When a trial is conducted behind closed doors, then we must rely on context from past history...and hope.

Context for Roxana Saberi's current situation—on trial today on espionage charges in Iran—seems so bizarre to those of us who know her or her work from her growing up years here in Fargo.

It's hard to process, this imprisonment. For a young woman whose high school team played soccer against Saberi's team from Fargo's North High. For a community absorbed with the floodwatch which goes on hereabouts, threatening smaller neighboring communities now, yet still Roxana's plight tugs at our heartstrings.

We empathize with the anguish her parents have gone through—so strong that they have travelled from Fargo to Iran to give their daughter what moral support they can with limited family visits allowed.

As Omid Memarian, Rotary World Peace Fellow at UC Berkeley, writes, this trial, this framing as spy is business as usual in Iran. And he has strong expectations that within weeks she will be released.

We have strong expectations around here, too. That we can stay one sandbag, one dike ahead of the flooding which licks at our towns and roads and farmsteads.

Hard lessons, this patience business, this getting up and straining muscles to fill sandbags or toss 'em into place, or feeding volunteers. Fargo, expected now to have a manageable second crest, is today in the business of trucking sandbags to help Valley City keep the Sheyenne out of its backyards and basements...and attics.

Today, President Barack Obama is expected to tell the American people that our expectations for economic recovery, too, must be grounded in patience and dogged persistence, until we are once again safe from the deluge. But that will come at a price, a "new normal" that accepting will not come easy.

Accepting that your home is lost to you forever doesn't come easy to flood victims.

Accepting that the country you loved from your heritage can imprison you on whim doubtless doesn't come easy either.

We'd do well to remember that doesn't just happen "there"...it happens here, too.


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette