I don't know why it took me so long to connect these two, but I finally did. It's looking more and more that what Margaret Thatcher did in imprisoning Irish dissidents in the H-Blocks, is now happening in Guantanamo Bay. Only this time it's not the British running the show.
There are some differences and nuances which make the two appear to be unrelated, and the Americans are force feeding the hunger strikers (by forcibly placing tubes in their noses in order to MAKE them eat), the results are similar. I recall many throughout the world disgusted with what was happening with the prisoners right outside of Belfast.
Lately I've been hearing similar grumblings here in the US and abroad. After half hearted attempts to close Guantanamo went nowhere, folks are getting fed up with watching the 160 (or so) men still there endure being imprisoned for over 10 years without being charged with a crime. 6 of these folks have already succeeded in taking their own lives.
I don't think the government wants the kind of bad PR that Britain had in the 70's and 80's, or do they? It's kind of confusing really. You always hear politicians spouting off about the "allies" we can count on, but it's looking like those days are coming to an end. I'm thinking that the black eye the US is getting from Guantanamo, will soon be worse than the world view of the Thatcher administration in 1982.