My friend Brandon, attended S.C.O.N.A. (Student Conference on National Affairs) here at our school, Texas A&M University. The following is what Brandon learned. It’s interesting and I feel it important enough to share, so enjoy…
The theme of this years conference was U.S. Intervention in Problematic Areas around the World. Brandon heard a speech by Major General Douglas Stone of the Marine Corps. Major Gen. Stone serves as the head of the Marine Corps Reserve and the Marine Corps North. In his speech, Stone talked a lot about his time at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.
Stone spoke to a room of approximately 150 people with about 75% being members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a majority military crowd.
When Major Gen. Stone was assigned to Guantanamo, he realized he needed to establish credibility among the Muslim detainees. So he studied Islam. Stone has read the Koran and various other holy books of the Islam faith from cover to cover. In his speech he discussed how the common conception of Islam today is not the real Islam. From his studies, extremism is not what being a Muslim is all about. Nowhere in the Koran is there anything about killing infidels.
He then spoke about the “two phases of Guantanamo” There was the “before Gen. Stone” and “after Gen. Stone” He was very confident that the Detention Center genuinely changed after they implanted a new policy.
The new policy was, instead of interrogating/torturing, they decided to listen to & then educate the detainees. They gave all the prisoners a copy of the Koran and once they convinced them it was not changed for an American perspective, the detainees accepted the books. They taught the prisoners the truth about what their faith was actually about.
Our brave men and women of the Marine Corps then turned this failure of a dentention center into a facility as nice as any normal American prison… with bonuses. The detainees were allowed to play and interact, attend daily classes, and eat good food. Our military then began to bring in the prisoners families from the middle east.
One cool story Brandon heard, then passed onto me was that of Gen. Petraeus’ visit to the facility. A person in the Middle East is brought up to hate the U.S. President and General David Petraeus; he is the one guy they would love to kill. Well, Major Gen. Stone decided to bring him in to Gitmo and introduce him to all the detainees. So Petraeus came and interacted with everybody. He sat with them and learned with them Then at the end of the day, the prisoners began chanting his name, “Petraeus! Petraeus! Petraeus!”
Now here is my friend Brandon’s perspective… “A lot of people might think that Major Gen. Douglas Stone came and simply fabricated all of this with the intent of improving public opinion. But my question is, why would a United States Major General tell a blatant lie to an audience full of this country’s future military?”
The following are my thoughts on all of this…
Yes, Guantanamo has improved. And Yes, I still believe it should be shut down.
We must learn this lesson… The United States of America is and always will be amendable. If our government is functioning well, “We the people…” must work to make it better. If our government is functioning unconstitutionally or poorly, “We the people…” must work to make it better. Circumstance should make no difference in our desire to work and make America better.
So may we continue the virtuous work of ending abortion, bringing Africa to it’s full potential through continuing creative aid, and guiding Guantanamo Bay detention center to it’s end.
May “We the people…” stand for human rights no matter how young or old, location or circumstance.
May we all be eagerly ready and vigorously involved in the hope that transcends generations; the hope that is God blessing America.