Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Omar Khadr's punishment

I've written here about Canada's most famous prisoner, Omar Khadr.

Terry Glavin, here provides a incisive explanation of the difficulty:

Vows of that sort also explain this past weekend's gatherings of anti-semites, 911 Truthers, and Taliban supporters among the Khadr family and their hangers-on. To read the press, you'd think the slogan-shouting parties were organized to protest Ottawa's lack of enthusiasm for the return of Omar Khadr to Canada - which, as the Khadrs themselves admit, is a place that serves merely as a way station, "a country of money and business," a "false civilization," and a "dirty swamp." But the demonstrations' main purpose was, as is always the case with these events, a propaganda exercise, because "you can use such incidents to educate and mobilise people" in the struggle against "Zionism" and "imperialism."

In broad terms, on the question of Omar and his return to Canada, I'm in generally agreement with these sentiments. But as for attending any rally organized by these manipulative and reactionary louts, I'd sooner put pins in my eyes.

With these proclamations in mind, it's kinda hard to take seriously the sympathetic outpourings of a Canadian woman who tells us that "The story of Omar Khadr is extremely sad." and goes on to try and extract pity for the poor young man on the pretext that he was but 16 years old, a mere child, when he threw a grenade on an American soldier, killing him. Never mind that a Canadian citizen had no business throwing a grenade on an ally soldier fighting in the same war as Canada does and against the same enemies.

I'm afraid that justice is not well-served when he spends his days in an American prison. As long as he is there, he will continue to enjoy the benefit of a doubt in the minds of people who profess their care for civil rights.

His prolonged stay in that American prison canvasses for him a wrong and perverted kind of sympathy, from which he may gain undeserved benefit, if and when he is brought before a court of law in Canada.


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