Sunday, June 18, 2006

Guantanamo suicides

''They have no regard to life, neither ours nor their own. And I believe this was not an act of desperation, rather an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us."
Rear Admiral Harry Harris, the camp's commander

Another US official, Colleen Graffy, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, told the BBC the suicides were "a good PR move to draw attention".

How the U.S hid the suicide secrets of Guantanamo, today's Observer.

From WH Auden, The Shield of Achilles

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as dry and level as the place:
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.

...

Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot
Where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke)
And sentries sweated for the day was hot:
A crowd of ordinary decent folk
Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke
As three pale figures were led forth and bound
To three posts driven upright in the ground.

The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same
Lay in the hands of others; they were small
And could not hope for help and no help came:
What their foes like to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died.

''Last week Rumsfeld got what he wanted: the removal of media scrutiny from Guantanamo's deepest crisis...''

FOOTNOTE

''The number of soldiers diagnosed with psychiatric problems brought on by the stress of service in Iraq has dramatically escalated since the beginning of the war, according to new figures from the Ministry of Defence.
In 2005, the military authorities were notified of 727 cases of troops with psychiatric disorders brought on by their period in Iraq - an average of 60 each month, or two every day...''
Bush, finally '' I'd like to close Guantanomo'' ( June 14th 2006).
I’d like to close Guantanamo," Mr Bush said. "But I also recognise that we’re holding some people that are darned dangerous, and that we’d better have a plan to deal with them in our courts.
"No question, Guantanamo sends, you know, a signal to some of our friends - provides an excuse, for example, to say, ’The United States is not upholding the values that they’re trying (to) encourage other countries to adhere to.’
"My answer to them is, is that we are a nation of laws. Eventually, these people will have trials and they will have counsel and they will be represented in a court of law."
When? And what will be left of them to represent?
What their foes like to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died.
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, rest in peace, for no-one, whatever they have done - and we don't know, because they were never tried deserved to be left to rot like that. That the nation that promises peace and justice and democracy cannot sort out a trial for those it captures, but instead holds them til they are maddened and despairing in the most hellish conditions; that pictures of such abuse explode the charge of stinking hypocrite in the face of what is said to be done for freedom and democracy, that hearts and minds are turned against America and its allies with vicious consequences here and abroad, is obscene.
Blair's equivocation in the face of all this is vile. Especially as he is both a Christian, and a lawyer.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

The Guantánamo suicides are so shameful for us here in the United States.

June 19, 2006 4:08 am  
Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

I can only quote Sonia and add that I agree.

June 21, 2006 8:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel no shame in the suicides...if the same unwillingness to deal with the perpetrators of this kind of evil was manifest during WW11, the make-up of present Europe would be entirely different...sorry, tough things must happen in order to protect the lives of many. Isn't that what this site addresses in the first place?

July 07, 2006 8:39 pm  

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