Hekmati Can’t Drink the Water

Amir Hekmati returned home to Flint after being freed from an Iranian prison by President Obama. Amir had been imprisoned for years after he went to Iran to visit his sick grandmother. Hi comments upon returning home have been interesting, considering what has happened in the world in the last 4 years. Notably he thanked President Obama for never abandoning him and for ultimately working out the deal to have him released. I wonder if he has learned yet that even as the President was getting his release, Republicans were publicly accusing the President of abandoning him and betraying the trust of Americans. I wonder if he had learned that he would not be able to drink the water or bathe in Flint as he discussed the deprivations of Iranian Prisons… prisons where he could bathe and drink the water. I wonder as his jet landed in Flint, if he was aware of Republicans calling for bans on Moslem immigrants and refugees – like his parents were.
For sure, having him freed and home is a reason to rejoice and to remind ourselves of how important it is to never leave any American behind. He seemed genuinely moved and thankful for the efforts made on his behalf. He related a story that during one interrogation, the Iranians demanded to know why so many people were working to get him freed and his response was that “this is how we Americans are…” and it’s true. So, as we celebrate his return home, let’s remember that he is the kind of person who makes America great even as he returns home to a Third World city. Hopefully, he will sleep comfortably in his own bed tonight (and drink only bottled water).

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