Guantanamo Suicides ‘an Act of War’?

The US started to use its naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002 to keep some of Al-Qaeda's suspected members. Since then, it has kept hundreds of suspected prisoners at the facility without any specific evidence against them and/or providing them a fair trial.

A few weeks ago, a group of inmates attempted suicide but were suppressed by brute force. Today again they attempted suicide after a spell of hunger strikes. This time, however, a Yemeni and two Saudis were successful in their attempts.

Quite preposterously, though, the Guantanamo commander called these suicides a 'PR move' and 'an act of war'.

Those inmates were Muslims. Therefore, this can't even be 'an act of war' as Islam doesn't allow suicide. It isn't even an act of war by terrorist standards: It didn't kill American soldiers. It didn't intimidate the (Iraqi and/or Afghan) public by killing a bunch of people in a busy market. Rather, the inmates have been so desperate and hopeless after years of detention that they found no way other than suicide-a religious taboo-to free themselves.

Likewise, considering the United States' history of defiance and disregard to the international law, one can assume that it was clearly not a 'PR move.' All the media attention and criticism over the years against the United States' mistreatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detention centers have yielded very little. Keeping this in mind, it seems preposterous for the inmates to use their lives as a 'PR move' to grab the attention of the international community.

It is, rather, an act of utter frustration and anxiety as a result of years of illegal detention, inhumane treatment, religious and personal humiliation, lack of access to legal counsel, isolation from their families, etc.

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17 Responses to “Guantanamo Suicides ‘an Act of War’?”

  1. 1 rockwatching June 12, 2006 at 12:03 am

    I strongly believe that you do your cause a great injustice by treating enemy combatants as criminals. You will never win hearts and minds. Aside from what you have to gain there is also the moral aspect of ones behavior, I have a theory and that is that the good guy always wins. You will know if you are the good guy by your success or failure. mick

  2. 2 feroz June 12, 2006 at 3:48 am

    hey i seen ya blog its awesome i like your blog n if u like to i want to do link exchange with u this is my link [Link omitted]

    regard feroz

  3. 3 Jenn June 12, 2006 at 7:41 am

    What makes you say they are only suspected. They could be and most if not all are guilty as h*ll.

    It may not be an act of war, but it sure as heck follows the current Muslim standard of killing yourself. At least these guys onlt ook themselves out, not a bus load of innocent civilians.

  4. 4 Jenn June 12, 2006 at 7:42 am

    What makes you say they are only suspected. They could be, and most if not all are, guilty as h*ll.

    It may not be an act of war, but it sure as heck follows the current Muslim standard of killing yourself. At least these guys only took themselves out, not a bus load of innocent civilians.

  5. 5 MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan June 12, 2006 at 7:59 am

    Hello, Jen.

    You asked: “What makes you say they are only suspected”?

    This Wikipedia article says: “Beginning in 2002, a small portion of the United States Navy’s base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has been used as a military prison and detainment camp for suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world.”

    This Washington Post report says: “Most international terrorism suspects in U.S. custody are held not by the CIA but by the Defense Department at the Guantanamo Bay prison.”

  6. 6 DAWN June 12, 2006 at 8:31 am

    Islam supposedly doesn’t allow the killing of innocents either. So I guess 9-11 was an act of diplomacy, as are all the suicide bombings and beheadings committed by muslims around the world.

  7. 7 James Shott June 13, 2006 at 1:00 am

    Just because the detainees at Guantanamo Bay are labled “suspected al-Qaeda or Taliban operatives does not mean they haven’t been determined to be actual operatives.

    It is common to hold enemy combatants captured during a war until the end of the war before disposing of them through release, military trial, etc.

    Obviously, there is a caveat to the supposed prohibition against suicide in Islam because of the high number of Muslims willing to blow themselves up to take out innocent men, women and children.

  8. 8 ninglun June 13, 2006 at 5:43 am

    My response you can see on my site. Generally speaking, I agree with you. Stick to your view of Islam’s teaching on suicide, though it is a shame there are others who see it differently. Guess that’s my only reservation about what you say. Otherwise, see my site for more.

  9. 9 Jamie Stern-Weiner June 13, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    “You asked: “What makes you say they are only suspected”?”

    Not forgetting the fact that most have been neither tried nor charged.

  10. 10 thewatchlist June 15, 2006 at 9:05 am

    I’m just wondering if Rear Admiral Harry Harris thought that the US Soldiers’ suicides were also an act of war in an attempt to defy the enemy?

    And with all the reports about people urinating on the Qu’ran and the abuse and whatnot, does a handful of detainee suicide really bring that much more bad attention to the situation? Well, I guess it may have helped people stray from the emptying clips into civilians story from a few days back.

  11. 11 Afghan LORD July 6, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    Nice page, i am comming from DotDecay here. Are you Afghan?

  12. 12 wikipedia September 21, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    Personally, I have no idea why people would not understand how to do this.

  13. 13 Margret November 18, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    I have surfed on the net I have found your blog. It’s amazing.

  14. 14 Baby New Year December 28, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    Not understanding all the details I wonder if you could explain a bit more. Sorry….Also, happy new year and thanks for helping!

  15. 15 anaj March 28, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Don’t stop blogging about this, please. I’ve created a little minimalist Guantanamo logo, feel free to use and circulate it, if you like. Best wishes from Austria.

  16. 16 children suffering adhd May 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I really like looking through a post that can make people think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  1. 1 Anonymous Trackback on June 30, 2006 at 12:30 pm

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I no longer update this weblog due to academic and other preoccupations. However, feel free to browse through its older entries. Thanks.
This is a weblog where a journalism enthusiast Afghan student writes about hot contemporary issues from an Afghan perspective. Enjoy your visit! Contact: mail . myscribbles @ gmail . com

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