Sunday, June 11, 2006



"An act of warfare"

Last night, three detainees at the US gulag in Guantanamo committed suicide. That's an indictement of the US arbitrary detention system, but the reaction of US camp commandant, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, simply floored me:

"They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."

Yes, they did it to make America look bad. The fact that they had been detained without trial for four years, interrogated, beaten, forcibly medicated, force-fed, frozen, baked, waterboarded, terrorised with their worst phobias, and that there was no sign that this mistreatment was ever going to end clearly had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

If an individual harried someone to suicide and then responded in this way, we would regard them as an egotistical psychopath, willing to spout any bullshit in order to avoid admitting what they had done. And that, I think, is exactly how we should regard America at the moment.

14 comments:

Bit strange they did it all on the same day, though. Almost like it were planned. And your reaction to it does reinforce the "act of warfare" comment.

Posted by Lucyna : 6/11/2006 04:15:00 PM

In what way exactly does an individual ending their life in an act of despair constitute an 'act of war'?

Posted by Gary Young : 6/11/2006 05:39:00 PM

What really gets me is how there will be many who believe that pathetic statement.

Posted by Zeb : 6/11/2006 07:05:00 PM

Who said it was an "act of despair"? That's only your interpretation of it, gary young. Three suicides on the same day, after no previous suicides at all. Seems very suspicious.

Posted by Lucyna : 6/11/2006 08:50:00 PM

I suppose it's 'warfare' in the same sense that any other nonviolent satyagraha action is 'warfare'.

Not exactly 'making the other bastard die for his country' though.

Posted by Nate : 6/11/2006 10:34:00 PM

Lucyna:
Next time some local kid kills himself after being bullied for years, go tell his parents what a prick he was to attack the bullies like that.

Posted by tussock : 6/12/2006 01:11:00 AM

lucyna.

no depth perception.

do you get half off the price of glasses? only needing half and all?

Posted by che tibby : 6/12/2006 07:16:00 AM

Che, is that the best insult you can come up with? Can you people not understand, three people commit suicide all on the same day in a place where NO ONE has ever committed suicide before.

Tussock, my best friend committed suicide when I was a kid - I know the difference between despair and what appears to be a political point. You obviously don't.

Posted by Lucyna : 6/12/2006 11:39:00 AM

Nobody has successfully committed suicide there before, perhaps, but there have been over 40 reported attempts. That's slightly above the rate for the wider population, I suspect.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 6/12/2006 12:41:00 PM

Lucyna: I know well enough as it happens, you are simply looking at this in too shallow a fashion. Even people on the way out can try and make a point about their suffering.

Posted by tussock : 6/12/2006 05:41:00 PM

You also have to ask what the hell other form of protest is open to them..:
- they have zero access to media, the red cross, their families ie any convention means to be heard
- they're interred in a legal black hole which gives them precisely zero hope of a legal solution. Hell, even their lawyers aren't allowed access to details of charges, or "evidence" where and if it exists
- if they even try to hunger strike, they're freakin' force-fed with tubes

So they have precisely one form of protest open - to top themselves. If that's the one form of political act available, it says infinitely more about the conditions of detention than about the detainees..

Posted by Huskynut : 6/12/2006 06:29:00 PM

lucyna, that wasn't meant to be an insult.

the problem is that you're assuming that the suicides were intended to be an 'attack on the west'. but this just reinforces your own perception of these detainees guilt. i.e, they did it because 'they hate us'.

you haven't taken into account that they might just formed a pact to bring their plight to world attention, as huskynut says.

after all, they've been in a prison for four years WITHOUT DUE PROCESS.

considering loose attitudes to persons-labelled-terrorists in other american prisons, you'd have to think that suicide would be the way to escape?

but no. just like your comrade adolf you assume that it's part of some fictional global jihad. but, again, we have been given no proof that these people are actually jihadi!

Posted by che tibby : 6/12/2006 07:14:00 PM

" Almost like it were planned."

Suicide pacts are far from unknown. If they agreed to one that doesn't make them hugely unusual (as suicide go) or political agents. Suicide pacts are not usually treated as an "act of war".

Give it up, Lucyna.

Posted by Icehawk : 6/12/2006 09:15:00 PM

Reminds me of the Bad Old Days in South Africa.

Somewhen after the 20th guy jumped from a high window / hung himself in Police headquarters there were still idiots denying anything could possibly be wrong.

Somewhen after the 40th the police woke up and placed a ban on reporting these things.

They also put bars on all the windows.

Thereafter people just disappeared, uncounted, unreported.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/19/2006 10:01:00 PM