Thursday, February 16, 2006

"My hypocrisy knows no bounds...." 

Let's forget that the Guantanamo Bay US Base exists on the land of another country (against that country's wishes)(Not to mention a country with whom we have no political recourse; whose president/dictator we have tried to assasinate, depose and shout out of office; a country whose poverty we have helped to ensure by keeping in place a crippling embargo for 45 years).

But how can we forget that this 'free' country of ours is holding people prisoner there without charging them or allowing the UN to check out their scene, with reports of abuse and torture rampant? The UN just issued a report that, of course, our high officials are reacting to with great scorn and annoyance, with no sign of shame or an apologetic nature. Perhaps there is nothing to apologize for. But again I ask, why not let the UN in to inspect? If this UN report was based on only partial truths (according to Scott McClellan, who also said the UN should not waste their time on this issue but should investigate other things. Huh?), how about letting them in and letting them get the full story? If there is nothing to hide, what can the harm be in letting the UN talk to individual prisoners?

How is this govt still so arrogant as to continually be pulling the "do as I say not as I do" routine? We hold everyone else to standards that we do not apply to our own actions (such as, hmm, torture is bad and no one should do that! But, well, maybe there are cases where we can allow our folks to employ it. You know, to stop terrorists...)

Check out this article and this one. Nothing groundbreaking or shocking. Sad, however. And embarrassing.

A buddy and I were talking about this the other night. Say the people held in GB had/have knowledge about al Qaeda plans and whatnot. They've been imprisoned for years now. Like my buddy said, they have no knowledge of anything recent. If something was planned, it's been scrapped and new plans have taken the place of the old plans. What possible useful info can these people give up? Where to find bin Laden or where training camps are? These groups are not countries-they are very mobile and things change constantly. So, why exactly are they still being detained?

Remember the Cuban missle crisis. Bearded one with nuclear weapons on our coast? UN? represented by those who have an ax to grind against the US? Torture? Ho Ho Ho, never works saying pretty please, trust me.
No, I do NOT remember the Cuban Missile Crisis because it was what, 40 years ago? The bearded one did not put the missiles on our coast. He became a pawn in the Cold War (remember that?) between the US and USSR. It was the USSR who put the missiles there (mid-range missiles, not the short-range ones that Castro agreed to. Another Cuban screwing by another country (see: Spain, USA), partly in response to our lining their borders with nukes. So, are the actions of a fallen nation (the USSR) 40 years in the past a sufficient reason to continue to blockade a third party (Cuba)? Not to say Castro is innocent in all that, but we trade with Russia and Vietnam, do we not? If you think this makes sense, please explain it to me in a way that it doesn't sound like a grudge match against a dictator we failed to kick out of power.

As for the UN, isn't the US one of the main members? Perhaps one of the most influential? Do we have an axe to grind against ourselves?

Saying pretty please may not work, but is torture effcetive (we won't get into the humanity of it) against people years out of touch with the information we seek?

Did we not condemn torture of US soldiers in Vietnam? Torture in Iraq? In Cuba, Bosnia, USSR, China, etc etc etc? Why is it ok for us to torture for information but not for all these other countries? Oh yeah. Because the US is one big damn boyscout whose intentions are much higher and purer than the rest of the world...the US stands for good (hopefully our Christian God (this is not a jab at Christianity, only our administration and the trend I feel our country has adopted) will protect those that dare to think differently) Sorry, that is some BS I can not swallow.
First off, "torture" here has been proven to be such badness as loud music and making people stand in a hot room. There is a fine line between thorough interrogation techniques and torture. The Newsweek story was wrong...the Koran was never tinkled on. Abu Ghraib, this is not.

Secondly, this report has been made by people with less than first hand knowledge of the very accusations that they're making. The UN is griping that they've only been to the base, but they're not allowed to speak to the detainees (the International Red Cross has been by the way)...I honestly don't have a problem with this since the UN is an utter joke of an organization. You seem to bow at their altar, and for the life of me, I can't understand why.

I suppose if you want a group to funnel money into private coffers that was meant to help people, then the UN is your group. Or if you're looking for some folks who pass resolutions with no teeth, then these guys are the best.

How about the UN Human Rights Commission...such countries as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, and those bastard Americans (threw that one in for your benefit) have had their shot at running that subsect.

Alright, I'm done ranting now...been reading this blog for a year or so, and this is the first post of substance for me...usually just shake my head at what's probably a lost cause.

p.s. I also think you need to get a job and stop being such a frickin hippie (sorry, Cartman flashbacks).
hey anonymous, if i asked you your religion, i'd bet you'd tell me your christian or catholic. guess what? torture is not right for any country, or any religion. we are not god. cuba is not god. vietnam is not god. the ussr is not god. it's not right to imprison people without trial no matter what your country. is the show of the greatness of your country that your country need'nt follow laws? all countries have to. you're as naive as ancient romans believing they'd be in power forever, because they were, "right". i don't care what your religion says. jesus wasn't white, and your beliefs are not the end all of the universe. open minds are hard to come by, i'm sorry you can't see a world beyond the good 'ol USA. it may be the whiskey talking, but at least i have the balls to back up my convictions with my real name. i am stu schuster. you have a problem send it to lowfuel@hotmail.com.
if you don't have the balls to leave your name, you lack the courage of your convictions and your opinion is worthless to me.
Hey Corey, that's amazing....in the US you guessed the average person is either Christian or Catholic....I don't care how much booze you drink, it only makes you better. (BTW, you know me, and I guarantee I've seen you go to mass a lot more than you ever saw me, but I'm enjoying the ruffling of your feathers...not very Do unto others-ish of me I know).

Also, I don't know what you're talking about with the whole Jesus not being white thing...have you ever seen a painting of him? I mean come on, they got Willem Defoe to play him and he's the whitest white guy in the world.

Now what laws are you referring to? If you're talking about civilian criminal court, then no these enemy combatants, picked up on the field of battle taking up arms against American forces, will be denied their Jesus Christ Lord and Savior given rights to a civilian patty caking, or what we refer to as the U.S. criminal court system....what to do, what to do. Oh, I know, how about a military trial (they call that a "tribunal"). It's just like a trial, but without Ramsey Clark and CNN (read "speedy trial").

It's just a difference of opinion, I suppose, but I don't look at these issues as those that are solved by or deserving of civilian courts.

Lets see, lets see...Open minds beyond the USA...you're right, I haven't dropped everything to go on a Zen cruise around the world like you have. If that works for you, then great. I, being as anonymous as I am, have done far more traveling than you give me credit for, and you hurt my feelings acting like I'm just some rube sitting in my trailer park in Little Rock. But, then again, when you're spewing off at a thousand different directions, what better than vitriol and comments about your balls. Maybe, we should have a peace out and swim in petruli oil (sorry, still can't resist the hippy references).

Lastly, I don't have an answer, but since you seem to, what would you do to extract information from a suspect? Don't get me wrong, the pictures from Iraq are an absolute shame and embarassment to me, so before you say it, I don't support "torture." The difference between us is the stuff that I've read coming out of Gitmo, seems like discomfort at best. Like I said before, Abu Ghraib, this is not.

So after you've given your rubdowns and pedicures to your prisoner, and he doesn't feel the need to tell you where the next sneak attack will be on (insert something you care about here), then what do you do?

Aahh! A dialogue! I love it! And I love the intrigue that comes with anonymous posts that end with tittilating hints at the author (I really do!).

First of all, A, reread the comments and who posted them. While I don't disagree with what my brother had to say (you are awesome, Stu!), you've attributed much of what he said to me. Try again.

Now, as for the comment that this was my first post of any substance in over a year? And that I am a lost cause? Wow. That is sad. And I don't mean for me. A lot of what I have posted over the last year has been about my travels and the cultures and what I've learned. How is there no substance in that? Unless you don't see any value in knowing anything about anywhere but the US. Isolationism is a nice dream, but it's impossible at this point. Not caring what other people think about the US and not accepting that how countries act(primarily the US, being the most powerful country) affects all others is what has helped to get us to where we are these days-hated by most and 'under attack'. If you feel that my questioning of the US govt and way of life is worthless, I think you need to pull your head out of the sand. This country is not perfect. Accept that, and try to make it better. I've been told to "get out of this country if you hate it so much". An ignorant comment. I don't hate this country at all. I love it. Which is why I am not content to sit back and say "we're not perfect, but we're better than most". I want to see the flaws, expose them, and work on improving this place. If you can't see a problem, you can't fix it.


As for the UN, I do not bow down to them. In fact, I don't like the UN. My issue is the insistence that others be beholden to the UN while telling them to mind their own business when 'butting' into ours.

(Not everyone being held in Guantanamo was picked up 'on the field of battle', nor are they all enemy combatants.)

Back to the torture shtuff. I brought it up in reference to GB. Again I ask, what info can these prisoners provide after being in detention for years? What relevant info is there to get out of them??

Call me crazy, but being held for years, without being charged for anything or getting any sort of trial, having no contact with family or friends and being in prison seems like more than a discomfort to me. (Not to mention other actions above and beyond this)

Believe it or not, having a job isn't the only way to contribute to society and serve a purpose. Nor is it always the best way to learn and work on self-improvement. As for the hippy shit, it's been old for a while. I called no one a non-traveling rube, tho perhaps I would feel an inkling of regret had I done so but for the constant dismissal of anything I have to say as worthless hippy rhetoric. My decision to live differently than you does not diminish the validity of my views or lifestyle.
Cool!!! Your should run for public office, either local or national and put your beliefs on the line---doesn't cost much--I'll donate a dollar.
>Now, as for the comment that this was my first post of any substance in over a year?<

Admittedly, I wasn't clear on this...the "first substantive" comment meant of mine. Instead of posting, I usually just shake my head. I think your stuff is substantive...I might disagree with it, but it's still substantive.

>Unless you don't see any value in knowing anything about anywhere but the US.<

Again a complete misread on your part. While I haven't gone to as many places as yourself, I've been to more than most. What does multiculturism and diversity have to do with the comments of the original post? I never said or thought "get out of this country." I'm more at a lack of understanding why you seem to keep running away from it.

I'm not looking for an explanation, just expressing what I've heard numerous people, that you know, say to anyone but you.

>(Not everyone being held in Guantanamo was picked up 'on the field of battle', nor are they all enemy combatants.)<

Must be little grandmothers baking Ramadan cookies then.

>Again I ask, what info can these prisoners provide after being in detention for years? What relevant info is there to get out of them??<

I doubt any at this point. I also doubt that they're even being tortured, most especially at this time. To presume that our soldiers are torturing prisoners for nothing, would put them in a category of animals. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in this case.

>Call me crazy, but being held for years, without being charged for anything or getting any sort of trial, having no contact with family or friends and being in prison seems like more than a discomfort to me.<

You made repeated claims that they were tortured...I replied with specifics as to what I heard the techniques of interrogation were down there. To me, that is not torture. Being in prison, while not fun, is not torture. And again, as far as my reading has gone, they are receiving military trials.

Good night and good luck
All I have to add to this lively discussion is a reminder to an event that took place a couple years ago. I believe GB's FIRST reason to invade iraq (which, as we all know, over time, has changed numerous times) is because Mr. Saddam wasn't letting UN nuclear inspectors in. Remember that? The UN shook their fist at him (one more time, after 12 years of shaking their fist), he gave the rest of the world the finger and...What did our country do? We bombed Iraq, chased him out of office.

We haven't let UN inspectors into guantanamo. Who will bomb us for it? And who, oh who, will chase GB out of office for it?

It's good to be king.

To me, there is NO question as to the whether or not torture is going on. It is. If it wasn't, we would have let the inspectors in. And I'm not talking about loud music or hot rooms. Do I agree with torture? No. Never. I don't care what justifications you have for it. It makes innocent people lie...so how can we ever trust what comes out of their mouths...maybe they are just making shit up to stop the torture. It seems to be about as effective as kidnapping innocent people and chopping off their heads. And about as humane.

The US's favoriet philosophy to live by is 'do as I say, not as I do'.
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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com