Remember, When It Comes To Guantanamo, The Entire Republican Position Is Cruelty

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There are many, many reasons why jihad appeals to so many young Muslims, but the continued cruel indifference of Gitmo is up there. 

From The Hill

The House is expected to vote next week on legislation to block the transfer of any more prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Friday.

Next week’s vote would come a month after the Obama administration said it would transfer 15 detainees to the United Arab Emirates. Twenty additional detainees have been approved for transfers, with the U.S. seeking countries to take them in.

The bill, authored by Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), would prohibit transfers of any of the remaining 61 detainees at Guantánamo Bay until either the end of this year or the enactment of the 2017 defense authorization.

The key sentence, of course is that 20 additional detainees have been cleared for release, and approved. They weren’t cleared by some liberal pencilneck: these are after military hearings, set up and approved by conservatives to make sure that no civilian court could hear them.

But the Republican position is: no. Not going to happen. There’s no real reason, of course, other than to stick it to the President and to pretend that they are being tough in the War on TERROR. Because that’s how the last eight years have mutated their party. George Bush released hundreds of detainees, without so much as a peep, because most people accepted that was ok. Hundreds were rounded up in indifferent and rabid sweeps, sent to the American gulag just on the word of a land-coveting neighbor. “That guy? Totally al-Qaeda. I think he invented them or something.” Good enough!

But now they have convinced themselves that anytime President Obama releases anyone it is because he wants the terrorists to win, which makes brave Republican congresspeople like Representative Wolarski, a Tea Party archetype, the last line of defense against the Musselman hordes.

They’ve convinced themselves of this, and want to make sure that Obama doesn’t have any “victories.” But in doing so, of course, they are just reinforcing everything that people who want to believe the worst about America already believe. They are perfectly willing to let human beings cleared for release stay in a lifeless twilight, to waste their whole existence away because it plays in Elkhart.

The terrifying thing is that the indifference toward Muslim life isn’t a sad byproduct or an accident here. It’s the whole point. Someone like Wolarski won’t actually say “See? I care about Muslims so little that I want them to waste away”, but that’s what a lot of her constituents hear (Muslim-bashing and hippie-punching are essentially the same thing now). Flagrant cruelty is what sells. It’s what underpins the entire Trump campaign: the joy in being unconcerned about any life besides your tribe. It isn’t a sad outcome; it is the entire point.

This is where the GOP has been pointed for decades, with its institutional and subliminal racism and its hatred of experts, combined with the idea that anything liberals hate is automatically good (hence the defense of pollution, a stance no serious people believe).  It creates this carnival of tossed-off savagery, where you can get hoots and hollers for bragging about how many people you’ve executed or how you want to turn the sand of the Middle East into glass. It’s an insane way to run a country, and has continued detrimental impacts on our ability to change the Qaeda/ISIS narrative and hinder recruiting. Gitmo is far from the only factor, but it is a self-inflicted wound, a constant shooting of our own ass.

But that’s what you get when you have a party whose entire idea of national security is what can get them tough-guy plaudits from the ill-informed. It’s conventional wisdom that Hillary was wrong to say half of Trump’s supporters wre deplorable; but she may have been underestimating.

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One thought on “Remember, When It Comes To Guantanamo, The Entire Republican Position Is Cruelty

  1. Pingback: Chelsea Manning and the Quality of Mercy: Obama at the End of Days | Shooting Irrelevance

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