“Reza Hoda Saber the 52 year old Iranian political activist and leading journalist for an opposition magazine Iran-e Farda, died in the custody of the Iranian prison Evin while on a hunger strike in protest of fellow opposition figure Haleh Sahabi’s death at the hands of security forces while at the funeral of her father. Saber was into his tenth day of a hunger strike when stricken with severe chest pains associated with his heart. Saber’s screams of agony where ignored by prison authorities for six hours before eventually being transferred to hospital for belated surgery to his blocked arteries, dying during the course of the operation. The opposition group Council for the Green Path of Hope condemned the Iranian government for the neglect and Saber’s unlawful detention without charge.” (The name “First of all, why was he in prison?” was given by the artist Ian Bunn. Used with permission.)
When I first saw the photo (above), I was not looking for it, but I immediately stopped. It captured my attention. I had been pondering the cases of the three American hostages and saw this as a depiction of ‘the anonymous hostage.’ It could be anyone and everyone who has been wrongly imprisoned and then abused. We don’t like to see this. It bothers us and we turn our eyes. We would rather see happier photos from yesterdays. But I encourage you to look. Today’s hostage situation in Iran can be changed. It must be! The 3 Americans wrongly held now CAN be brought home safely! When I was growing up in the 50s-70s, we thought the USA could do anything, if we put our minds and efforts into it. I guess now people call that “American Exceptionalism” and it’s in bad taste (politically incorrect) to say it. But to me and others- first in school and sports, then in business and life itself- it became a guiding principle. To me, it just meant that America gets the job done! I grew up in Chicago- which, at that time, was known proudly as ‘The City that Works!’ America put men on the Moon! We built the highest skyscrapers! We worked at making our society better in the civil rights arena for minorities (not yet perfect) and improved the world’s environment (again, not yet perfect) .
Today, I still believe if the U.S. side would be bold enough to sit down with the Iran side, look them in the eye, and say, “You get no more billions of dollars or bullions of gold until we have ALL THREE AMERICAN HOSTAGES returned to their families…by Next Week!” In fact, we should not be talking further to Iran about nuclear issues until they show this itty bitty spec of humanitarian goodwill! What did America get in the November 24 ‘Historic Nuclear Agreement’ besides Iranian promises in exchange for billions of dollars and gold that U.S. will release to Iran? Most people aren’t aware that the 6-month countdown for this agreement, on the Iran side, hasn’t even started, yet the wheels are turning on the U.S. side to turnover $billions to Iran. Additionally the world sees now that Iran is ‘open for business’ again. So before it gets neglected, I want to see ALL THREE hostages come home on one airplane. Like back in 1981, when we freed 52 Iranian hostages! Mr. Obama: are you listening? This would be a GOOD thing for you! For US! Most importantly for THREE American families!
If you ask why am I doing this www.FreeAllThree.com thing … I would say, “Or what, sit idly by and do nothing?!”
If you are an American, perhaps much younger than me, or older and forgotten what success and national pride looks like, well, it looks like these men getting off of an airplane in New York two weeks after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as 40th United States President succeeding Jimmy Carter!