Thursday, June 15, 2006

Suicide as a weapon of war

The BBC is reporting that Rear Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. military gulag at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, described the suicide of three prisoners as an act of war:

I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.

Hey Harris -- it isn't always about you.

It is true that self-harm, including suicide, is often the desperate final act of somebody who feels utterly powerless and helpless. When you control absolutely nothing else, when your fate is in the hands of hostile forces, sometimes the one thing you can do is hurt your own body.

But to describe that desperate act as an act of war just boggles the mind. Who does Harris think he's fooling? Nobody in their right mind thinks that the U.S. military is seriously threatened with defeat and disaster because a few prisoners of war, uncharged with any crime (let alone found guilty), hanged themselves.

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.
-- General George Patton

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