The lead article in today’s New York Times, “U.S. Judge Decides ‘Anguishing’ Case on Force Feeding,” describes a situation foreign to most Americans, who have a love affair with food and treat it in a cavalier manner as indicated by the photo above. But try to imagine someone who feels so hopeless, caught in an untenable and unending situation that their only way to make their voice heard involves spurning the very object of life. And the hunger strikes at Guantanamo also carry long-term implications for future health and well being.
The power of hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay will unfortunately fair to break the logjam at the facility, a logjam the inmates are caught within in a sort of Catch-22 situation. President Obama, who rightfully sees the prison as primarily a recruitment tool for Al Qaeda, and as a rejection of all the human values our country holds, is fighting fruitlessly with the Congress in his effort to shutdown the facility.
Meanwhile, the Republicans remain trapped in a doomed effort to justify the tactics of former President George W. Bush and remain unmoved by the human tragedies occurring at the prison. One hopes it does not take the death of an inmate to awaken their sense of fairness. No one should be forced to remain in prison for 12 years without a trial, especially someone being held by the U.S. government.