Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dallaire Takes on Harper Over Khadr's GITMO Detention

There is a need for serious political engagement on the Omar Khadr case by Canada with the Americans. There is also a serious political engagement emerging within Canada between Prime Minister Harper and Senator Romeo Dallaire.

Harper ‘s position is the Khadr case is an American justice issue and not a political concern about a Canadian citizen and child soldier. Given the political lens that Harper uses to see the world he comes off like an appeaser of the Bush White House. Our Prime Minister and the last two Liberal Prime Ministers all seem indifferent to the plight of tortured Canadian citizens like Arar and Khadr who are just so much collateral damage in keeping Bush and Cheney happy.

We are in a defining moment for Canada domestically and internationally because of how we engage politically protect and treat our citizens who get caught up in the consequences of new terrorist threats. In a fight for the moral and political high ground between Stephen Harper and Romeo Dallaire on these issues, my money is on Dallier.

He has “Shaken Hands with the Devil” in the Rwanda genocide. Now he must feel he is shaking his fist at a new devil in the Bush/Cheney GITMO now too.


  1. "In a fight for the moral and political high ground between Stephen Harper and Romeo Dallier on these issues, my money is on Dallier."

    Seeing that Harper has long given up any notion of taking the moral or political high ground on any issue, I have to agree, except it would be Romeo Dallaire with whom my bet would rest.

  2. Harper did do the Residential School apology.

  3. I stand corrected: he did, and against the howls and shrieks of some of his less-enlightened party members.

  4. Anonymous8:41 pm

    We should do absolutely nothing with Khadr until he is tried. Period.

  5. Anonymous12:00 pm

    Calling Bush and Cheney the "devils" does little to advance political discourse. Are still in high school?

    If someone had allegedly attacked a Canadian soldier (with a gernade), there is absolutely no way that Canada should give that person to the United States even if he or she were a US citizen. The same logic should apply to the Khadr situation.

    It is sad that partisans like you have to try score political points at the expense of this young man.

  6. Anon at Noon - you miss the issues here. Metaphors are powerful political frames, just ask Karl Rove. The George Bush Presidency is obviously bedeviled these days. Dubya has a lower aproval rating these days than Richard Nixon ever did - even in his darkest days of Watergate. OUCH!!!

    On your other point, consider that four Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan at the hands of American "friendly fire" pilots who did not follow procedures and bombed and killed our boys.

    They were tried at home and virtually exonerated by the US Military Court system. Perhaps we should have insisted they be tried in Canada based on your logic. There were lessons to be learned by Canada about the American military justice system under those tragic circumstances for sure.

    This Khadr situation is now all about politics and the role of our government to protect the rights of a Canadian citizen who is innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Because the American Military Justice System (a new oxymoron like militry intelligence)and the American Executive Branch (Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove to be specific)see themselves beyond and above the Rule of Law even when told they are not by their own Supreme Court. Rove recently refused to show up at a Congressional Hearing,ignoring a subpoena. But he found the time to appear at the Fox Television Network media shindig to promote his new role as a Fox political commentator a few days later.

    Read the lead story in today's Globe and Mail for context and content on why Khadr's case is purely political. Three successive Prime Ministers have let him down and the rest of Canadians too as a result.

    Bring Omar home to be tried in open court where he will have the right to legal counsel who can the adequately represent him. His lawyers need to see all the evidence and to meet with their client...which is not the case in the American Military Justice System right now.

    Omar is entitled to a fair trial which is proving to be impossible at GITMO.

    I see this as political but not partisan because I blame two former Liberal PKs and governments who also betrayed their duty to protect the human and legal rights of a citizen too. With new evidence that the Canadian courts have forced to be made public, the current Prime Miinister has no choice but to demand Omar's return to Canada. Then he can face a real trial with the protections he is entitled to and under the rule of law.

  7. Anonymous10:42 am

    What was Omar even doing in war torn country? Canada does not have an obligation to bail out people who are citizens of convenience, no matter how many bleeding heart liberals want them to.

    Good luck in the next election. Here's a slogan: "Bring our terrorists home"...sounds very familiar to Dion's idea on Afghan prisoners.

  8. Anonymous8:01 pm

    I would take our leader over a liberal hack.

  9. Anonymous6:42 pm

    The Liberals allowed the torture to happen and now, out of political expendiency are opposed to it.

    There was a recent nanos poll indicating that Cdns are not moved by this terrorist's pleas.