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Old 06-11-2006, 05:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Asymetric warfare is coming for you!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5068606.stm
Quote:
Guantanamo suicides 'acts of war'

These are the first suicides at the base, despite dozens of attempts
The suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amount to acts of war, the US military says.
The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were "committed" and had killed themselves in "an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us".

Lawyers said the men who hanged themselves had been driven by despair.

A military investigation into the deaths is now under way, amid growing calls for the detention centre to be moved or closed.

Walter White, an international lawyer who specialises in human rights, told the BBC the Guantanamo camp was likely to be considered a "great stain" on the human rights record of the US.

There have been dozens of suicide attempts since the camp was set up four years ago - but none successful until now.

The men were found unresponsive and not breathing by guards on Saturday morning, said officials.

They were in separate cells in Camp One, the highest security section of the prison.

I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of warfare waged against us

Rear Adm Harry Harris
Camp commander


They hanged themselves with clothing and bed sheets, camp commander Rear Adm Harry Harris said.

He said medical teams had tried to revive the men, but all three were pronounced dead.

'Creative'

Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.

"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said.

"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."

If it's perfectly legal and there's nothing going wrong there - well, why don't they have it in America?

Harriet Harman
UK Constitutional Affairs Minister


All three men had previously taken part in some of the mass on-and-off hunger strikes undertaken by detainees since last August, and all three had been force-fed by camp authorities.

They had left suicide notes, but no details have been made available.

The US military said the men's bodies were being treated "with the utmost respect".

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Mr Bush had "expressed serious concern" at the deaths.

"He also stressed that it was important to treat the bodies humanely and with cultural sensitivity," he said.

A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair described the suicide as a "sad incident".

'Heroes'

UK Constitutional Affairs Minister Harriet Harman told the BBC on Sunday the camp should be moved to the US or shut down.

"If it's perfectly legal and there's nothing going wrong there - well, why don't they have it in America and then the American court system can supervise it?" she said.

William Goodman from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights told AFP news agency the three dead men were "heroes for those of us who believe in basic American values of justice, fairness and democracy".

Mr Goodman, whose organisation represents some 300 detainees, said the government had denied them that.

Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, told the BBC the men had probably been driven by despair.

"These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly," he said.

"There's no end in sight. They're not being brought before any independent judges. They're not being charged and convicted for any crime."

On Friday, Mr Bush said he would "like to end Guantanamo", adding he believed the inmates "ought to be tried in courts here in the United States".

Damn, we better watch out, because if all these terror suspects keep hanging themselves, we could have another war on our hands!

I mean honestly, asymetric warfare? Hanging oneself to attack ones captors? I'd imagine that the guards would be happy there are three less prisoners to look after more than concerned mass riots will happen or whatnot.

The US military does make me wonder at times...
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Old 06-11-2006, 05:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah I read this today. I guess that you spend enough time dehumanising people eventually you can trick your mind into separating people into terrorists and non-terrorists. It reminds us that although the society we see around us appears to be a stable functional environment that rewards and punishes us, it is underpinned by a basic human empathy which is itself a product of the society . Under the right circumstances the mind forgoes empathy when it is no longer convenient, as in the case where you must make peace (reduce dissonance) with the fact that you are the commander of an evil institution created as a political stunt to help Americans get some sense of revenge.

I believe that America was fragile before 9/11 and is now beginning to implode upon itself unable to cope with the stress of the position that it occupies in the world. The rising household, government and foreign debt combined with the fact that oil is now being traded in euros is straining a world power that has no idea what it should be doing with its power and little values or wisdom beyond capitalism to offer to the world. Only the dominance in technology and booming tech industry will cushion America in the coming years.

Getting back to this article I'm somehow drawn to parallel's with Apocalypse Now. Add stress to any situation and you widen the possibilities of what people will accept or what they will do. In this case these individuals have become so divorced from reality that they see suicide as a personal attack on them because of the inconvenience that it serves to their purpose.

I guess we should all join Amnesty International? I have no idea how you convince an angry superpower to behave rationally.
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Old 06-11-2006, 05:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"medical teams had tried to revive the men, but all three were pronounced dead."

Quick! Get these men to the emergency ward! We're not through torturing them!
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Old 06-11-2006, 05:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's a sad sad world these days. Sometimes I can barely believe it.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Now they are saying it was a big PR stunt to get more sympathy for the inmates. Is it just me, or are they actually able to get anymore sympathy, i think everyone is pretty much maxed out on the crap that goes on there.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
On Friday, Mr Bush said he would "like to end Guantanamo", adding he believed the inmates "ought to be tried in courts here in the United States".
That's quite a turn around from his previous statements. By all means, Mr. President, shut it down now.
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Old 06-11-2006, 05:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
"These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly," he said.
Since when do PoW's get trails while the wars are still going on?

Oh right, they dont.
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Since when do PoW's get trails while the wars are still going on?
Huh? those are "enemy combatants" not POW's
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Old 06-12-2006, 01:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Since when do PoW's get trails while the wars are still going on?

Oh right, they dont.
According to Bush this war will be a war that goes on for decades like the war on drugs. So these guys are supposed to sit around imprisoned without trial for how many decades? Its already been multiple YEARS. These guy's lives are already destroyed. And what about hte families of these men that probably depended on their income? Their wives and children probably homeless and starving (unless they've been blown up or shot already.)

Think about it.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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With which country exactly is the US at war with?

There was a war with Iraq, but that's over now.

Last edited by Nimetic; 06-12-2006 at 02:44 AM.. Reason: Grammar (mostly)
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Not over, it's a war _in_ Iraq We're at war there too, remember?
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It gets worse.

The BBC have just announced that one of the men was going to be released, as they had decided that he was no risk to the US.

Sadly they have a policy on not informing the men in these circumstances.

That makes this the second time (at least) that a G'tmo prisoner has committed suicide after the authorities had decided that they were safe to release, but before the prisoner had been told.

This begs the question, why would a man that has been declared innocent and no risk commit an act of war?

Either ( a ) the man was really a risk - therefore declaring him safe shows that the American system has failings, or

( b ) the man was no risk - therefore he probably wasn't committing an act of war, but rather an act of desperation - so the American system has failings.

Someone is bound to point out that my silly liberal British views are in some way giving in to terror, but I honestly cannot see things from the US point of view right now.

It's getting pretty bad when the only way out of jail for an innocent man is in a coffin.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel_
This begs the question, why would a man that has been declared innocent and no risk commit an act of war?

Either ( a ) the man was really a risk - therefore declaring him safe shows that the American system has failings, or

( b ) the man was no risk - therefore he probably wasn't committing an act of war, but rather an act of desperation - so the American system has failings.
He could have been comitting suicide out of desperation, but its effects will be seen as a failing of the American system and another point of criticism for Gitmo.

Whether a risk or not, it could be argued that at one point he was a risk to soldiers or citizens, but since he was captured and sent to Gitmo the risk he posed changed. That is very much like former wars when people have been sent to POW camps and after the war they were released since they are no longer a risk. People probably killed themselves in those POW camps, too, whe ther they be in Germany holding US/British/French citizens or in the Pacific with Japanese soldiers.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I understand the distinction that you make, but I feel it is not totally valid, as the US have by fiat of government placed the camp on foreign territory (seemingly to avoid US law) and ignored the rulling of SCotUS saying that the prisoners ought to have access to due process.

I am pre-disposed to believe that the current US administration is taking an odd route to peace.

Having pent several years hearing the point of view of the US administration (and to a lesser extent that of the UK and Australia) it was interesting to me to read Moazzem Begg's book "Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim's Journey to Guantanamo and Back".

It is an interesting story, and seems to match up well with the available external reports.
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Old 06-13-2006, 06:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObieX
According to Bush this war will be a war that goes on for decades like the war on drugs.
Unfortunatly both of those wars seem to cost too much money, and accomplish absolutly nothing...
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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According to certain people, most of the prisoners were captured in Afghanistan, and I do believe the States are no longer at war with them. So if they do indeed have POW status, they should have received their fair trials by now.

Does anyone know the truth of this particular fact?

And of course, they are only awarded POW status in accordance with the Geneva convention, but I guess it's pretty hard to determine if they are "terrorists", or "civilians who just screamed a lot, so I got nervous and threatened them with guns" (HUGE exaggeration) if no one in the international community really knows how/where they were captured except the captors themselves.
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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