The sheer irony. I remember reading the autobiography of a East German dissident in the late 90's.
At one time during his imprisonment he went on hunger strike and was force fed the same way for 6 months.
Its the old conundrum.
'A tyrant dies, his rule ends.
A martyr dies, his rule begins' - Kierkegaard
Force feed them and they live long enough to have their demands eventually met and set free, only to become a footnote of history.
Let them starve to death and they will be the rallying cry of a legion of followers for decades to come.