I’m also expecting an investigation here, but the way I heard the “it was an act of warfare” statement suggested that they were engaging in a war of propaganda; that by killing themselves, they deliberately sought to decrease the U.S.'s standing in the world. Seeing as how that’s what’s happening, it does at least sound plausible (YMMV, of course).
It’s not a “strike”. The other part of warfare is the “hearts and minds” aspect. It is not difficult to believe that the suicides occurred in an attempt to further highlight the injustice/abuse/potential illegality of the camp at Guantanamo. Thus we have a situation where 3 people have now struck a blow for their cause.
Warfare is not always men going nose to nose with each other. It’s evolved into something much more nuanced.
Suicides are natural reactions to incarceration under extremely harsh conditions. Declaring the responses to the individuals’ situations (the suicides, that is) to be “acts of war” seems to be a terribly lame rationalization to me.
It’s not difficult at all, and I’m sure that you’re right about their intent. On the other hand, the comments sound ridiculous on basic level. He makes it sound like the US is the victim of their suicide. The only attack these guys were capable of pulling off was to hang themselves in their cell, so it’s hard to accept that we were on the wrong end of the asymmetry there.
In one of the articles I read the other day… and I just found it again, there was a ‘magical belief’ that if three prisoners suicided, Gitmo would have to be shut down. http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/06/10/guantanamo.suicides/index.html
I could understand that belief, it’s a common kind of urban superstition, like the college one about an automatic A when your roomie suicides.
It apparently has been tried before, three sucidicing by pills. So, if that’s so, yes, it does count as engaging in asymetrical warfare. Not effectively, but yeah.
I expect that’s what he was trying to avoid by the phrase “asymmetrical warfare.” They’re not “prisoners of war,” see; rather, while residing safely in U.S. quasi-custody-but-not, they treacherously engaged in unprovoked acts of war against us by committing suicide.
Or perhaps he meant “asymmetrical” to indicate that Americans being held for years in terrorist gulags aren’t offing themselves in the same manner. Oh how will we ever win The War On Terror if American prisoners don’t strike a blow for freedom by killing themselves while in custody? Mighty crafty of those terrorists to deny America this particular battleground, by not imprisoning suspected U.S. combatants indefinitely without charge. But I still have faith that Americans would do the right thing in such a situation, and kill themselves by threes until public opinion shifts back in America’s favor. Perhaps the U.S. could arrange for foreign governments to “render” Americans until they start offing themselves, so we don’t lose too much ground to the Suicide Gap.
Nope, it’s stupid any way you look at it. How about “Suicide is a political statement”? I, for one, find it much more likely that they were not thrilled at the prospect of a lifetime of confinement as a ‘detainee’.
The US does not engage in acts of asymmetric suicide. Some bad apples may have suicided without the knowledge or express permission of their commanding officers, but there will be a full inquiry (defendants in absentia). If the US were to undertake suiciding, it would be with fully open and declared Suicide Squads, with the intent only to harm the enemy. Any collateral suicides as a result of these actions are deeply regretted.
Sorry, but we only have the word of the military and the Administration that these men were even in Guantanamo for legitimate reasons. And, given the performance of the military command and the Administration over the past few years, i’m not inclined to take their word for anything regarding the “War on Terror”[sup]TM[/sup]. Hell, if they told me it was raining, i’d go outside and stand there for a while just to make sure.
For all we know, these people who killed themselves were just desperate folks who decided that they could no longer take the prospect of permanent incarceration without a fair trial, without consideration as prisoners of war, indeed without any semblance of due process whatsoever. To stand there and call this an act of warfare just beggars belief.
When I saw the this quote last night, it had “…” instead of “asymmetrical”, and I post this in the GD thread, saying I hoped for his sake the “…” turned out to be something like “psychological”. Well, I think this sounds even worse than I thought. “Assymentrical”? WTF??? Of course it’s assymetrical, dumbass, these guys are being held in prison! Here’s a hint, buddy. Keep your trap shut about the motivations of these guys and let the report issued after the investigation speak to that aspect. A career military guy like this should have more of a brain in his head.
Did anyone else think of Life of Brian’s Suicide Squad upon reading the OP?
If I were to be separated for life from family, friends, culture and held like cattle by not-exactly-the-most-humane guards, and with more than a fair chance that I did nothing to deserve that, I would not hesitate to off myself. If they think less of me, well, then they can chase me and try to punish me again.
What this Dreaded Rear Admiral isn’t clear about is that many of these people are fucking INNOCENT, shopped by bounty hunters. They might indeed be engaging in coordinated protest as a fucking desperate cry for help, rather than a Jihadi publicity stunt.
For fuck’s sake, ship them to the US, give them a trial, and release/sentence as per the court’s decision. And for those released: COMPENFUCKINGSATION.
Every time I think the current US government can’t get any nastier or stupider, it does.