Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cruel. Inhuman. Degrades Us All.

Close Guantánamo Bay.
The detention of "enemy combatants" at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba has now entered its fifth year. Hundreds of people of around 30 different nationalities remain held in effect in a legal black hole, many without access to any court, legal counsel or family visits.
Many of them allege they have been subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Three detainees have died at the camp, after apparently committing suicide. Others have gone on prolonged hunger strikes, being kept alive only through painful force feeding measures.
Guantanamo Bay is a symbol of injustice and abuse.
Can someone tell me why it remains open, why these men are not given a trial and why it shouldn't be shut down?
Five years Now! - No independent hearing; no family contact! Is This The American Way?
By Khalid Al-Odah
Consider this. Over the course of the past five years, America, the most powerful country on earth, overthrew Saddam Hussein, a ruthless dictator. And after Saddam’s fall from power in 2003, US forces captured him, and he was tried, convicted and executed.
In those same five years, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Yasser Arafat have died. Kuwait’s beloved ruler, Sheik Jaber Alsabah has passed away and we have a new ruler, a new crown prince, a new prime minister and a new parliament.
So much has happened in the past five years, and yet for my son Fawzi -- detained in Guantánamo Bay since January 11, 2002 -- time has stood still. Fawzi has spent his days in a 6.8ft x 8 ft cell, often in solitary confinement and denied all contact with his family. Even death row inmates in U.S. prisons are treated better than this. Fawzi’s treatment has irreparably scarred him and our family. And for what?
Read more


Rick Reynolds said...

Do not get mad at this answer, they are terrorists. They are not Americans and were captured in terrorist acts. They are developing the rules for the tribunals to begin very soon. Why is it that so many people care more about the rights of known terrorists than they do about the safety of our country? That is what I want to know. If these men commit suicide that obviously is not murder, it was their choice. Secondly, who is it exactly that has tortured these men? How is it that some are given this information and others are not? Lastly, I can only pray that God would lead our President and his staff to do what Christ would expect of them. There are so many things I am sure we have no idea about when it comes to these people. Sometimes we have to trust because that is our only recourse. If some do not like what is going on then they must make their voice known at the voting booth. I believe that in this unknown reality of war that has no uniforms, but rather backs itself through religious faith, our government is doing the best it can. Furthermore, I believe in the sovereignty of God and believe whatever is to come of you and I, or these men is for a reason and God is in control. I appreciate your questions and comments and look forward to hearing your response.

Jonathan Blundell said...

I think there has to be a balance between the rights of "known terrorists" and the safety of our country. I don't know where that line is but we are all equal in the sight of God, no matter what are sins are. And inflicting cruel inhumane punishment upon these people is wrong no matter what they did. Where is the love of Christ in that? Let justice be served but if there is cruel unusual punishment taking place I believe it must end. A prison guard's retaliation to men and women who are already incarcerated isn't justice. President Bush has said himself he would like to see the prison closed down. So why is it still there? Why is it taking five years to come up with rules for tribunals? Revenge is not the answer.

Rick Reynolds said...

I do not disagree with most of your points as usual. However, this is not a Christian country and this country is not able to represent what Christ would do. Your comments act as though this country has the responsibility to act as Christ. Fundamentally, your statement somewhat contradicts itself because the government and its leaders may not have any more understanding of Christ than the terrorists may. You seem so willing to forgive the terrorists, but when it comes to the people who are enacting these supposed injustices, you act as though they should be different or as though they are Christians. It seems as though it is ok to hold their sins over them, if this were a sin in the first place, which I have not seen any proof that there is anything illegal or wrong going on there. Furthermore, I still do not know who has been tortured. I will never believe the words of people who know how to play on the hearts of people in this country. I also do not believe the things that have been done, that I have heard of, are torture. Believing that these people deserve anymore-humane treatment than the people in this country is wrong!

My next question, if Christ would not hold these people and deal with them, does that mean that you disagree with the war on Terrorism? Do you think Christ would be apart of this? I also wonder if God would not be apart of this and it is cruel, what do you call hell, the lake of fire? Is that not cruel? Is that not eternal torture and punishment for their sins? I am not sure that you and I would agree about the sovereignty of God.

If the war is not the solution and working to deal with these people, trying to find out what they know is not appropriate, what would you do? What is it, if you were the President and you could change things, what would you do? I truly want to know. I mean you might admit that it is easy to say what is wrong with something but many cannot give positive feedback on what they would do. I am not saying this is you, but I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Jonathan Blundell said...

Lord knows I don't think this is a Christian country but I just because this is not a "Christian country" doesn't mean Christians cannot stand up for what is wrong and ask our government to do better. I haven't heard you complain about Focus on the Family or other organizations demanding our government end abortion or make laws prohibiting same sex marriages because it's the "Christian thing to do."
I don't believe our country as a whole has a responsibility to act as Christ but there are people, including our president who claim to be followers of Christ and yet do not always stand for what I believe Christ taught us.
I'm simply asking our government to take the moral high ground. Letting someone sit for five years in a prison with no trial and no hearing is wrong, whether they're an American, Iraqi or anyone else. Let them hear their charges and give them a fair trial or let them go free.
I don't think anyone being held at Guatanamo should receive any extra rights than those sitting in the state prison at I-45 and I-20. But give them fair treatment.
We do not even know what these alleged terrorists have done. They may not even know themselves. Sure they may have killed American soldiers they may have plotted against Americans. I will admit that. If that's the case, give them a trial and give them their punishment just as the Iraqi's did to Saddam.
I believe God is absolutely sovereign and I believe He will punish those who do not accept His gift of salvation. In His sovereignty He will do this and who am I to question His eternal punishment for sin? Man however is not sovereign or all knowing.
I don't have all the answers and don't claim to have all the answers. I do believe that this war could have been avoided if we simply increased our country's defense rather than attacking a country that was allegedly involved in the 9/11 attacks and allegedly had weapons of mass destruction.
But we did attack them. We are in a war that's lasted more than four years and seen over 3,000 American's die and I don't know that we've solved anything as of yet. Saddam has been executed for his crimes, but like any street gang new leaders rise up when the former leader falls. Attacking back with revenge doesn't seem to solve anything in the long run - but maybe I'm wrong. I guess the atom bomb in World War II was the ultimate revenge for Pearl Harbor and made our country, Japan and the world what it is today.