OPINION

Holiday in Guantanamo?

So we are supposed to believe that prisoners in the US jail in Guantanamo Bay are «living in the tropics,» and that those being detained in iron cages where the light is never switched off, and who are refused visits by relatives or human rights advocates, are actually on holiday. So the orange suits have not been imposed on detainees as part of a culture that reduces everything to the lowest level, but rather out of respect for a local holiday custom. Their chains are just for decoration. So some 700 prisoners (many of them children) were not locked up in some detention center which is not on US territory – and hence not subject to American law – but were actually offered a free vacation package. Ordinary people are protesting, human rights organizations are protesting, the United Nations (despite being in a tight US grip) is protesting. The Bush administration itself acknowledges that there have been some «isolated acts» of torture. And yet, Vice President Dick Cheney describes Guantanamo as a tropical resort. A lie after a lie? Of course. US administration officials did not feel any remorse when even their keenest followers realized that the Iraq invasion was based on a huge falsehood. Propagating yet another, lesser lie takes cynicism a step further. It is merely proof that the administration is staying the course. He who is not destroyed by a volcano has nothing to fear from a cigarette lighter. When occupation is dubbed «liberation» and subjugating the meek is called «exporting democracy,» there is little surprise in hearing Guantanamo being called a «tropical resort.» To be sure, the fact that Cheney maintains ties to Halliburton, which built part of the Guantanamo prison camp, bears little relevance. The globe’s moral rejuvenators are not in any way affected by economic or other interests.