Obama waffles on Guantanamo

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Sven Sven's picture

jas, what I was pointing out is that Obama (some posters' beliefs to the contrary) does not have an easy decision to make about Gitmo.  Some say, "Just close it!" (as though they were parroting a Nike advertisement).  I have suggested that if it's that simple, then Canada should be more than happy to welcome the nice gentlemen now detained in Gitmo into Canada's warm, welcoming arms.

But, I don't know a lot of babblers who would like the detainees living in their neighborhood.  Why?  Because most of them are extremely dangerous.

So, Obama has a problem...and a problem that he didn't create.

As far as Canadians go, I like Canadians, as a general matter.  I have spent a lot of time in Canada (probably more time in Canada than most Canadians have spent in the USA).  And I have a keen interest in Canada (in contrast to most Americans--and Europeans and Asians, for that matter--who probably couldn't even name your PM).  Likewise, if you asked the average American (or European) who Jack Layton was, I'd be stunned if even 1% of them had the slightest clue as to who he was.

So, you needn't apologize "on behalf of all Canadians" for anything.

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jas

Sven, you could have just made that point in your first post, rather than using coy provocation. I would agree with you that the average Canadian probably buys into the same bullshit re: the terrorist threat as the average American does, but progressive Canadians see that many of these are prisoners abducted on a somewhat random basis and held illegally and on very specious grounds, so there is a recognition that their designation of "dangerous" has been assigned to them by their illegal captors and certainly not yet proven.

Furthermore, just because Obama has a problem he didn't create, doesn't mean Canadians are morally obliged to help him out. He knows what he's getting into, and Americans themselves need to take responsibility for their actions, or lack of.  If there were some detainees who, after given a fair trial (or proper investigation of their illegal detention) expressed a desire to resettle in Canada, I'm sure many Canadians would welcome that. The expenses of resettlement however would still have to be borne by the US gov't. 

 

Sven Sven's picture

jas wrote:

but progressive Canadians see that many of these are prisoners abducted on a somewhat random basis and held illegally and on very specious grounds, so there is a recognition that their designation of "dangerous" has been assigned to them by their illegal captors and certainly not yet proven.

That is so easy to say, isn't it?  If these kind young men in Gitmo are not dangerous (and were just "randomly" picked up and detained by the Americans), then I'm sure you wouldn't mind it at all if those detainees who couldn't be sent back to their homeland were resettled in T.O., for example, even at American expense?

But, of course, the answer would be "No".  Probably because, deep down, even "progressives" in Canada will quietly admit (to themselves) that these detainees are likely very dangerous people.

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Unionist

Ghislaine wrote:

For some sick and strange reason I am actually enjoying the surprised disappointment that some are having at the (shocking!) news that Obama will not leave Iraq right away or close Gitmo in his first 100 days.

 

Actually, Ghislaine, most of the posters in this thread have been warning against the exaggerated Obama love affair since long before his nomination. Kindly indicate one post in this thread expressing surprise that Obama has, in fact, lived up to our expectations as being equal to Bush on foreign policy matters.

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

Actually, Ghislaine, most of the posters in this thread have been warning against the exaggerated Obama love affair since long before his nomination. Kindly indicate one post in this thread expressing surprise that Obama has, in fact, lived up to our expectations as being equal to Bush on foreign policy matters.

I think we started to see the fearsome back-tracking by Obama after he secured the Democratic nomination around June (and that back-tracking was well documents on babble).

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It's Me D

Too bad Harper's already done those Senate appointments, that would have been a great place to put 18 of the detainees anyway. And for those who assume the detainees are immanently dangerous, this just gives you an added reason to abolish the senate.

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:
Ghislaine wrote:

For some sick and strange reason I am actually enjoying the surprised disappointment that some are having at the (shocking!) news that Obama will not leave Iraq right away or close Gitmo in his first 100 days.

 

Actually, Ghislaine, most of the posters in this thread have been warning against the exaggerated Obama love affair since long before his nomination. Kindly indicate one post in this thread expressing surprise that Obama has, in fact, lived up to our expectations as being equal to Bush on foreign policy matters.

 I actually was referring to Americans, rather than babble posters. Sorry about that, I thought my comment about the time and money people donated based on their misguided expectations about Obama's plans made this clear. Posters here have been skeptical pretty much from the getgo and I love the nickname Obomba.  

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sven wrote:

That is so easy to say, isn't it?  If these kind young men in Gitmo are not dangerous (and were just "randomly" picked up and detained by the Americans), then I'm sure you wouldn't mind it at all if those detainees who couldn't be sent back to their homeland were resettled in T.O., for example, even at American expense?

But, of course, the answer would be "No".  Probably because, deep down, even "progressives" in Canada will quietly admit (to themselves) that these detainees are likely very dangerous people.

You keep saying this, and it's so fucking hypocritical!

YOUR country is the one that illegally snatched them from foreign lands.

YOUR country is the one that illegally tortured them.

YOUR country is the one that illegally imprisoned them for years.

YOUR country is the one that turned innocent people into psychotics through years of physical and mental torture.

YOUR country is the one that doesn't have any grounds to put the vast majority of them on trial (even after years of interrogation, and with kangaroo courts that are designed to ensure conviction on evidence that would be laughed out of a real court).

YOUR country is the one that would never consider allowing these innocent men to live among you (despite all the proven war criminals and terrorists who already do).

And now you have the nerve to mock Canadians because we might not want to have those broken, embittered men living in our country?

Shame on you.

Sven Sven's picture

M. Spector wrote:

And now you have the nerve to mock Canadians because we might not want to have those broken, embittered men living in our country?

Shame on you.

You say that you wouldn't have these men in Canada because they are "broken men" (presumably, they were broken because of Gitmo—but, otherwise, apparently, they would be perfectly acceptable next-door neighbors).

Whether broken men or not, can you admit that many (if not most) of the detainees were (and are) also extremely dangerous men even before they stepped foot in Gitmo...and not merely "broken men" because of Gitmo?  Or, is your only objection to giving these men resettlement rights in Canada because they are "broken" and that, before Gitmo, you can honestly say you'd have welcomed them into your neighborhood?

I mean there are two alternatives: (1) the men are not dangerous and, therefore, having them in Canada would be no big deal or (2) they are dangerous and releasing them in the US (at least those that cannot be sent to their homelands) would be politically difficult, if not impossible, for Obama (how long would Obama last in office if even one of the released detainees subsequently helped kill 1,000 Americans?).

 

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Sven Sven's picture

M. Spector wrote:

YOUR country is the one that turned innocent people into psychotics through years of physical and mental torture.

This statement, by itself, says volumes.  The detainees were, in effect, poor, innocent, harmless men who were randomly snatched and put in Gitmo and, as a result, America has turned them into psychotics.

If I could find 100 similar pre-Gitmo men with similar profiles and backgrounds, are you saying that you'd be pleased to call them neighbors of yours if they wanted to move to your neighborhood?

ETA: And please answer that last question with a straight face.

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sven wrote:

Whether broken men or not, can you admit that many (if not most) of the detainees were (and are) also extremely dangerous men even before they stepped foot in Gitmo...and not merely "broken men" because of Gitmo?

No, I will not admit that. This is the old assumption that anyone arrested must be guilty otherwise they wouldn't have been arrested. If you bothered to do some reading about Guantanamo and the detainees there, you would know that many of them were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or were maliciously turned in to the US invaders by snitches seeking rewards, and were entirely innocent of wrongdoing. Why do you suppose their torturers are unable to back up any reasonable charges against them?

If it hasn't been removed from your local library by the Patriot Act police, you should read Enemy Combatant by Moazzem Begg. You should also read the dozens of articles by journalist Andy Worthington, who has spent years researching the detainees, at http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/ and other sites on the web.

The only men I know to have been "extremely dangerous" are the scumbags who detained, interrogated and tortured these men for years. They are still walking the streets of your country with impunity.

That doesn't seem to disturb you one bit.

Quote:
I mean there are two alternatives: (1) the men are not dangerous and, therefore, having them in Canada would be no big deal or (2) they are dangerous and releasing them in the US (at least those that cannot be sent to their homelands) would be politically difficult, if not impossible, for Obama (how long would Obama last in office if even one of the released detainees subsequently helped kill 1,000 Americans?).

There are two alternatives: (1) the men are not dangerous and, therefore releasing them to live in the US would be no big deal or (2) they are dangerous and releasing them anywhere in the world would be politically difficult, if not impossible.

If they are dangerous, they are not likely any more dangerous than Obama himself, who will in very short order after January 20 have the blood of thousands of people, including Americans, on his hands.

Tell us, Sven, who gets to decide whether any particular detainee is "dangerous"? And what is the standard of dangerousness? If a detainee has developed an abiding hatred of George W. Bush, does that make him dangerous? If so, there are millions of USians also whom you will want to lock up forever, for your own protection.

Are we supposed to feel sympathy for your dilemma? I don't.

Sven Sven's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Sven wrote:

Whether broken men or not, can you admit that many (if not most) of the detainees were (and are) also extremely dangerous men even before they stepped foot in Gitmo...and not merely "broken men" because of Gitmo?

No, I will not admit that. This is the old assumption that anyone arrested must be guilty otherwise they wouldn't have been arrested. If you bothered to do some reading about Guantanamo and the detainees there, you would know that many of them were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or were maliciously turned in to the US invaders by snitches seeking rewards, and were entirely innocent of wrongdoing.

Cool.  Then anyone meeting their profile and background who would like to move into your neighborhood would be welcomed by you with open and loving arms.

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Fidel

Sven wrote:
[

That is long overdue.  The embargo has no purpose (and, as a tertiary side benefit, it will eliminate the ruling party's excuse that the only reason Cuba is failing economically is because of a US embargo--which is absurd).

And a US-led medieval siege on one desert nation in the Middle East wasnt very effective either. If Helms-Burton is ineffective, then why is it still US policy and outvoted by the UN year after year by a wide margin? Use your head for something more than a hatrack, Sven.

Sven Sven's picture

Well, Fidel, it's hard to believe that the US embargo is the principal cause for the abject poverty in that country when most of the other nations of the world are free to trade with Cuba.  I look forward to the end of the embargo and seeing how Cuba fares in the ensuing years.

Wouldn't it be something if Cuba miraculously revived economically simply due to being able to trade with the uber capitalists?!?!  And, if they don’t revive economically, their bullshit woe-is-me-because-of-the-US-embargo excuse will be blown out of the water.

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sven wrote:

Cool.  Then anyone meeting their profile and background who would like to move into your neighborhood would be welcomed by you with open and loving arms.

I'd rather have Omar Khadr living in my neighbourhood than you.

Sven Sven's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Sven wrote:

Cool.  Then anyone meeting their profile and background who would like to move into your neighborhood would be welcomed by you with open and loving arms.

I'd rather have Omar Khadr living in my neighbourhood than you.

And, while your at it, you can invite people like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his closest friends to be your neighbor as well and you can sit around, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya together after talking about how evil Israel is and how wonderful Hamas is.  That would be quite the neighborhood BBQ.

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Fidel

Sven wrote:

Well, Fidel, it's hard to believe that the US embargo is the principal cause for the abject poverty in that country when most of the other nations of the world are free to trade with Cuba.  I look forward to the end of the embargo and seeing how Cuba fares in the ensuing years.

Do you sometimes ponder why US client states like Haiti and Guatemala are the poverty-stricken hellholes that they are and trading freely with the US and internationally? Haiti is just 55 miles from Cuba.

Quote:
Wouldn't it be something if Cuba miraculously revived economically simply due to being able to trade with the uber capitalists?!?!

Imagine that Puerto Rico or Newfoundland were free to import anything from around the world at a premium but banned from exporting anything to Canada or the US?  Trade was not a problem for the US-backed mafia government in the years leading up to the peoples' revolution in Cuba, and yet Cubans ate a steady diet of malanga and cane sugar and teeth rotting out of their heads. In fact, the US government favoured sugar quotas on imports from Cuba for many years - something which free traders would suggest violates capitalist rules for liberalized free trade.

The ability to trade freely with natural geographic partners is an idea older than the hills - something that predates Adam Smith and British "tea company's" policies for import-export business of dealing in illicit drugs and slave labour. The CIA and their friends in organized crime would like very much to transform Cuba into a conduit for drug running to the US like it was before, Sven. Dont ever fool yourself. Trade as a weapon, and the dept for economic warfare on Latin America has routinely violated all laws for true free trade policies over the years.

They're dumping cheap US rice in Haiti today and crippling Haitians' ability to earn a living. Haiti, coincidentally, does not represent an ideological thorn in the side of the vicious empire. Haiti does not stand out as country standing alone in defiance of the vicious empire and demonstrating to all the capitalist thirdworld colonies that defying the empire is a possibility. Cuba represents hope for tens of millions of desperately poor people without education or the basic human right to see a doctor on a regular basis.  That Cuba represents hope for millions is a personal terror for the rightwing ideologues in your country, Sven.

Sven Sven's picture

Sure, Fidel.  Whatever you say.

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Fidel

Youre so full of shit your eyes must be a deep brown by now, Sven.

NorthReport

This is everyone's last chance to apply to be a prisoner at G'timo as it is being closed soon.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090112.wobamagitmo0112/BNStory/International/home

Cueball Cueball's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Sven wrote:

Cool.  Then anyone meeting their profile and background who would like to move into your neighborhood would be welcomed by you with open and loving arms.

I'd rather have Omar Khadr living in my neighbourhood than you.

Excelent post.

jrose

Closing for length.

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