The new volume is called “Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak” and is a collection of 22 poems by 17 detainees at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay. This thing has “best seller” written all over it because this country, unfortunately, is cursed with an overabundance of America-haters who will be snatching it off the shelves faster than you can say “no blood for oil.”
Of course, just because someone has had the searing experience of being unjustly imprisoned by a warmongering administration doesn’t mean that he can automatically compose outstanding verse as an expression of his anguish. But here’s a sampling; give it a read and judge for yourself.
DEATH POEMTake my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.
Send them to the world,
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded.
And let them bear the guilty burden, before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden, before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the “protectors of peace.”
Do I detect a bit of sarcasm in that last line about the “protectors of peace?” Anyway, let’s take a look at another of these martyred masterpieces.
IS IT TRUE?Is it true that the grass grows up again after the rain?
Is it true that the flowers will rise up in the spring?
Is it true that birds will migrate home again?
Is it true that the salmon swim back up their stream?
It is true. This is true. These are all miracles.
But is it true that one day we’ll leave GuantÃ¡namo Bay?
Is it true that one day we’ll go back to our homes?
I sail in my dreams, I am dreaming of homes.
To be with my children, each one part of me;
To be with my wife and the ones that I love;
To be with my parents, my world’s tenderest hearts.
I dream to be home, to be free from this cage.
But do you hear me, oh Judge, do you hear me at all?
We are innocent, here, we’ve committed no crime.
Set me free, set us free, if anywhere still
Justice and compassion remain in this world!
Could you excuse me for a moment while I replenish my supply of Kleenex?
Okay. Now, do you see any sort of pattern in these “poems?” It’s a funny thing, but just like everybody in every prison the world over, amazingly, they’re all innocent! All those poor guys at Guantanamo are just a swell bunch of Islamic fellows who were minding their own business when — oops! — they happened to take a wrong turn at Kandahar, wandered onto a battlefield populated by the Taliban and were snatched up and carried away to the island of torment where there is no justice and from which there is no escape.
Well, except for the 267 Guantanamo detainees who have thus far either been released or transferred to the governments of other countries. That’s around one third of all detainees and there are ongoing processes that continue to review the status of all the rest.
(And by the way, quite a few of the ones released have been caught once again committing acts of jihad against, as usual, innocent people. Will wonders never cease?)
So, can we get real for just a moment? The home countries of most of these detainees are dictatorships where the accused and the imprisoned have either zero or next to zero rights. And if we can be so bold as to assume that at least some of these guys actually are, in fact, enemy combatants and/or terrorists, think about what theyâ€™ve done to people and what they wish to impose on entire societies. And they have the temerity to write weepy poetry about the loss of freedom?
But let a handful of these accused jihadists write some half-assed verses about the unjustness of their captivity and you can sit back and watch left-wing sympathizers write glowing reviews, such as the following:
“Poems from Guantanamo brings to light figures of concrete, individual humanity, against the fabric of cruelty woven by the ‘war on terror.’ The poems and poets’ biographies reveal one dimension of this officially obscured narrative, from the perspective of the sufferers; the legal and literary essays provide the context which has produced–under atrocious circumstances–a poetics of human dignity.”–Adrienne Rich
Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.
If some of these â€œpoetsâ€ could get their hands on Adrienne Rich, theyâ€™d cut her throat in a heartbeat just for being a filthy infidel. What Iâ€™m trying to say is I think maybe Richâ€™s sympathies are grotesquely misplaced. For instance, was she at all concerned about the innocent victims of the Taliban when they operated a regime in Afghanistan that made Nazi Germany look civilized? What about Saddamâ€™s nightmare totalitarian regime which filled mass graves with hundreds of thousands of innocents? How about the barbarism that constitutes daily life across that huge swath of the planet known as the Islamic world?
None of that will likely enter the minds of the legions of American peaceniks who will buy the jihadistsâ€™ claims of innocence hook, line and sinker and will snatch up copies of this book which to them provides further justification of their hatred for their own country.
â€œAt last Guantanamo has found its voice,â€ said Gore Vidal of this book of â€œpoetry.â€ Yes, finally, at long last. Itâ€™s too bad the same canâ€™t be said for all the innocent victims of these brilliant bards.
Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website: http://www.greg-strange.com/