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It is in the prosecution of some single object, and in striving to reach its accomplishment by the combined application of his moral and physical energies, that the true happiness of man, in his full vigour and development, consists. Possession, it is true, crowns exertion with repose; but it is only in the illusions of fancy that it has power to charm our eyes. If we consider the position of man in the universe,—if we remember the constant tendency of his energies towards some definite activity, and recognize the influence of surrounding nature, which is ever provoking him to exertion, we shall be ready to acknowledge that repose and possession do not indeed exist but in imagination. - Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action) (1854 ed.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Letter on David Reinhard's: A Soldier's Truth about Gitmo, Sun July 15th 2007

"A Soldier's Truth about Gitmo" was a commentary by columnist David Reinhard regarding Guantanamo.

Here was my letter -- and published!*

Reinhard pens another apologia for the military, straight from the military -- something we hoped had been left in the last century -- in "A Soldier's Truth about Gitmo". I will let other readers write in about his blatant lying ("the detainees are being treated humanely."); my favorite is the sympathy we are supposed to feel for the guards when the detainees react to their pleasant condition. Reinhard parrots: "Apparently, [the detainees] weren't impressed with Gitmo's good grub, top-tier medical care and Islamic sensitivity." Yes, it is unsurprising that Reinhard can not fathom why they go on hunger strikes, act up towards their most hospitable hosts, and attempt and succeed at killing themselves. One wonders why Reinhard does not make a reservation for himself: Certainly he would enjoy the amenities and has nothing to miss outside Gitmo - just like the current guests.
* - The editors unfortunately replaced "blatant lying" with "[such claims as]" suggesting that the treatment of the detainees is open for interpretation. Bullshit.

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