The road to GTMO starts with a young Pakistani man in England discussing with his mother the prospects of him going to Pakistan to get married. The small crowd that is in the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan has probable never heard of anyone thinking about going overseas and fetching spouse but the scenario is familiar to me and one I even considered. Leaving American-Muslims alone there are a lot of grown-children of immigrant Muslims who go back home to get married and they are usually in a strong position to get whatever it is that they are seeking because of the fact that they live in the West.
The theatre I am in, which can seat several hundred, only has a handful of people in it; a father and daughter couple, a young Asian woman, a sissified looking Metrosexual (maybe there should be an H in place of the M, and me). The place was very quiet except for the sniffles and hisses coming from the father and daughter at any sign of American soldieries and the treatment of the prisoners; but I chalk that up to just a couple of guilty white Jewish liberals in Manhattan who would extol the virtues of reparations while their home was being robbed, or they were being raped, by a gang of black men.
The premise of the film, based on the story of the four young British Muslims, is that the friends accompany the guy who is getting married (I forgot his name). Two are of Pakistani heritage and two are Bengali. Like many Western Muslims families the mother or the father is living in the West and the other half is living back home for whatever reason and the guy who is getting married is being aided by his father.
If you believe the young men they ended up at a Masjid in Pakistan where an imam gave a talk about the ills of the invasion of Afghanistan by US forces and were inspired to go to Afghanistan to see for themselves what was happening and see of they could help the people in any way. From Pakistan they journey to Afghanistan in a bus that gets involved in a hit and run accident and the driver runs off and they get ill in Afghanistan eating insect infested food. This part I believe because I know first hand you have to be very careful about what you eat in these countries and hit and run drivers are everywhere.
The story they tell is that they get to Afghanistan and don’t know what to do and decide to take a van back to Pakistan; but end up heading for the Taliban stronghold of Kanduz where the Northern Alliance forces are waging their last assault on Taliban holdouts with US air support.
For the record I do not buy their story; but I am sure that all of the naïve and gullible liberals and Muslims will have no problems accepting their line of bullshit. I do not know what happened, but I do not buy their story. If I am guessing I say that these were just some young Muslims who wanted to adventure into Afghanistan and see what was going on and more than likely they ended up fighting alongside Taliban forces. That is a much more likely story then they one they told. However, it is highly doubtful that they were connected to al-Qadea and they certainly were not threat to the United States. Like most of their fellow prisoners at GTMO they were either harmless foot soldiers or just guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One of the guys gets lost but the rest end up surrendering with Taliban fighters to the forces of the vile warlord and US (and former Soviet) ally Rashid Dostrum. They are treated poorly and many die while incarcerated in a crowded prison; but I doubt the Taliban treated their prisoners any better and we know that they treated many much worse. Dostrum is the biggest animal in Afghanistan, and the US should have never allied with him; but many may lose sight of the fact that what they are seeing in the film is the norm for prisons in that part of the world.
Once it is found out that the men speak English they are given to a US military interrogator and that is where the fun begins. They are yelled at, cussed at, and beaten by US soldiers and systematically tortured once they are held at the Khandahar Air Base. With all of the Support Our Troops stickers we are led to believe in America that all US troops are heroes and we have to support them and I say bullshit to that. We all know that there are plenty of assholes in the military and law-enforcement and that many of these people are arrogant, racists, and like to bully others. A lot of these guys are rural backwoods hicks who need a uniform and a gun to be a tough guy but are quiet as church mice when they are back home. They get off at being able to beat people and talk to them crazy and a lot of times they take that behavior home and smack around the wife and kids and that is why divorce and spousal abuse rates are so high in the military and law-enforcement. A lot of these guys are also on steroids which is the new drug of choice in the military and steroids is a famous drug for pussies who need to bulk up in order to cover their fear but the bigger they are the harder they fall and there are no muscles that are going to protect their chin from a nice left-hook.
The rest of the story is generally well-known; the orange suits and shackles and the flight to Cuba, being put in stress positions, the Quran being disrespected, asshole integrators without a third-grade education on Islam and Muslims, and the like. The interrogators have been given a tough job, given their ignorance and the fact that they are ill-equipped at handling these kinds of interviews, but imagine some do a better job than others and that treatment has gotten better over time. We know that there is a split in the military and the administration on the issue of torture and I think that today, especially after the Supreme Court ruling, things are getting better, but there is a long way to go.
Weekend in Boxing and The World Cup Action
While I am looking forward to this weeks Roman Karmizin-Cory Spinks bout from St. Louis that will be aired on Showtime; I was less then impressed by last Saturdays Shobox card. James McGirt, Jr. and Ronald Hearns looked good; but Chazz Witherspoon does have the skills to go that far, Aaron Pryor’s kid looked like a crackhead ( like father like son) and Jorge Paez, Jr. couldn’t get a visa to come up from Mexico. I didn’t get a chance to see Pacquiao-Larios; but I saw ben-Rabeh take Juan Urango to school and get robbed. Message to fighters; stay away from Florida if you don’t wanna get robbed.
I guess Ill have to pull for Germany now. Still have Wayne Rooney’s back though, he’s the man no matter what they are saying.
Robert Novak Column
Novak has an interesting column today about Anglican and Catholic Priests in Israel calling for an end to the occupation and roundly rejecting the notion that Palestinian Muslims and the Palestinian Authority have led to the demise of the Christian population of the Holy Land despite what some are trying to make up for political purposes.