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n229nw
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Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:02 am

As another uncharged and likely innocent prisoner died in custody at Guantanamo Bay this week (likely suicide), it amazes me that NIMBYism and military bureaucracy has led to a complete failure to move ahead in resolving the issue. The left-wing press abroad has been very critical of Obama for failing to carry through on his campaign promise to close the camp, but, while I think the pressure should be kept on the president, his promises were not simply abandoned. They were met with near-complete opposition in congress and followed up with unwillingness to confront the problem from the judicial branch as well. I wish Obama hadn't folded, but clearly the problem goes much beyond him. (Of course, had the camp been moved and no longer-term solution found, that would not have been much if any improvement.)

I understand that for some inmates, the situation is extremely complex, delicate, and in some ways unprecedented--that when you are fighting insurgents who are not in uniform, it is hard to adhere to things such as the Geneva Convention. But you can't just cop out and stoop to the tactics of totalitarian or theocratic regimes. Then we simply justify the claims of our enemies.

The fact remains that many of the people in the camp were simply rounded up by Pakistani forces for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (or in many cases because of ransoms, personal enmities, etc.), and have been held for a decade without trial. Many, too, such as the recent death, were held despite the lack of any compelling evidence against them, only because the current situation in Yemen was considered a risk in discharging them.

It is in many ways an international shame. Of course, many of the governments of our allies who criticize the camp have quietly supported or contributed to the process that has led to the situation, but that isn't an excuse.

There must be some better solutions.

[Edited 2012-09-11 21:27:33]
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Newark727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:16 am

I think it's symptomatic of a larger problem, a "war" that's essentially stateless and endless (so we're fighting terrorism. When have we won? Will terrorism sign a surrender document?) isn't something we've made rules for yet. Calling them PoWs doesn't work because they're not really serving an army. Really the closest and most apt description is criminals awaiting trial, but no one seems to want to face up to that. Frankly I think it's the best thing we can do; making them prisoners of a "war on terror" elevates the guilty beyond what they deserve, and leaves the innocent in a legalistic limbo that doesn't live up to the standards of a democratic state.
 
comorin
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:20 am

We're comfortably numb, that's why.

Many outrageous things have occurred in the last decade or so and nobody bats an eyelid. we don't care anymore because most of us are on Xanax or Prozac, like the last generation was on vitamins. Our finer emotions have devolved to a series of wants - gluttony ("The Gastro Movement"), material stuff and cool experiences ("Lifestyle"). "Me" is winning over "We"...

Nobody cares about Gitmo, due process is for Americans. Nobody cares about drones killing children and wedding guests, it's collateral damage of people who are not like us. When our own house is burning - economy in shambles - hard to focus on global stuff.

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PacNWjet
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:09 pm

My 2 cents: A lot of Americans take their cues from widely distributed news sources such as the broadcast and cable news television channels, big city newspapers, syndicated news services, and news aggregator websites. Through what they emphasize as headline/top of the news stories these sources can influence what many Americans think is important. If "mainstream" news sources made the Guantanamo issue an important news story, I think a lot more Americans would care about it. But as long as it is not reported on heavily by the mainstream news, most Americans will not give it much thought. I could be wrong.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:51 am

Without being facetious and conspiratorial, but I wonder what kind of benefits we get from the prison. It was made a big issue in the 2008 campaign but it was quietly not closed (and something as unpopular as Gitmo and having the freedom not to get criticized by his subordinate generals, as Commander-in-Chief, the President could have easily shut it down.) I think there is some behind the scenes stuff that is super beneficial to fighting the war and only after seeing it himself did the President change his mind.

Now I personally disagree and think it should be only one of many military things to be shut down, but I think there is a lot more that meets the eye in Gitmo.

And as far as Americans are concerned, it really doesn't bother them so they do not object (that's what I think)
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Molykote
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:29 pm

Bush is no longer President. Objectively, this is the largest change that occurred as the public outcry became a whimper and the headline news articles became "also ran" stories.

I'm not trying to oversimplify the situation or to make excuses for Bush's mistakes. However, can someone point to another factor that would explain this change in public attitude and media coverage? Specifically, can someone point to another change that was large enough and obvious enough to be appreciated by the masses (as would be necessary to explain the status of "public outcry"?

In fairness to the original poster, he did as "where is the public outcry?" and not "what happened to the public outcry?". However, I do feel that the public outcry was much stronger pre-2009 (which would go a ways toward explaining the current lack of outcry).
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Aesma
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:42 pm

I'd say the political situation in the US is the cause, the you're with us or against us attitude means that the people who want Guantanamo closed don't want it at the cost of losing the next election.
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slider
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:47 pm

You really want to know? This is a hypotehetical question right?

Bush POTUS: Gitmo BAD. Bush bad.

Obama POTUS: Gitmo....what's that? /whistles past the graveyard
 
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casinterest
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 4):
Without being facetious and conspiratorial, but I wonder what kind of benefits we get from the prison.

Gitmo in terms of the rights and due process we expect as American Citizens = "A Very Bad IDEA"

However years of legal wrangling has not set up any better alternative for Suspected Terror suspects. The advantage of Gitmo is that they can deny rights and due process, which works more convieniently for the war on terror. the down side, is that the treatment is highly harsh, on prisioners, gulity, innocent, or just held over.

Getting rid of Gitmo is a difficult problem without an alternative. Information can be gained from these suspects that may help get rid of other terrorists. Holding them for years makes them obsolete withing thier command structure. I even suspect some of the the suspects are picked up just to create enough noise to help gather intelligence on the command structures of the organizations they are in.

Gitmo needs to go, but when and how is a political game with a lot of problems.
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Rara
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:59 pm

One aspect that's underestimated is how unhelpful other countries were in solving the Guantanamo problem. Obama asked us whether we could take a couple of (presumably innocent) inmates, and we flat-out refused helping out. The same happened in other countries. I think that's a disgrace. It shows that we're big when it comes to criticising the human rights violations of the Bush administration, but when we can play a role in alleviating them and helping those who got caught in the process, we suddenly become very disinterested.

Obama failed, but he failed partly because countries that could have done him a huge favour took the easy way out when push came to shove.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:08 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 9):
Obama failed, but he failed partly because countries that could have done him a huge favour took the easy way out when push came to shove.

How are our detainees Germany's problem? Wouldn't Germany holding some of these inmates (without a trail and all) be just as bad as holding them in Cuba? I don't get what you're saying here
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Aesma
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:16 pm

I don't know what he's talking about exactly, I know France took all the French prisoners and tried them when there was some evidence to do so.

I think most of the prisoners that can't be tried for lack of proof can't be send back to their countries either, so the idea was to ask other countries to take them as political refugees.
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Rara
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
How are our detainees Germany's problem? Wouldn't Germany holding some of these inmates (without a trail and all) be just as bad as holding them in Cuba? I don't get what you're saying here

The detainees aren't Germany's problem, but we would have done well to be part of the solution. After all the US is one of our most important allies and friends. In the case of Guantanamo, Obama didn't have the possibility to solve the problem himself, so as a friend, we could have lent a hand and take some of the detainees. We chose to ignore the request, however, argueing (like you said) - "well it's not our problem, keep them for yourselves".

The thing is that Obama couldn't have brought the prisoners to US soil, particularly not if they have been wrongfully held and their rights have been trampeled on for years. They would be eligible to sue the US government, and armies of lawyers would have greeted them at the border with open arms. Nor could he repatriate them, because some would have been pursecuted in their home countries and would have refused going there (e.g. the Chinese Uyghurs). Besides if you would have just set them loose somewhere in the Middle East, with everything they had experienced and the treatment they had received from Americans, they would have radicalized and become terrorists in a heartbeat. "Guantanamo release kills five American tourists", that's the kind of headline that can decide an election.

I'm not talking about keeping them imprisoned in Germany, but to offer them a place to stay and the opportunity to start a meaningful life. It would have cost the government a couple million Euros and a few votes, sure, but it would have been a friendly gesture to a nation that has done a lot for us, and it would have helped (or rather: been the only way) to wipe that disgrace Guantanamo off the face of the earth.

[Edited 2012-09-13 11:12:16]
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BMI727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting n229nw (Thread starter):
I understand that for some inmates, the situation is extremely complex, delicate, and in some ways unprecedented--that when you are fighting insurgents who are not in uniform, it is hard to adhere to things such as the Geneva Convention.

Actually what you mean is that it is unnecessary to adhere to the Geneva Convention.

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 1):
When have we won? Will terrorism sign a surrender document?

Probably never. They won't surrender, just be stifled and maybe fade away. But if they fade away, they'll probably be replaced by someone else.

Quoting comorin (Reply 2):
Nobody cares about Gitmo, due process is for Americans.

Or people not captured in America. The Constitution does not apply to foreigners on the other side of the world.

Quoting comorin (Reply 2):
Nobody cares about drones killing children and wedding guests, it's collateral damage of people who are not like us.

Let's be frank about this: we'd all rather have a drone accidentally blow up a wedding in Afghanistan than have a terrorist intentionally blow up a wedding here. It's unfortunate, yes, but not as unfortunate as dead Americans.
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Newark727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:29 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Actually what you mean is that it is unnecessary to adhere to the Geneva Convention.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Or people not captured in America. The Constitution does not apply to foreigners on the other side of the world.

No Constitution and no Geneva convention is great and all, but do you have anything at all to propose instead? By your own admission this is an open-ended conflict, to the point of never ending. Are we going to just keep accumulating suspects and enemy combatants in detention sites where we can keep them without oversight or hassle for eternity? Because whatever the value of an American life versus another in the grand balance of national security, the United States was founded on the notion of unalienable rights to life and liberty, not for just Americans but from creation itself, and to take away that of others in so blatant disregard for any legal structure whatsoever is an injustice that makes hypocrites of us all, and ultimately undermines the rights we enjoy as citizens at home.
 
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:35 pm

Most people don't really care. I don't give a damn what happens to the people in Gitmo and neither does anyone else I know. We are concerned about about keeping our jobs, making sure we have money to retire on, and keeping our communities from going broke. Maybe some 20 year old University student who really has no responsibilities cares, but I doubt average people care at all.



Quoting slider (Reply 7):
Bush POTUS: Gitmo BAD. Bush bad.

I think there are so many lefties that hated Bush that anything he did was considered evil. If Obama does or did the same thing they think it is ok.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 11):
I think most of the prisoners that can't be tried for lack of proof can't be send back to their countries either, so the idea was to ask other countries to take them as political refugees.

I bet there are people at Gitmo no country wants.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
I'd say the political situation in the US is the cause, the you're with us or against us attitude means that the people who want Guantanamo closed don't want it at the cost of losing the next election

Obama campaigned on closing Gitmo. So the people who voted for him didn't have a problem with him closing it because they expected him to. Oddly I don't hear people complaining about Obama not closing Gitmo. I think it is more to do with emocrat does it, it must be ok, but if a Republican does it is evil. We have that going on in Michigan now. The union activists at my work are campaigning for a change in the Michigan Constitution to guarantee collective bargaining. Last year some of the same people said that the state constitution should never be changed when the Republicans wanted to change something. So I guess it is ok to change the constitution when it suits your political ideology. The same goes for Gitmo; Obama ok and Bush evil. I have asked some Obama lovers why they aren't upset about him not closing Gitmo and they have said that Obama knows what he is doing he must have a good reason to keep it open. That is the same answer I gave when somebody asked me about Bush and Gitmo; it boils down to politics.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Actually what you mean is that it is unnecessary to adhere to the Geneva Convention.

The people at Gitmo are not the uniformed armed forces of a country. Even back in the "good ole' days" prisoners taken in the wrong uniform or no uniform at all were considered spies and could be shot. Back when some Germans came ashore, in WWII, up in New England and later in Florida they had uniforms on until they left the beach because if they were taken right away they would be considered prisoners of war not spies, which they were when they were caught out of uniform a few days to weeks later.

What ever happened to the young man who was an American that fought for the Taliban? That guy should have been shot for treason.

Quoting Rara (Reply 9):
Obama asked us whether we could take a couple of (presumably innocent) inmates

what makes you think they were innocent?
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Aesma
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 15):
Obama campaigned on closing Gitmo. So the people who voted for him didn't have a problem with him closing it because they expected him to. Oddly I don't hear people complaining about Obama not closing Gitmo.

What I'm saying is that they don't complain because they don't want Obama to lose votes over it, as Romney is even less likely to do it (and they didn't vote for Obama only on that platform promise anyway).
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:49 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 8):
Gitmo in terms of the rights and due process we expect as American Citizens = "A Very Bad IDEA"

You can say that again.

If these guys were American, this NEVER would have occurred.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 8):
the down side, is that the treatment is highly harsh, on prisioners, gulity, innocent, or just held over.

Which is why the place should be shut down immediately

Quoting Rara (Reply 9):
One aspect that's underestimated is how unhelpful other countries were in solving the Guantanamo problem.

Why should other countries have to accept responsibility for this cock up

Quoting Rara (Reply 9):
The same happened in other countries. I think that's a disgrace. It shows that we're big when it comes to criticising the human rights violations of the Bush administration, but when we can play a role in alleviating them and helping those who got caught in the process, we suddenly become very disinterested.



Other Governments, right around the world, were facing a voter backlash if they accepted these captives, and rightly so.

Quoting Rara (Reply 12):
After all the US is one of our most important allies and friends.

Friends don't always agree on the same route. Again, this is the way its always been and will continue so.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Actually what you mean is that it is unnecessary to adhere to the Geneva Convention.

Geneva Convention..... Whats that again ?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Probably never. They won't surrender, just be stifled and maybe fade away.

Not on your life. There is an entire new Generation of baby Afghans and baby Iraqies, thanks to this war taking decades to accomplish its original goal (whatever that was again?) waiting to fill any vacant spots.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Let's be frank about this: we'd all rather have a drone accidentally blow up a wedding in Afghanistan than have a terrorist intentionally blow up a wedding here. It's unfortunate, yes, but not as unfortunate as dead Americans.

Wow. Frank is an understatement all right.
I would say that EVERY life is important, not one more than the other.
Accidentally blowing up a wedding party (as you put it) of innocent people is only go to aggravate the entire situation, and turn many more against the coalition forces, this is not what we are trying to do !

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 14):
Are we going to just keep accumulating suspects and enemy combatants in detention sites where we can keep them without oversight or hassle for eternity? Because whatever the value of an American life versus another in the grand balance of national security, the United States was founded on the notion of unalienable rights to life and liberty, not for just Americans but from creation itself, and to take away that of others in so blatant disregard for any legal structure whatsoever is an injustice that makes hypocrites of us all, and ultimately undermines the rights we enjoy as citizens at home.

Well said.

I think its like anything, after a while it losses momentum within the mainstream press, and the general populace forgets, and gets over taken by "other" more pressing matters.... like the next election
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cmf
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:11 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Let's be frank about this: we'd all rather have a drone accidentally blow up a wedding in Afghanistan than have a terrorist intentionally blow up a wedding here. It's unfortunate, yes, but not as unfortunate as dead Americans.

Neither is acceptable. But it is reasonable to have higher expectations on a civilized country's ability to behave civilized.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:35 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 4):
It was made a big issue in the 2008 campaign but it was quietly not closed (and something as unpopular as Gitmo and having the freedom not to get criticized by his subordinate generals, as Commander-in-Chief, the President could have easily shut it down.) I think there is some behind the scenes stuff that is super beneficial to fighting the war and only after seeing it himself did the President change his mind.

So the electorate needs to carefully weigh the word of those on the outside looking in before voting.

Quoting Rara (Reply 9):
I think that's a disgrace. It shows that we're big when it comes to criticising the human rights violations of the Bush administration, but when we can play a role in alleviating them and helping those who got caught in the process, we suddenly become very disinterested.
Quoting Rara (Reply 9):
Obama failed, but he failed partly because countries that could have done him a huge favour took the easy way out when push came to shove.
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
How are our detainees Germany's problem?
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Which is why the place should be shut down immediately
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Why should other countries have to accept responsibility for this cock up
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Other Governments, right around the world, were facing a voter backlash if they accepted these captives, and rightly so.

So when the USA decided that they would solve the issue by returning the detainees to the countries where they were found the rest of the world should keep quiet and allow the USA to solve the cock up that they created. Instead, the rest of the world get's on their moral bandwagon and proclaim that would be inhuman, dengeroues, etc. etc. etc. and the current administration who were not yet in office joined the fray.

So Gitmo has to remain as open source of cannon fodder for any anti-USA push, and the best that the American's can do now is to suck it up. Imagine if the USA allowed the detainees onto the mainline, tried them in civilian courts, were unable to convict them and had to set them free, if any got involved in crime and were subsequently shot and heaven forbid killed, the conspiracy theorist would have a field day.

Gitmo right now is a dam*** if you do dam*** if you dont.
 
BMI727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:21 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 15):
What ever happened to the young man who was an American that fought for the Taliban?

Gave a guilty plea and is serving twenty years.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Geneva Convention..... Whats that again ?

The thing that doesn't apply to terrorists.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
I would say that EVERY life is important, not one more than the other

Not the the US government, which is of course firstly concerned with American interests. If the government cares more about an Afghan than they do an American, there's a problem.

Of course you don't have these things happen on purpose, but it's a war and in every war bad things happen to people who don't deserve it.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Accidentally blowing up a wedding party (as you put it) of innocent people is only go to aggravate the entire situation, and turn many more against the coalition forces, this is not what we are trying to do !

I'm honestly not interested in why someone is fighting against America. I have no more respect for a terrorist trying to avenge a family member than one who just doesn't like America.

Quoting cmf (Reply 18):
Neither is acceptable.

Either event is tragic. It's just a little more tragic when Americans die, which is the unspoken doctrine of a lot of what's happened for the last sixty years.

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 14):
No Constitution and no Geneva convention is great and all, but do you have anything at all to propose instead?

I think you have to deal with things on a case by case basis.
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Aesma
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Of course you don't have these things happen on purpose, but it's a war and in every war bad things happen to people who don't deserve it.

What's the difference between terrorism and an unwarranted and undeclared war killing lots of civilians ?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
I'm honestly not interested in why someone is fighting against America. I have no more respect for a terrorist trying to avenge a family member than one who just doesn't like America.

Wasn't Bush avenging 9/11 ?
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Rara
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:00 am

Quoting falstaff (Reply 15):
Most people don't really care. I don't give a damn what happens to the people in Gitmo and neither does anyone else I know. We are concerned about about keeping our jobs, making sure we have money to retire on, and keeping our communities from going broke. Maybe some 20 year old University student who really has no responsibilities cares, but I doubt average people care at all.

Whether true or not, that's a terrible thing to say really. America's attraction, the reason why so many countries have considered it a role model, has always been not only wealth and power, but also that it was seen as a force of good, as a beacon of liberty and justice. It's sad to see that not only is this fading into a memory, but more so that Americans are standing on the sidelines and applaud as the country betrays its core values and everything it stood for in the past. Guantanamo isn't just a concentration camp on a remote island, it's the symbol for this betrayal. You may not care, but the world watches rather closely, and people draw their conclusions.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 15):
what makes you think they were innocent?

I think it's common knowledge that not everyone at Guantanamo is a terrorist, and a number of people is known to be detained without any proper reason, they just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Why should other countries have to accept responsibility for this cock up

Not responsibility, but a helping hand in clearing it up.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):

Other Governments, right around the world, were facing a voter backlash if they accepted these captives, and rightly so.

Exactly, so those governments have missed a bloody good chance to do the right thing for once - lose some voters, help people that otherwise can't be helped.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 17):
Friends don't always agree on the same route. Again, this is the way its always been and will continue so.

In this case, friends not only disagreed, we explicitely warned America against going down that route. They did it anyway, they screwed up, and now instead of being all smug about it, we could take the high road and help them getting out of it anyway.

After WW2, Americans could well have told us "serves you right for following Hitler, now sort it out yourselves". Instead they sent millions of Dollars our way only years after the end of the war. Not devoid of self-interest, but still convinced that it was the right thing to do.

Quoting par13del (Reply 19):
Gitmo right now is a dam*** if you do dam*** if you dont.

Yes, that's what's truly devilish about the Neocon's legacy. Once Pandora's Box of torture and and human rights violations has been opened, there's almost no way to close it again. Injustice spawns more injustice. Hate breeds hate. There's a president who's truly appalled at what his predecessor did, and yet he simply can't do anything about it. Try as he might, he can't put the genie back into the bottle. That's what makes the September 11th attacks seem so eerily well thought-out. They intended to make America abandon her principles, they succeeded, and the legacy is still with us and will continue to be for a long while to come.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
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par13del
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:10 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 22):
In this case, friends not only disagreed, we explicitely warned America against going down that route. They did it anyway, they screwed up, and now instead of being all smug about it, we could take the high road and help them getting out of it anyway.

After WW2, Americans could well have told us "serves you right for following Hitler, now sort it out yourselves". Instead they sent millions of Dollars our way only years after the end of the war. Not devoid of self-interest, but still convinced that it was the right thing to do.

It is what defines them as a nation.

Quoting Rara (Reply 22):
They intended to make America abandon her principles, they succeeded, and the legacy is still with us and will continue to be for a long while to come.

Well, America did put their military on the line to assist in the liberation of Libya, when ethnic cleansing was inflicted on muslims they responded there also, yet the notion that they are anti-muslim because they support Israel still rings out today.
It is a complex country but I don't think they have lost too much, the political system seems to ensue that extreme views do not tarry for too long.
 
cmf
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:44 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
The thing that doesn't apply to terrorists.

US refuses to acknowledge them as terrorists... Also refuses to acknowledge them as prisoners of war...

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Either event is tragic. It's just a little more tragic when Americans die, which is the unspoken doctrine of a lot of what's happened for the last sixty years.

It is not more tragic when American die. It is equally tragic. Not recognising that is part of the problem.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:24 am

Quoting n229nw (Thread starter):
Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Because Bush is no longer President
 
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:29 am

Quoting windy95 (Reply 25):
Quoting n229nw (Thread starter):
Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Because Bush is no longer President

I really, really hate the partisanship in this country, but I have to say, I really see no other explanation (but I'm sure I'll hear many now lol)
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 3):
I think a lot more Americans would care about it. But as long as it is not reported on heavily by the mainstream news, most Americans will not give it much thought. I could be wrong.

Americans are much more worried about foreclosures on their homes, unemployment problems, offshoring of jobs, the national debt, the latest price hike for gasoline, and the skyrocketing prices of food, education, and health-care. It's also silly-season in America (election season) and Americans are much more interested in the sideshow - the game of Presidential political football - than the lives of jailed terrorists.

No one here much cares about Gitmo and doesn't give it a second thought. In other words, you're absolutely correct.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:43 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 22):
they just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sorry, Not good enough !

If we know, that they "just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time" them let them bloody well go !

This is the problem.

Quoting cmf (Reply 24):
It is not more tragic when American die. It is equally tragic. Not recognising that is part of the problem.

Apparently not when you are an American though ??
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:45 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 24):
It is not more tragic when American die. It is equally tragic. Not recognising that is part of the problem.

That is true from a humanist point of view. But governments are not charged with promoting everyday philosophy - they are charged with looking after the interests of their citizens first and foremost above all else. Not recognizing that this is the sole reason we institutionally care less about the deaths of foreign strangers above our own people is illogical. By extension, it is illogical to expect everyday citizens barely clinging to the only lifestyle they know to give a damn about a wedding party overseas taken out by an errant drone attack.

Such is the difference between idealism and reality.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:59 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 24):
It is not more tragic when American die. It is equally tragic.

Not as far as the US government or I am concerned.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:25 am

Quoting comorin (Reply 2):
We're comfortably numb, that's why.

Many outrageous things have occurred in the last decade or so and nobody bats an eyelid. we don't care anymore because most of us are on Xanax or Prozac, like the last generation was on vitamins. Our finer emotions have devolved to a series of wants - gluttony ("The Gastro Movement"), material stuff and cool experiences ("Lifestyle"). "Me" is winning over "We"...

Nobody cares about Gitmo, due process is for Americans. Nobody cares about drones killing children and wedding guests, it's collateral damage of people who are not like us. When our own house is burning - economy in shambles - hard to focus on global stuff.


There's something to be said for that. But honestly, I think it is less about modern changes and more about the eternal aspects of human nature. I don't think that 100 years ago people were more concerned with deaths on the other side of the world. Perhaps less so...And Prozac, for example, does not numb people to human suffering, it should (at least potentially) help them face the world better by being less absorbed in their own depression etc. Its effects are most likely negligible.

Was there ever really a "we" generation in a pan-human sense? (There has always been a "we," and still is, but it is an "us and them," tribal we. People have always been that way, and that itself is part of the problem)

It's more that Gitmo itself is "old news," the media have let it slip into oblivion because it doesn't sell to keep using the same story.

Quoting Molykote (Reply 5):
Bush is no longer President. Objectively, this is the largest change that occurred as the public outcry became a whimper and the headline news articles became "also ran" stories.
Quoting slider (Reply 7):

Bush POTUS: Gitmo BAD. Bush bad.

Obama POTUS: Gitmo....what's that? /whistles past the graveyard

Quite honestly, that is at least partly true. I think Obama is given a free pass on a lot of things by Democratic voters, but it is because people are worried that if they complain, the Republicans will get in and be worse on that front. So it isn't simply personal enmity against Bush.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
I'd say the political situation in the US is the cause, the you're with us or against us attitude means that the people who want Guantanamo closed don't want it at the cost of losing the next election.

  

Still, there are ways to put pressure back on the issue. Perhaps right after the election, practically speaking.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 8):
Gitmo in terms of the rights and due process we expect as American Citizens = "A Very Bad IDEA"

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the prisoners should not have the right to due process. But given that some of them are innocent (or even if the situation were that they might be innocent), what other possibility would there be that is morally acceptable?

Quoting Rara (Reply 12):
The thing is that Obama couldn't have brought the prisoners to US soil, particularly not if they have been wrongfully held and their rights have been trampeled on for years. They would be eligible to sue the US government, and armies of lawyers would have greeted them at the border with open arms. Nor could he repatriate them, because some would have been pursecuted in their home countries and would have refused going there (e.g. the Chinese Uyghurs). Besides if you would have just set them loose somewhere in the Middle East, with everything they had experienced and the treatment they had received from Americans, they would have radicalized and become terrorists in a heartbeat. "Guantanamo release kills five American tourists", that's the kind of headline that can decide an election.

This is very thoughtful and sums up a lot of the issues. BUT, we should still do what is morally right. If there are lawsuits they will be on the order of a few million dollars, not billions, and that is really a drop in the bucket. Consider too what it costs to keep Gitmo open indefinitely!

As for releasing them and them turning on the US (if they weren't already terrorists), it is indeed problematic. We recently killed in a drone attack one of the few prisoners we did release from Gitmo.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
Let's be frank about this: we'd all rather have a drone accidentally blow up a wedding in Afghanistan than have a terrorist intentionally blow up a wedding here. It's unfortunate, yes, but not as unfortunate as dead Americans.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
I have no more respect for a terrorist trying to avenge a family member than one who just doesn't like America.

I completely disagree with you, and the dehumanization of people we assume are our enemies is the same thinking that drives terrorists...It is a vicious cycle and a level we should not descend to. If you can't see that morally, what about the practical repercussions?

Quoting cmf (Reply 24):
It is not more tragic when American die. It is equally tragic. Not recognising that is part of the problem.

  

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 14):
to take away that of others in so blatant disregard for any legal structure whatsoever is an injustice that makes hypocrites of us all, and ultimately undermines the rights we enjoy as citizens at home.

  

Exactly. (At home and abroad: there have actually been drone assassinations of US citizens too.)

As Aaron points out, we do have to live in the real world (and sometimes idealistic regimes have been the most brutal of all in their misguided utopian visions). But I cannot see how it is better to fester hypocrisy and create more impassioned enemies rather than to release people but keep a close eye on them using better intelligence, for example.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:35 am

Quoting n229nw (Reply 31):
I completely disagree with you, and the dehumanization of people we assume are our enemies is the same thinking that drives terrorists...It is a vicious cycle and a level we should not descend to.

It's not devaluation as much as it's acceptance of the reality that a) the American government is, and should be, firstly concerned with American interests and b) as long as there are wars there will be innocent civilians being hurt and killed in wars.

It's all a cost benefit analysis, and sometimes the decision will fall on the side that puts innocents at risk. That's just how it works sometimes.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:07 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
b) as long as there are wars there will be innocent civilians being hurt and killed in wars.

  

If Americans are truly willing to accept this, it is a just war (IMO.) That's why we shouldn't make the decision to go to war lightly, it has to be for a much greater gain than hundreds/thousands of dead civilians... sometimes the war is, but often it's not. I don't think Americans truly know the carnage that goes on in war... if they saw more raw footage I'm sure we'd have way less war

(edit: if you think I'm a warmonger after reading this post, read it again carefully)

[Edited 2012-09-13 22:10:44]
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:26 am

I recognize that, as a government of the citizens of the United States, that our leaders have to recognize and accept the failings and injustices committed against those from other countries, in the name of keeping our own safe. But their lives must always be valued greater than zero- even if, maybe, not every rule for how we treat a suspect arrested by police in the United States can be carried out, or even should be, in the situations we face prosecuting international terrorism, we can't just abandon the rules altogether. Not only is that not true to our precepts, it invites counterproductive abuses of power that cannot be easily redressed. BMI727's mention of a "case by case basis" makes sense to a point, in that the situations in which terror suspects are acquired are wildly variable, but there has to be some sort of baseline of rules that the United States must follow, and that must be monitored on some level by more structures than just the ones carrying out the arrests and, when necessary, combat.
 
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:28 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Quoting n229nw (Reply 31):
I completely disagree with you, and the dehumanization of people we assume are our enemies is the same thinking that drives terrorists...It is a vicious cycle and a level we should not descend to.

It's not devaluation as much as it's acceptance of the reality that a) the American government is, and should be, firstly concerned with American interests

You don't think that avoiding the deaths of innocent civilians is in the American interest?

Quoting cmf (Reply 24):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Either event is tragic. It's just a little more tragic when Americans die, which is the unspoken doctrine of a lot of what's happened for the last sixty years.

It is not more tragic when American die. It is equally tragic. Not recognising that is part of the problem.

Indeed! His not recognizing that it is equally tragic is, itself, rather tragic, and a part of the problem.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:35 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 33):
if they saw more raw footage I'm sure we'd have way less war

...but that's not necessarily a good thing. The public will see that and have an emotional reaction, but you cannot have decision makers making decisions based on emotional reactions or the feelings of those who have emotional reactions. It calls for a rational consideration of factors.

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 34):
must be monitored on some level by more structures than just the ones carrying out the arrests and, when necessary, combat.

Ideally that would be the case but in reality that is impractical. Much of the war on terror is by necessity need to know and outside monitoring and more bureaucracy will probably hinder more than help.

Quoting cws818 (Reply 35):
You don't think that avoiding the deaths of innocent civilians is in the American interest?

Generally yes. But the course of action that guarantees the safety of civilians may not be the course of action that is in the best interest of the country. If you get the chance to bomb a house with a terrorist leader in it and the cleaning lady gets blasted too, that might just be the price of doing business.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:37 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
Quoting cws818 (Reply 35):
You don't think that avoiding the deaths of innocent civilians is in the American interest?

Generally yes. But the course of action that guarantees the safety of civilians may not be the course of action that is in the best interest of the country. If you get the chance to bomb a house with a terrorist leader in it and the cleaning lady gets blasted too, that might just be the price of doing business.

I understand what you are saying and agree with your broader point. However, your phrasing does your point of view a great disservice. You come across as being rather cavalier about the loss of life, in the vein of "s--t happens", when the loss of innocent civilian lives is morally tragic and geopolitically problematic.
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BMI727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:49 am

Quoting cws818 (Reply 37):
You come across as being rather cavalier about the loss of life, in the vein of "s--t happens"

Shit does happen and war is nothing if not being cavalier about the loss of life.

Quoting cws818 (Reply 37):
when the loss of innocent civilian lives is morally tragic and geopolitically problematic.

There's nothing moral about terrorism, war, or politics. It's just a matter of doing in such a way that you can sleep at night.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:58 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
...but that's not necessarily a good thing. The public will see that and have an emotional reaction, but you cannot have decision makers making decisions based on emotional reactions or the feelings of those who have emotional reactions. It calls for a rational consideration of factors.

I'd argue knowing the destruction of others is something to consider in a rational decision.

I agree, the US government is there to protect the interests of Americans... I do not think it should achieve these interests at all costs though. There is a boundary. War these days is so simple... send the troops over, ignore the scores of civilians dying, quickly mourn our dead troops, and get on with life. That is not rational, IMO
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:01 am

I'mma jump right in here

Quoting n229nw (Thread starter):
the situation is extremely complex,

It's a lot more complex than people think.

The compound is on Cuba's property, more or less. It's a US Naval base in a country which we don't even have diplomatic relations with. To access that country there needs to be special permission granted.


Given that, I find the legal and diplomatic ramifications to be more or less astounding. When the US had relations with Cuba pre-revolution, that's when the camp was founded for the US naval fleet ( I believe it's been around for a loooong time actually)


Here's the thing:

We're arresting known terrorists, threats to the world's security.

They have information we need to shut down these networks and bring peace back to the world...and our country.

I know I sound like a republican but it's the truth. We need to detain these people, ring them out for their information, and let them rot and serve the sentences they rightfully deserve. We should show NO mercy for those who threaten our own national security.

Bringing them on our soil is out of the question, given their dangerous nature. It's plain and simple. We're a unique country and we have unique issues which need unique and drastic solutions.

What's one man's life when its destruction saves the lives of 1000s?
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:06 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):

...but that's not necessarily a good thing. The public will see that and have an emotional reaction, but you cannot have decision makers making decisions based on emotional reactions or the feelings of those who have emotional reactions. It calls for a rational consideration of factors.

The problem with that is that the folks who make these decisions need to know what's going to happen as a result too. It's been obvious that this really wasn't the case over the last decade. It isn't so much about emotions per se, but going into a situation with full awareness of what's going to happen. Therefore, I do believe that seeing what war really is all about, including carnage of civilians is in and of itself a necessary part of this "rational" decision making you speak of. Leave that out, and there will be a real problem here...
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:09 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 38):

Quoting cws818 (Reply 37):
when the loss of innocent civilian lives is morally tragic and geopolitically problematic.

There's nothing moral about terrorism, war, or politics. It's just a matter of doing in such a way that you can sleep at night.

Vaclav Havel, the acclaimed President of the Czech Republic, rightly referred to, and characterized politics as, "the art of the possible." You might be enlightened by researching him. Politics need not be a blood sport. Instead, it should appeal to our better angels, and our politicians-leaders should work towards that goal. You clearly adhere to a binary, black-or-white, zero-sum view of the world and geopolitics. One hopes that you are not yet done with your university education, which, ideally, will produce enlightenment.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 38):
Quoting cws818 (Reply 37):
You come across as being rather cavalier about the loss of life, in the vein of "s--t happens"

Shit does happen and war is nothing if not being cavalier about the loss of life.

That is true, but if you don't strive to minimize that loss of life, or if you are coldly indifferent to such loss of life, then your humanity is subject to question.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:14 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 40):
We need to detain these people, ring them out for their information, and let them rot and serve the sentences they rightfully deserve.

You do realize (I hope) that "sentences" are determined by courts of law? Now, I am not so left-wing as to believe that military tribunals are not courts of law, but a great number of Guantanamo detainees have not been brought before a military tribunal, let alone a (civilian) court of law. It seems to me that there is something fundamentally un-American about keeping individuals in an indefinite state of limbo because of suspicion. The military tribunals have relaxed rules of evidence. The detainees should at least be tried under those relaxed rules, if not in our incredibly capable and time-tested civilian courts.
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BMI727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:18 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 39):
I'd argue knowing the destruction of others is something to consider in a rational decision.

It is, but it's just one consideration. It's far too easy for an untrained public to only see the destruction. Seeing dismembered bodies on the news does not usually lead to rational, well thought out decisions. Of course that works both ways too, seeing as some people were about ready to nuke Libya.

Quoting cws818 (Reply 42):
Politics need not be a blood sport.

It isn't, but sometimes it is.

Quoting cws818 (Reply 42):
You clearly adhere to a binary, black-or-white, zero-sum view of the world and geopolitics.

Not at all, but I'm not about to pretend it isn't sometimes messy.

Quoting cws818 (Reply 42):
That is true, but if you don't strive to minimize that loss of life, or if you are coldly indifferent to such loss of life, then your humanity is subject to question.

Not indifferent as much as accepting reality. Minimizing the loss of life is sometimes outweighed by other factors.
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:55 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 28):
Sorry, Not good enough !

If we know, that they "just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time" them let them bloody well go !

Yes, and how do you suggest to do that? Give them a boat and a paddle? Drop them off somewhere in Afghanistan? Set them loose in Cuba?

Quoting n229nw (Reply 31):
I don't think that 100 years ago people were more concerned with deaths on the other side of the world. Perhaps less so...

I agree. And yet, the United States made it through two World Wars and one long Cold War without having to resort to torture and interrogation camps on foreign soil. How is it possible that while facing the formidable opponent that was the Soviet Union, we stood by our values, and facing some isolated and deluded Islamist criminals, we suddenly throw all those principles overboard?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 40):
I know I sound like a republican but it's the truth. We need to detain these people, ring them out for their information, and let them rot and serve the sentences they rightfully deserve. We should show NO mercy for those who threaten our own national security.

I don't know whether you sound like a "Republican", but I do know that a National Socialist would have fully agreed with your statement. This is not to equate you with one, or equate Guantanamo with the crimes of the Nazis, but one parallel is that the Nazis said "we know what we're doing is morally wrong, but it's necessary to defend our nation. Human dignity is a nice thing to have, but the safety of our country is paramount." In essence isn't that what you say as well?

[Edited 2012-09-14 03:05:43]
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:45 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 29):
By extension, it is illogical to expect everyday citizens barely clinging to the only lifestyle they know to give a damn about a wedding party overseas taken out by an errant drone attack.

The difference is in the "errant drone". When we insist on revenge for every American killed what do you think the other side will require for everyone of theirs? By not recognising peoples equal value, accepting killing innocent to revenge our innocent, you are in a vicious circle that will only escalate the number of innocent killed and injured.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Not as far as the US government or I am concerned.

Then accept others have the same attitude, i.e. expect terrorism to escalate.

Quoting n229nw (Reply 31):
I completely disagree with you, and the dehumanization of people we assume are our enemies is the same thinking that drives terrorists...It is a vicious cycle and a level we should not descend to. If you can't see that morally, what about the practical repercussions?

  

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
It's not devaluation as much as it's acceptance of the reality that a) the American government is, and should be, firstly concerned with American interests and b) as long as there are wars there will be innocent civilians being hurt and killed in wars.

It is not accepting reality. It is turning a blind eye to half the problem and by doing so the problem will remain eternally.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 33):
I don't think Americans truly know the carnage that goes on in war... if they saw more raw footage I'm sure we'd have way less war

Sometimes I think so. Sometimes I fear too many people will look at it and say - I can do that to others.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 39):
I agree, the US government is there to protect the interests of Americans... I do not think it should achieve these interests at all costs though.

It is about looking at the long term goal instead of the moment. We say we have a better system by respecting individuals, agree with this. Then we go out and do the opposite, I do not agree with this.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 40):
We're arresting known terrorists, threats to the world's security.

If only that was true. Some of the people taken to Gitmo were taken for standing close to a person who had a $100 bill.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 40):
Bringing them on our soil is out of the question, given their dangerous nature.

Bringing them to our soil has nothing to do with the dangerous nature. It is an abusive method to deny their right to a trial.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 40):
It's plain and simple. We're a unique country and we have unique issues which need unique and drastic solutions.

What is so unique it needs drastic solutions not applicable to other countries? Spend some time in any other country around the world and you will find that the daily grind is incredibly similar. We get up in the morning. Do what is needed to put food on the table. Hopefully have some time left to socialize with family and friends. Go to sleep so we have the energy to repeat the next day. Nothing unique.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 40):
What's one man's life when its destruction saves the lives of 1000s?

A soundbite that makes so much sense when standing alone but once you start putting it in content it becomes a lot more difficult.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
Not indifferent as much as accepting reality. Minimizing the loss of life is sometimes outweighed by other factors.

You're not accepting reality. You're creating your own isolated reality bubble where you ignore the consequences of actions.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:19 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 46):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 33):
I don't think Americans truly know the carnage that goes on in war... if they saw more raw footage I'm sure we'd have way less war

Sometimes I think so. Sometimes I fear too many people will look at it and say - I can do that to others.

There is a huge difference in the emotional reaction of seeing dead terrorists and dead US troops... the latter images really put things in perspective for me and changed the way I looked at the former images
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BMI727
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:07 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 46):
Then accept others have the same attitude, i.e. expect terrorism to escalate.

...then the next drone strike won't be an accident.

Quoting cmf (Reply 46):
It is not accepting reality. It is turning a blind eye to half the problem and by doing so the problem will remain eternally.

The problem of collateral damage in war? That's a problem that unfortunately will never be solved.
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flyingturtle
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RE: Why Is There Not More Public Outcry About Gitmo?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:16 pm

There's still the sobering list of people detained at Guantanamo because they possessed a digital Casio watch, which is supposedly used in bomb-making.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ccused_of_possessing_Casio_watches


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