March 4, 2002 Special Dispatch No. 351

Egyptian Columnist: Guantanamo is the Real Auschwitz

March 4, 2002
Lebanon, Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 351

An article by Islamist Dr. Rif'at Sayyid Ahmad, titled "Guantanamo, the Auschwitz of the American era: J'accuse!!"recently appeared in the Lebanese daily Al-Liwa. The article described the detention of the Al-Qaida and Talibanmembers at Guantanamo as a war crime. Following are excerpts from the article:

Guantanamo Bay: 'The American Auschwitz'

"…We always see how human beings prey upon each other, how values are trampled, and how tragedies recur. This is exactly what happened, and is still happening, at the 'American Auschwitz' detention camp… excuse me, I meant the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay!! This is one of the worst deeds of the American era in which we live, and one of the most infamous of its crimes, and will go down in history if [history] is written by men of honor, not by traitors. "

"This detention camp reminds me of 'J'accuse' by Emile Zola, who, in 1898, defended Alfred Dreyfus, the French officer of the Jewish faith… This French officer objected to his trial being exploited by the Zionist Jews, led by Herzl. He [also] refused to meet with them because he objected to the Zionist plan and to the establishment of an independent [Jewish] state, and supported Jewish integration into [European] society. He saw [his trial] as fundamentally French, completely unconnected to his religion. This is what spurred Emil Zola to take up the subject in his political-literary article 'J'accuse,' for which he paid a heavy price; he too was sentenced to prison, for a year, for the offense of [publishing] the article…"

"With his article, Emile Zola implanted in the Western conscience principles which, in my opinion, are being completely destroyed today. The first of these is respect for the value of the individual as an individual, regardless of nationality, religion, or the color of his skin. [Second,] the value of resistance to oppression, primarily [oppression] by someone who rules and holds power against the weak and who cannot confront him. [Third,] the value of liberty and the risk of depriving the individual of it. . ."

"It is interesting how perceptions, values, and history have changed from Zola's time to the war crimes now being committed by the U.S., the length and breadth of the world, primarily in Guantanamo. This detention camp is the outcome of the crime of the destruction of Afghanistan (30,000 dead and hundreds of villages destroyed!!)."

"Has the situation changed? History repeats itself, painfully. This time, we are not talking of a single Dreyfus, but of nearly 2,500 Muslim Dreyufuses, placed in iron cages like animals and treated with a cruelty rarely found even among the wild beasts in the jungles. These are the days of the Stone Age, days in which the difference between human beings, stones, and animals has disappeared!!… This is a cruelty that demands more than one Emil Zola to cry out before the arrogant and bloodthirsty master of the world [President Bush]…'J'accuse'!!"

"While Zola accused eight high-ranking generals in the French army… I

direct my political and moral accusation at the president of the U.S.; his deputy Dick Cheney, that super-racist Jew; his secretary of state, Colin Powell; his intelligence minister [sic]; his national security advisor; his war ministry staff [sic]; his administration in the White House; British Prime Minister Tony Blair… who played the role of procurer, as did all the ministers and presidents of the European Union countries who have participated in and supported the crime being committed at Guantanamo and who, by their declared collaboration or their open silence, have brought to ruin the values that they claim exist in their civilization – the values of Emil Zola, Montesquieu, Russell, and Toynbee. . ."

U.S. Committing War Crimes
"We accuse all these of committing, or participating in committing, the crime of war against humanity taking place before their very eyes in Guantanamo, without opening their mouths. They even exacerbate [the crime and create] another Auschwitz, at the beginning of the new century. Auschwitz, for those who don't know, is the detention camp in which, it is claimed, Hitler burned Jews in gas chambers during World War II."

"The stench of their charred skin filled the nose from dozens of kilometers away. Although I do not believe this exaggerated Jewish yarn, the detention camp [at Auschwitz] did indeed exist, and there was a Nazi crime against all of humanity (not only against the Jews, as they claim)… If the stench filled noses for miles around, then [today] the same stench fills the nose of the 'civilized' West, extorted financially, politically, and educationally, as Holocaust studies are mandatory in European schools, as a supreme value that cannot be ignored or denied."

"If indeed this happened in Hitler's Auschwitz, why can't it happen in Bush's Auschwitz?! Could it be because those whose skin burns in the Cuban sun, in the iron cages exposed [to the sun] from all directions – because these men whose humanity is stripped from them, who are turned into 'objects,' neither men nor beasts – are Muslims?! Is the Western conscience dead, and has it sunk to this level of barbarity?…"

"If what happened in the U.S. on September 11, 2001 (which I oppose from the humane point of view, but nothing more) and the disastrous war in Afghanistan that followed, are termed 'the first war of the century,' then what is happening in Guantanamo is worthy of being called 'the first Auschwitz of the century'…"

Bush Administration Does Not Trust Its 'Impotent Homosexual Military'
"The increased security measures and the restrictions placed on the [Guantanamo] detainees expose the fear of the Muslim that dwells in the heart of the American fighter. These also reveal that the American leadership does not trust the abilities of its impotent and homosexual fighters, who fear for their lives, unlike the [Muslim] prisoners who persistently seek martyrdom. . ."[1]

[1] Al-Liwa (Lebanon), February 21, 2002.

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