Canadians on Khadr


New Harris-Decima polling.

Fifty-four per cent of respondents to the Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey said Khadr, held by U.S. authorities for more than six years at Guantanamo Bay on murder and other charges, should be brought back to Canada.

That included 38 per cent who said he should face the courts in Canada, while 16 per cent said he should be released and placed in a monitoring and rehabilitation program.

Twenty-nine per cent of those questioned said Khadr should be dealt with through the U.S. court system.


Canadians on Khadr

  1. 29%. Sounds proportionate to CPC support, although 10% more must favour his return. Ah well, what do people know? Apparently people support the budget, too.

    • Then I should hope the Liberals champion the cause of Omar Khadr loudly and at every possible opportunity. What could they possibly lose?

      • I submit that you assume too much when you think that there are no CPC supporters who count themselves among those who can put their personal feelings about specific surnames aside and support those principles on which our society is based, like the rule of law.
        I also submit that they find themselves not so inclined to reveal this information to the likes of you, for reasons that seem pretty obvious.

      • Well, I don’t know what counts as “loudly”, and what counts as “every opportunity” but I don’t think Ignatieff has been exactly equivocal on this.

        It is incumbent on the Conservative government to ensure that as a citizen of Canada, Mr. Khadr is swiftly repatriated to Canada, where his case can be brought forward in a fair and impartial system that will respect his rights… the government must ensure Mr. Khadr’s rights as a Canadian citizen. I am calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to work with the Obama Administration to facilitate Mr. Khadr’s return to Canada on an urgent basis.

        The repatriation of Mr. Khadr would form Canada’s contribution to a full and final closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.” (emphasis added).

        As I said, one might quibble about how “loudly” or how often the Liberals (and Ignatieff in particular) are calling for Khadr’s swift return, but it’s at least perfectly clear that they’re calling for his swift return.

  2. “Twenty-nine per cent of those questioned said Khadr should be dealt with through the U.S. court system.”

    Funny how times change. Five years ago that would have been the far-out, Chomsky-left position and the Raphael Alexanders favoured torturing the guy to death. The ground shifts, but it still comes down to how much gratuitous suffering you want to inflict on somebody for a “crime” committed as a 15-year-old. Apparently a lot, just because it’s fun to really hate.

  3. Hey J@ck you must be on a big high right now, your lad Obama is in to shut down US markets to Canadian products, the budget is in to stimulate SFA and drown us into a never ending debt, the liberals are rising in Quebec and Harper is unpopular. Why not put the screws to to folks who don’t subscribe to the victimhood of Mr Khadr. There are millions of 15 year olds in Canada and around the world who know exactly what they are doing and who they are doing it to. He was raised in Canada so he is not a foreigner to how we live here, how we treat everyone (under the law at least) equally and that we have no time for extremest religious zelots of any type. When you take off from Canada to fight in for the side that is against us and is violently against everything we stand for, then you should lose your rights as a CC (Canadian of Convieniance).

    He was captured in Afghanistan by the Americans. As far as I’m concerned he can be tried by the US or by Afghanistan authorities. If you want him back here so bad, you and your friends should easily be able to raise the funds to get him back, pay for his court costs and costs to house and put clothes on his back.

    • Can we ship you out to Guantanamo in exchange, Don? You’re a Canadian of Convenience in my books.

    • Try him in that paragon or a US military court system! Better hope you don’t wind up there buddy!

    • to every single Canadian product.

    • “There are millions of 15 year olds in Canada and around the world who know exactly what they are doing and who they are doing it to.”

      Funny, but that’s exactly why I always figured that raising the age of consent to 16 was kinda silly.

    • “As far as I’m concerned he can be tried by the US or by Afghanistan authorities…”

      Well, I think most Canadians would have no problem with Khadr being tried by U.S. authorities. The problem is, it’s seven years later, and even his trial before a military commission (a dubious process, but at least some sort of process) had yet to even begin. Even if you leave to one side the “child soldier” argument, the problem isn’t so much “we shouldn’t let the Americans try him” as it is “the Americans seem incapable of tying him in any system that would even be approved (by their Supreme Court) in the U.S.”.

      The problem is that it seems abundantly clear that Khadr could never actually be convicted of anything in an actual U.S. court, and frankly there are grave doubts as to whether he could even have been convicted under the biased-towards-the-prosecution military tribunals that the Americans set up at Gitmo (and the suggestion is that even were he convicted under such a system, the Supreme Court would never rule such a conviction be constitutional).

      If Khadr were facing justice at the hands of the American justice system, there really wouldn’t be a problem for the majority of Canadians, I suspect. The problem is that the Americans have been holding Khadr indefinitely without trial precisely because it’s going to be exceedingly difficult (if not downright impossible) to actually convict him of anything in any system that would pass even a rudimentary sniff test. It’s not even “guilty until proven innocent”. In a way, it’s worse than that. It’s “incarcerated until we can jury-rig a system in which we have a snowball’s chance of finding you guilty”. Worse still, the position of the Bush administration was that even if an inmate at Gitmo were found not guilty, the Americans would STILL hold that person indefinitely at their own discretion (making even the jury-rigged “trials” a moot point).

      The problem isn’t “Are the Americans capable of giving Khadr a fair trial?’ Of course they’re capable of such. The question is “Are the Americans remotely interested in giving Khadr a fair trial, given the unlikelihood of a conviction in such a circumstance?”. And it’s not just a question we’re struggling with, as it would appear that the Americans themselves aren’t sure of the answer either.

      • I happen to disagree, if you look into all the evidence it’s a rather good case, which is one reason why he ended up in Guantanamo in the first place. But the fact is, the leftist judges on the supreme court are the ones that decided to hold up the proceedings, to replace them with something else. Additionally, Khadr’s own lawyers have wasted much time challenging the legality of it all. That is why it has been taking so long. And now that Obama has delayed things indefinitely, it will take even longer.

  4. This topic really brings out the shriekiness in the wingnuts.

    • It’s simple math: multiply the “law & order” shriek by the “soft on terror” shriek by the “brown people are contemptible” shriek and pretty soon you’re talking real fascism.

      • I was going to say you forgot the “afraid of children” shriek, but then I wondered if you factored it in as a subset of “law and order”?

      • J@ck and Ti-Guy certainly have a nice little chat room here. They get to pontificate amongst themselves and with a few journalists who think they care about what they say. Keep living the dream lads.

        • Yet another poll goes by that didn’t seek the opinions of reflexively, diffusely angry Canadians. No wonder you’re so upset, Don.

        • Hey, try answering my posts and we’ll see how far you get, Don.

          • Why bother, you have your opinion, I have mine. I shall leave it as that. As for me going to Gitmo, what for? Have I waged war against Canada? Have I raised funds and provided aid to known terrorist organizations? Have I held back my taxes? Nope and I doubt that you have as well. As for Mr Khadr, well I will grant you that he has spent as much time in prison as any convicted murderer in Canada has so they might as well let him go. I just as soon see that he doesn’t return here, unless its to live in your basement.

          • You don’t get it, Don. You don’t need to have committed a crime to be sent to Gitmo. You just have to irritate the wrong people, like King Me, or have an envious neighbour who wishes you ill and describes you as a terrorist; after the tenth waterboarding session, when you’re reduced to singing the Mickey Mouse theme song as your “confession,” they just might repatriate you, because they’d grown tired of you. King Me might lobby to keep you there, of course, or strip you of your passport — just ’cause I don’t like you. Why do you want reasons, suddenly? You’re an enemy of the state, Don. There’s no recourse. There’s no appeal. You’re just meat on a stick. And I don’t argue with people who don’t have any rights. If you don’t have any rights you probably did something to lose them, right? Hmm? Well, just don’t drag your tearful family in front of the cameras, chanting “Don Come Home” or some such sob-fest. We’ve learned that your family can’t be trusted, especially about you.

          • JM
            I can see it now, yrs from now people like us will look at shocking documentary evidence of these out-rages that no-one was really aware of back then. Such a pity, we’ll just have to do our best to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Except it somehow always does. Orwell was right, brown people are invisible!

          • kc — re: Orwell, whose face I’ve appropriated rather hubristically, but who is one of my favourite writers — I think what people forget about the struggle against fascism of the 30’s and 40’s is that there were lots of fascist sympathisers in the West. People who cheered Mussolini when he dropped Abyssinians out of airplaines, people who cheered Hitler’s crushing of the German left. Anything was justifiable in their eyes which reduced the risk of “Bolshevism.” And if the Germans had won the war, the people who took power in our Western countries (if not in the lands of Breathing Room) would not have been Gestapo colonels but rather our own home-grown right-wingers. There would have been tyranny, secret police, the whole nine yards of totalitarianism, but it would not have looked foreign. Moreover, as under Communist totalitarianism, wide swaths of the public would have happily accepted it. Whatever psychological impulse allowed such people to accept totaliarianism is still with us, though thankfully in a reduced form. If we honour the Canadian dead of WWII, we must continue to keep that impulse, and its exponents, in check, even if we can’t seem to find a way to prevent it — perhaps owing to the nature of a technological society, in which many people are deprived of a sense of purpose and thus eager for some form of revenge. I do hope, though, that we can find our way around this problem in the future.

          • JM
            Not sure what i really think as regards the future. The human need to be right is always with us. Look how people line up, usually into 2 groups on any given issue. And yet people are capable of such exquisite acts of self-sacrifice that never fail to humble me. Orwell was one of my great heroes too. Not because he was always right, but he had such judgement and personal courage. Many on the left hated him because he refused to accept their hypocracy and petty cant.
            I think of history too. I’ve been in Sachsenhausen and it left a mark on me that will not easily fade. Still i worry that the thin veneer of the law is all that holds many back. Yr arguement for respect for the law rang true in all respects.

        • They get to pontificate amongst themselves and with a few journalists who think they care about what they say.

          Don’t be so churlish. Anyway, I know for a fact that journalists don’t care what anyone, except other journalists, says.

  5. Oh I get it J@ck. Gitmo is a crappy place, and people are there because they picked the wrong side at the wrong time.

    It’s funny that you know all the buzz words of being the oppressor. Is that because you are you cannot wait to be in a position of power so that you be the ass kicker to the likes of me? You say that I am the hater, well there seems to be quite a load of hate within yourself and now that your favourite whipping boy GWB is gone, your ready to turn towards other Canadians who do not think exactly the same as you and release your boundless and rightous anger towards them. Well load up and take a big swing Jack, I’ve got a pretty thick skin and maybe I’ll be able to help you find your peace.

    • You’ve read me exactly, Don. If it weren’t for the Law, we would be at each other’s throats on more than just comment boards. I don’t refrain from violence because I respect you as a fellow citizen, or as a fellow human being, or as God’s little flower. I am not a nice person, Don, as regards your ilk. I don’t respect you or your opinions at all. But I respect the Law. At this very moment, the Law is protecting you from people like me. So when we set aside the Law, as in the case of Khadr, in favour of expediency, we put ourselves at risk. History is very clear about that.

      • I enjoy your poems, J@ck, but I enjoyed this more.

        • i’ll second that!

      • Well J@ck you go and have a nice life seething within your hate of me while respecting the law. I was going to nominate you as a member of this group; But seeing that you would rather put me in a pine box, I’ll leave you alone to fester with your own group.

        • The funny/sad thing is, he left thinking he’d won the argument.

          • I don’t think thought entered into it!