Obama gets it right on Guantánamo

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp is a prison operated by the United States government since 2002 in the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. The facility is often referred to as Guantánamo, or Gitmo.

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp is a prison operated by the United States government since 2002 in the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. The facility is often referred to as Guantánamo, or Gitmo.

In 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order that stipulated that US military could indefinitely detain any non-citizen who he believed was involved in international terrorism.

The creation of the detention camp has created controversy from the get go. Debates against the camp actually hiked with the Obama administration and it is no

“We have to put in place proper checks and balances. We cannot allow our morals to be compromised by democracy and we cannot also allow democracy to compromise our values,” Barack Obama, said recently in his speech about Guantánamo and Terrorism, May 21, 2009.

The issue goes beyond whether the detention camp is morally justified or infringes the principles of democracy, as embraced by the US constitution. We should hence be asking ourselves whether, it is all about great care for the security of the US citizens or just great fear from the authorities.

The observation calls me to draw an analogy on the Rwandan situation, where genocidaires are only imprisoned in prisons around the country without maximum isolation.

They even interact and walk around doing work of community interest, commonly known as TIG. This does not mean that they are lesser criminals-they indeed have a greater criminal record, which combines genocide and terrorism. The manner in which they killed their victims attests to this assertion.

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp, on the other hand seeks to isolate the criminals and their possible escape. This is the big contrast!

So should we say that Rwandans do not care about their security or they are fearless? I am not trying to say that the US situation is the same as Rwanda’s, but that the difference in the criminals is the similarity.

Terrorists are not different from genocidaires -even if you went down by the number of people they kill; you would find the latter taking the lead. In fact, the only difference is that evil in the ‘poor world’, is always a lesser one and the reverse is true.

It is however remarkable that Rwanda’s treatment of genocidaires, works more than the US’s and its Guantánamo. It is the way you handle the aftermath of evil that determines how peaceful a society gets in the long run.

Records have it that most genocidaires in Rwanda surrendered, while others are still under the process of rehabilitation in our ‘simple but focused’ prisons.

President Obama gets it right thus, when he plans to close the camp for it only keeps away potential criminals, who would like to surrender.

This ultimately increases terrorists for they do not have a way out-when human beings are treated like animals they react like animals to find their way out.

“It is the reason why enemy soldiers have surrendered to us in battle, knowing they’d receive better treatment from America’s armed forces than from their own government,” the US president says reflecting on the history.

US has secure prison facilities in the world, it therefore beats common sense to see people panicking that criminals may escape, or plan more evil, when they are in US based prisons.

Let the world, be guided by care and not fear- care to protect people with long term measures, which do not necessarily have to either compromise democratic, or moral values.

mugitoni@yahoo.com

 

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