Guantanamo Bay detention center remains open at the behest of the U.S. Senate despite public disapproval and the half-hearted support for closure by President Barack Obama.
Lenin called parliament, in our case the House and Senate, a talking shop given to distract us from the real process of government that goes on behind closed doors in his masterpiece, The State and Revolution. His timely words should be remembered now in the United States’ continual War on Terrorism. The Senate is like a shock absorber that effectively neutralizes any grievances from the broad mass of the people that happen to make it through absorber number one, the House of Representatives. Recently the Senate voted 90-6 in favor of denying President Barack Obama the funds need to close the odious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
President Obama is just a figurehead, and when he proposes improper policies, he can be called up short by the paid servants of the financial elite, namely the Senate.
Two hundred forty terrorism suspects are currently detained in legal limbo in “Gitmo,” a reference to the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, and are victims of the endless War on Terror we hear so much about. Gitmo has become infamous worldwide as a symbol of the American abuse of detainees, held without any rights to an immediate and fair trial by their peers as would happen in a law abiding state. These “terror suspects” are being vilified as the worst of the worst whose threat necessitates the negation of all decent civil liberties. As if these people were criminal masterminds with the capability of breaking out of supermax security prisons! What’s really going on is that Americans are being conditioned to accept this foggy form of detention as a new norm. It’s high time we took Benjamin Franklin’s sage words into account: “Those that give up liberty for security deserve neither.” We at Workers Action agree!
President Obama was voted into office and legislative Democrats hold a commanding presence in the House and Senate, thanks to Americans who vainly hope they will straighten out the disastrous Bush era policies. But since his inauguration, Obama has tacked to the right on almost every issue you care to name. He flip-flopped on the issue of pulling all troops out of Iraq, drumhead military tribunals, and trying terrorism suspects in U.S. courts. In seeking to make even such a cosmetic change as shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Obama said in a recent speech that he was hoping to change America’s “tarnished image.” This is purely a question of tactics on how better to pursue America’s geo-strategic interests. Obama and the members of the United States Senate differ on secondary issues, but are fundamentally agree on the need to create an American garrison in the Middle East. This garrison is necessary to control the precious oil reserves, place a cordon around Russia, and prevent any other imperialist rivals from gaining a foothold in the region.
The War on Terror is a cynical prop the American Ruling class has discovered to keep the American people in a state of fear so that their imperialist ambitions in the Middle East can be realized. The media can be counted on to toe the line with all sorts of “reportage” of “close calls” with terrorist “evildoers.” In theAssociated Press’s account of the Senate vote to keep Guantanamo Bay open, they end the piece with:
“… authorities said late on Wednesday they had foiled a plot to blow up two New York synagogues and simultaneiously shoot down military planes.”
Obviously the American people are being a little hasty with their abhorrence of the criminal activities at “Gitmo.” Despite sweeping the Democrats to power in Congress, terrorist attacks are still lurking around every corner. Yeah, right! There hasn’t been a serious threat to the people since 9/11, and the circumstances of that attack are still extremely murky as far as the government is concerned.
Of course there is still a possibility that Guantanamo could be closed down, but the ruling class is bitterly opposed to that idea because it tarnishes the whole project of the eruption of unbridled militarism in the Middle East. If you start shutting down one base, others will follow, and the seed of doubt will have been planted in the public consciousness about the ruling class’s real morality and plans for our collective future.