Hey, fans of questionable claims of moral equivalence


What do you have to say about comparing a retired general, author, speaker and respected parliamentarian to “a member of the Khadr family”? More or less appropriate than allegedly (but not actually) comparing violations of international law by the United States and Canada to “using adolescents with Down’s Syndrome to blow up kids in a pet market”?

UPDATE: Poilievre’s exact statement in the House of Commons today:

Mr. Speaker, Omar Khadr is a believed terrorist and Taliban fighter. He is charged with throwing a grenade and killing a medic. Fighting along with the same Taliban terrorists that are killing our troops is an attack against us all.

Now the Liberals want to bring Khadr to Canada. Yesterday a Liberal senator compared the Canadian government to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The secretary of state did not.

He also suggested that Canada’s refusal to bring Khadr to this country is just as bad as strapping explosives onto a handicapped girl and sending her to blow up civilians.

This is the kind of scorching rhetoric that one would expect from the Khadr family. To see it adopted by a Liberal senator is truly shocking.

Following this outburst Canadians want to know where the Liberal leader stands. Will he rise now and call on his senator to apologize?


Hey, fans of questionable claims of moral equivalence

  1. What have we bcome? I used to be proud of being in the Armed Forces. Now I’m not sure that I want to be associated with this ‘government’ if one can truthfully call it that.

  2. I used to think of the General as a real Canadian hero however after watching CPAC I simply could not believe my ears hearing what he had to say calling canadians and americans just as bad as the terrorists! I believe the General has let his emotions get the better of him with this issue and can not understand how he could possibly stretch logic to the point that he made. Kenney was indeed baitning him but then gave the General an opportunity to retract his statements but he didn’t. I am so very sad to see this day and am afraid I would support the removal of the General from not only the Liberal Party but the Senate as well as it was not only extremely stupid but it also hurt the very issue he is so concerned about. A very sad day for Canada and that is for sure.

  3. It’s nonsense. First, Dallaire wasn’t going that far. His point was that once you start down the road of violating international law, it all starts to get hazy, and it’s hard to tout our moral superiority with one hand while violating the law with the other. But of course the Conservatives take it to the extreme. It’s like here in the US, when you can’t say “maybe we shouldn’t torture” without being accused of loving terrorists and hating freedom (and puppies).

    And, of course, Poilievre is falling into the usual mold as well by saying Khadr IS a terrorist. Of course. Because we all know everyone held at Gitmo is unquestionably guilty and unquestionably guilty don’t deserve the full protection of the law. I use that to get out of jury duty all the time: “Well, we don’t charge people with crimes unless they did them.”

  4. But let me add that the Tories can get away with it because the masses love unthinking analysis and soundbites. All the people saying “bad Romeo” are either a) Tories or b) People who haven’t actually bothered to read what Dallaire said.

    Which is something the Tories would never exploit.

  5. I think that all of those who have actually seen/read what Dallaire said agree with him. The Conservatives are trying to take advantage of a soundbite to align those Canadians who didn’t see the entire exchange against Dallaire in order to take the heat off them over their handling of Khadrs case.

  6. Dallaire’s the concern troll.

    Why a guy who failed to challenge his superiors in order to save hundreds of thousands of people, then has a substance-fueled complete mental breakdown over his (deserved) guilt in the matter, and makes a mint off of a book expiating himself, can later qualify as Senator material is really beyond me. Dallaire has no moral authority to chide anyone, other than the guy he sees in the mirror every morning.

    Only in Canada…

  7. I’m just disgusted as can be with this response from the Conservatives, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I agree with Miranda that most who saw exactly what Mr. Dallaire said agree with what he said. The fact that the Conservatives would be so willing to attack the integrity of a former General, let alone one who has seen what Mr. Dallaire has seen and experienced, just speaks to their disgustingly lack of moral character. When people like Mr. Dallaire speak, people listen and people like Mr. Dallaire don’t use the words that he used lightly. Mr. Dallaire knows the impact of his statements, and I doubt that he would have ran off half-cocked and said what he said, unlike the Conservatives who attack him, who will say anything or smear anyone who would day to oppose them.

  8. Dallaire sounds like a man that would throw my body onto the pier of moral relativism.

  9. J Cline,

    Dallaire did indeed ‘challenge’ his superiors over the Rwandan situation, and what did it change?

    Did you actually mean to suggest that the General, in that case, should have reacted in an insubordinate manner and followed a freelance stratgey? Which would have changed, given the low manpower he had at his disposal in Rwanda, exactly what?

    btw – The General was and is spot on. Either you are for the universal application of human rights or you are not.

    One of the two of us is, J Cline, and one of us isn’t. Don’t tax yourself too much trying to figure which is which.

  10. I would be more concerned if the present government spoke well of Mr. Dallaire, for his sake, right? A government that will stoop to almost anything for political expediency.

  11. Frank and other moral “equivalentists” can pound sand. We are not al-Qaida and never will be. What an idiotic, ethically-confused, self-hating idea!

    The Geneva Convention rules on “child soldiers” were drafted to address post-WWII concerns over uniformed, drafted teenagers such as the Hitler Youth units. I seriously doubt there would be much concern on the original drafters’ intent over a kid out of uniform who voluntarily picks up a grenade and kills someone in cold blood. They’d be even less concerned about Khadr knowing he was Canadian and chose to kill an ally.

    In WWII, Khadr would have been executed on the field. But what did the Americans do? They treated his wound and offered him a fair trial. His lawyer, the same one squalling loudly on Khadr’s behalf all over the media — is an U.S. Navy officer, for God’s sake.

    And this is equivalent to what terrorists do?

    Would Khadr have sought medical aid for the U.S. soldier he killed? Of course not, you morons.

    We try juveniles as adults when they commit adult crimes — such as murder. What Khadr did is murder. He’s not a child in mind, because teenagers are perfectly capable of understanding right from wrong. He’s not a soldier, having never worn a uniform. He’s not a victim, having done his deeds quite voluntarily. Khadr’s loyalty to his family’s al-Qaida commitment makes him a terrorist. No one made him chuck that grenade.

    Who is the terrorist?

    – A 15 year-old, mentally-competent ideologue who deliberately killed a U.S. soldier?
    – Or the fifth-columnists here at home who deliberately sympathize with him in opposition to their own country and allies?

    There’s your moral equivalence. And Dallaire is a broken-down hack who became a Senator only because some bleeding heart idiot felt sorry for him. Every time he opens his righteously-sad mouth it’s a pity-party for someone. Fact is, Dallaire’s a failure, not a Canadian national icon.

    Want to admire a general? Try Rick Hillier, who gave pride back to the Canadian Forces. Romeo Dallaire gave them shame.

  12. Speaking of Omar Khadr first off….if little Johnny doesn’t like his surroundings then little Johnny should have choosen his playmates a lot better.

    As for the former General, he’s speaking in over the top hyperbole and Canadians expect far more from government officials. If he can’t handle the position…..resign.

  13. ummm TH … Government officials seaking in over the top hyberole? That can’t handle their positon?

    That would seem to better describe most of the current cabinet members, who routinely respond with hysterical attacks when someone asks them to do their job.

  14. Perhaps Toby….but it’s Dallaire that is currently in question comparing MY country to a radical terrorist organization that slaughtered thousands of innocents on 9-11. For this article, that is where the hysteria starts.

  15. Mr Dallaire is making a valid point. How can we as a nation be critical of other countries or groups for their lack of habeas corpus, due process, open judicial system, and respect for laws while we ignore our own legal responsibilities with respect to these pillars of civilization? Such moral relativism deprives us of the moral high ground that we claim. While it may not bring us down to the level of Al Queda, it certainly makes us little better than most Banana republics.

  16. Actually sturm if you`ve been paying attention to the case, you`d know there is doubt that Omar actually killed anyone. Omar`s defense lawyers were inadvertently given exculpatory evidence that create doubt about the facts of the case and draw into question the veracity of reports that Omar threw a grenade. I`m not claiming Omar is innocent, but the Kangaroo court at gitmo is hardly a valid forum for a trial.

  17. Dan your contradicting yourself. (He is either guilty or innocent, not sorta-kinda-maybe and blaming this kinda court or that kinda court is a weak arguement.)

    The exculpatory evidence is the belief of another person still being alive in the compound.

    If i remember the original news report correctly, Upon entering the compound the unit was doing a sweep when a grenade was thrown killing one soldier and wounding another.

    The unit rushed in the “other person” by the news account was already laying on the ground moaning. And was then executed by the unit involved upon entering the compound, then Omar was shot.

    Does it raise the question, “Is Omar the one responsible for throwing the grenade?”

    Why, yes it does, but it nether outright absolves nor convicts him either of being the one who throw it.

    Let alone explain who-why-what Omar was doing inside this compound to begin with.

    The original report also stated Omar wanted the soldier to “shoot him”.

    Expalin if you can to me, why would an innocent 15 year old boy want a soldier to shoot him, especially after just going thru a firefight like that?

  18. Sturm- Being brought up in that sort of family makes it only the more sad. One could argue that it was indocrination that forced him into Al-Quaeda- something which is far more effective then any number of bullets.

  19. Don’t the Conservatives just hate it when a man like Dallaire shows courage and integrity, while by comparison they are a bunch of whiney snivelling man-babies.

  20. The joys of an anonymous internet. Will all the sock puppets please stand up? Oh wait, you already have.

    Has everybody missed the fact that even if Khadr is a terrorist, and even if his juvenile status isn’t a factor, it still shouldn’t be Gitmo and the US military tribunals trying him, the Americans shouldn’t have any jurisdiction whatsoever over his case, he’s a non-US citizen who allegedly committed a crime in a non-US country. Our government should be working like hell to get him out of their hands.

  21. I agree it is sad Marie-Claire.

    That the international precedent of child soldiers under 18 getting a free pass during war, has a dangerous aspect no one seems to want to touch on.

    It implies that anyone under 18 can goto a warzone and commit crimes and get away with it. Because once they are caught they can claim they are a child soldier, and thereby absolve themselves of the onus of responsibility of their actions.

    Since when do we allow any sort of “Free pass” when it comes to a crime of such nature, age or location is irrelevant (imho), murder is murder.

    As to T.Thwim’s post:
    He was caught by US personal in the US’s jurisdiction, he is therefore thier prisoner.

    The same as Saddam Hussein was found by a Canadian, arrested by a US and British special service personal and then transferred to the Hague by the US goverment upon Canadian request.

    “sock puppets” … lmao right!

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