- Jan 17, 2008
We hear this argument almost daily by opponents of GITMO, but really it does not stand up to scrutiny. If it is such a great recruiting tool... why doesn't the top Al Quada leadership use it?
From the WSJ:
To follow the idea that we ought to close GITMO because it is a great recruiting tool, we ought to also end our support for Israel and abandon Iraq and Afghanistan... surely you can agree that a tank division is someone's backyard is a better recruiting tool than some prison thousands of miles away?
The overall point is simply that regardless of the existence of GITMO, Al Qaeda has been able to recruit, and will continue to do so.
We are not trying to win the hearts and minds of Al Qaeda, (or really even the Taliban for that matter) we are trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.
While there are some examples of Taliban fighters ending up in GITMO, the vast majority were treated as POW's and have been sent home. You make it sound like everyone we capture will be sent to GITMO, which is simply not the case.
First , a review of 32 statements of top leaders? you now full well that recruiting comes from within the family, and by friends and family at the local level...and Bin Ladin does not have to say anything about Gitmo...the Arab Press, and Mosques can do a fine job of that for him.
I would never claim we are out to change the harts and minds of Al Quida, or the Taliban ( though we are to a extent with the Taliban)
But we are trying to get to the poor, the moderates and the people who could while not with them now...could very easily join them later. The perception of the US torturing Muslims, or humiliating them like we was shown in Iraq ( and as much as we like to pretend, we know its far less "isolated" then it is. These ideas and Images , added to a already paranoid, and warped idea of the west and US...make recruiting just that much easier.
Even in the Taliban...we know that there is a moderate or even sizeable part of the taliban that is not there for some deep Religious ideal, or hate of America...they are there for money status power...that Taliban is just a tool for them...and some of them we can get to...The True Belivers of the Taliban , we will never get...but that does not mean we can't weaken them.
what was the biggest turning point in the Iraq war? in my view..the Awaking...when Sunni Iraqi's turned on the insurgents and terrorists....why? because they decided that we where better then them...Iraq did not turn because we sent more troops...though I do believe that was very needed and played a role as well...It turned because we changed some minds about who to back...And evry image or report of us Torturing or disgracing Iraqi Muslims...made that just that much harder....
And the thing about who is at Gitmo....well since no one gets a real trial or anything...we really don't know who is there do we? should they be a POW or are they a terrorist...who knows...all we have done with many is just lock the door throw out the key and say...sorry we don't want to talk about why we are holding you...And while we may be able to look at the US government and say, im sure they have good reason to hold them...most of the world, and not even a lot of Americans...are willing to just buy that.
this is a war we will never win with guns and bombs...will they be needed...yes...but anything even close to a win ( not even sure what that would be ) will be won or lost based on how our nation is perceived overseas.