It is ironic that Washington hailed Tuesday's release of the final three Uyghurs from its Guantanamo detention center as a "significant milestone." It took the US one decade to put an official end to its wars in the Middle East, and much longer to deal with their notorious legacies. Guantanamo is one among them, with 155 prisoners still held in this "hell on Earth."
According to media reports, leaked dossiers for the three Uyghurs sent to Slovakia show that at least as early as in 2003, the US military had determined the three were "not affiliated with Al Qaeda or a Taliban leader" and that they should be released." Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon's chief spokesman on detention issues, has praised the US government for "having worked diligently to generate resettlement opportunities for these three individuals." But such "diligence" means 10 years' extended detention.
The excuse given by the US Department of State for being unable to quickly transfer the Uyghur detainees back to China is that this would not remedy the American error of detention, since they might be mistreated and tortured by the Chinese government.
This, according to the Americans, is why they spent more than a decade looking for possible new homes for the Uyghurs.
As the Americans themselves have refused to free the Uyghur prisoners to the US and portrayed them as a "threat," all 22 Uyghur detainees from Guantanamo have now been resettled to six different countries. Analysts believe Slovakia finally agreed to resettle the three Uyghurs due to economic considerations - resettling them means getting fund from the US. But at a time when the Americans denounce the Guantanamo detention facility for exhausting resources and harming US standing in the world, such funding is already drying out.
Washington's double standards on the anti-terrorism issue still remain stubborn. Following the suicide bombings earlier this week, Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson of the US State Department, said on Monday "we condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Volgograd." But concerning the terrorist attack on the same day in Shache county of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Harf said in a statement that "We continue to call on the Chinese government to permit its citizens to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully and without fear of retribution. We also call on Uyghurs to not resort to violence, for the Chinese security forces to exercise restraint."
Washington's double-standard approach to terrorism, together with its paranoia on Xinjiang or Tibet related issues, has damaging, erosive effects on international anti-terrorism endeavors.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence yet that the Americans are going to make any change.