Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: Obama: Free the Guantanamo Bay Prisoners to Get Peace

Why doesn't the media speak of those at Guantanamo Bay as America’s enemies with whom the US needs to make friends? How about ths US offering freedom to prisoners in exchange for their promises to abandon violence?
Published: Friday, August 17, 2012 11:50 AM



The Western World is waiting for what’s coming next regarding Iran, so perhaps now is the time for President Obama to show his leadership. We know the president has been outspoken against Israel striking Iran, and he’s removed troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere – so there’s no “American imperialism” taking place.

Maybe it’s time for America to make some unique moves in the interest of peace, as is so often demanded of Israel.

Maybe America should free all the Taliban prisoners it holds around the world, or open the doors of Guantanamo Bay, in exchange for Iran stopping any enrichment of uranium and continued nuclear building. As the world has often said to Israel - why not let the poor misunderstood Islamic "militants" go? Indeed, why doesn't the media doesn’t speak of those at Guantanamo Bay as America’s enemies with whom the US needs to make friends?

Mr. President, Maybe it’s time to realize that there is no military solution to the problem of terrorism, and there’s simply a need to seek a diplomatic solution. "No Justice, No Peace," as they say. Feel their pain, understand their needs, and invite Iranian leaders for a meeting at the White House.

How about offering freedom to prisoners in exchange for their promises to abandon violence? Doesn’t military force serve a futile role in the post-modern universe? It is passé. It is archaic.

Surely, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad would relish being a hero in the Muslim world, where many there feel America is insufficiently sensitive to their needs.

Perhaps they truly want peace - why not negotiate with them? Perhaps China and Russia will see these moves as genuine efforts towards peace, and become friendlier to America?

Perhaps solving this issue will allow America true peace. President Obama will heroically be able to avoid the “cycle of violence” (one for which Israel is often blamed.) There won’t be any retaliatory bombs to injure innocent children and civilians alongside “terrorist activists.” Wouldn’t want to enrage the rest of the world and make the victims seek revenge.

Maybe America should declare a unilateral cease-fire, and simply say blessed is the peacemaker. Remember Mahatma Gandhi - the entire world will support America and congratulate America.

All we are saying is give peace a chance. This would be peace, salaam, shalom. Obama – you’ll be awarded a second Nobel Peace Prize in recognition.

Do not allow yourself to be drawn into the gutter of retaliation. Violence never achieves anything. History has no lessons. History is the dead past. Demonstrate your humanity and eliminate war – you can have peace partners in Iran and achieve lofty goals. Isn’t this what you and the world demand from Israel?

Of course the above is ridiculous – as too is this desire of Israel to continue giving in to people who want to kill them. As Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote, in an essay called “Peace”: “A noisy whining is now being set up by a chorus of ‘peace seekers’ who aim to achieve (by preaching exclusively to Jews) conciliation with the Arabs. It is difficult to free oneself from a feeling of disgust.”

America realizes about Iran as with terrorists: one cannot make peace when the other side doesn’t want peace.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency, and is an active philanthropist.