After his second night in Baghdad, he contacted the Associated Press, telling them that he had come to do research and humanitarian work. The AP contacted the U.S. Embassy, who sent soldiers to pick him up, and he's on his way home this weekend. Upon his arrival, he plans to "kiss the ground and hug everyone." (Incidentally, the prep school that Farris attends threatened to expel him because of the incident, but his parents convinced school officials to change their minds.)
While on his trip, Farris completed an essay that he'd started while in school, stating the reasons he wanted to volunteer in Iraq:
"There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil, between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction," he wrote.Was it a stupid idea? Sure; all kinds of things could have gone wrong. But you have to admire the kid in a way; what he lacks in good judgement, he makes up for in cojones de acero. I don't think this is the last we'll hear from Farris Hassan, though we may have to wait until he's done being grounded...which may well be until he's 25.
"Those terrorists are not human but pure evil. For their goals to be thwarted, decent individuals must answer justice's call for help. Unfortunately altruism is always in short supply. Not enough are willing to set aside the material ambitions of this transient world, put morality first, and risk their lives for the cause of humanity. So I will."
“I want to experience during my Christmas the same hardships ordinary Iraqis experience everyday, so that I may better empathize with their distress.” (source)
UPDATE: Some interesting comments on a post written by a fellow Althouse reader. There's a variety of opinions here, ranging from the "ground him for the rest of high school and take away his computer" variety to "I would've done the same thing if I were in his shoes." I particularly liked this comment; here's an excerpt:
Thunder from down under: It's not quite New Year's Day here, but they've already celebrated in the other half of the world. This story has a cool picture of the annual fireworks display over the Sydney Harbour in Australia; hey, James--do you ever go to this?
The only solution to this kind of strong-willed cussedness is to send it out into the world, to get knocked around by reality. And sometimes, not knowing what is impossible, such spirits accomplish the impossible. It's youth's biggest advantage, as well as its biggest weakness.
More generally, this indicates a problem with America's treatment of youth in general. We have infantalized them to the point that we constantly hear people talk about people in their late teens and early twenties as kids. Hey, a man in his twenties driving or commanding a tank in combat IS NOT A CHILD!
And a sixteen year-old is old enough to make his own mistakes, and bear the consequences. He might not be old enough to be considered fully mature, but to treat him like a six year-old is stupid. Mr. Hassan, I salute you!
--"Icepick" (another fellow Althouse reader)
Pretty frappin' crazy: I was in a Starbucks mood this afternoon, so I went to the one in Firewheel, and confusion ensued when someone else made a grab for my drink when my name was called. We discovered that it wasn't that either of us had mis-heard the barista, but rather that we were both named Kevin and had each ordered a tall peppermint mocha Frappuccino. (What's the chance of that?) We also figured out that I had gotten there before the other Kevin, so I did get to keep the first one.
The best (three) things in life are free: I know that everyone has mixed opinions on gift cards, but the ones from food establishments are definitely pretty cool in my book. A few nights ago, Coop and I went to Frisco for a Trifecta (for the uninitiated, that's here, here and here in the same trip, and they all have to be within walking distance of each other (for obvious reasons). Thanks to the many gift cards I'd gotten for Christmas, my burrito with a donut-and-mocha chaser cost me a grand total of 87 cents; had my Starbucks card not been almost depleted, the whole thing would have been free.