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.