Monday, July 8, 2013

Mos Def Force Feeding - Guantanamo Bay

The rapper, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), has just released a video in which he undergoes a force feeding procedure supposedly similar to that currently being employed at Guantanamo Bay. I have very little interest in Mos Def's commentary. His efforts represent the worst form of political populism; a poorly informed entertainer pushing a political narrative. Mos Def has done this before - in 2009, he offered an embarrassingly weak endorsement of nuclear disarmament (and suffered the intellectual wrath of Christopher Hitchens). Now he's aligned himself with those who believe that Guantanamo should be closed. Fair enough- the prison at Guantanamo Bay is an important issue of public interest. It deserves debate. My issue with Mos Def is that he only offers one side of the story. He neglects to examine why the US has a compelling interest in preventing enemy combatants from returning to the battlefield. I support the continued operation of Guantanamo but I recognize the complexity of the debate. Conversely, Mos Def is pontificating in a realm of intellectual absurdity.

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