Let’s try to get our minds around the desperation behind the mindset of the government that won’t free innocent people, that won’t admit error: if a prisoner dies because of a hunger strike, and we actually learn of it, the focus on the “treatment” of detainees will become sharper. And if a fuckin’ cartoon can incite riots, what would a man dead in U.S. custody from a hunger strike do? Ask Northern Ireland.
Let’s try to get our minds around what it takes to starve oneself: You ever fasted for a full day? The pain, the ache in head and body, grows quickly. Over days and weeks, the body, which tries to stay alive, feeds on itself even as the lack of nutrition causes organs to break down. Because, for instance, the gastrointestinal system slows, gastric acid builds, yielding killer reflux and dry heaves. If you’re not in a coma or a persistent vegetative state, you get to the point where you want to be. If it’s a “tactic,” it’s pretty damn hardcore.
Let’s try to get our minds around one last thing: except for a small portion of America, like those of us in the fields of Left Blogsylvania, no one fuckin’ cares that innocent people, captured, tortured, tortured again when they try to protest are in U.S. custody. It’s easier to just believe the Gitmo detainees are, as the administration tells us repeatedly, terrible, awful, murderous people. ‘Cause not to believe that means you have to confront what’s being done in your name. Or suppress it in that Great American Storehouse of Repressed Memory, hoping it never creeps out to consciousness.
Years from now, someone will ask the question, “Why do they hate us?”
And really, I can’t imagine.