Barbara Diamond

What Is the Value of Your Life?

Stack of dollars. Conceptual illustration. Isolated on white background. 3d render Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 132159902 Stock Illustration ID: 132159902 Stack of dollars. Conceptual illustration. JPG Illustration Contributor Lyudmyla Kharlamova

The United Stares never ceases to surprise us with their acquiescence to Iran.  Perhaps you recall President Obama handing over to Iran 400 million dollars in international currency shipped on an airplane filled with palates of cash in multiple currencies, as one of his last acts as President of the United States? These funds coincided as did today’s announcement, with the release of four American prisoners (with one added shortly thereafter) and the so-called implementation of the Nuclear agreement between the two countries.

Fast forward to today’s announcement that the United States is negotiating the release of six billion dollars in funds blocked from Iran by the previous US administration, frozen in accounts in South Korea as sanctions were put into place against Iranian actions and non-compliance. In exchange 5 American citizens in prison for alleged offenses, will be released. Six divided by 5… do the math. Each life was valued at $1,200,000,000.00 dollars. Let me translate… One billion plus two hundred million US dollars per individual. Who knew one of us was so important?  We must tell that to other Americans languishing in enemy prisons. But then, the nations of the world are watching closely, and now understand that abducting American citizens is surely a civic act on behalf of their own people and economy.

As an interesting aside:  There are many times when the value of a human life must be determined. In the case of a court case in which malpractice or malfeasance has resulted in death…  in the case of a car crash where insurance must pay, and in the determination of what is called the “dialysis standard,” which is used widely by insurance companies worldwide to determine whether or not to pay for a new procedure, their barometer measures the value of a human life at $129,000 per “quality year”. Different US departments have ascertained the total value of our life to be somewhere between $7.5 million dollars and $9.6 million. It is disconcerting that the Federal department of transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency do not actually have the same valuation. Bottom line…. The United States valued each of the abducted person’s lives as 125 times as valuable as yours or mine. Releasing 1.2 billion dollars for each hostage was extremely generous indeed. Are we indeed more valuable once we have been abducted? This must give us all much to ponder over our next cup of coffee.

At the very least, those who love to travel in countries unfriendly to their home nation, should consider this behavior as abhorrent and worth a re-think.

Twice now, Iran has been paid handsomely for the handing over of Americans that they themselves abducted and incarcerated. Why should other nations under financial hardship from US sanctions not follow in their footsteps?

Today’s interview on MSNBC with Admiral John Kirby who holds the position of the White House “Coordinator for Strategic Communications” revealed a delighted gentleman, quite confident that measures will be put in place so that the six billion dollars will be used “only for humanitarian purposes.” Forgive me for being skeptical. Oversight on anything Iran has done, has repeatedly been impossible. The world surrendered trying to monitor their nuclear program. It appears that the United States has capitulated to them so often, that it has become their new “go-to” approach to Middle East diplomacy. Give the Iranians, what they want…and make it look not only reasonable but “humanitarian as well.” Promises made by those in positions of power in Iran have rarely been worth the paper they were written upon.  American naivete never ceases to stun us all. US officials will no doubt try to put oversights in place. The money however, it is said, will be handled over to Qatar. Since when did Qatar become adverse to funding terrorist organizations? Are we all to simply accept that any charity /humanitarian organization coming to request the funds will be properly vetted and deemed absolutely devoid of terrorist connections?

Had the US government required that the funds be sent to an American bank with a respected committee to manage the oversight of the funds, there might have been the possibility of less abuse and directions of funds to terrorist organizations hiding behind Humanitarian aid facades. Truthfully, the US oversight on NGO organizations has also been found less than meticulous. Trusting Qatar in this matter, is really quite bizarre. Americans seem to be the most simplistic and immature negotiators in the international arena. It is worry-some at best, and terrifying …at its worst.

Exactly when will the West understand that stroking the tail of the tiger does not make it a friendly pet? The tiger will remain a tiger and will continue to devour its prey. Such is its nature.

To view the interview with Admiral Kirby at the White House, and announcement made on MSNBC you can go to:

About the Author
Born in the Washington DC area, Barbara has been a pro Israel activist for over four decades, having had a radio show in Jerusalem called "Barbara Diamond One on One" , doing in depth interviews which aired in Israel and in the UK. She participated in missions to the USSR to meet with Refuseniks, to Ethiopia with a medical team to help the Jewish villages and to China to open up relations prior to China recognizing the State of Israel, She has been pro-active lobbying congress and helping to start a Pro Israel PAC in Los Angeles. She stays involved through the Jerusalem Press Club attending up to the moment briefings which she would like to share with the readers. Ms. Diamond is the author of the new website - and is the 2018 recipient of the "StandWithUs"-Israel leadership award.
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