19

Cross examination


 

Romeo Dallaire responds to Howard Anglin’s op-ed.

The prime minister, along with some other Canadians, is clearly very uncomfortable defending Omar Khadr’s rights, but this does not mean our government should stick its head in the sand.

When Canada signs a treaty, it should mean something. We should not look for loopholes or try to change the rules of the game as soon as our resolve is put to the test. We should not seek to evade our obligations – legal, moral, or otherwise. We should keep our word, and respect both the spirit and the letter of the law.


 

Cross examination

  1. Amen.
    I don’t understand our government’s stubborn opposition to living up to it’s obligations.
    Omar Khadr and the Canadian people both deserve better.

    • I would posit that “our government” actually includes previous governments too. Khadr (and other sticky situations) have caused consternation and/or silence on the part of all three recent PMs.

      • Agreed. Too many western governments were complicit when Guantanamo was originally opened, Canada included.
        However, every other western country has since changed its stance with the exception of Canada. The onus is on Harper.

  2. It’s really awful for Gen. Dallaire and others to have turned a blind eye to Khadr and others up unil Jan. 23, 2006, and for them to use this as a partisan club. We’re in Afghanistan because the Liberals invaded it and occupied it for years before Harper became PM.

    The term child soldier does not refer to suburban Toronto teens who fly back and forth between YYZ and Pakistan for training, then fly to Afghanistan of their own free will to kill American soldiers. It refers to the kids in Sierra Leone and other 3rd world places who are given an AK-47 to kill with, nearly always not of their own free will and as young as 8.

    It is perverse in the extreme that Dallaire stands up for Khadr when there are so many other injustices being done to Canadian citizens right here, including children jailed for months for pretrial custody who, unlike Khadr, aren’t guilty of anything.

    • Do you know, I’m fairly certain that people being held in pre-trial custody in Canada aren’t being tortured. Think back, to when you were 13, 14, 15.
      a) how malleable were you to the will of others, especially those in positions of authority?
      b) how were you at judging right and wrong?
      c) how were you at thinking about consequences and cause and effect?

      • As it happens, conservative, whilst I have never been arrested, I happen to have a number of friends and acquaintances who have served time both in prison and in juvenile detention centres. Although none of the stories sounded fun and, indeed, were enough to make me pledge to remain a law abiding citizen for as long as possible, I don’t think it’s comparable to waterboarding

        • so I’ll insist that you defer to your betters on this one.
          In the context, it would appear that the ground you are giving for being my ‘better’ is possessing a penis. Umm… okay
          So… wait. By virtue of having internal sexual organs, I’m not allowed to have an opinion on torture and police brutality?

          And what aboutthis?
          And by the same logic, you are not allowed to have an opinion on social assistance, abuse, rape, abortion, state-sponsered daycare, poverty and the sex trade. All of these issues disproportionally affect women, yet I have a feeling that you have no problem commenting on them.

        • Damn that public school education that teaches us to think for ourselves!

        • You are right, in everything you say, Sophia, but Omar Khadr isn’t coming back. If it was going to happen, it would have happened. Everything that can go wrong for Omar has gone wrong:

          http://fakirsca.blogspot.com/2009/02/life-and-times-of-omar-khadr.html

          I think there must be a reason other than the law, the facts and the morals. I think perhaps the reason is connected with the environment to which Omar Khadr would be returning. I intend to explore this possibility in a YouTube video within the next two weeks.

        • You are probably right, but that doesn’t mean we get to stop trying and pushing for it.

      • well do you think that being arrested with not a word said but having a taser hit you at first sight and then being beaten to the point of ruptureing a testical and then being held in custody for over eight hours with-out any medical aid is not TORTURE because I do. on march 14/2009 at 8:00 am this is what hapened in medicine hat AB. Friday march 20/2009 medicine hat news has an artical on page A3 named OFFICER TASERS SUSPECT. some good reading if you like fantasy, truth about the injuryies that the police would not comment about is as I list above, FACT after asking not once but five times for proper MEDICAL aid, on the last time I was able to show the gaurd down in the cells my hand covered in blood, this seemed to convince them that medical aid was a very good move. at this point I was moved to the medicine hat hospital and fifteen minuits after seeing the ER Dr. I was released from coustody because they now had been told by a medical doctor just how bad my injuries were and that the nearest hospital that was able to perform the operation was two hours away in Lethbridge AB. wow I am sudenly free very strnge concidering the trumped up charges against me. the chrages were as folows 1. Assault on a peace officer 2. assault with a weapon 3. utter death threats 4. god forbid some native cigarettes, the media reports that about half the cigarettes smoked in canada are from this sorce. the first three that I mentioned if they were in any way belivable should have had me still in handcuffs post surgrey. I will suggest some very good reading lets start with the canadian constitution you can find it at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/const/annex_e.html you will find it prints out at 17 pages 8and one half by 11 but don’t bother about that unless you are short of toilet paper because the RCMP regularly make it so. now let me show you how. lets start with the offical rcmp report found at http://www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca/prr/rep/sir/rr-eb/rr_eb27-eng.aspx again makes good toilet paper, I count 662 mostly valid complaints against the rcmp just in alberta in 2007 with little to no result. next try using all the best web brousers(msn,google,yahoo,rogers and shaw) try searching with words and terms like this, rcmp abuse, rcmp brutality, taser I think like myself you WILL get countless hits, I found about one third of the hits were about the taser death at vancouver airport in this its very hard to see how they can get away with what they did, but they seem to be the only orginasation in canada that can get away with MURDER, even canadain soldiers under fire are far more accoutable. Just thought that you might like to know what brought the officer to my home inthe first place was a bench warrent for a MINOR TRAFIC VIOLATION. OPPS I forgot about a date with a judge in trafic court and for this I get CASTRATED. maybe the cop was thinking that I was a threat to his personal saffty because I opened the door that he had just knocked on. just think IF THIS HAD BEEN MY WIFE OR LITTLE GIRL ONLY 10 YEARS OLD. Think about that next time you hear a knock at your door, I know that I don’t let my little girl open it any more and I won’t open it unless I KNOW who is on the other side. NOW I think may begin to realize that our GOVERNMENT is not much more than a figure head and that our police seem to have more power than the government.

    • “The term child soldier does not refer to suburban Toronto teens who fly back and forth between YYZ and Pakistan for training, then fly to Afghanistan of their own free will to kill American soldiers. It refers to the kids in Sierra Leone and other 3rd world places who are given an AK-47 to kill with, nearly always not of their own free will and as young as 8.”

      That’s a typical conservative stereotype of picking and choosing how policy is to be applied post-facto.

  3. The term child soldier does not refer to suburban Toronto teens who fly back and forth between YYZ and Pakistan for training, then fly to Afghanistan of their own free will to kill American soldiers. It refers to the kids in Sierra Leone and other 3rd world places who are given an AK-47 to kill with, nearly always not of their own free will and as young as 8.

    Mind backing that up with a reference? I can’t seem to remember that differentiation being made when I was studying the law of armed conflict.

    • You’re doing exactly what Harper is doing, parsing the law to justify your world view. You do have a point about Khadr, but govt’s have a duty to up-hold the law and not try and just take what they like and disregard the icky bits. I believe it takes some maturity, not found in abundance in our current govt.

      • Actually, I was quoting “conservative.” Unfortunately, without clicking the proper link.

        • Oops sorry, don’t know how i missed your remarks.

          • No worries.

  4. Interesting part of the piece:

    Howard Anglin tries to justify the government’s selective interpretation of the Optional Protocol. This appears to represent a change of heart, since Anglin, who has ties to the government and the Conservative Party, classified Khadr as a child soldier in his testimony before a House of Commons committee last spring.

    Someone apparently got to Howard to tell him to stop contradicting the Dear Leader’s views.

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