Hiking in Iraq

I might be the only one thinking this, but hiking in Iraq doesn’t seem like such a great idea. If you search the internet for the term “hiking in Iraq,” the first listings in search engines such as Google, basically say, just don’t. It might be dangerous. Duh!

So, it goes without saying when I first heard of the adventures of three adventurers by the names of Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal wasting away in an Iranian prison for a couple of years, it didn’t really stoke my sympathy. My first question was “What the hell were they doing hiking in Iraq?

More questions streamed through my brain, such as, there’s a whole world out there full of beautiful places to go hiking. Try the mountains and forests of Europe, the Canadian Rockies, the Grand Canyons of the United States or say, perhaps Death Valley or the gorgeous Pacific coast of California, the outback of Australia or the charms of the Orient… the list of places to hike is an endless list of the marvelous that three adventurous musketeers could satiate their wanderlust. It can be as simple as checking with your local travel agent or searching online. But, I ask, Iraq? Heavens, don’t you three idiots know there’s been a war on over there for the last umpteen years? Have you not a clue? Have you not inkling about the rather dangerous climate over yonder, especially for Americans. Iraq is just not one place you want to get lost in while hiking. There’s a whole universe out there… but, I ask, Iraq?

Nevertheless, I tried hard, but couldn’t find sympathy for these three errant fools and have since done some investigation on them. I mean, it begs investigation. What in God’s name drove them to go hiking in Iraq?

Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer made their prison engagement official after their release. It was a rather quaint touch to this story of imprisonment and stupidity. It sounds so romantic, just like in a Hollywood movie – a happy ending.

A further investigation on Shane Bauer revealed that he’s got a really nice website and he’s a photojournalist. Interesting also, they weren’t a completely stupid troupe. They were educated. Some of them spoke Arabic so there could be none of that, “me no speaky Arabic” or whatever. I highly doubt they just went hiking in Iraq. I highly doubt their entire story. It’s too much a “WTF?” And, since when do foreign nations (Oman, for instance) pay Americans’ bail money to get them out of jail? Hah!

Do I smell the hint of a rather savvy career-building move in the works? Do I smell a best-selling novel and a blockbuster movie brewing in the background? Say something like that old favorite, anti-Turkish film, Midnight Express, which painted Turkey as the big bad ogre of the world? Now that Turkey is more civilized and vying for entry into the European Union, the role of big bad ogre of the world has been relegated to Iran. Give me the movie! Bring it on!

The next time I tell my friends I want to go hiking in Iraq or Afghanistan for that matter, I hope they the brains to say, “no darling, don’t, its’ dangerous over there!” Never mind, Iraq is out of the question now, Iraq’s been done by these three musketeers. Afghanistan’s a-waiting for stupid hikers.

And for those of you thinking of going hiking in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan, why not buy the Bear Grylls Men’s Originals Survivor Long Sleeve Shirt from Amazon before you go. The key word is “survivor” here. Have it delivered safely and securely to your door. Order from Amazon:

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