flashed photos of their corpses across the media landscape.

In addition to the soldiers being released, Iran released five other prisoners on Saturday. Four of them were part of a “swap.” U.S. clemency was offered to seven Iranians charged or imprisoned for sanctions violations and the dismissal of outstanding charges against 14 Iranians outside the United States. They were not shipped to Iran and can pretty much go wherever they want. None of the seven were charged with terrorism.

Republicans are still upset. They say we shouldn’t have made the deal because….they don’t know why but it’s just wrong. They wanted a fight. I guess it would have been OK if a Republican was president and made the deal by illegally giving Iran missiles, which is how President Reagan got hostages released.

The GOP has complained that the release of the five prisoners in Iran should have been a part of the nuclear deal. Their release is not a part of it, but it has coincided with the start of the deal. Yet, they’re still complaining.

It’s funny the people who claim to love America, love the military, claim to be patriots, do the most harm to America and the military. Screaming about the release of the hostages before they’re actually released is a disqualifier for the office of president. Negotiations are sensitive. If you have to risk the lives of Americans and can’t wait another four hours to make political hay, you should not be president.

Diplomacy can work if you give it a chance. Sometimes you have to talk to your enemies. Even Reagan knew that, when someone told him who he was talking to and if he could stay awake long enough. The last time we didn’t give diplomacy a chance we waged a useless war in Iraq. The people who created the mess, foreign and domestic, that Obama has spent eight years cleaning up, are promising to make the mess again.

No thanks!

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I RAN From Jounalism


It would have been nice if part of the nuclear deal the United States  five other countries recently struck with Iran included the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain and other Americans currently detained in Iran. However, I realize the nuclear deal is important and is a totally separate situation than anyone arrested and detained by the Iranian government.

This is not the Iranian Hostage crisis which gripped the nation from 1979 to 1981 and helped destroy the Jimmy Carter administration.

Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain was arrested by the Iranian government on charges of espionage and other crimes. One of the charges is that he identified companies that may have evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In a secret trial in Iran, Reziain has been convicted of crimes that haven’t been explained by the government, nor is has his sentence been revealed. The government doesn’t have any evidence that the journalist is guilty of anything other than doing his job.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said in a statement “Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing,” They plan to appeal.

Iran will now try to swing a separate deal for Reziain and other Americans, hoping to get Iranians held by the United States released. The other Americans are Amir Hekmati, a former Marine sentenced to death in January 2012 for espionage, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor detained in Iran in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of attempting to undermine the government.

Every single person I have ever met from Iran has been extremely kind. They are some of the nicest and warmest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have never met anyone from the Iranian government.

In November a few of my cartoons, along with hundreds from other professional cartoonists, will be auctioned at an event called Cartoons & Cocktails at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The funds will go towards supporting cartoonists detained, arrested, tortured and oppressed in countries that don’t allow a free press. Support for a free press in other nations should be important to every American journalist.

I realize that my drawing funny pictures of government officials is something that would have made me disappear a long time ago if I wasn’t fortunate enough to be doing it in a free nation.

If you’ll be in the area, I highly recommend attending the event in D.C.