11 June 2006

Triple suicide at Guantanamo camp

Triple suicide at Guantanamo camp:

Triple suicide at Guantanamo camp


The officials are calling the suicide of three jailed inmates (who have no access to the law) an "act of warfare." I guess anything enemy combatants do is an act of warfare, even though they were in detention. At least they are going "to treat the bodies humanely and with cultural sensitivity," whatever that means.

I was thinking that one of the ways to deter terrorists is to not treat their bodies humanely and cremate them if they're supposed to be buried or turn their bodies into compost or something like that. It's not like they allow their victims humane treatment and cultural sensitivity, and just maybe, if we do something to their bodies that we're not supposed to, maybe they will be scared of not attaining the afterlife that they so strive for.

The flip side of this approach is it does not, to use a cliche, win the hearts and minds of the terrorist-supporting population. A real-world example comes from the Kargil war of 1999. The Pakistani army sent in ill-trained troops and officers dressed as civilians (track suits / shalwar kameez) to occupy disputed Indian territory high in the mountains. India responded (once they figured out who they were up against based on radio intercepts / intelligence) by sending in the Air Force. There were lots of Pakistani dead who were dumped in their villages in the clothes that they died in in the dead of night. I don't think that's humanely treating the dead by any measure. What is more, they refused to take back their dead who wound up with the Indian Army, denying that they were Pakistani army personnel. The Indian Army gave them a burial according to their religious traditions. Due to the power of the information age, the Pakistani villagers who had supplied their kids to the war realised that the 'enemy' was treating their relatives better than the army that they had fought for.

Giving these guys/girls a decent burial despite their intent to destroy our way of life is a plus for us overall. Eventually it will build bridges and humanise us to those who would rather see us as objects only worthy of destruction. Maybe. Or maybe we have to do it to ensure that we don't hate all people related to people who bring war and death and destruction to us.

2 comments:

video said...

It's a pity that we (as in humans), can't treat the dead with the same civility when they're alive. These days, war cannot be justified nor can it be an excuse. I just wish that republican administrations realise that. What the US does, affects everyone in the world.

Mosilager said...

Well I don't think we'll ever see the end of the short-term thinking exhibited by government leaderships. They are just trying to get elected after all. We won't see the end of war either, it's just too profitable for the leaders.. they can ask people to suspend disbelief for some time while they set about making more money. Not just in the US, it happens everywhere.
US politicians have a good idea of how their actions affect the rest of the world but they don't really care. They're not really like Nehru, who gave up India's UN seat to China back in the day :) They're just trying to make sure that they get re-elected and re-financed for the election.
It doesn't really matter to me why somebody wants to blow me up. The moment they stop trying to resolve their issues peacefully I'll do my best to ensure they don't get a chance to be violent. Well... since I don't got no power like that I probably wouldn't... but if I did have the power to stop these people I would.