Cannon on what's real and what's hypothetical -

Cannon on what’s real and what’s hypothetical


At a news conference a few minutes ago, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon declined to answer direct questions about Canada’s position on child soldiers on the grounds that the questions were hypothetical. But Cannon did declare that Canada is imposing tough sanctions against North Korea by curtailing economic ties.

But doesn’t he have it backwards? Canada is, in fact, a signatory to the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, part of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, so the government’s stance on child soldiers—thrown into question, of course, by the Omar Khadr case—is a matter of real concern. Those economic links to North Korea, on the other hand,  are mostly hypothetical.


Cannon on what’s real and what’s hypothetical

  1. If only Cannon were hypothetical.

    • Cannon is an empty vessel that Harper fills wth talking points.

      • The vessel with the pestle is the brew that is true.

  2. Yes, we are supposed to be supporting the rights of children, and yes our 'sanctions' of N Korea are meaningless.

    A 'backwards' cannon is dangerous.

  3. Trade sanctions with North Korea? Kind of like building prisons based on unreported crimes.

    Maybe they can next work on other useful endeavours, like improved safety features for stagecoaches,

    • I have long argued that we need to use subsidies to encourage power generation through cold fusion. Otherwise it will never happen.

  4. I for one would like to thank our out of touch leftist media (Rob Ford is in a close race because he's a conservative…),

    for continuing to consider the well being of an avowed terrorist, as being the single most critical issue facing our country today,

    and in the process leading thier bretheren in the left leaning parties to also follow their editorial lead.

    For while our poor "child" terrorist may occupy every waking sympathetic thoughts of those in the downtown Ottawa media coctail parties,

    rest assured, middle Canada and the independent voter is shaking their heads at how out of touch our "progressive" elites have become.

    Fawning liberal commenters on sites like this notwithstanding.

    • The topic here is Lawrence Cannon.

      • Is he the avowed terrorist? I'm confused.

        • LOL so is chet apparently. Only thing he missed was the kitchen sink.

    • Yeah. When will the MSM realize that the most critical issue facing our country today is our economic ties to North Korea?

    • "so the government's stance on child soldiers—thrown into question, of course, by the Omar Khadr case"

      How disingenuous to suggest that the issue of "child soldiers" is not a result of the Khadr case.

      The author here say "of course" it is.

      But one cannot discuss the merits of Khadr as an issue, on an issue directly related to Khadr.

      "The topic here is Lawrence Cannon" says the thread enforcer. We must stick rigidly to the "correct" target.

      Welcome to today's "tolerant progressive left".

      • one cannot discuss the merits of Khadr as an issue…The topic here is Lawrence Cannon" says the thread enforcer. We must stick rigidly to the "correct" target

        I wish you well in your valiant struggle against the tolerant progressive left that insists on censoring you via replies to your comment on the MacLeans blog site. Your perserverance reminds of Liu Xiaobo, and I hope one day you will be recognized for your brave opposition to censorship as he has.

        • LOL I'm trying to imagine myself in my new image of 'enforcer'.

          chet has a permanent image as thread 'diverter'….or 'distractor'….he just doesn't do it very well.

      • I don't identify myself as left-wing, but I like to think tolerance has it's limits.

        And you are definitely beyond the limit I hope anyone who considers themselves tolerant can tolerate.

    • Why are you defending a cabinet minister who won't answer direct questions? I mean, if the government's handling of this affair is as rock solid as you claim, what's he afraid of? Sounds like it was the perfect opportunity to put the leftist, terrorist-sympathizing, elitist media in their place.

      • It's not just a "direct question", its a direct "gotcha" moment designed to highlight the Khadr case.

        The Sun rises and falls on the Khadr issue from today's left.

        • Gotcha questions only work when the government's in the wrong. If the government's in the right, that question is an opportunity to set the record straight and expose the leftist media terrorist sympathizers for who and what they are, isn't it? If the government's is on the right side of this issue, I can't imagine why they'd duck the question.

        • I doubt that it would continue to be a "gotcha" moment if Cannon, or anyone, would clearly state the government's position on Omar Khadr's status as a child soldier and how that fits with Canada's signing onto the UN protocol. The government seems to be reluctant to state and defend their position. That's not exactly taking the principled high road of standing up for your values. It just serves to encourage "gotcha" moments.

        • Why they'd duck the question?

          For the same reason that Ford gave the middle finger (the Globe's term not mine) to the MSM. The purpose isn't to honestly ask a question to look at the issue in a balanced way, but to use for a pre-determined story line that victimizes Khadr.

          The two instances are apples and oranges, but the left leaning media doesn't care.

          But who does care are the average Canadians who are being treated to the spectical of a convicted terrorist being the cause du jour in order to score political points.

          Canadians can see a pattern here: first it was the poor taliban prisoners that we cried ourselves to sleep each night thinking about…or so the media would have us believe, and now the terrorist who is happiest when he's kiling unbelievers, is our nation's greatest victim, worthy of our collective efforts to defend.

          • Wow, that means that the Conservatives wouldn't have to answer questions from anybody about anything. That's accountable government for you.

          • Who ever said anything about accountability in government???

            ….Oh… right.

          • Actually, after having read the transcript, it was the PERFECT opportunity for Mr. Cannon to illustrate Canada's position on child soldiers, to clear up what has become a very, very muddy element to this whole debate… but he didn't. I mean, if all the leftists, the left-leaning media, are barking up the wrong tree, there was his opportunity to set the record straight on the correctness of the government's position. I mean, I know the media is out to get the government, but how does it help anybody if the government just keeps its mouths shut on this?

          • It was a perfect opportunity, as in the light of 'Canada's superior foreign stands' that earned the reproach of all those secret balloters at the UN, to define where Harper's Canada has the right approach. Where we as a nation don't follow 'the herd' just because its right.
            Instead, as per Harper's instructions and own actions, the decision is to muddle the questioner, dance around the topic, and avoid any responsibility of the action that they have taken.
            Pretty weak. They're all yours, Chester.

  5. Perhaps we should say to hell with it all and invade Grenada or Panama.

    • Tuvalu.

  6. Good think they aren't producing tons of goods cheaply like China, or we'd be reduced to finger wagging with one hand and increasing trade deficit with the other, via the Harper plan!

    • Quite right – they don't manufacture for Walmart.

  7. Some people see the Khadr case as a test of the rule of law. The rule of law has lost, badly, which benefits avowed terrorists (or even the wishy-washy ones) more than the security of Westerners and our interests.

    When it comes to Omar Khadr, there is no definite right and wrong. Terrorism is bad, we all agree. Terrorism is abhorrent and incompatible with any stable social order. Avoiding the rule of law to coerce and imprison a child soldier, also bad… but on that point we cannot all agree. Some think the means justify the end… others think the means define the end. If the means do define the ends, we have sacrificed values in the name of preserving values.

  8. For all intents and purposes, I suspect the common feeling to all the Khadr's is that they are a reprehensible and odious bunch. And, if truth be told, we really wish that they had chosen some other country than ours in which to settle. However, the unfortunate truth is, they are here and we are forced to deal with it.

    Omar's case is pretty tragic when it comes right down to it. He was born in Canada, and therefore a Canadian citizen, with all the rights inherent in that. As far as we know, he has been indoctrinated since a very early age into hating the 'system' he was born into.

    It is worrisome that there are so many people who callously write him off and hold him 100% accountable for what has happened. Is there no acknowledgement of the psychological damage that was done to him in the first fifteen years of his life? Does that not count for something in trying to evaluate the complete story here?

    Odious as Omar and his family might be, I think Omar has been treated poorly.

  9. A test of the "rule of law"

    Not really.

    No one's talking about the "rule of law" wherein non uniformed terrorists forgoe Geneva convention rights.

    No, certain purported "laws" (I used quotes because they are really a hodge podge of domestic criminal law principles that don't apply in the instant case) are used to champion Khadr's cause,

    while more direct and applicable "rules of law" that don't work out for him so well are dutifully ignored.

    Defence of the "rule of law" is nothing but an attempt to cloak his victimhood with an air of legitimacy.

    None of his defenders are in the slightest bit interested in a serious debate about the international legal principles involved. Just out of context cherry picked ones used for the sole purpose of victimizing him, and …most importantly….villifiying the left's political foes.

    • Specifically, what ARE the international legal principles involved that we should be debating?

      • I've already named the Geneva Conventions.

        The legal basis for detaining the Gitmo detainees are all over the place for anyone interested.

        Including the media.

        But the media, and those willing to use this as a political tool to attack aren't interested, in the slightest.

        • Your 'legal basis' likely violates the United States constitution which is why Gitmo is located IN @#$@#ING CUBA.

        • Maybe you could point out how the Geneva Conventions add to the current discussion? In the meantime, I would point out article 6.3 from the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

          States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their jurisdiction recruited or used in hostilities contrary to the present Protocol [as Khadr was] are demobilized or otherwise released from service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to such persons all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.

          Surely to ignore this article would be cherry picking, no?

    • I don't actually agree with any of your rationalizations above, but I'll give you one thing. You're doing more to argue in favour of the government's (largely unknown) position on this issue than anyone in the government is.

  10. What's remarkable about the intentional ignoring of the Geneva principles regarding the wearing of uniforms ect. is the callous disregard for the underlying purpose of those rules.

    They are designed to protect civilians. Intentionally target civilians (as Khadr is wont to do) or even indirctly do so through lack of uniforms (blending in with civilians while taking fire is a terrorist specialty),

    means you aren't afforded the rights as marked soldiers in a battlefield.

    But the left wishes to disregard all that as say "he has his rights!", and in effect as that terrorists be given a pass on that very critical "rule of law" thereby undermining the purpose of the Geneva rules and threatening civilian population.

    All the while tut tutting the rest for not following "the rule of law".

    • As you very well know, the rule of law covers Khadr. You just don't want to acknowledge it.

    • Because a 15 year-old child soldier is going to know all the rules of combat and the Geneva conventions.

    • Either he's a soldier or a an alleged criminal. There is a process for both. The United States didn't like the outcome of either so they invented a new one that is likely illegal, or at best a gross distortion of the law.

      Feel free to think that Omar Khadr should be locked up forever…but up your game on your arguments or stop wasting everyone's time.

    • Chet, here's a little ditty from Chris Selley's Full Pundit today that cuts to the quick:

      The daily Khadr
      The Star's Rosie DiManno rehashes her case to let Omar Khadr rot. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about it except her contention that the UN protocol on child soldiers was never “intended to apply in these particular circumstances.” That's absolute crap. Article 4 reads as follows: “Armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of a State should not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18.” And in ratifying that protocol, the United States added a written declaration that it understood “armed groups” to include “nongovernmental armed groups such as rebel groups, dissident armed forces, and other insurgent groups.”

      Omar Khadr was a child soldier when he was captured, and for several years beforehand. End of story.

      So Chet, it might be advisable for you to read ALL of the Geneva Conventions (note the plural) and not just the bits that apply to fellows in uniform, because the Conventions also address how non-uniformed prisoners are to be treated. In this instance, you should also read other treaties to which Canada is a signatory.

      Dirtbag terrorist or not, Khadr was a child soldier and should have been dealt with lawfully. Failing to do so for expedience's sake has diminished the moral and legal standing of both the USA and Canada.

      • Beyond that, the Geneva Conventions are quite clear that against anybody.. civilian, uniformed soldier, armed combatant, rabid conservative lapdog.. it doesn't matter who they are or how bad they are.. torture is simply not permitted, and not permitted to be condoned.

  11. 'Child' soldiers kill lots of people in Africa and elsewhere.