ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, June 13, 2005

Mark Steyn on Gitmo as Gulag

A Must Read... Especially if you're a deranged nutter from the Left.

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pw: splatter

Calling Guantanamo a ‘gulag’ is the sort of thing you’d expect from some nutter in the comments section of a kook website. Why would an organisation in the human rights business want to trivialise the murder of millions in totalitarian death camps by comparing them with a non-death camp where you’re at risk of having the frontispiece of your book moistened by a drop of urine if the wind’s blowing in the right direction? If Gitmo’s a gulag, what words does that leave for the systemic rape being practised by the butchers of Darfur? Or is it because they’ve so exhausted the extremes of their vocabulary on Guantanamo that the world’s progressives have so little to say about real horrors like Sudan? Warming to his theme, Amnesty International USA’s executive director William Schulz then declared Donald Rumsfeld the ‘high-level architect of torture’. Asked what evidence he had for his assertion that the defence secretary had approved the use of torture at the camp, Mr Schulz said, ‘It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea.’

Can anyone play this game? Can I declare that Mr Schulz and the Amnesty board get together every Saturday night and piss all over the Koran? I hasten to add that I’ve no idea whether that’s true, but it would be fascinating to find out.

Guantanamo exists in a legal limbo about which different opinions can be held. And, as in every prison camp, there are no doubt foolish and wicked things that go on. But no serious allegation of torture has been substantiated, and in the al-Qa’eda training manual found in Manchester a couple of years back Rule 18 couldn’t be more explicit: when held captive by the infidel, members ‘must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them’ and ‘complain to the court of mistreatment while in prison’. A healthy scepticism would seem to be advisable, especially when the alleged forms of torture involve lurid, if psychologically rather obvious, fantasies of menstruating Western women. Instead, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times runs around shrieking like a hysterical ninny that Washington needs to shut down Guantanamo right now — not because of anything that actually occurred there but because of negative ‘perceptions’ of the camp in the overseas press.

And would caving in to those negative perceptions lead to any better press from the Guardian or Le Monde? Nobody got killed in Gitmo, so instead America is being flayed as the planet’s number one torturer for being insufficiently respectful to the holy book of its prisoners, even though the Americans themselves supplied their prisoners with the holy book, even though the preferred holy book of most Americans is banned in the home country of many of the prisoners, even though Americans who fall into the hands of the other side get their heads hacked off, even though the prisoners’ co-religionists themselves blow up more mosques and Korans than Americans ever do, and even though the alleged insufficient respect to the prisoners’ holy book occurred at a rate of one verified incident of possibly intentional disrespect per year. But sure, go ahead, close Gitmo and wait for the torrent of rave reviews — right after the complaints that it is culturally insensitive to rebuild the World Trade Center when it’s the burial site of ten devout Muslim flying enthusiasts.
In the Middle East, as Baby Assad’s pitiful ‘State of the Union’ speech underlined, free Iraq is a more potent force than all the stagnant dictatorships. In Afghanistan the other day, 600 clerics participated in a ceremony stripping Mullah Omar of his religious authority. And, if it’s Koranic desecration you’re after, how about this under-reported news item from the original Islamic republic a few weeks back? In Iran, revellers marked Tchahr Shanbe Souri, the traditional Persian fire festival, by chanting ‘Down with the Islamic Republic!’ and hurling Islamic texts, including the Koran, into the bonfires. The politicised Islam promoted by the Ayatollah, Osama and the Taleban is already on the wane. It was in essence a parasite leeching on to Western decadence and lack of will. And that’s always been the real issue, as the bogus Guantanamo furore demonstrates only too well.

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ARC: St Wendeler