Sunday, June 11, 2006


Three inmates commit suicide at Guantanamo: how should we regard that? If one had killed himself, we might have put it down to being held in oppressive conditions, or cruelty by the guards. If three had killed themselves at intervals of a month or so, this point of view would have been endorsed. But three killing themselves at the same time sounds like a conspiracy. Remember these are people who regularly kill themselves as terrorist acts. Suicide bombers don't kill themselves to damage property or to kill a few American troops, they do it to push home a propaganda message, to attack allied morale, to sap the will of the American people. The suicides at Guantanamo have the same motive.

I was beginning to think that Guantanamo would have to be closed, but I have changed my mind. It may be that some of those locked up there were innocent by-standers, but these suicides make clear that among those imprisoned are some of the right people. If they are willing to engage in a suicide conspiracy to make a propaganda point, these are seriously dangerous people; the kind that become suicide bombers if they are let out.

Viet Nam became a media war in which the Americans were defeated because their public opinion was more tender-hearted. Iraq could go the same way. Whatever the reasons for toppling Saddam, Iraq has turned into a surrogate war between the forces of oppression and those of democracy. It may surprise some readers to learn that the oppressors are not the Americans but the Islamists who oppress people in the following ways: they do not allow women to dress the way they want to or to have an independent existence apart from that of their fathers or husbands; they do not allow the practice of any religion except their own and in particular do not allow those whose background was Muslim to choose a religion for themselves; they do not allow freedom of expression; they do not allow freedom of sexual orientation; they commend murderers; they dop not respect the human rights of their prisoners.

The new chairman of the East London Mosque, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, has given an interview to the Daily Telegraph. In it he praises Britain's tolerance, education system, innovation and hard work, but criticises drunkenness, gambling and divorce. Such critisism would not come amiss from the Archbishop of Cantebury, but not Dr Bari's proposed remedy - arranged marriages. Nevertheless, I applaud Dr Bari's approach to evangelism; he tries to convert people by reasoned arguement, not with bombs and bullets. It goes to show that Muslims should not all be tarred with the same brush. I think their religion is wrong and misleads millions, but in matters of religion people must be allowed to make their own mistakes. A coerced conversion is no conversion at all.

There is a natural tendency for the Press to stand up for the underdog. Enemies of America receive an oversympathetic treatment by the media because of this. People should realize that Amrica can be defeated only by propaganda. The enemy realizes this and all his fire is directed in this way. Journalists should apply the same scrutiny to allegations against the US government that they rightly apply to statements by the US government. Scientific journals now insist that authors declare their interests before publishing their papers. Newspapers should ask their informants to do the same. They are quick to declare when the Army is the source. Of course, there is no journalistic advancement in regurgitating government handouts, but a native source gains kudos. The native source recognizes how useful gullible idiots can be to its cause.

Just think for a moment what Guantanamo would be like if it were run by the Islamists. Hooded men would gloatingly behead the prisoners in front of the television cameras.


Vance Esler said...

Too bad more of them did not participate in the suicide conspiracy...

Anonymous said...

I like your thinking here. The only way to defeat America is to get the media to carry your message to the masses, and cause them to doubt the validity of the cause.

America is a weak country, filled with those who are filled with self-loathing. It is ready to fall if pushed the right way.

Europe thinks it would love America to fall to impotence, but woe onto them if they would ask for America's help in the future. We just might not be there when they call.

If it weren't for Pearl Harbor, America probably wouldn't have entered World War II. And Hitler made it easy on use by declaring war on us on December 8, 1941. There was no debate from that point on.

Europe may have defeated Hitler without the US, but most of Europe would then have be Soviet client-states. Without US aid, survival against the Germans might have been impossible.

Anyway, we are again at war, though most Americans would prefer surrender than to keep fighting in Iraq.

Ill-informed Americans constitute the 'soft belly' of American power. Indeed, that may be the case with democracies in general.

Steve Madden said...

Guantanamo is a disgrace, if America (or realistically american politicians) think that they are defending freedom, how can they do that by breaking international law and ignoring the Geneva Conventions.

There have been 21 suicide attempts so far, the guards have stopped investigating because they fear being tricked by prisoners.

Remember Nelson Mandela was a terrorist for 22 years.

Terry Hamblin said...

Nelson Mandella didn't hijack for airplanes and fly them into New York City and Washington. Nelson Mandella didn't blow up trains in Madrid. Nelson Mandella didn't put suicide bombers on underground trains and a bus in London. Nelson Mandella was fighting against racial hatred and opression. The Islamist Fascists are fighting for the right to oppress women, to cut the hands off thieves, to hang homosexuals, to oppress Christians and Jews and to stone Muslims who give up their faith.

Think of it this way. Physiologists have come to recognise that the blood is an organ. Unlike the liver or pancreas, it is not in a single place, but infiltrates every organ. Traditionally war has been fought between nation states, or in the case of civil war between competitors for power in a single nation state. The war we are fighting now is not between nation states but between ideologies. The fascist Islamists see themselves as a quasi state. They have their own laws and their own loyalties. Like the blood they infiltrate other states. When they take prisoners, most of whom are non-combatants, they behead them on television. Nelson Mandella did not do that either.

The term asymetric warfare has been coined. One side is far more powerful, but operates according to long established codes of warfare, the other much weaker can only win by operating outside the rules - it takes no heed of the Geneva convention, it murders prisoners, it lies and cheats, it hides behind women and children and it destroys sacred shrines. Imagine a soccer match where one side is allowed to kick and maim, to score when offside, to handle the ball and all the time the crowd giving credence to the excuse that they had to cheat otherwise they would be easily beaten. Soccer is sometimes seen as a surrogate for war, but we are talking about the real thing. People are really being killed.

Readers will know that treating a cancer of the blood is not like treating a cancer of the breast; you can't just cut it out. Chemotherapy is to some degree effective, but it always involves some collateral damage to normal tissue. This is very regrettable and if there were a way round it we would take it. But readers will also know that if the cancer is left untreated it will consume and destroy the organs it has infiltrated.

Until we have therapy targeted at Fascist Islamists we have to accept that there will be innocent casualties. Most of the deaths we are seeing in Iraq, for instance, are not the result of the treatment, they are the effect of the infiltrating cancer.

Many of those who originally went to Guantanamo have been released but a hard core remain and thinking what to do with them is difficult. In a conventional war they would be in a POW camp until the war ended. At the present rate of progress that might mean life imprisonment without trial. In earlier times prisoners gave their parole - they agreed to take no further part in hostilities. Who could be trusted now to hold to that?

The intention of terrorists is to change the societies in which they operate. To resist them all societies become more oppressive. Right thinking people are distressed by this and resist it, but in doing so thay become unwiting allies of the terrorists. History shows that bad men can hoodwink good people. In the 1930s many were hoodwinked by Stalin. I am afraid that many are being taken in by the Islamist Fascists

Anonymous said...

Terry, wonderful reply. You recognize the danger and speak eloquently to it.

Steve Madden said...

Nelson Mandela and the ANC were commited to armed struggle against oppressors.

The issue of Guantanamo is complex, but the people there are being held illegally.

If you think it is OK for executive government to be judge and jury and executioner then the westminster system is failing.

We live in our societies thanks to the rule of law if we take away these freedoms the terrorists have won.

I agree with your comments on terrorists, but Guantanamo is not about terrorism it is about human rights.

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