11 June 2006

Orcian logic

According to the orcs elevated to positions of power in the Codpiece Administration, suicide, a rather final action generally undertaken by desperate or mentally ill people without hope for the future, is an act of warfare against the U.S. when committed by detainees in American prison camps.

After all, by putting themselves out of their misery, the three detainees (two Saudis and one Yemeni) who hung themselves on Saturday at Guantanamo have made the Orcian authorities look bad. Which is, anyone can see, an act of aggression and ... um ... war.

You think I’m joking? Hell, I wish I was. But Rear Adm. Harry Harris, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, said it first:

“They are smart. They are creative. They are committed. They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own,” Harris said. "I believe this was not an act of desperation, but rather an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

Says CNN: “Asymmetrical warfare” is defined as “a conflict in which a much weaker opponent uses unorthodox or surprise tactics to attack the weak points of the much stronger opponent.”

Our weak point, in this case, is the Codpiece administration’s crowing about U.S. decency, humanity and democracy while torturing detainees and holding them indefinitely without charges, legal representation or hope of a fair trial.

Although these men, who were held in Camp I, a high security area of Gitmo, were considered dangerous jihadists by their captors, no evidence has ever come to light proving that allegation against them -- or against the other approximately 400 other men who still languor there without hope of legal representation or release.

Terrorism is a form of asymmetrical warfare. So are guerrilla warfare and covert operations. When the 9/11 terrorists hijacked jetliners, armed only with boxcutters, and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, that was an undeniably successful act of asymmetrical warfare.

It's nothing new. The Japanese kamikaze pilots of WWII were engaging in it. The Irish Republican Army used guerrilla and terror tactics against the Loyalists and the British in Northern Ireland and England for more than 30 years. When the youthful David of Biblical fame (warning - pdf) confronted the giant Goliath armed with nothing but a slingshot and a stone -- and beaned him with it, took Goliath's sword, stabbed him and then cut his head off -- he frightened Goliath’s fellow soldiers so badly they tucked tail and ran. That was asymmetrical warfare, too.

But to say that three detainees – men who were not charged with crimes, who were not even allowed prisoner of war status under the Geneva Conventions, and who had been stripped of their rights and human dignity indefinitely – who committed suicide were also committing acts of asymmetrical warfare is stretching the concept beyond its limits.

These same men had been part of the 75 at Gitmo waging a hunger strike. Authorities had been force-feeding them with tubes down their noses into their stomachs.

Suicides in which no one is physically harmed except the person committing the act may surely evoke change in the course of human events, but to call it an act of war is reprehensible. IRA member Bobby Sands’ death by hunger strike in the notorious Maze prison in Northern Ireland brought about change; indeed, his death brought the conflict to the entire world's attention and changed its perception of it. The Maze’s political detainees considered themselves prisoners of war; by their lights, they were at war with a vastly more powerful enemy. They wanted POW status in that war, they wanted humane conditions in the prison and they wanted to be validated as something other than common criminals. Sands’ death, followed by the deaths of several other hunger strikers, affected that change. But it was arguably not an act of warfare.

That three detainees at Gitmo committed suicide in their cells is shameful. Whether they did it out of hopelessness and desperation, or with the intent of affecting change by the fact of their deaths, that shame belongs to us.

Edited to add links and correct sloppy grammar.


Anonymous said...

Effect and Effecting...

Kevin Wolf said...

The Heretik had a good post on this too.

I'm so tired of the excuses, the psy-op terms (asymetrical warfare, etc) and all the rest that I can barely think about this stuff anymore.

Which may be the government's / military's goal.