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January 11, 2007

Bush Creates Hell For America and the Rest of the World

It's only been about 24 hours since Deciderer Bush's speech, and it looks like his quest for more blitzkreig in Iraq is sparking fires around the world. His threat to take on Syria and Iran was already in motion when U.S. forces raided the Iranian Consulate in Northern Iraq. The soldiers promised death to any and all who didn't surrender immediately. Five Iranian diplomats and consulate employees were arrested and documents and computers were confiscated. Pretext for war with Iran? I think the writing's on the wall. The Iranian government (no favorite of mine) has responded with justified disgust, calling the raid illegal.

About thirty minutes ago, the U.S. Embassy compound in Athens was bombed. I guess Bush has friends everywhere. And the Brits -- our partners in the scrappy "coalition of the willing" -- have announced they are actively engaged in quitting Iraq.

Meanwhile, back at the fort, a teary-eyed Bush honored those he got killed but -- big surprise -- the troops present were prohibited from speaking to reporters afterwards. As for the National Guard and Reserve troops who have been serving continuous tours in Iraq, they got word today that the Pentagon has abandoned its active-duty time limit. That means the troops will keep on serving and they will get less 'down time' in between tours -- about 6 months less. This military, that is stretched so thin, is going to make up the entire escalation from its current number by recommitting soldiers who have already served two, three and four tours, because we don't have any troops to spare. With that reality staring us in the face, Bush assures us his new-old-way-forward will bring victory in a war he's already lost.

Of course, Ye Olde Global War On Terra cannot be forgotten. Hundreds of men and boys who were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan after 9-11 are still, five years later, withering in the living Hell of Guantanamo. They haven't been charged with anything, they haven't been allowed contact with family, and as we know, many have been tortured. This letter written from Guantanamo, by one of those long-time forgotten human beings that George Bush decided to treat worse than a diseased rat, has been living in my psyche all day. It makes me wonder just what the hell has become of America.

I AM WRITING from the darkness of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo in the hope that I can make our voices heard by the world. My hand quivers as I hold the pen.

In January 2002, I was picked up in Pakistan, blindfolded, shackled, drugged and loaded onto a plane flown to Cuba. When we got off the plane in Guantanamo, we did not know where we were. They took us to Camp X-Ray and locked us in cages with two buckets — one empty and one filled with water. We were to urinate in one and wash in the other.

At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious.

What I write here is not what my imagination fancies or my insanity dictates. These are verifiable facts witnessed by other detainees, representatives of the Red Cross, interrogators and translators.

During the first few years at Guantanamo, I was interrogated many times. My interrogators told me that they wanted me to admit that I am from Al Qaeda and that I was involved in the terrorist attacks on the United States. I told them that I have no connection to what they described. I am not a member of Al Qaeda. I did not encourage anyone to go fight for Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have done nothing but kill and denigrate a religion. I never fought, and I never carried a weapon. I like the United States, and I am not an enemy. I have lived in the United States, and I wanted to become a citizen.

I know that the soldiers who did bad things to me represent themselves, not the United States. And I have to say that not all American soldiers stationed in Cuba tortured us or mistreated us. There were soldiers who treated us very humanely. Some even cried when they witnessed our dire conditions. Once, in Camp Delta, a soldier apologized to me and offered me hot chocolate and cookies. When I thanked him, he said, "I do not need you to thank me." I include this because I do not want readers to think that I fault all Americans.

But, why, after five years, is there no conclusion to the situation at Guantanamo? For how long will fathers, mothers, wives, siblings and children cry for their imprisoned loved ones? For how long will my daughter have to ask about my return? The answers can only be found with the fair-minded people of America.

I would rather die than stay here forever, and I have tried to commit suicide many times. The purpose of Guantanamo is to destroy people, and I have been destroyed. I am hopeless because our voices are not heard from the depths of the detention center.

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo whose beliefs, dignity and humanity were abused. Please remember that there are hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo suffering the same misfortune. They have not been charged with any crimes. They have not been accused of taking any action against the United States.

Show the world the letters I gave you. Let the world read them. Let the world know the agony of the detainees in Cuba.

(Letter from Jumah al-Dossari, 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain.)

Posted by shoephone on January 11, 2007 at 10:50 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


Many of my family members were killed by US soldiers in a previous war. My mother was buried when the USA bombed her school. I can tell you from experience that the USA is the greatist country in the world. They light the fires of hope and freedom. There are costs and at times they seem to be unbearable. But future generations will benifit from the sacrifices today. I love America, My family loves America and holds no ill will towards any soldiers that caused us harm. They were in many ways saving us. We love them.

Posted by: steve | Jan 15, 2007 9:16:32 AM

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