Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OPEN LETTER

Dear naive people,

We all know that the prison at Guantanamo is a shame! Hundreds of innocent and poor victims of American ‘justice’ were randomly arrested by US forces in Afghanistan. Their only crime? Being on a holiday in 2001 in Afghanistan, a country of great natural beauty.

The Americans claim these guys all were terrorists. What a crap! In Bush’s fascist' empire even camping has become a crime. These tourists were the top of the bill in the world’s camping community. The Taliban regime never granted a visa to any foreigner, except to these super campers. They were rock-climbers, bird experts, cultural anthropologists.

It is with sadness though that we have to inform you that yesterday one of those poor and innocent tourists was massacred by Russian forces. Read this propaganda piece in the mainstream media:

Russia: ex-Guantanamo detainee killed

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - A man formerly held in the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was killed Wednesday in a shootout with security agents in a restive North Caucasus republic, Russia's top security agency said.

Ruslan Odizhev was killed amid gunfire that erupted when agents tried to arrest him and another man in Kabardino-Balkariya, a region near Chechnya that is plagued by violence linked both to crime and to religious tensions, the Federal Security Service said in a statement.
The service, known by its Russian acronym FSB, said Odizhev had been held at Guantanamo Bay and was believed to have been a supporter of the Taliban. Odizhev was one of seven Russians released from the detention facility in 2004; his whereabouts recently had been unknown.
The FSB did not specify why agents were trying to detain him, but said he was a suspect in the 1999 bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk and that he took part in a 2005 insurgent attack on police and government facilities in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkariya.
That attack left 139 people dead, including 94 militants. Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who was killed in 2006, claimed credit for planning the attack.
The FSB said Odizhev was the "spiritual leader" of Yarmuk, an Islamic extremist organization connected to an array of violence in the region.

The ever reliable alternative media, spoke to his mother today. She said: “He was the sweetest man alive”. His sister claimed: “He would not even hurt a fly”. A neighbour said: “He was just such a passionate tourist. Tourism was his live.”

If the Americans or the Russians think that they can forcefully destroy the spirit of international tourism and camping, they are entirely wrong.

Tourism is alive!

Tourism is our way of life!

Tourism and camping or death!

Close Guantanamo, the world's largest concentration camp, NOW!
Worldwide free travel on local buses!

Yours Truly,

The International Committee for the Protection of International Tourism, Camping and Human Rights - General Command (ICPITCHR-GC)

3 comments:

W. Burger said...

Great post.

As for Guantanamo Bay, if all the stories are true, or even part of them, then it is probably immoral what the Americans are doing there. If it is immoral then it is wrong, they shouldn't do it and there is nothing that can be said to justify it. Full stop.

But what bothers me is that all the world seems to protest only when the Americans are keeping and handling a small number of people against the law (most likely the detainees are real terrorists, indeed, like this Russian) while no-one seems to care about dictatorships like Syria where hundreds or maybe even thousands of people are detained and tortured, not because they are all suspected terrorists, but many just for not being friends of the regime. Hundreds of Lebanese, who went missing during the civil war, are probably still being held in Syrian jails. This is just one example.

Why is everyone so upset when a relatively moral country like the USA is doing something wrong but do these same people keep silent about the great injustice that is being done by some of the most infamous dicatorships?

Similarly, the situation in Nahr al-Bared reminded me very much of the situation in the refugee camp in Jenin in 2002. Like Fatah al-Islam in northern Lebanon, a group of terrorist there had locked themselves in in buildings riddled with booby traps and explosives. They were just waiting for the Israeli army to enter so they could kill as many soldiers before dying themselves, which was their mission. The whole world then condemned Israel for fighting these terrorists. Now the Lebanese army is facing a similar threat, and the whole world supports the Lebanese government (rightly so, I'd say). Why was Israel then condemned and is the Lebanese government receiving support in an almost identical situation? Of course I know there are some differences, Israel is strong while the Lebanese government is weak, for example, but still... I have the impression that many people are willingly turning a blind eye sometimes or are selective in their anger.
This is getting off-topic, but for some good background information and discussion on the "Jenin 2002" situation, I can recommend Wikipedia ("Battle of Jenin"), and http://www.pierrerehov.com/jenin.htm.

ella said...

Harald

I love it. Great writing.
Some of these tourists held in Guantanamo and freed some time ago are returning now to Afghanistan. I think they can not forget serenity of the deep caves and the wind-blown fields of red flowers so close to the hearts of all true tourists.

Mrriddler said...

@ Harold

For reasons which you might understand, I'm not a great fan/reader of blogs, but I' m very glad to have stumbled on yours. I have been vociferously reading for a while now.

This one was particularly entertaining and bares some thinking.

@ W. Burger

Well, I think you stumped upon one of the most fascinating behaviors of humans that biologists would call "stimuli adaptation." (I think, don't quote me) See, in biology as organisms are subjected to a particular stimulation (say pain or pleasure) for long periods of time, their body naturally adapt to tone down the effect of the stimulus. Amazingly the concept works for issues of political or moral sensitivity. Even the most vocal and fierce of journalists can only scream about something for so many long before needing to take a breath.

Syria has been doing what Syria's been doing for a long time (since days of the first Assad) and everyone knows that, but for the holier-than-thou US to do something even remotely... that is huge. And you know what, that is huge and really shouldn't be outrightly dismissed as liberal's knee-jerking hogwash.

Ditto for Israel I guess. The price that we, democratic states, pay is that we have to be more accountable and live up to standard that that dictatorships like Syria or pseudo-demos like Lebanon don't always have do. That's life, but ultimately it's worthwhile is it not?

Btw, I'm not saying you are wrong since I agree with your finding, but I don't necessarily believe the "critics" are necessarily maliciously targeting any one country all the time. Some do, for sure, but many if not most don't.