Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Guantanamo

Expand Messages
  • Peter ciccariello
    Apologies to Mary for not getting back to her personally before this. I have been pondering how to bring my sense of the visual and the poetic into the
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 25, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Apologies to Mary for not getting back to her personally before this. I
      have been pondering how to bring my sense of the visual and the poetic into
      the Existlist. I think my reticence has to do with how I notice my mind
      works - by visualizing ideas that are essentially koans, precursors to the
      "great doubt". How could I argue or defend philosophic princliples within
      this muddled world of uncertainty. I think that is what I admired and miss
      most about Bill, no apologies, no second thoughts, take no prisoners.


      Lately I read that 166 inmates are still being held in The *Guantanamo
      Bay*detention camp and about six weeks ago, 24
      prisoners began a hunger strike. Nearly all these men have been held
      without charges for 11 years even though half have been cleared for
      transfer or release.

      Here are individuals choosing, forming groups, resisting, acting against
      state absurdism. Doesn�t this speak to a profound existential angst?


      In Kafka�s 1925 novel �The Trial�, Joseph K. struggles with invisible Law
      and an untouchable Court, as do these 166 inmates. Kafka would be right at
      home with our *Guantanamo, *a post-modernist brand of eternal imprisonment
      and legally-sanctioned , state-induced terrorism.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mary
      Honestly, Peter, I want to feel more certain of the philosophical causeways I build than the political ones. I think the former should be built before the
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 25, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Honestly, Peter, I want to feel more certain of the philosophical causeways I build than the political ones. I think the former should be built before the latter, but at some point they do intersect. These kinds of detention facilities are an unfortunate metaphor for the current state of democracy, namely suspension without resolution. As you demonstrate with your posting, you aren't ambivalent about this issue, so nobody is certain or ambivalent about everything.

        I learned a similar lesson from Bill: some things are worth fighting for. Having a particular perspective may polarize us, but at least there is an opportunity for progress for somebody somewhere. Suspension is like a living death. The issue isn't that many ideas are fought to a stalemate, it's that they aren't fought for at all. Is this by design, or is this a philosophy of ambivalence or uncertainty? Middle or gray areas can't even exist without the poles, but the poles seem to be sliding into the middle gray, disappearing.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Peter ciccariello <ciccariello@...> wrote:
        >
        > Apologies to Mary for not getting back to her personally before this. I
        > have been pondering how to bring my sense of the visual and the poetic into
        > the Existlist. I think my reticence has to do with how I notice my mind
        > works - by visualizing ideas that are essentially koans, precursors to the
        > "great doubt". How could I argue or defend philosophic princliples within
        > this muddled world of uncertainty. I think that is what I admired and miss
        > most about Bill, no apologies, no second thoughts, take no prisoners.
        >
        >
        > Lately I read that 166 inmates are still being held in The *Guantanamo
        > Bay*detention camp and about six weeks ago, 24
        > prisoners began a hunger strike. Nearly all these men have been held
        > without charges for 11 years even though half have been cleared for
        > transfer or release.
        >
        > Here are individuals choosing, forming groups, resisting, acting against
        > state absurdism. Doesn't this speak to a profound existential angst?
        >
        >
        > In Kafka's 1925 novel "The Trial", Joseph K. struggles with invisible Law
        > and an untouchable Court, as do these 166 inmates. Kafka would be right at
        > home with our *Guantanamo, *a post-modernist brand of eternal imprisonment
        > and legally-sanctioned , state-induced terrorism.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Jim
        Peter, Thank you for your powerful and moving post. I had not heard of the hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay detention camp. It is shameful that a supposed
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          Peter,

          Thank you for your powerful and moving post.

          I had not heard of the hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

          It is shameful that a supposed democratic and free nation like the United States of America can lock people up without charge or trial for eleven years. This is the sort of behaviour the USA used to criticise the "evil empire" of the Soviet Union for.

          I thought Obama had promised to close Guantanamo Bay down in his first election manifesto. Has the man no principles?

          Jim
        • wsindarius
          Jim, Obama has made it more or less plain that he feels powerless to do these bolder things until and unless the public itself demands their doing in no
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            Jim,

            Obama has made it more or less plain that he feels powerless to do these bolder things until and unless the public itself demands their doing in no uncertain terms. I am not sure what that means exactly, if he wants people in the streets and making clamor over it or what, but even the same sex marriage statement was made only after it had become a main event in the news (and after Biden forced his hand with his own statement of position).

            A matter of political expediency? A lack of will? A weak presidency? Could be any of these.

            Wil


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
            To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 7:36 am
            Subject: [existlist] Re: Guantanamo





            Peter,

            Thank you for your powerful and moving post.

            I had not heard of the hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

            It is shameful that a supposed democratic and free nation like the United States of America can lock people up without charge or trial for eleven years. This is the sort of behaviour the USA used to criticise the "evil empire" of the Soviet Union for.

            I thought Obama had promised to close Guantanamo Bay down in his first election manifesto. Has the man no principles?

            Jim









            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jim
            Wil, I would have thought that if it was part of his election manifesto, and he got elected, then he has the mandate to go ahead and do it, without the need to
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              Wil,

              I would have thought that if it was part of his election manifesto, and he got elected, then he has the mandate to go ahead and do it, without the need to wait for the people to demand it.

              The same sex marriage proposal is in the process of becoming law here, despite the opposition of the reactionary right. At long last it looks as though homosexuals will become equal to heterosexuals under the law. And about time too!

              Jim
            • wsindarius
              Yes, and I wonder if the Crown will finally apologize to Oscar Wilde. Re: Obama, my list of disappointments is only outdone by my fear of the GOP. Wil ...
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                Yes, and I wonder if the Crown will finally apologize to Oscar Wilde.


                Re: Obama, my list of disappointments is only outdone by my fear of the GOP.

                Wil



                -----Original Message-----
                From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
                To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 8:22 am
                Subject: [existlist] Re: Guantanamo





                Wil,

                I would have thought that if it was part of his election manifesto, and he got elected, then he has the mandate to go ahead and do it, without the need to wait for the people to demand it.

                The same sex marriage proposal is in the process of becoming law here, despite the opposition of the reactionary right. At long last it looks as though homosexuals will become equal to heterosexuals under the law. And about time too!

                Jim









                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jim
                Wil, It is similar here. The Labour Party generally disappoint when in office, but at least they are less bad than the Conservatives. We are not very good at
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  Wil,

                  It is similar here. The Labour Party generally disappoint when in office, but at least they are less bad than the Conservatives.

                  We are not very good at apologizing for past injustices and crimes. David Cameron had the opportunity recently to apologize for a massacre of Indians around one hundred years ago, but he failed to do so.

                  Jim
                • Mary
                  Jim, The Red Cross will routinely visit the fasting detainees this week and then report back to those who oversee the facility. Their report is not made
                  Message 8 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Jim,

                    The Red Cross will routinely visit the fasting detainees this week and then report back to those who oversee the facility. Their report is not made public, which makes it less likely a majority of Americans will demand action. I also read a report which says our president authorized $50 to build a new facility on the current site.

                    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-military-says-guantanamo-hunger-strike-edges

                    Mary

                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Wil,
                    >
                    > I would have thought that if it was part of his election manifesto, and he got elected, then he has the mandate to go ahead and do it, without the need to wait for the people to demand it.
                    >
                    > The same sex marriage proposal is in the process of becoming law here, despite the opposition of the reactionary right. At long last it looks as though homosexuals will become equal to heterosexuals under the law. And about time too!
                    >
                    > Jim
                    >
                  • Mary
                    That should be $50 million.
                    Message 9 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      That should be $50 million.

                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Jim,
                      >
                      > The Red Cross will routinely visit the fasting detainees this week and then report back to those who oversee the facility. Their report is not made public, which makes it less likely a majority of Americans will demand action. I also read a report which says our president authorized $50 to build a new facility on the current site.
                      >
                      > http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-military-says-guantanamo-hunger-strike-edges
                    • Mary
                      Further clarification. I couldn t find a source for the story about the $50M authorization but did find a NY Times article which indicates the Pentagon has
                      Message 10 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Further clarification. I couldn't find a source for the story about the $50M authorization but did find a NY Times article which indicates the Pentagon has only requested the funds.

                        http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/pentagon-wants-to-build-new-prison-at-guantanamo/?smid=tw-nytimesatwar&seid=auto

                        I'm totally opposed to the inhumane treatment of prisoners as well as opposed to detaining them without trial. It was Congress that included the continued operation of Gitmo in their latest defense bill which Obama signed. The public's will to control guns has gone virtually nowhere in Congress also. Congress maintains that U.S. citizens don't want to house detainees here and that repatriation abroad is dangerous if not impossible.

                        What are the dangers of the precedent for the expanded power of executive order if and when the GOP returns to power? Yet I also don't think the balance of power is the issue as much as it is that our representatives don't represent us. Many of them 'vote their consciences' which means whoever lobbies them hardest gets represented.

                        That politics and activism depend on money disheartens me immensely.

                        Mary

                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > That should be $50 million.
                        >
                        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Jim,
                        > >
                        > > The Red Cross will routinely visit the fasting detainees this week and then report back to those who oversee the facility. Their report is not made public, which makes it less likely a majority of Americans will demand action. I also read a report which says our president authorized $50 to build a new facility on the current site.
                        > >
                        > > http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-military-says-guantanamo-hunger-strike-edges
                        >
                      • wsindarius
                        Mary, Jim, There was a fellow on Hardball, I think it was, who was arguing in favor of Gitmo, saying that the prisoners there were treated much better than the
                        Message 11 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Mary, Jim,

                          There was a fellow on Hardball, I think it was, who was arguing in favor of Gitmo, saying that the prisoners there were treated much better than the US prison population at large who often suffer long stays in isolation, are poorly fed, abused, sexually attacked, etc. Recent stories in the NYT, Slate and Huff Post have borne out those facts. The US is a terribly harsh place, with an inhumane 'justice' system, much of it privatized for profit, and with the largest prison population anywhere else in the world or in history.



                          Wil



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Mary <josephson45r@...>
                          To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tue, Mar 26, 2013 12:05 pm
                          Subject: [existlist] Re: Guantanamo





                          Further clarification. I couldn't find a source for the story about the $50M authorization but did find a NY Times article which indicates the Pentagon has only requested the funds.

                          http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/pentagon-wants-to-build-new-prison-at-guantanamo/?smid=tw-nytimesatwar&seid=auto

                          I'm totally opposed to the inhumane treatment of prisoners as well as opposed to detaining them without trial. It was Congress that included the continued operation of Gitmo in their latest defense bill which Obama signed. The public's will to control guns has gone virtually nowhere in Congress also. Congress maintains that U.S. citizens don't want to house detainees here and that repatriation abroad is dangerous if not impossible.

                          What are the dangers of the precedent for the expanded power of executive order if and when the GOP returns to power? Yet I also don't think the balance of power is the issue as much as it is that our representatives don't represent us. Many of them 'vote their consciences' which means whoever lobbies them hardest gets represented.

                          That politics and activism depend on money disheartens me immensely.

                          Mary

                          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > That should be $50 million.
                          >
                          > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Jim,
                          > >
                          > > The Red Cross will routinely visit the fasting detainees this week and then report back to those who oversee the facility. Their report is not made public, which makes it less likely a majority of Americans will demand action. I also read a report which says our president authorized $50 to build a new facility on the current site.
                          > >
                          > > http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-military-says-guantanamo-hunger-strike-edges
                          >









                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Jim
                          Mary, Wil, This absurd situation where the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are held outside any state, without being charged, without a trial, without any rights,
                          Message 12 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Mary, Wil,

                            This absurd situation where the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are held outside any state, without being charged, without a trial, without any rights, seems to give empirical support to Giorgio Agamben's idea of the `Homo Sacer' or the `State of Exception' as described in those books of the same name.

                            I have read `Homo Sacer' but I have to admit I struggled to understand it. Agamben seemed to be saying that it was a logical entailment of a state with laws giving rights to its citizens that the law could only be validated if there were human's who had `bare life' as beings outside the law with no rights and no recognition.

                            Going back to Obama – I don't see why he cannot return the unfortunate individuals to their countries of origin – at least one is a British citizen. I would imagine that after eleven years of incarceration and possible torture, they would be broken men, incapable of taking up a life of terrorism.

                            Jim
                          • Peter ciccariello
                            Jim, I think that is the point. There is no logic, reason or rationale here... it is pure and unadulterated repressive absurdity, and for those inmates, what
                            Message 13 of 14 , Mar 26, 2013
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Jim,

                              I think that is the point. There is no logic, reason or rationale here...
                              it is pure and unadulterated repressive absurdity, and for those inmates,
                              what is left to do but try to regain a form of dignity as per Fanon through
                              violence. In this case the only remaining target, oneself. I am so troubled
                              with this, and cannot help but ponder Kafka's "hunger artist"




                              - Peter




                              On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Jim <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:

                              > **
                              >
                              >
                              > Mary, Wil,
                              >
                              > This absurd situation where the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are held
                              > outside any state, without being charged, without a trial, without any
                              > rights, seems to give empirical support to Giorgio Agamben's idea of the
                              > `Homo Sacer' or the `State of Exception' as described in those books of the
                              > same name.
                              >
                              > I have read `Homo Sacer' but I have to admit I struggled to understand it.
                              > Agamben seemed to be saying that it was a logical entailment of a state
                              > with laws giving rights to its citizens that the law could only be
                              > validated if there were human's who had `bare life' as beings outside the
                              > law with no rights and no recognition.
                              >
                              > Going back to Obama � I don't see why he cannot return the unfortunate
                              > individuals to their countries of origin � at least one is a British
                              > citizen. I would imagine that after eleven years of incarceration and
                              > possible torture, they would be broken men, incapable of taking up a life
                              > of terrorism.
                              >
                              > Jim
                              >
                              >
                              >



                              --
                              New work gallery - http://invisiblenotes.blogspot.com/
                              Poetry and writing - http://poemsfromprovidence.blogspot.com/

                              You can find my art and writing updates on Twitter
                              https://twitter.com/ciccariello


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Mary
                              Not to mention MSNBC (owned by GE) also airs prison documentaries while being in the prison and security business. So not only does Foucault s business of
                              Message 14 of 14 , Mar 27, 2013
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Not to mention MSNBC (owned by GE) also airs prison documentaries while being in the prison and security business. So not only does Foucault's business of creating delinquency come to mind, but apropos Peter's comment about Kafka's Starving Artist, one might also, not so cynically, envision a reality series which imitates that cruel voyeurism wherein viewers can vote for which inmate can go all the way and 'win' the competition of Best Starving Artist.

                                Mary

                                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                                >
                                > Mary, Jim,
                                >
                                > There was a fellow on Hardball, I think it was, who was arguing in favor of Gitmo, saying that the prisoners there were treated much better than the US prison population at large who often suffer long stays in isolation, are poorly fed, abused, sexually attacked, etc. Recent stories in the NYT, Slate and Huff Post have borne out those facts. The US is a terribly harsh place, with an inhumane 'justice' system, much of it privatized for profit, and with the largest prison population anywhere else in the world or in history.
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.