Thursday, 22 January 2009

Obama day 1, down with Guantánamo

I will not lie. The announcement that the Guantánamo 'correctional facility' will be closed within the year made my week.
What are you so happy about, someone asked me today, closing down Guantánamo is purely symbolic.
I would disagree.
On two counts.
It is not just symbolic. And symbols matter.
Empires rise and fall by their symbols. People fight and die for them.

Guantánamo has become a symbol. A symbol of everything the neo-con Bush regime stood for, a symbol of the assumption that liberty and security are mutually exclusive. Guantánamo is to many a symbol of everything that was wrong with the Bush era.
And Obama is using this very symbol to tell us that era is over.
Now let the real work begin.

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