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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

“Gitmo” Perspective, Please!

Submitted by Andrew “Skip” March

Amnesty International’s recent report on violations at the Guantanamo Detention Site demonstrates both its bias and lack of understanding. While desecration of holy scriptures is never acceptable, one has to recognize the enemy we are fighting and then ask whether these violations are a result of policy and therefore systemic or are they isolated and individual. Two recent interviews are revealing in perspective.

In a recent Time Magazine interview Natan Sharansky correctly points out that Amnesty International does not distinguish between those countries and movements that are oppressive and create fear societies and those that embrace freedom and actively work to correct their mistakes. I recall a good friend of mine who was studying in Europe in the mid-1970’s and was quite critical of the US at that time. He returned with a new perspective, recognizing that the U.S. through its Constitutional institutions endeavors to right its wrongs. Every society has them, by the way.

The second interview was Larry King with President George H.W. and Barbara Bush. President Bush(1) recalled a conversation with the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Chairman pointed out that the military is an organization of millions of people, the overwhelming majority of whom carry out their duties properly and honorably. However, somewhere there is someone who is doing something improper and not honorable. I would argue that the courage, honor and even restraint that our troops have demonstrated tells us how our military truly operates.

Now on to the enemy that we are fighting. Public beheadings, slitting of throats and slaughter of innocent people are their standards for warfare and for society for that matter. If the New York Times spent as much time on those atrocities as it has on Guantanamo and Abu Gharib…well we can’t expect miracles or even accurate reporting, can we.

Would they, have they demonstrated the same respect for the Bible or the Torah that we have endeavored to demonstrate for the Koran…nope! I would also argue that Islamic terrorists have done more to desecrate the Koran then anything that has occurred at Gitmo, Abu Gharib or anywhere else. I say this not to justify isolated actions desecrating the Koran….only to provide proper perspective. Further, can we believe that what goes on at Guantanamo influences policy (generous term), goals and tactics of the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq? I don’t think so. If mistakes or violations weren’t being made then they’d make them up….just read their handbook.

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