This showed up on my Facebook newsfeed from the New York Times: Should foreign nationals released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be allowed to live in the United States? Related article: http://tinyurl.com/dd6bsq.
I clicked on the comments just to see what people are saying and as I went down the list, I got increasingly disturbed. I'm going to copy and paste everything in full because I think it's worth reading.
Jacki Wanstabe Rosalee at 01:00 on 02 April
Darelle S. Doleman at 01:00 02 April via Facebook Mobile
I feel as tho they shud go bak to their homeland, but if they aren't accepted there, then possibly a better life n the US
Bonnie Dinsmore Richardson at 01:00 on 02 April
Danny Campbell at 01:01 on 02 April
Daniela Martorano at 01:01 on 02 April
absolutely not !!!
Penwah Phynjuar at 01:01 on 02 April
HELL TO THE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jake Williams at 01:01 on 02 April
After a fair trial and if found not guilty, yes
Leah Horton at 01:01 02 April via Facebook Mobile
Not at all
Laurie G-Force at 01:01 on 02 April
Caroline Haaf at 01:01 on 02 April
DEPENDS on why they were there...
Kari Mtoto Mchanga Jaksa at 01:01 on 02 April
Kashani Stokley at 01:01 on 02 April
Sema Akg�n Thimmes at 01:01 on 02 April
Lisa Ring at 01:01 on 02 April
Grant Smith at 01:01 on 02 April
Ryan Hedgecock at 01:01 on 02 April
Nope they should be repatriated to their country of origin, They were in Guantanamo for a reason remember!!
Olivia Markeita Evans-Pittman at 01:01 on 02 April
who ever thought that was a good idea should be smacked
Valoree Celona at 01:01 on 02 April
no friggen way - keep them OUT of this country
Maira Khamisani at 01:01 on 02 April
Oh God!! One of them might do something wrong and then the US will take 2 more countries.. just send them home PLEASE!
Will Karavites at 01:01 02 April via Facebook Mobile
nooooo they don't deserve the rights on our country terrorists living in our country NOPE
Kip Mitchell at 01:01 on 02 April
Not in Florida!!
Ellen Fead Fields at 01:02 on 02 April
That's so funny... i thought the question was if foreign ANIMALS should be released, etc. And my first thought was that OF COURSE those poor animals should be released...
Samuel Curtis Bowles at 01:02 on 02 April
We made the mess; we'll have to deal with it. If they cannot be convicted of any crimes and no other countries will take them, what are we to do.
Barbara Hemberger at 01:02 on 02 April
What a stupid question!
Gary Kinsey at 01:02 on 02 April
Absolutely - easier to keep an eye on them here than abroad. Let them move into my neighborhood - keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Christina Pant at 01:02 on 02 April
Antonio Macatol at 01:02 on 02 April
Yes, where does G Dub live again?
Jill Jones at 01:02 on 02 April
Hell to the NO!
Danay Parker at 01:02 on 02 April
Carolina Dellepiane at 01:02 on 02 April
Not al all. I'm not saying everybody is guilty of something; I'm sure there's people there who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I don't think bringing them to America Society is going to benefit neither them or us.
Christie Myers at 01:02 on 02 April
Bria Belucci at 01:02 on 02 April
Ivette Mercedes Mejia at 01:02 on 02 April
Olevia Renea Williams at 01:02 on 02 April
Seeing as we let everybody come in anyways, why not?
Mary Virginia Cooley at 01:02 on 02 April
give them each a fair US trial-by-jury-of-peers, of course, and then make that decision.
Nathan Remington at 01:02 on 02 April
Well... they were released for a reason as well... weren't they?
Dan Foyle at 01:03 on 02 April
Tracey Ward at 01:03 on 02 April
Steven Carr at 01:03 on 02 April
Giovanni Ruotolo at 01:03 on 02 April
I don't think so. They should come back to their countries.
Tim Day at 01:03 on 02 April
Nick Zwegchen at 01:03 on 02 April
open borders for everyone!
Marina Rieboldt at 01:03 on 02 April
Live where? I don't want them as my neighbors? Would they be put into other facilities or excused from all charges and let go?
MeMii LaSh'a at 01:03 on 02 April
OH no way we have enough problems with immigration in this country as it is...i mean even they want be iilegal the point it we have enough people to deal with over here as it is..i dont mean no harm but they need to stay rigth where they are
Mirko Montana at 01:03 on 02 April
Some people should be allowed back into society. And I don't see a reason why they shouldn't once fully rehabilitated.
Reuben Mutwiri at 01:03 02 April via Facebook Mobile
If found innocent, they should be given that choice.
Paul McDaniels at 01:03 on 02 April
cant we just move them to some other jail
Marianne Kempter at 01:03 on 02 April
Unfortunately, this is one issue I disagree with the Obama administration on. Where will these people go? These are more likely hardened terrorists and the risk is too great to eitherrelease them or bring them on American soil. Does anyone have an alternative solution?
Samantha Antes at 01:03 on 02 April
it depends-why were they there?
Amyere Lillady Brown at 01:03 02 April via Facebook Mobile
I disagree wit that hell naw
Fly CaliLady at 01:04 on 02 April
Michael Busick at 01:04 on 02 April
I agree with Jake. From what I've read/understand, 90% of the people there are innocent anyway.
Linda Oluoha at 01:04 on 02 April
lets not have another "concentration camp" tragedy when the United States rejected the Russian captives from the camps and they ended up being killed... and now the United States regrets that...
Jon Bird at 01:04 on 02 April
Hilary Vandenbark at 01:04 on 02 April
If they're innocent (i.e. there's no actual evidence that they were conspiring with terrorist organizations) then we've pretty much ruined any chances of them integrating back into their home country so we need to take responsibility for that. YES
Jenifer Johnson at 01:04 on 02 April
Mike Handlin at 01:04 on 02 April
no. the population here is high enough thanks.
Tracy Sailor Roane at 01:04 02 April via Facebook Mobile
Just no !
Laura Dawn Orin at 01:04 on 02 April
Megan Lister at 01:04 on 02 April
Ashley Eckert at 01:05 on 02 April
hell no they need to go back where they came from
Guy Monahan at 01:05 on 02 April
i find it interesting that many of these people contained there were innocent and only hooded and kidnapped on association and misaligned connections. they are obviously angry for having years of their life taken from them for no crime for some of them. Those that we can figure were more innocent than others ought to have a chance to see why ... Read moreAmerica isnt that bad. Obviously big brother a little and keep tabs, but it is better than sending them back to stew and brood their hatred and anger for our actions.
Ru Reyisu at 01:05 on 02 April
Our opinions never really matter. The higher ups decide what's right, and fail most of the time. What happens, happens.
Estefan�a Escobar Salazar at 01:06 on 02 April
Yes, government infringed their freedom, the least they could do is let them keep their lives as north american citizens.
Tony Faton at 01:06 02 April via Facebook Mobile
To all of those who said no .. Do you have any idea why they are there??? Or you are just guessing???
Rae Angrand at 01:06 on 02 April
Um, no. That was easy.
Rebecca King at 01:06 on 02 April
Due process needs to inacted for these people. This is what happens when it's not used and people are thrown in a prison with no charges! Charge them (or not), process them and send them home or lock them up legitimately. I'm sure they don't want to call the US home!
Ashley Nicole at 01:06 on 02 April
No! especially not in Virgina too close to a residential community. These are not just regular criminal these are terrorists!
Tamara Fletcher at 01:06 on 02 April
yes, we can't expect other countries to take 'em and we won't. it wouldn't set anything good in terms of international relations which we need with already such a tarnished moral image.
Kristaan Iman Johnson at 01:06 on 02 April
Sure why not? That's standard.
Emily Horton-Andrews at 01:06 on 02 April
Oh hell no!!! Send them back to where they came from!!!!!
Farhod Yuldashev at 01:06 on 02 April
stupid question and stupid answers!
Aaron K. Mattix at 01:06 on 02 April
Allowing them to live in the U.S. would be a great step towards international goodwill.
Sophia Barkat at 01:06 on 02 April
if the thieves in Crawford, TX can live like Kings, why not innocent people?
Antonio Macatol at 01:07 on 02 April
They should live in Alcatraz Island
Amelia Cole at 01:07 on 02 April
I don't think it's fair to just say no, yet we can't just say yes either. Trials sound like a good start, as well as making the decisions based on their actual crimes/ how dangerous they truly are.
Ian Emerson at 01:07 on 02 April
It's funny how many people equate being a Foreign National to being a terrorist. We've had to release several of them because they did nothing wrong. At least one of them had done nothing wrong, but upon a release became a terrorist out of anger over his treatment as a foreign national. If you have the evidence that makes you believe they ARE ... Read moreterrorists, then try them, prove it, and punish them. If you don't have the evidence, then release them. You shouldn't have locked them up without it in the first place. Simple how justice works. What would you all think if an American was imprisoned in North Korea after being detained and labeled a terrorist or spy without any evidence???
Pia Biondo at 01:07 on 02 April
Yes, if found innocent.. but wouldn't they prefer to go back to their country?
Max Bell at 01:07 on 02 April
Yep. Pottery barn.
Christina Solon at 01:07 on 02 April
Nooo... that would be stupid.
Trudi Behr at 01:07 on 02 April
Nelson Madeddu at 01:07 on 02 April
Troy Massie at 01:08 on 02 April
No! As a member of the military who has fought against these assholes and have seen memorial services for people that have died because of these non feeling pricks, hell no, send them back and let their country of origin deal with them, I don't give a F if they don't want them back or not!!!
Maybe it's easy for me to say this because I'm not facing the question of whether I'd want Guantanamo detainees living next door to me. But still, if this short survey of answers represents the view of the average American (and I believe it does - just look at the appalling spelling, absolute absence of any proper capitalisation whatsoever, and absolutely disastrous grammar), then it's really not so hard to understand why George W. Bush could serve a two-year presidential term. The fear factor has worked it magic, and it's worked really, really well.
What disturbs me most is how so many responses automatically equate Guantanamo detainees with terrorists. Without the luxury (I use this word with all the sarcasm I can muster when I'm about to fall asleep any minute) of a trial in which, theoretically at least, objective evidence is to be presented to determine whether one is guilty, the fact that so many people said with seeming conviction that the detainees are ALL guilty and are ALL terrorists is both highly irrational and extremely, perhaps even unduly, paranoid. It's yet another example of the shameful fear-mongering legacy of the Bush Administration, and the sheer evidence in my face of how unapologetic many Americans are about the abuses - of law, of legality, of human rights, of due process, of the rule of law - of their country is utterly disappointing. It doesn't matter what a bunch of legal academics and Time magazine columnists write about how shamed they are of the Bush Administration and how the rule of law has to be restored in America; as long as the average citizen doesn't give a shit and chooses to label mere detainees as terrorists because of what the right-wing media and politicians have been feeding them, then we're taking a huge step backwards as a civilised and liberal society.
At times like these, in the face of such crass evidence of the fragility of the human spirit, I'm quite glad I'm not American. Then again, such myopic, naive and even entitled, indignant and defensive responses aren't unique to Americans. They can be found everywhere, in every single country, amongst every single society. I can easily imagine Singaporeans saying the same thing about those held under the ISA; I can also easily imagine Taiwanese people saying the same thing about Chen Shui-bian and his ilk. I ought not be surprised at all, and maybe I'm not; maybe, really, all I am is just disappointed.
This eye-for-an-eye, with-us-or-against-us rhetoric and sentiment do not sit well with me at all. I'm not saying every Guantanamo detainee is innocent; all I'm saying is that, in the absence of a clear conviction and pronouncement of a person's guilt, we shouldn't be too quick to jump to conclusions - especially, ESPECIALLY, not when we're dealing with an issue as highly controversial as Guantanamo Bay, preventive detention, and detention for years without charge. The irony is, America is supposed to be the land of the free; but I guess if you were to construe things literally, America IS still the land of the free because Guantanamo isn't a part of the United States.
Fuck this shit. This is one of the many reasons I completely think popular sovereignty/constitutionalism, even democracy, is crap. People are just freaking stupid. People are also freaking biased and unduly prejudiced. Most people cannot think rationally, or fairly, and most people have an extremely skewed sense of morality and what constitutes "justice". Of course, one would say that I'm judging them according to my own sense of right and wrong, and okay, I admit I view my principles as superior to the average misguided person's; but I don't think my principles are bad, and I sure as hell don't think the values I subscribe to can, in any stretch of the imagination, ever be described as unfair, bad, wrong. And it's not like my values materialised from nowhere; they have been accumulated from years and years of reading, of education, and a sometimes-but-not-often-enough insatiable quest for knowledge.
Do people deserve a voice? Yes they do. Everyone deserves to be heard; it's on him to bear the consequences of sounding absolutely retarded. But increasingly I'm having issues with the one-man-one-vote concept, of according equal weight to all opinions regardless of their educational backgrounds, IQ, whether or not they can actually think. Stupidity kills democracy, and unfortunately, stupidity is RAMPANT in the human race. Having said that, I'm aware of the difficulties, discrimination and elitism, not to mention the value judgement, inherent in attempting to attach differing weights to different opinions, and I don't think I'd ever seriously argue for such a scenario. But still, I wish there were some compulsory lesson that teaches people how to think before a national election or referendum or something.
Er, I've lost my plot. Well, I think I've said all that I wanted to say...but then again, to be fair, I'd probably be nervous if I had to live next door to Mas Selamat or something. I suppose even the most rational person wouldn't be able to shake that apprehension when he's chucked next to someone who has been suspected of a highly dangerous and subversive activity, even if he's eventually proved to be innocent.
Then again, in the latter scenario I'd probably be less nervous, if I'd be nervous at all. But if he's just released from detention, it might be hard to shake that fear. I'm not saying it's right, obviously; but I guess it's, unfortunately, human. Too human.
But I don't think we can make excuses like that. Sure it's human, but it's also a weakness, and it's something we can rise above. I just don't think that we should continue plodding along with our blinkered visions, seeing only what we want to see, believing in false perceptions shaped by lies perpetuated for some cheap political agenda. I believe people are inherently good, but this goodness is too often crowded and overshadowed by fear, which leads to prejudice and racism and all that jazz, which in turn turns people against each other.
Okay, seriously, I'm such the disgusting pacifist, I kind of disgust myself. The next thing I know I'd be writing shit like, "Why can't we all live in peace?"
Well, then again - why can't we all live in peace? It's a sad, sad world out there. It really is.
On a much lighter note, I wanted to write this earlier on but forgot. My short comment on the rest of the field in Miami:
Andy Murray v. Viktor (if I remember correctly) Troicki: I'm sorry, but fuck, how LUCKY is Andy Murray. He received a free pass to the last 16 the second Nalbandian fell to Troicki. I watched literally the first two games of the match and Troicki played like unbelievable shit. Just SHIT. It was my first time watching him play and boy, what an unfavourable impression. I have no idea how in the world Nalby lost to this joke, but...ugh. The score in the end was 6-1, 6-0, and I was totally unsurprised.
Novak Djokovic v. Tomas Berdych: Berdych should be ashamed of himself. What a thoroughly embarrassing performance. I genuinely expected a much more competitive match after Berdych robbed two sets from Roger at the Australian Open, but nooo. He played like crap. Forehand errors after forehand errors, as if he made errors for a living. What the fuck. I get players bringing their A game to Roger because he's The Man Fed and all, but...seriously?! At least bow out with some dignity.
Rafael Nadal v. Stanislas Wawrinka: This was the most surprising scoreline. 7-6, 7-6. I highly underestimated Stan yet again (Stan is Roger's doubles partner at Beijing by the way), the same way I thought he'd lose to Andreas Seppi in Indian Wells. I honestly didn't think he'd keep the match with Nadal so close. Apparently he even broke Nadal in the first set or something, which further reinforces...
WHAT THE HELL IS SO FANTASTIC ABOUT RAFA? WHAT THE HELL IS IT? If it's his fighting spirit, okay, I'll grant him that. I get that he's highly competitive and that he loves winning, but how the hell does that make him a tennis great by any freaking stretch of the fucking imagination? He can love winning and be a footballer. He can fight to win and play for some lousy Spanish club and bring them to the top of the La Liga, toppling Real Madrid in the process (is Real still on top anyway? Been years since I followed Spanish football. Or any football for that matter). There is NOTHING about his game, him as an athlete, that makes him unique to tennis, and so to call him one of the greatest of all-time is a tremendous insult to the tennis greats of old and new.
I suppose it's hard to appreciate a different kind of tennis player when my yardstick is, and will always be, Roger Federer. But I think he's truly deserving of the GOAT title (even if he doesn't think it's fair to tennis legends before the Open era) because of the tremendous respect he has for his sport - its history, its rules; because of how much he loves tennis, and not just winning; and because of the absolutely graceful and beautiful way he plays it that elevates it to an art form. If I were to use hyperboles, Nadal is a bullish and mindless ball-basher while Roger is the intellectual, tactical artist. Above all else, the way these two players carry themselves on court is probably the most telling. Roger has won the Sportsmanship Award five years in a row. Nadal is known for his constant gamesmanship and it's become a joke amongst Fedfans to guess at when Nadal would take yet another medical time-out.
How can the world #1 succumb to gamesmanship? Sure, many tennis legends have done the same. It's not uncommon for players to abuse the time limit rule and medical time-outs to unfairly disrupt their opponents' momentum. But after the example that Roger has set, after everything he's given to the game, it seems awfully insulting and even depressing that tennis has been pushed one step backwards with Nadal as #1. The words "Roger Federer" and "gamesmanship" simply don't belong together, but Nadal has such a reputation. Even if Roger didn't have a losing record against him, there's just no way I can ever embrace Nadal as a tennis player. He's everything that Roger isn't, and he's nothing that Roger is. Tennis probably had its best ambassador in the past five, six years in Roger Federer, and after he retires, tennis would be ruined by the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, and up-and-coming players influenced by them. Seeing as how the game has changed so much - from the classic serve and volley to the current ball-bashing from the baseline - it wouldn't be surprising at all to imagine that the demeanour of the players, their attitude towards the rules, their sportsmanship, would change as well.
Back to what I was saying before I got sidetracked. Like I was saying, Nadal has been broken many times in this tournament: by Stan, by some qualifier Gil. So let me repeat myself: WHAT THE HELL IS SO GREAT ABOUT RAFA?
MY DEAR ROGER, WHY THE HELL CAN'T YOU BEAT THIS GUY? It's endlessly frustrating to see beautiful, all-court attacking tennis destroyed by Nadal's ball-bashing. I honestly cannot find anything to appreciate in Nadal's game at all. I mean, sure, sometimes I go, "Wow!" when Nadal plays a great shot; but I do that for everyone, Andy Murray included. It doesn't mean I appreciate his general game, because I freaking don't. I like Gilles Simon more than JW Tsonga but rooted for Tsonga to win because I prefer Tsonga's tennis, because he's not a boring retriever like Gilles is. I hate this stupid crap modern retrieving, wait-for-your-opponent's-error game. Roger's match against Taylor Dent made me appreciate what an intellectual and beautiful sport tennis can be - and this beauty is utterly lost in the dominant modern baseline game.
It's funny that I should be going on and on about classic tennis when I only started watching tennis last year, long after the baseline game has become dominant. But sorry, I'm old school; I'm a sucker for the classical, the elegant, the classy. Maybe it just means I'm old, but whatever it is, I'm quite itching to start downloading Pete Sampras' matches so that I can treat myself to some great, great tennis (Sampras was a serve-and-volleyer if I'm not wrong). When I get the time, I'm soooo going to watch Roger's Wimbledon win over Sampras in 2001, and I freaking can't wait.
Right. This was supposed to be a "short" entry, a "short" comment, but clearly I don't know what that word means. Oops.
One last thing before I post this and go to bed: After trying to serve properly for the past few tennis sessions, I have concluded that the hardest thing about the serve is the ball toss. You're tossing with the non-dominant hand, for one, which makes it inherently difficult; for another, and as a consequence of the former, it's hard to figure out exactly how high to toss the ball, and also hard to consistently toss it at the same height if you don't spend 25 hours a day practising your serve. It's fun, for sure, but it's freaking tiring and difficult. I mean, I only figured out by chance that tossing the ball in the direction where you want to serve would make your serve go in that direction, and that was only because I randomly noticed that I tossed the ball towards the centre of the court and lo and behold, the ball went to the centre of the court! This was way after I'd been attempting to serve properly for the longest time. Needless to say, after that one session, my back hurt like hell.
(Having said that, apparently Roger's serve is hard to read because he always tosses his ball in the same direction no matter where he's serving to. But then, he's The Federer. I'm just some ass trying to play tennis properly.)
Okay I'm damn tired. I think I've decided to go for class but I suddenly don't feel like going anymore. ARGH. I'm going to bed.