Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The Insanity of the War on Terror, Rendered in One Person

So for a long time I've been trying to figure out something to write about Omar Kadhr, a child was kidnapped by the United States Military and mercilessly tortured for years. Or was an "enemy combatant" who was subject to "enhanced interrogation." Whichever you prefer. I mean, it's clearly just a question of semantics as to whether you consider it torture or not to force a child into restraints so painful he literally pisses himself from the pain and then using him as a human mop to wipe up his own piss. Please do read the linked article if you weren't planning on doing anything but crying and angrily shaking your head all day.

What makes Kadhr's story even more horrifying than the countless other horror stories emerging from places like Gitmo is that he was abducted (we're technically still calling it an "arrest," but when you grab a child and lock them up for no reason, that's kidnapping) when he was 15 and not released until he was 28. That means he spent the entirety of his high school and college years being tortured in a secret prison instead of, you know, like living his life and shit.

And the "crime" for which Kadhr was kidnapped and tortured for over a decade? A crime which it's very difficult to believe he could have even physically committed? Surely this was a great and serious crime, yes?

Well, the alleged crime is throwing a grenade at an American solider. Which, hey, not a particularly nice thing to do, sure. But I seem to remember there was a war going on at the time, right? And isn't "fighting the other side" a pretty standard tactic of war? I mean, disagree with the concept of even having wars all you want (I sure do!), but as much as there are rules governing warfare, they all pretty much recognize the right to fight back when someone is trying to kill you. Hell, our own US law allows that!

So while there are a million ways to dissect the base inhumanity of America's imperial wars of folly, I  think none more succinctly demonstrate our collective shame than the case of Omar Kadhr: not only do we see ourselves as having the right to murder anyone in any place at any time for any reason, if any of them so much as dare to possibly fight back, then we are well within our rights to kidnap, imprison, and brutally torture them for as long as we care to.

No comments: