President Obama’s commitment to close Guantanamo is both stupid and based on ignorance. Let me explain.
First, Ignorance. Many claim that we need to close Guantanamo because it is a primary recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. This is totally false and clearly the argument of the ignorant who have never read any of the AQ recruiting posters or studied AQ. Just the opposite is true.
Al Qaeda’s main recruiting message has always been that the west and the USA in particular are the great Satan because we allow women to drive, read, go to school, and vote. They say we are the great Satan because we do not base our law on Sharia law. Their message is that we are the great Satan because we provide human rights based on humanity not on an Islamic theocracy.
Their recruiting message is that we are the great Satan not because we deny human rights at places like Guantanamo but because we guarantee human rights! Human rights they are opposed to.
Further, AQ’s main recruiting message also includes the idea that young Muslims can defeat this great Satan (the USA) because he/we will give up just as we did in Viet Nam and just as the Soviets did in Afghanistan. So by closing Guantanamo we will actually be proving that their recruiting message is correct! We will be, in one sense, giving up.
The existence of Guantanamo is not a recruiting aid to AQ, but closing it clearly will be.
Stupidity. It is stupid to call Guantanamo a prison in the context of USA prisons. It is a POW camp not a prison. The Al Qaeda fighters/Generals held there are not “detainees”, or prisoners, they are POWs. The prisoners are not US citizens they are the leaders and generals of a faction that we are at WAR with. It is stupid to not acknowledge the great danger of releasing the remaining Guantanamo POWs while we are still at war.
It is equally stupid to pretend this war is ending. It is just getting started!
We have released all the low level guys already. Those were the ones we thought would not go back to fight against us, yet 30% did. We kept the ones that we were sure would go and fight against us. The remaining 150 are the leaders and generals of Al Qaeda!
The remaining 150 would certainly return to the war against the US. Most have said so, forcefully, to those guarding them in Guantanamo. They would help lead the war against us. If that doesn’t convince you, note that 72 of the 150 are from Yemen which is currently one of the two most activity AQ terror centers in the world. These 72 where/are the leaders, founders and creators of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It would be total stupidity to release the enemy’s generals while in the middle of the war!
Defeat. Human history is well stocked with examples of world wars fought over ideologies. The ideology of the Holy Roman Empire that spawned WWI. The ideology of Fascism that brought on WWII. And now the ideology of Sharia Law vs. human rights which has embroiled us all in what is surely WWIII.
Victory will demand the same clarity and resolve that triumphed in WWI and WWII. We would never have won WWII if we stopped after the Battle of the Bulge or Midway. Just so, we will not win over extremism today if we declare victory now. There is too much yet to do.
Closing Guantanamo would be ignorance added to stupidity. Any country or government that exercises Ignorance plus Stupidity will see Defeat.