My grudge against U.S. America 30/40

March 22, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in German, Guantanamo, Sick | 6 Comments
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Last night I thought: I’d really like to design an “End Guantanamo” logo to stick on my blog and share with others. Just read an article in the Spiegel earlier about the ‘trials’ that have started now in Guantanamo and that seem to have more in common with a drumhead court-martial than with regular legal proceedings. Geneva Convention, anyone? It makes me sick to think that there are people who have been held in prison, tortured, humiliated for five years now, trapped in a legal black hole, by a country that claims to be the beacon of hope and freedom. Just imagine it were you now, held in Guantanamo, just because you did some translation work for the Afghan authorities, not knowing that some of them were Al-Qaida – like one of the guys the Spiegel article was about… it makes me so incredibly sick. Five years of your life… try to recover from that. If you ever get out, that is…

Being German, I also want to ask: Why doesn’t anybody use the term ‘concentration camp’ for Guantanamo? It _is_ the right term. And anybody who ever wondered how all those things could have happened in Germany, how millions could be killed without the German citizens noticing and reacting: Where is the reaction of American citizens now? How can Guantanamo exist, continue to exist, without anybody ever intervening? And why is there no decided response from the global community? Shouldn’t the USA be kicked out of the NATO, their citizens no longer be granted visa to other countries, US embassies be evicted, and presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of all countries declare their disgust with America’s delusion of grandeur? ‘Home of the free’? Dear my American friends who read this – I know what you think of Guantanamo (and if you didn’t we wouldn’t be friends), and so I trust that you won’t take personal offense. It just make me so sick…

I don’t think I’ll get my blogosphere chores done today either:-(

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  1. I feel sick, and agree with everything said here. I’ve been protesting our war criminal administration since its theft of the white house in 2000. A lot of people have done the same.

    If you make the end guantanamo logo (and teach me how to use it) I’d be happy to put it up, too.

    I want to apologize. But so what, the misery and torture continues. To a large extent Americans are ignorant, provincial, and shocked. There is a lot of work to be done here.

    I am so sorry.

    A few sites that have made the concentration camp connection:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn01172004.html
    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0110-33.htm
    http://www.endevil.com/guantanamoconcentrationcamp.html
    http://www.unknownnews.net/guantanamo.html
    http://english.pravda.ru/main/2003/02/08/43153.htm

  2. Thanks for the links, and thanks for your concern. I am always relieved to hear that from people – as mentioned earlier, I know that the people know among the American populace are equally disgusted as I am, but it is just so very very good to hear it again. If people like you and the friends with whom I keep in touch via email, didn’t exist, the world might find me burning American flags, too.

    I’m glad the term concentration camps has entered the public discourse about Guantanamo. I hope that this will bring into mind the images of piles of corpses we know from Auschwitz.

    I wish the world would one day see the days that the Bush administration apologizes. No need for you to apologize – but I guess that Americans must be prepared for developing a similar trauma of collective guilt like the Germans did from 1945-2006 (i.e. until the last soccer world cup, where the German flag was finally redeemed from it sins;-)

  3. Btw, you couldn’t see your post right away because I had to approve it. That happens when a post contains more than one link.

  4. Disgusting. I concur.
    If there only were a way to involve Simon Cowell in the protest. Sad thing is: people find it fashionable to complain about shit (such as Gunatanamo, the war, Bush, …) and think of themselves as progressives, but that never translated into even the least bit of action. Actually, people prefer to attend a march where they can actually be SEEN protesting (cultural capital!) to voting, which, sadly enough, people cannot see. I am kind of weary of all the marching today–has a decidedly different function than say in the 60s. Not even sure the line “at least we are showig our faces and demonstrate that there is dissent” is correct any more. There is more mass dissent than there was in the 60s. People just don’t know that. We still believe people were more active inthe 60s. Bullshit. Hel,. everyone knows there is dissent. Just look at the approval rates. Point is: dissent is not enough. THAT is the true inconvenient truth of the day: dissent does not have the same motivation, function and effect it had in the 60s. Having said this, there seem to be two ways to attract the bourgeois “radical” to the poll stations: 1) make elections a spectacle usable for individual gratification and accumulation of cultural capital as a progressive etc. and 2) make it into a pop-culture phenomenon. People say they don’t vote because they are not sure their vote will accomplish anything. Well, the same is true for American Idol, which even the most die-hard fan seems to agree is rigged. The reaction, though, is one of dissent: now we’ll vote even more often, so that they can definitely not ignore us. Strange difference of sentiments, huh? So, my plan: involve Simon Cowell and hope for the reawakening of commodified democratic sentiment, which seems to be the best people can do. After all, with over 400 million votes AI was the world’s third largest democracy last season.

  5. It’s true, the best way of making voting more attractive would rally be to adopt the “The Pop Idol” principle: performance on television stages (which we have already anyway) and telephone voting, plus prizes to win for the callers. Number of possible calls being a question of cultural capital: 1 if you went to primary school, 2 for completing primary school, 3 for college, 5 for grad school, 7 for holders of a PhD. Perfectly in the line of Politeian thought.

    I like that! It might also increase the number of PhD students.-)

  6. Well said about US!


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