Friday, June 03, 2005


A good fact-based comparison between the Soviet gulag system and the U.S. prison camps in Guantánamo here. A snippet:
Deaths as a Result of Poor Treatment:

Gulag: At least two to three million. Mass burials were often employed to keep death rates secret (camp commanders sometimes received permission to remove gold fillings before burial). In some particularly brutal periods, camp commanders simply executed thousands of prisoners. But deaths due to overwork were much more common. It is estimated that 25,000 gulag laborers died during the construction of the White Sea Canal in the early '30s. One convoy of "backward elements" destined for the Gulag in 1933 included about 6,000 prisoners; after three months, 4,000 were dead. "The survivors had lived because they ate the flesh of those who had died," according to an account cited by Applebaum.

Guantánamo: No reports of prisoner deaths.

Typical Treatment:

Gulag: For the most part, Gulag prisoners provided labor for the Soviet system. Treatment varied widely, but most prisoners lived in overcrowded barracks, and prisoners occasionally killed one another in an effort to find space to sleep. Deadly dysentery and typhus outbreaks were common. Prisoners often had inadequate clothing to protect themselves from the elements, and most camps lacked running water and heat.

Guantánamo: A recent Time magazine report found that "the best-behaved detainees are held in Camp 4, a medium-security, communal-living environment with as many as 10 beds in a room; prisoners can play soccer or volleyball outside up to nine hours a day, eat meals together and read Agatha Christie mysteries in Arabic. Less cooperative detainees typically live and eat in small, individual cells and get to exercise and shower only twice a week." Human Rights Watch and other watchdog groups have collected firsthand testimony from prisoners alleging abuses, including the use of dogs, extended solitary confinement, sexual humiliation, and "stress positions." An official investigation uncovered only minor abuses, and most detainee accusations have not been verified.
And the proper conclusion:
The detention center at Guantánamo is legally dubious and has been a public relations disaster for the United States. The treatment of certain prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan has been far worse. Amnesty's president Irene Kahn says that these practices are "undermining human rights in a dramatic way." Her outrage is valuable and essential. If only she could express it without employing obscene moral parallels.

Thanks for the reminder that we are not as bad as the media pictures.

Though being the two people killed in Bagram probably didn't feel any better to them than if they were in the hands of less principled regimes.

Still thank heavens our errors of that type have not been in the tens of thousands.
The AP reported 5 cases of "Koran Abuse" by US guards, and 15 cases by the inmates....

Islam is a singularly thoughtless religion if that comparison does not generate at least three times more outrage against the prisoners than the US...

... Oh, yeah... I forgot... Muslims cannot blame the bombers of mosques if they're fellow Muslims...

Just like the lefty types who claim they're all about feeding people, helping the homeless, women's rights and so on... as long as it doesn't make a Republican anywhere look good...

No wonder our side is making little headway with the press! American and foreign press hate our freedoms nearly as much as the Islamists do--they're all working for the same goal...

I just wish for them to wake up before they get to the lake of fire...
Amazing how suicidal our lefty press is isn't? I believe that part of the reason fron these idiotic claims is due to a lack of real understanding about what gulags really are. Our public schools don't teach kids about things like this.
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