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Tuesday, January 03, 2006 

Not knowing the facts & being OK with it

Around Christmas, I was in a debate with a few friends regarding the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay with alleged connections to 9/11 or terrorist groups. The debate spiraled into a debate less about whether these people are being treated right, and more about the fact that some are there simply because of their name. The fear of another 9/11, in my opinion, has allowed people to accept the government placing people at Guantanamo Bay until they've sufficiently decided they're not a threat.

I'm more liberal than conservative, but in certain instances I can go either way. However, one thing I believe in, and it's my belief everyone should share this, is that no matter who you are or where you're from you deserve a fair shake. The argument my friends had was that for the security of the United States, it should be okay to hold people at Guantanamo Bay until they establish whether or not they're linked. It gets shady when you realize some of these people have been there since 2001 and the US simply doesn't believe them. What if suddenly there was another 9/11, and it was done by the Irish or Italians, would we be OK with it then? I don't think we would.

Trusting the government to do the right thing is one thing, allowing yourself to be blindly guided into war is a whole different animal. It seems people don't get it when they travel to another country and face people who say they hate the United States. We take it personally, but if you ask them more specifically, I think most people would say they hate the way the government is run and the lazy approach Americans use towards democracy.

It's sad to think people would rather defend an action than investigate the facts, simply because investigating and demanding the truth is one of the hardest things in the world. Imagine that, we live in a country where we can't get straight answers, other than to stay the course.

I didnt add any links about Guantanamo Bay, because I don't know the facts, and feel even if I did add links, they'd be torn apart by other facts found somewhere. I think another 9/11 could happen, and it could be because Americans allow the government to act without repercussions.

I expect someone to bash me back into blog oblivion, and that's okay. Let's discuss!

Well, Blogger has cut aswath my ability to muck around with the timeline, so until I can figure out how I'm going to handle frontpage responses, I'm going to comment it

Guantanamo Bay is a fiasco. And Bush knows it. That's why he's clamoring to get all of the lawsuits filed on behalf of detainees dropped But the hunger strikers have succeeded in drawing attention to this.

Unquestioning agreement isn't patriotism. It's fucking ignorance

The greatest threat to the American way of life that there is is the threat of Governmental destruction of American standards of law and due process.

We cannot allow the Chimperor to continue to behave like a tin-pot dictator and expect a free United States to survive. It will not happen.

As an American, I'm dismayed at the values written down in the American Consititution and Bill of Rights are being undermined by concepts such as Guantanamo.

I've lived in Germany since 1987 and gained a feel for more than what's on the surface. When WWII ended and Germany was occupied, in part by USA they had deternment centers to hold the former German soldiers until they were cleared. I've only heard how well they were treated, and in hearing accounts by those how had been held, there's a sort of wonder and awe that they were actually treated fearly. They didn't expect it, perhaps. This is what won them. It was another story in the Russian sectors, and that left its scar of animosity.

As to anti-American sentiment today, I almost never meet someone who hates America and Americans blindly. They still read the newspaper and watch the news, news that is relatively objective. They see what's going on and they make the distinction between Americans (who they generally like/admire) and government which they are highly critical of.

When I was studying at a german university I occasionally met fellow students who wished to leave Germany for America after their studies. That was in the 90's. I haven't heard that said lately. It's usually Australia or Canada now.

Democracy today just isn't working. True democracy, as practised in Ancient Greece, allowed every man to have a say. Granted, nothing would get done if governments sat around listening to everyone's opinion.

Nevertheless, it seems as though the U.S., British and American governments aren't being held accountable for their actions. Once a government gains power, they feel they can just go ahead and blatantly act against the promises they set forth during the electin campaigns - and then what? The public is dumb enough to re-elect them!

Something just isn't right, and mistreatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay is just a symptom of the decay afflicting Western society.

Not entirely on-topic, but relevent I feel:

Indeterminacy mentioned Germany following WWII. But lets think back to post WWI Germany, weak and decrepid. We punished Germany for the first world war, we purposely crippled it and destroyed its infrastructure, with reparations and restrictions. It was humilliating for the German people, whether or not it was deserved is irrelevant.

Hitler and the rise of faschism were bourne from this terrible time. They were hard done by and they sought revenge. If we do, arguably, the same type of thing to Guatanamo captives then what are we doing?

-Increasing anti-western feeling and therefore rebellion/insurgency, putting our troops and our civillians at futher risk.

-Showing very clearly that we are not the "better" people. That we are petty, undemocratic and that the ideals and rules we enforce on others do not apply to us. We render ourselves god-like, above the "heathens". Its sickening. These are people. Possibly innocent people. We hold them with no evidence with no explanation. And how exactly is this different from kidnapping and hostage-taking? because *we* do it?

xxB

Boudica: That was very well said, and absolutely on target.

I think this is an important post. I'm glad you're talking to your friends about it. More people need to discuss it. I think more people need to keep asking the question: how far are we willing to let our government go to chip away at our freedom in some vain attempt to "protect" our freedom? Our freedom is far more at risk from them than the terrorists at this point. EVERYONE needs to hear that over and over and over again.

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