[FOUNTAIN]Judging reality in the base at GuantanamoGuantanamo Bay in southern Cuba was the starting point for American “imperialism.”
When the United States began to expand its territory abroad and declared war against Spain in 1898, Guantanamo became the first foreign land occupied by the United States.
In the late 19th century, Cuba was under Spanish rule and was seeking the help of the United States to gain independence. During the war, Guantanamo became a strategic point in the Caribbean, the front yard of the United States.
Victory in the war granted the Philippines to the United States, and Cuba gained independence. In return, the United States received a lease on Guantanamo from Cuba and built a military base.
Guantanamo became famous when the military base was featured in a 1992 film, “A Few Good Men.” The title refers to the elite marines, but in the movie the marines are not depicted as a few good men.
Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Nathan Jessup, is a product of self-righteousness and obstinacy that goes beyond a soldier’s pride and desire for honor. He ordered “code red,” an illegal disciplinary hazing, for a soldier. When the soldier died, a young judge advocate general, played by Tom Cruise, was dispatched to investigate the death.
Colonel Jessup brazenly lied to the judge advocate general and accused him of being lax when the enemy was 400 yards away. Colonel Jessup’s malicious look and language are the symbol of group violence and moral insensitivity.
In reality, Guantanamo garnered international attention as some 600 Al Qaeda suspects captured in Afghanistan were imprisoned there.
The United States, which has held them in custody for more than two years despite the question of human rights infringement, recently released 100 of the captives. They were all repatriated to their homelands.
They insisted that they were physically and psychologically tortured, although Washington denied the claims, saying the detainees were treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
The situation reminds us of Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie. But in reality, there is no Tom Cruise investigating the case.
by Oh Byung-sang
The writer is the London correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.