Sunday, June 11, 2006

Death in Guantanomo

Three men held as prisoners without trial by the US government in Guantanomo Bay have commited suicide. The BBC website reports the following:

Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.
"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said.
"They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."

Rear Admiral Harris appears to be no fan of cinema, otherwise he would have chosen his words more carefully. Or maybe I am wrong and he is, and he thinks he is being clever. Either way, one of his comments is practically a straight lift from a film. Refer the 1964 anti-war classic, Dr. Strangelove; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, in which a paranoid American General [Jack D. Ripper], who thinks fluoridation is an international communist conspiracy to make Americans impotent, launches a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. He warns his troops about communists: Your commie has no regard for human life, not even his own.

I would have thought serving officers of the US military, when discussing the suicides of people under their charge, would not wish to sound like the crazed lunatic from Dr. Strangelove. But then again, in the film, the guy who finally causes the end of the world was a 'simple-minded, ape-like, thick-accented Texan cowboy' with a ten gallon hat and who pronounces nuclear as "nookular". Eerie coincidence that.