in the late summer of 2003)
a terrific electrified pattern! Don't ask me how this happened,
because I honestly can't recall. I did have to do some touch-ups
to ensure that it would tile properly, if I chose to go that route.
A lot of these digital paintings look great when tiled -- go set
this one to your computer desktop and see for yourself. This baby
just looks terrific -- this would make a terrific album cover (hint,
hint). All interested parties should drop a truckfull of money on
my front porch.
this is the part where I assume that you know all about Camp X-Ray,
but if you're from America, then chances are you don't know much
of anything about it. Americans don't know much of anything about
anything, actually. People this ignorant shouldn't have easy access
to weapons. Sigh.
X-Ray was the first detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for
prisoners-of-war captured in the American war in Afghanistan. Of
course, the Bush administration decided to classify their guests
not as POWs, but as "unlawful combatants." Doing so absolves
the United States of any obligations under the Geneva Conventions
and international law. Detainees never have to be returned home
after the fighting ends; they can be tortured or forced to live
in cramped living quarters; they don't even have to be charged with
any crime; and, if they do, they would face a military tribunal
whose decisions could not be appealed. And said tribunals could
have the power to deliver the death penalty.
of this, you understand, without any appeal to any outside court
or international agency. All of this in the name of "national
security" and pretending to protect a public scared stupid
with visions of terrorist killers and color bars.
the Iraq II war, the Bushies made quite a fuss about television
footage of American POWs broadcast over Arab television, crying
foul in the name of the Geneva Convention. The very international
laws the President and the White House refuse to abide by. The United
States is the biggest bully on the block; we can follow our own
damn rules, thank you. And if you have a problem, at best, you are
a fool; at worst, you are a traitor.
remember when the first four detainees from Guantanamo Bay were
released. We were promised deadly killers out to attack Americans
at the slightest chance. What the world saw was a different reality
altogether. One of the men was around 35, the other three were in
their seventies. One man insisted that he was over 100, but was
obviously too feeble to remember his own age. None of these four
knew why they were captured and taken halfway around the world,
only to sit in a tiny cell for eight months without being accused
of anything. They were simple farmers with no connection to Osama
bin Laden, no connection to the Taliban regime. Confused and freightened,
they only wanted to know why this had happened to them.
are your "terrorists," America. This is what you have
allowed to happen for the sake of some (hah!) safety. Do you really
feel safer? Or do you just run like lemmings whenever the government
issues another "warning" or raises the bar to "code
orange" again. Does this always happen because Mr. Bush grows
tired of having to face difficult questions and prefers to silence
dissent? Is his administration just grossly incompetent, or cynically
exploiting a nation's fears? Or both?
don't pretend for a minute that Guantanamo Bay doesn't affect everyday
Americans. In the name of "fighting evildoers," the "President"
invokes the right to declare citizens as "enemy combatatants,"
stripping anyone of their Constitutional rights. The right to a
trial; the right to a lawyer; the right to face one's accusers;
the right to dissent. The Patriot Act has eroded our civil liberties,
and the so-called "Patriot Act II" will erode them even
further. Does a President have the sole, unchallenged right to declare
any citizen, any group (anti-war protesters or whistle-blowers,
for example) a, ahem, "terrorist," only to jail them,
convict them, or execute them?
anyone who marched for Civil Rights or against Vietnam if the government
ever abused its power.
get me started on the reports of beatings, torture, assualts, or
the many attempted suicides at good 'ol Gitmo. Those outrages cannot
be silenced forever. These prisoners cannot be held forever. One
day, sooner or later, they will have to be freed, or given a proper
trial. How long will that take? How many months or years will waste
away? How will those men feel about the United States when they
are finally sent home? What will they tell their loved ones when
they finally return? What will be their opinion of the Bin Ladens
of the world? How would you feel if it happened to you?
this to protect us from peasant farmers and children as young as
13. Sure beats worrying about the economy.
what will become of America's standing in the world? Despite the
hopes of the Neocons, there is no way the world would accept an
American empire that recklessly follows its own rules. We Americans
don't even have the patience for an empire -- isn't that the lesson
we're learning from Afghanistan and Iraq? These policies don't even
seem to be thought out; was Guantanamo Bay feels like some stopgap
that was cooked up until somebody in Washington comes up with a
better idea? And just will the end-game be?
Camp X-Ray exists is a shame. That so few Americans care about it
is an even greater shame.