Germany finally seems to have accepted two Guantanamo detainees. The overall reaction was decidedly unenthusiastic if not phlegmatic. Nevertheless, there are the expected negative voices, such as this post on the Weblog Sicherheitspolitik (a German blog mostly on national security policy) or this on another German blog (Deutsche Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik) with a title that would essentially mean the same in English.
That blog post basically follows the well-known pattern from the U.S.:
I considered this to be ridiculous when hysterical U.S. right wingers used this talking point and it's not much better in Germany as well, although we'll probably not lock 'em up.
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I'm still in opposition to accepting Gitmo detainees in Germany, though. My reason is a very different one, and it's *surprise* not exactly a very common one.
This is my point:
The U.S. fell from the level of Western civilisation with Patriot Act, war of aggression against Iraq, torture, kidnapping people even in allied nations and the "unlawful combatant" scandal treatment of what should have been either criminal suspects or prisoners of war. Well, because of that list and a few more points.
The handful people in Gitmo are quite irrelevant. I do not care about their fate, not any more than I care about the fate of some Papuan village. There are more than six billion people out there and I cannot care about all of them. I can merely insist that life and freedom are rights that must only be violated with really good reasons.
In short: It's about principles. In this case I mean Western civilisation principles.
So why is Germany supposed to take two Gitmo detainees? The reason is simple in my opinion. The U.S. has still not recovered, it is still unable to treat these people right, to admit its error and to correct it. If we can take them, why not CONUS?
The answer is simple; CONUS isn't ready to accept them. It's still in the mad 9/11 shock mode and too much under influence of scaremongers. It's still not back to normal operation, back to the ability to act rationally and coolly.
That's why I am against accepting Gitmo detainees to Germany. The Americans shall do their homework, clean up their own dirt and prove that they're willing to meet the expectations and behave like a civilised nation. I expect them to be able to treat these people either as POW or as criminal suspects - be it in jal or not. I don't care whether they won't be accepted by other countries including their homeland. The Americans catched them - now they got them. Their problem.
Now its their turn to prove that they can do the right, the Western civilisation thing. We shouldn't offer them a cheap way out.
P.S.: It would be possible that some readers use the primitive concepts of "anti-americanism" or "left" as explanations for what I wrote. I can only advise them to take the text more seriously. Even people who don't agree with me usually admit that I have a point.