Gitmo or Gandhi?
Ed and Deb Shapiro
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
–Mahatma Gandhi, YI, 2I-5-25, I78.
The prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, built on a legacy of fear, was established to deal with violent terrorists, but instead became the cause of further suffering and chaos. It is a prime example of the mindless, cruel and inhuman way we abuse our fellow human beings. For, despite whatever these men may or may not have done, they are human beings and inflicting pain, especially the methods used at Gitmo, achieves nothing but further pain. Two wrongs do not make a right; to meet violence with more violence does not bring peace. Closing Gitmo does not say we condone violence, but that we do not intend to continue to act in such a barbaric way.
Of course, there are those who oppose closing the camp. Fear is a powerful seductress waiting around every corner to grab our attention; hatred is like a snake always ready to bite. The nature of fear is to hold us back, to keep us in a place of closed heartedness. It will create an enemy even if one does not exist. Being fearless does not mean we have to stop or deny the fear; fearlessness is not a state of being without fear. Rather, it is fully feeling the fear, getting to know it, and then making friends with it.