Gitmo, liberals, politics and deceit
By Frank Salvato
web posted June 1, 2009
The debate over the disposition of the terrorist detainees currently housed in Guantanamo Bay's detention centers (Camp Delta, Camp Echo, Camp Iguana & Camp 7) rages on. The anti-war/anti-Bush contingent continues to call for the shuttering of the facilities while those in support of fighting the war against violent Islamist aggression challenge them on their alternative for the securing of the enemy combatants housed at the facility. And as this debate drags on one thing has become painfully obvious: the efforts of the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent are not only visionless, they are purely political.
First, we need to be honest about two critical points that have been allowed to morph from political talking points to perceived realities; talking points that have become the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent's mantra: 1) That the mere existence of the facility at Guantanamo Bay has tarnished the reputation of the United States around the world, and 2) That the mere existence of the facility more commonly referred to as "Gitmo" has served to create more jihadis. Both assertions are manufactured, contrived and patently false.
Gitmo Diminished the Reputation of the United States
The US military personnel assigned to the Guantanamo Bay facility are as professional as they come. There have been no documented cases of torture as it is defined by the United States Supreme Court. This includes the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. In fact, the facilities at Guantanamo Bay were described by the deputy head of Brussels' federal police anti-terrorism unit, Alain Grignard, as:
"...a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons."
The truth of the matter is, as I stated in a previous article, that the criticism of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility originated with the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent right here in the United States. This criticism, advanced by a media filled with bloodlust for President Bush and based on hearsay, rumor and the "testimony" of former detainees – detainees who practice the fundamentalist Islamic tenet of al taqiyya, was even debunked by one of the Left's most ardent operatives, US Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) who said of the facility after his visit in 2006:
"...the men and women in uniform who are serving us in Guantanamo have been the best – steadfast, professional, often heroic, working in a very difficult place – bleak and barren, hotter than the hinges of hell. They go to work every day to watch these detainees and try to derive information...They're not using torture."
So, if the reputation of the United States suffered at all on the issue of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, it was because the mainstream media and anti-war/anti-Bush activists purposely shopped the false notion of US military misdeeds at the camps. It is hard for the media and the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent to say they support the troops when one understands this reality.
Gitmo Created More Jihadis
The notion that the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay created more jihadis is a statement made out of ignorance of the enemy's beliefs and motives.
Fundamentalist Islamic jihadis, by nature, despise everything for which Western Culture stands. In fact, the world of the Progressive-Left is particularly hated by those who practice fundamentalist Islam, violent or otherwise. The promiscuity of Hollywood and Greenwich Village, the "free speech" of pornography, the revealing fashions of the culture, female equality, gay rights, even music and movies are considered decadent in the extreme and an affront to Allah to fundamentalist Islamists. It is for this reason the fundamentalist Islamic culture embraces the abayya and burqa for their women and why violent jihadis routinely blow up music and DVD stores in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the fundamentalist Middle East.
Further, the fundamentalist Islamic culture is one that understands strength through violence and domination. It is because of this belief system that punishment for crimes in fundamentalist Islam are extreme compared to Western standards. Adultery, which in many parts of the Middle East consists of a married woman being in the presence of a man who is not her husband, is punishable by death, as is homosexuality, defaming the Prophet Muhammad (not Allah, but the prophet) and apostasy, to name but a few of the "crimes" punishable by death. Other crimes, such as theft, are punishable by the forced removal of limbs and a woman who doesn't ask her husband's permission to leave the house or who goes to the market without the supervision of a related male are punished by the whip. Honor killings also prevail in the fundamentalist Islamic culture.
So, it is more likely that Paris Hilton giving oral sex on YouTube or Madonna and Britney Spears tongue-kissing at the Grammy's or telecasts of the Gay Pride Parades in San Francisco or any number of the mindless offerings coming out of Hollywood serve as recruitment catalyst for the Islamic jihadi movement and less likely that a detention facility – professionally administered by the US military – would elicit a stampede of volunteers to the jihadi cause.
Further, anyone who takes the time to read even a summary of Islamic history understands that the Islamic culture has a Muhammadian mandate to establish a global Caliphate or the establishment of Islamic domination to the four corners of the World. Islamic conquests (or Muslim conquests) have taken place numerous times throughout Islam's existence, set-forth upon the death of Muhammad in 632AD and rendered in decline as recently as 1924. Osama bin Laden's call to jihad was predicated by this Mohammadian mandate to establish a global Caliphate.
To believe that a centuries old religious mandate upon the whole of a religion, upon the whole of an ideological culture, would be usurped as a recruitment tool by a detention facility holding a total – over the duration of its existence – of 775 jihadis is not only a notion without merit, it is a contention born of arrogance and ignorance.
The Biggest Insincerity
But perhaps the biggest canard perpetrated by the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent is that closing the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay and bringing the jihadi detainees to prisons in the United States – especially SuperMax prisons – would better serve the humanitarian needs of the jihadis. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The facilities at Guantanamo Bay provide for recreation – both indoor and outdoor – and social interaction. Detainees are given time for recreation, socializing and to pray, and are provided meals subject to their religious doctrine. Conversely, terrorists held in SuperMax detention facilities in the United States are allowed one-hour of "out-of-cell" time daily. They are kept in solitary confinement for 23 out of 24 hours of the day. There is no socialization, even for prayer or exercise. The inmates are constantly monitored and their cells are located seven stories below ground. To put it bluntly, the jihadis existence at Guantanamo versus their proposed existence in a SuperMax facility is more akin to time spent on a tropical island, no pun intended.
Further, as we listen to the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent groan on about the legitimacy of the tribunals and their want for jihadis to be tried in the US legal system, it is valid to point out that moving jihadis currently house at Guantanamo Bay to any SuperMax facility would be to condemn untried men to the second harshest punishment in the United States legal system, solitary confinement at a SuperMax facility, and to do so without due process protection, protection that even the military tribunals provide.
These realities understood, the only true reason for the anti-war/anti-Bush contingent to continue to insist on the closing of Guantanamo Bay's detention facilities rests in the political. To continue to beat the "Gitmo drum" is to keep the anti-war/anti-Bush propaganda in the public eye. And keeping the Gitmo/anti-Bush hysteria in the public eye can only serve the disingenuous political Left heading into the mid-term elections.
I have said it before, the Left – and especially the Progressive or neo-Marxist Left – have placed politics above good government, doing so for exclusively opportunistic and self-serving reasons. With the politicizing of the Guantanamo Bay issue the Democrat Party has sunk to a new low. Have they no shame?
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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