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Guantanamo Bay Prisoners
"An article questioning the demonisation of the detainees and analysing their actual "crime". The conclusion is that rather than being treated like animals, these people should be honoured for upholding so called western values of defence of the weak and the oppressed. The author also wonders whether it is wise to treat your enemy so badly knowing thatr in war, your own POWs are very vulnerable."
The United States will release two dozen prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in the coming weeks, an American envoy said Friday. Pierre-Richard Prosper, the U.S ambassador-at-large for war crimes, said several dozen other prisoners will be transferred to the custody of authorities in their native countries. This follows the release of 5 Pakistani prisoners from the Camp earlier this week.
Let us examine this in more detail. According to the U.S. the 600 odd prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are the most dangerous international terrorists in the world, willing to blow themselves up in a suicide attack if given half a chance. These monsters, who include 3 children, believe the purpose of their life is to engage in an open-ended war of terror against the West. These people are such a threat to every “infidel” they encounter that they must be bound, shackled and hooded lest they dare attempt to take the life of one of the prison guards with the infamous “stare of death”. Moreover, these psychos are so fanatical that they do not deserve to be treated like human beings with certain basic human rights. Lets be honest, why should we give these animals the protection from torture which the whole world has recognised as something completely abhorrent to the civilized world we live in. International human rights law? Fawgett about it! Cuff ‘em, hood ‘em, beat ‘em, kill ‘em. Do what you want with ‘em. Whatever they get is too good for them.
So that’s exactly what we did. We cuffed ‘em, hooded ‘em, beat ‘em and will probably kill ‘em all. That is except for the 5 Pakistanis sent home last week. And the 11 others released in July. And the several dozen others who will be released in the coming weeks. Yeah, that’s rights. This is how we treat these maniacs who threaten our way of life and everything we hold dear here in the West. We cuff ‘em, hood ‘em, beat ‘em, isolate ‘em and … erm … free ‘em. Yes, the US has just released a bunch of people back into society who for almost 2 years were held illegally without charge in a concentration camp, in the belief that they were the most wicked individuals to walk the face of the earth. But after 2 years of torture, the US now feels that, “Hey! Maybe these guys are telling the truth. Maybe they don’t actually know Osama. Maybe that taxi driver was actually fighting against the Taleban!!”
Could it be that these guys actually weren’t the maniacs we made them out to be?? Could it be that many of these were actually innocent people caught up in the greatest witch-hunt since the Cold War?? Could it be that some of these were innocent people who rose to defend their country against foreign invaders?? Could it be that many more of these, who were picked up in Europe and illegally sent to the Cuban concentration camp, were innocent Muslims with legitimate grievances against the US?? Their crime? They exercised their right to free speech – they spoke out against the Americans.
Let us try and look at this from the viewpoint of a Pakistani detainee. September 11 2001 – as you hear about the atrocities committed in the U.S., you cannot help but feel a little happiness that for once, the hunter has become the hunted. Yes, thousands of innocents perished in the attack but for once, the Americans will feel the pain and anguish felt by victims of American terror around the world from places as far apart as Guatemala to Iraq to Japan. As wrong as it may be, it is difficult to suppress the sentiment of justice being done.
A few weeks later, the U.S. lead international community, begin dropping bombs on Afghanistan, without evidence linking her to the New York attacks. You think; once again the Muslims are being slaughtered by international terrorists. It looks familiar – you remember similar terror campaigns carried out in the name of freedom and democracy in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Palestine. You recall the screams of little children as their tiny limbs are blown off by American bombs. You shudder with fear as you recollect the cries of women as their houses and families are destroyed by the invading forces.
Now once again, you witness these symbols of terror launching another brutal campaign against the innocent people of Afghanistan. What do you do? Do you stay at home and wait for them to finish and move on to your country? Or do you do what the international community did in 1991 when Iraq invaded Kuwait? You rush to defend the innocent and the weak and repel the attackers in an act of collective self-defence. You see the American lead troops as not only a threat to your way of life, but as a threat to life itself. So off you go with your rifle in your hand and your heart on your sleeve.
In a truly just world, these brave people would be honoured as heroes for their noble actions. They charged forth from their homes to uphold the virtues of justice, law and order, sacrificing their lives in the process. They strove to uphold principles common to Western systems of justice such as the right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, freedom from torture and the right to self-defence.
But we live in a world where might is right and where global politics have twisted the norms of justice. Such people are not welcome in this world and are condemned as evil terrorists. We live in a world in which the rogue superpower has invaded 2 sovereign countries in 2 years, resulting in the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians. Moreover, this has been done without any evidence linking the Taleban to September 11th or Saddam Hussein to Osama Bin Laden.
As the super-terrorist state prepares for its next attack on the people of Syria and Iran, it should bear something in mind. People of justice will not stay silent. They will come to help the oppressed. The U.S. must take heed of the fact that many of its soldiers may very well become captives at any stage and in any country. The U.S. regards this as an open-ended war on terror where Muslim prisoners may be captured anywhere in the world and held captive without charge, without trial, and without any legal rights for the duration of the war. Similarly, its enemies will view the next escapade, wherever it may be, as the latest extension in an open-ended War against Islam and capture and treat American captives accordingly.
A note for the wise – Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated.
by courtesy & © 2003 Fahad Ansari
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