I’m just about done with the Gitmo thing. I think I’ll let POUNDS have the last word on yesterday’s discussion, at least from my point of view. However, I did want to offer this e-mail, which I received over the past two days. It comes from the wife of a serviceman, and I think it provides a valuable perspective.
I post it here with permission of the author, with some edits to keep her identity confidential:
I have been reading your blog and have found it refreshing to find some of my same questions being raised. It’s hard at times living here to have non-liberal beliefs. I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to put stuff out there and stimulate thought and conversation. I tend to stay on the “quiet” side of things and not draw attention – hard to believe I know. But, with a husband in the military I don’t have a lot of common ground with the parents picking up their kids in Range Rovers slapped with Obama stickers.
Your Gitmo piece was interesting. There was a time when hubby was going to be deployed there for a year and went through some of the prep stuff for it. He shared just a few examples of what he could with me and it was enough. Most guards have no weapons, just a radio to call for help. The guard who was pulled into a call and repeatedly bashed between the wall and the cell door until he actually used the radio to defend himself and get free would surely have something to say on the subject. The inmates who threaten the families of the guards are routine.
The rights of US Citizens being extended to Gitmo detainees is beyond me. I don’t know what the answer is, wish I did, but blindly closing the facility and turning the infidel haters loose doesn’t seem to be it.
Anyhow, just wanted to give you a thumbs up and if we could keep this discussion off the blog I’d appreciate it… we’re still trying to blend in and lay low here in liberal land. It’s sad really we can’t be more open about it but we’d rather be careful and protect the kids. Years ago someone had drawn with pen on our front door jamb a small swastika – don’t know why but it still bothers hubby. He presumes it was a military thing as he would come and go to work in uniform.
Anyhow, Hubby is heading off to Afghanistan this summer so keep us in your thoughts.
Moving beyond Gitmo, I think one of the pertinent take-aways from this letter is that too many good people feel they need to avoid saying what they really believe because they’re afraid of ad hominem responses. On so many issues of the day, people shut down discussion by questioning the motives of their ideological opponents. (People on both the right and left are guilty of this, although, from my end, it feels like conservatives are called on the carpet for it a whole lot more often than liberals are.)
In any case, one of the reasons I enjoy these exchanges with POUNDS is that he’s always willing to engage the argument without insulting the person on the other side. If everyone in elected office were willing to do the same, I’d feel a whole lot more confident about our country’s future, regardless of which party holds power.
As it stands, I think we’ve got a long way to go. What’s more, it’d be nice if we actually started to go in that direction.