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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Guantanamo Bay prison - it's time to close it...

I detest democratic governments suspending human rights in the name of human rights - and they all bear watching.

On January 11, 2002, the US transferred the first detainees to the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Five years later, despite widespread international condemnation, hundreds of people of more than 30 nationalities remain there.

Why care?
All three Presidential candidates have said they would close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. It doesn't hurt to keep reminding them to do so. Canada is the only Western country to not condemn this illegal centre... and is the only Western country with a citizen still locked up there, without a protest from its government. Send a message to Prime Minster Harper about Omar Khadr here if you want to.

Here is Amnesty USA's site for doing something about Guantanamo.

And the really big news! Write a haiku related to human rights - direct, indirect or abstract. Use three lines: 5, 7, and 5 syllables (rules...rules... I know). I will randomly pick a winner in a week or so and you will win the lovely orange t-shirt in the photo above (well, not that exact shirt, but one just like it). Take your human rights to the street in fashion!

I'll begin (but I can't win):

darkness like black ink
silence and the empty air
door cracks hope awakes

be the miracle
you wish to see happen
see a miracle
the voices stifled
the spirits yearning for light
the shame of mankind
stop the injustice
embrace now healing and hope
be the voice of change
blue sky naked sky
the sun favors no shadow
a tree in the sand

I just clicked back to "review" the haiku of my "competition" and I see that my second line has only six syllables. This is what happens when you try to write an haiku while your eight=year-old is noisily doing homework next to you.

Here is the corrected version:

be the miracle
that you wish to see happen
see a miracle

Ahhh. That's better.
These are beautiful
with or without seven
syllables Cheri...
terror and pain should
not be constant companions
of voiceless people
Amnesty’s prayer ?

Trust in the candle
Eternal flame hope we pray

best wishes
I don't have a haiku to offer, but just wanted to say that this is a GREAT post and a great idea!
Thanks gfid and Lindsay - wow!

Suzi - thanks and how about?

Don't have a haiku
but wanted to say this is
a great idea
Invisible sun
I can't see you out there now
But some day I may

Not good, but it's inspired by the Police song, "The Invisible Sun."
Release now the chains,
give light to those in darkness,
love can heal their pain.
What the heck Gary, an other Haiku?
About Guantanamo?????
Yo man, you need to take an other vacation in Mexico. Relax, ease down...
What am I supposed to write, that the US is leasing Guantanamo from Castro for $1 a year.
Give me all the prisoners and give me the island - I will pay the rent.

OK, this is about haiku's. Nevermind the price or trophy. I already had my fair share, your Mexican artwork still pined up in front of me.

For the sports of the issue, I will submit something anyway.


It is not going to go away Gary. If it is not Guantanamo, it will be somewhere else. But you knew that.

So in that spirit, I'll write an other one:

whatever, I am going to bed now. This is an interesting competition, maybe I have to sleep over it ....
United we stand
Bloggers against torture now
we still speak up, stop

phew.. I'm not really good at that haiku stuff... too much thinking instead of 'free poetry association'..

should the bloggers against torture do another reminder day of blogging about Gitmo? That's how we met most of 'us' didn't we?

Fuck little Chimpy
send him to Guantanamo
along with Cheney
Chimpy hangs from toes
torture is now issue here
at Guantanamo
Caribbean seas
and red clad folks in cages;
give them fair trial.

Leave Castro alone
and clean up your own kitchen.
Mercy spawns with truth.

Nine eleven sucked,
but there is no substitute
to hear the real thing.

The US will fail
to torture more combatants.
Prisoners unite.

The end of the day,
while the glow of sun is there
prisoners come free.

What fairlan said. Really man, take another vacation. You must teach. This is torture of a kind. Can't go on.

Can I still come to Canada? Will they make me write haiku to get in? If so I'm fucked. What are you smoking?
Not a haiku in me for this subject but I enjoyed reading them so far.
Oh little Chimpy
The Chicken's come home to roost
pay back is a bitch

Chimpy is a must,
to make us crave for new shores.

you make up the last line...
Soon Chimpy is out.
Do we trust new leaders then?
I will be careful.
a whimpy chimpy
who are you talking about?
shadows behind you.
Wow! Another day or so to go and this is impressive. From sublime imagery to downright hot pokes at Chimpy. And Zee, you always squirm when I put out a haiku call - then you write them like a whirling-dervish-haiku man!

Okay, Basho or Shiki, Japanese Haiku masters, might not approve of the topic... or maybe they would.

I already know I'm going to draw two names! (I have two new shirts to send.)
I will have nothing to do with dervishes Gary. Islam has brought nothing constructive to the world in the last 1628 years and eleven and a half hours. Maybe the incursion into Spain in what, the 12th century? ... was somewhat helpful - I don't know. They, the Muslims coming from North Africa, eradicated a then primitive society, based on sauerkraut and continuous pissing contests in the streets.
That somewhat helped to change things around to the better. I saw "Carmen" filmed by Carlos Saura the other day ... again. Reminded me of that cultural (and religious) mix which impacted this location, even felt still today.
Spilled blood on virgin ground makes souls thrive for more thrust. That is why there are conquistadores. But recent regulations will prevent the killing of a steer, conquistadors are dead instead. Hemingway will turn in his grave.
My point is really no point. I am just rambling.
I just want you to know, that Guantanamo is a bad thing, a bad thing the US keeps maintaining. It should end - immediately.
On the other hand I read a "Spiegel" article (German tabloid/ newspaper) today about "honor killings" of Turkish, muslim woman who just wish to live, live in equality and freedom. The death sentence is carried out by family members who reject these womans liberation. The woman has to be killed because she stains the faith, the Muslim tradition and therefore the honor of the whole family.

So yes, let's free all the people in Guantanamo Bay. But let as not forget, it is mostly to help the US to get on track again, for them to assume some kind of sense of morality or responsibility. Nothing else.
The prisoners present there, just or unjust, have nothing to do with the larger picture. They are mostly (cynical me) victims of their own fate.
I am not sure how the west will combat Islam from now on, the way they do it presently is out of range.

As a disclaimer I also wish to say that I have an abundance of tolerance towards many religions and philosophical world views. But the Muslim faith has recently been excluded from that list for continuous reasons of repetitious torture, killings and mass murdering of civilians, both abroad and "at home".

Therefore my final haiku is this:

Keep your skin before
it fades to leather and dries
gates must be opened.

Thanks Zee. Three quick things that come to mind.

1. I'm not asking that everyone in Guantanamo be set free. Amnesty, the Red Cross and Gary are asking that the people there be treated under accepted standards of international and American law. No torture, and the right to fair trial, evidence revealed, due process etc. Otherwise, what's the point of parading our wonderful freedoms and values.

2. I know about some of the cultural practices that are so awful - have lots of stuff on honour killings for example. This takes place in some other religious cultures too. Violence against women - in every culture in every land and perpetrated by men - there's a cause...

3. I hear your concerns and I'm not a fan of any religious and especially radical believers. But I know you can also take each man or woman as you meet or find them and that you could appreciate and relate to good people of any belief. I know you would...

Hey, you might debate religion with them, but you could see each for an individual...
Holy Toledo
It's haiku mania here.
Three shouts for Gary!
When I saw the first rare pictures from Guantanamo, and the second set of rare pictures, and then the third ... I capitulated.
The efficiency of keeping humans like animals in cages, like Kentucky fried chickens, was astounding.
That has to stop!

We are talking about several issues here, and I am sorry that I pack in too much at a time.
I have regular contact with Muslims, and I still live, and so do they. I could even call some of them my friends.
That still does not alter my perspective on historical issues ...
You're a good man. You have my respect.
Okay - it's May 6 and I'm putting the names in my little drawing box....

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