I keep reading and hearing that Barack Obama is thinking of reneging on his campaign pledge to close Gitmo, and the issue came up in this often wry PJTV discussion between Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin.
In light of the horrific events still unfolding in Mumbai, coupled with recently discovered plans to launch a terrorist attack against New York’s Penn Station, I think shutting down Gitmo would be a distinct no-no, and is not likely to be in the offing.
For readers who want to catch up on the Mumbai attacks, José Guardia has a veritable ton of links, and I highly recommend going to his post (which Glenn Reynolds linked earlier), and checking them out.
It’s a real horror show, and I hate to sound like a scold and say that America needed another wakeup call, but human nature is to forget what is unpleasant, and many Americans seem to have an emotional need to deny the war on terror out of existence the way they might use a remote to change an unappreciated TV channel. Big mistake.
Anyway, this report makes it 100% clear who it is the terrorists want dead. You and me, that’s who!

The Associated Press reports one of the rescued hostages told reporters he had seen many bodies inside the hotel. He did not give his name.
Indian TV, meanwhile, reports government officials fear the death toll at the Taj Mahal hotel could be high, with as many as 80-90 bodies inside. Some of the dead appear to have been killed by the gunmen, while others may have died in subsequent explosions and fires.
Among the bodies removed are those of Australian, Japanese and British nationals.
A senior U.S. State Department official told FOX News that it could not yet confirm whether any Americans are among the casualties.
Meanwhile, Indian police reportedly are negotiating with gunmen holding hostages at the ultra-orthodox Jewish Chabad Lubavitch Center.
There were unconfirmed reports that some of the hostages at the Oberoi hotel are Israeli nationals.

Bottom line:

The attackers specifically targeted Britons, Americans and Israelis at the hotels and restaurant, witnesses said.

Did we really need this reminder that we are still at war, and the enemy wants us dead?
On Thanksgiving?
According to this gruesome report, a lot of chef trainees were massacred:

Earlier, explosions rattled the nearby Taj Hotel, a 105-year-old city landmark on the waterfront, as the troops flushed out the last of the militants there. Fire and smoke plumed from an open window.
“The commandos are in control,” Dipak Dutta told NDTV news after being rescued. As the troops escorted him through the corridors, they told him not to look down at any of the bodies.
“A lot of chef trainees were massacred in the kitchen.”
At least six foreigners, including one Australian, a Briton, an Italian and a Japanese national were killed.
Those who survived told harrowing stories of close encounters.

At the risk of sounding like a fascist, my reaction is that Gitmo is too good for these murderers.
Anyway, despite his campaign pledge (made when it was forgotten by the voters that we are at war), I don’t think shutting it down will be at the top of Barack Obama’s priority list.
Of course, there’s always the question of what to tell the delusional anti-war activists who constitute Obama’s base. As José notes, 32% of the American voters favor closing Gitmo, and while that was before the Thanksgiving reminder, there always remains that stubbornly delusional hard core of true believers in what they want to believe without regard to truth. (What are they? The True WannaBelievers?)
They’re so delusional that maybe they have an emotional need to have the issues reframed for them. In that respect, I rather enjoyed the link José provided to a CNN story describing the Iraq War as a “humanitarian mission!” Said José,

YOU were right, Glenn; as soon as Obama got elected, the media would change its tune on Iraq.

Not that I’d expect CNN to credit Glenn Reynolds with the idea, but hey, I guess whatever works, right?
My suggestion is that they do a similar reframing job with Gitmo. However, I don’t think they should use the phrase “reeducation camp.” That sounds too orthodox Maoist, and old-fashioned. Perhaps in line with the peace-and-love Kumbaya theme, it could be called the “Guantanamo Interfaith Outreach Center and Work Study Hostel.”
Or if that’s too much of a wishy-washy mouthful, maybe the “Guantanamo Sensitivity Training Center.” By any standard, Islamist terrorists certainly have a lot to learn sensitivity-wise, and I think they need huge doses of um, therapy (possibly including “tough love” in recalcitrant cases). Not only are they are dreadfully sexist and ferociously anti-gay, but the number two man in Al Qaeda recently revealed deeply rooted racism when he hurled a racial insult at Barack Obama.
Furthermore, there’s obviously a glut of sensitivity trainers, who are wasting valuable time forcing people into training who don’t need it, like the college professor discussed here. How silly can we be, wasting such talent when the country needs them at Gitmo?
So let’s get on with the reframing.
MORE: Phyllis Chesler has a comprehensive analysis of the Mumbai news so far, and asks a good question:

The West and non-Muslims around the world, have chosen to treat each attack separately, and not as part of a global war. What else will Islamic fundamentalists have to do to be dealt with as the enemy army they truly are?

I don’t know, but it strikes me that sitting around waiting to find out what’s on the next episode has not worked very well.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all!
Your comments are appreciated.
For ongoing developments, don’t miss José’s latest roundup of innumerable news reports (which Glenn linked) — including one about two Americans from Virginia being killed, as well as five hostages at the Jewish center.