>Tonight’s Run and Detaining British Marines

>Getting back into shape is the best choice I’ve made in a while. Health-wise, it has come among many bad ones. Two nights ago I pushed myself very hard for 20 minutes and felt the satisfaction of knowing I did more than I had to since – let’s face it – just going out every night looking to just keep your heart rate up for a third of an hour isn’t setting the bar very high. After a week of that, I felt I was ready for more and did so, covering four miles instead of my usual three in the same amount of time.

The next night – last night – left me feeling the pain of such an ambitious endeavor. I stretched, took 20 or so steps and felt instant agony in my left knee. It was a surface pain in the joint; the rapid movement of it felt like bone on bone, as if it were lacking the usual lubrication. I stopped and gingerly walked back to Black Cat 7, deciding to take the night off. Hurt brought on by a run is something I can handle and nearly welcome, but an inhibiting injury is hardly worth the risk. I’m not a professional athlete – I’m just doing this for respiratory fitness.

Tonight’s run started off the same way. The knee started hurting like the night before but not as bad, so I kept going to see if it would work itself out. It did after five minutes (most of which was spent incessantly adjusting my mp3 player headphones so they would stay in my ear – yet another problem tonight’s run displayed) and after coming to the conclusion that my knee was just being a pussy, I kept going. I ended up running for 45 minutes and covered nearly all the UNCW campus, really pushing myself the last thousand meters. I got back to the car feeling satisfied with myself for not giving up.

Now I am in pain; it hurts to extend it. I typically scoot down to Hell’s Kitchen for a half dozen 20-ounce domestics on Thursday nights, but this will not be one of them. If anyone out there knows what this phenomenon with my knee might be and/or what I could do to tone it down, I’m more than all ears.

On to politics. I heard today on CNN that Iran said it’s not going to release any of the British Marines – and might even put them on trial – until Britain pulls its troops out of Iraq. This confused me for a couple reasons. First, I thought Britain had already made the decision to leave Iraq. Second, I thought Iran said it wasn’t going to get involved with Iraq. And lastly, how is this at all any different than Britain detaining suspected terrorists in their country?

I’ll be the first one to say that people of Middle Eastern descent are being stereotyped by the citizens and governments of both Britain and the United States. I wish there were a way to avoid this, but let’s be honest, there isn’t. Preventing terrorism has to start somewhere and it happens to be with guessing who the potential Muslim extremists are. The majority of them are of Middle Eastern descent, a fact even the most blatant civil rights advocate cannot deny. Yet they still get all up in arms when a guy by the name of Mohammed Al-Sadir Mosque Kowait loses a half hour of his day being questioned by airport security. No physical contact or threats delivered to him during the meeting, just questions. Would it be better if we waited for people who were intuitively questioned by security personnel as they boarded a train to blow up an entire subway before we detained them? We wouldn’t be judging them then, but countless lives would be lost for the sake of “respecting” them.

I don’t like President Bush or Dick Cheney. I don’t agree with the choices our current administration makes. I think there is a lot of racism at their basis and at times I have even questioned President Bush’s intelligence. But countries like Iraq and Iran bitch all the time about the way Muslims are treated in the US and Britain, citing instances of unfair, racist questioning sessions. Keep in mind, harmless questioning sessions like these foiled the terrorist water bottle escapade over in Britain half a year ago. I think they’re a good thing and save a lot of lives – being called prejudiced or breeding grounds for hatred is an unavoidable byproduct of them. I like this policy.

In a way, this is the same thing Iran’s doing to British Marines right now. They are detaining the enemy just like we have always done. Now I know that not all the Muslims or Middle Easterners we pull into interrogation rooms over here and in Britain are terrorists, but that’s a chance we have to take. It’s called an “initial guess” for a reason. The enemies of Iran identify themselves and fight like honorable men, making it simple to capture them when the opportunity presents itself. Terrorists do not and unfortunately, they are the enemy we and Great Britain are fighting. So if we make a mistake identifying one or two of them, sorry, but if you ask me, it’s a chance we absolutely have to take. Taking British soldiers is a bad move on Iran’s part because as conspiracy-minded as I am, I highly doubt they were there to strap bombs to themselves and board a public transportation vehicle full of Iranian women and children.

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