Man up (II)


Chris Selley on public opinion polling and Omar Khadr.

If the papers are really looking for Khadr headlines, I’d suggest commissioning a poll asking if Canadians would prefer maintaining our current non-intervention policy on Khadr’s case or setting him loose in Toronto as a totally free man. Sooner or later, that’s what we’re going to be facing. We might as well start dealing with it.


Man up (II)

  1. I plump for the third option. Bring him back to Canada, charge (and convict) him as a child soldier, and let him serve out a ‘sentence’ of rehabilitation.

    • Do we have relevant laws to charge him under? Look the guys already paid a pretty steep price for someone who’s still only alleged to have commited crimes. [ debateable ones in my opinion since it was war] What seems clearer is that he made a choice to go, even if that choice is mitigated by his age and his appalling parents. He’s paid for his mistakes. And we’ve paid in the sense that the concept of an open and fair trial for all has been suspended due to circumstances. [ national security apparently trumps constitutional rights ]
      So conbots you’ve got yr pound of flesh. What d’ya want now? A public execution?

      • I don’t know. I do know we have a window of time to get one in law if needs be.

        I think he’s been punished enough. I also think he needs to be unbrainwashed from thinking Islam is all about killing people. And if I were him, I wouldn’t do that voluntarily, so . . .some kind of probationary sentence–where he gets that kind of help whether he wants it or not–is in order.

        He’s paid for his mistakes of the past, no doubt about it. It’s the future ones I’m worried about.

  2. It’s easy to favour a generic, smugly moralistic vision of “Justice” in this case. It’s going to get a little harder for the public to stomach when you get down to those kinds of particulars.

    • Care to expand?

      • I’m not sure how much more plainly to put that, since it’s the underlying theme of the link, and quoted section specifically: if the poll had been phrased in a way that represented the real options practically available, support for Khadr’s release from US custody would drop considerably and the Just Let Him Rot school of opinion would probably grow, considering the ongoing sympathy/non-sympathy numbers.

        • Don’t agree! If the govt could frame this in terms of: well we could bring him back, but that would mean he just gets to wander freely around Toronto, or just leave him there, they already would have. The recent change in the numbers, without qualifier, could as easily indicate that the public is ready to pul the plug on this dog and pony show – that they may be concluding it was only ever political anyway – and deal with the consequences here.

    • A smugly moralistic version of “Justice” as opposed to that sensible, mature, Realpolitik vision that sees Justice as merely a matter of convenience?

      It’s amazing to discover how many of my fellow Canadians simply don’t believe in the rule of law.

      • agreed Jack, but would just expand a bit… formal institutions seem to be under attack in favour of personal preferences.

        • Good point. Both on the political and, I would add, the intellectual level. I think there’s a whole mess o’ people out there who are threatened by abstractions (like the law) and who don’t believe anything that doesn’t fit on a credit card. Scary, but that’s what you get from not educating people in basic philosophy for two generations.

          • Yeah I think it is pretty much across the board. haven’t thought about the roots but don’t mind yours as a starting point. I have a friend that always talks about the detrimental effects of no longer making ‘civics’ a central component of the education system. this can’t be helping either.

      • It’s amazing to discover how many of my fellow Canadians simply don’t believe in the rule of law.

        I’m become amazed that there are as many as there are that do believe in the rule of the law. After, it’s very complicated.

  3. Are those Orwell’s eyes, Jack?

    • Yes, nice! It would be his whole face but I haven’t mastered the art of the gravatar.

      A bit presumptuous of me but I actually look like him from the nose up and hair down. My claim to fame.

      • But Jack, Orwell had buttons for eyes. (I’m singing “sweet Coraline.”)

        • I must admit it took me some googling to figure out this reference; worse, I’ve never read Coraline! But I’m now keen to do so.

          Meanwhile, I downloaded “Sweet Caroline,” just in case for some reason you wanted a rewrite about Omar Khadr. Can’t really go there, but at least I now have one sprightly mp3 the more!

      • Why does everyone want to let people loose on the streets of Toronto? Doesn’t Calgary have streets?

        And so what if he is let loose — after a fair trial and if he is found innocent? There are a lot of real scary people in the Big Smoke, who haven’t ever been charged with a crime and who might actually benefit from the “treatment” Khadr enjoyed (in a perverse way at least).

        • Agreed. All this fuss is about whether a fellow Canadian should or should not be brought to trial. Nor would the anti-habeas corpus crowd be so fired up if there were much likelihood of his being found guilty.

          As you say, that somebody might conceivably be a danger to the public is not even remotely grounds for locking them up without trial.

  4. Except that radical jihadism isn’t a “crime” per se, but rather a deeply held ideology, that has its roots partly in tradditional Islam, but mostly in the Wahhibist genre originating in Egypt and now spread throughout much of the Middle East. At its root is a firmly held belief that infidels are an enemy of Islam, and deserve to die (the more horrifying the death, the better), if they will not “submit”.

    To think that this can be “rehabilitated” like some alcoholic car thief, is, shall we say to be polite, “misguided”.

    • And before folks start throwing around the “Islamophobia” label, I’d caution you with this:

      It is moderate muslims that are hurt the most by using the peaceful form of that religion as politically correct cover,

      for the radical monsters who’ve twisted basic notions of faith into a tool for violent subjugation.

      • Quite right, kody. Just as your various manias make conservatives look bad. I don’t blame them for your posts; au contraire, my heart goes out to them.

        But I believe you can be rehabilitated, kody. Group therapy, counseling — I’m willing to give you a new lease on life. But I do think CSIS should maybe follow you around for a few years, just in case.

        • Drawing a moral equivalence between someone who has firm conservative views (and argues against leftist views [name calling and vitriol free btw]),

          with radical jihadists who seek to kill our women and children for holding beliefs rooted in western freedom.

          Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

          Today’s tolerant progressive left.

          • C’mon, kody, you would honestly claim you’ve never been to a training camp?

    • His brother worked for the CIA, so it is possible for him to be rehabilitated, I know that his lawyer Edney had a moderate muslim (cleric?) not sure of the word, lined up to counsel him when he was putting the request in a few years ago. But after seven years of Gitmo, he’s probably bitter and entrenched.

  5. Moderate readers take note of this thread.

    It follows a simple pattern.

    I express a general opinion, not an attack directed at anyone in the thread. Just an opinion (ironically in this case an opinion against violent jihadists who are generally against freedom of expression), but apparantly an opinion that is “unwelcome”.

    Uniformity of thought, belief and expression is very much in favour here.

    Expressing the “wrong” kind of thought…..well no so much.

    What ensues is the attack.

    For holding the “wrong” kind of belief.

    Right about now, instead of defending the right to freely express one’s opinion on his thread (what one would expect from someone in the idea expression business), Paul Wells may come in to chastize…..not the vitriol expressed towards me for daring to hold an incorrect position,

    but me, for my making note of the afformentioned behavior.

    For being a “crybaby”, to use Mr. Wells’ words.

    Tell me about this “tolerance” about which the left speaks of so frequently.

    Perhaps that word does not mean what you think it means.

    • Oh, kody, you take all the fun out of mocking you when you preemptively mock yourself.

    • not an attack directed at anyone in the thread.

      Every one of your comments is an assault on all reasonably sensible people, everywhere.

      Besides, you’re always lying.

    • The “wrong” kind of thought is baseless assertion that often actually conflicts with easily available evidence. Most people call this lying.

      And you’ll find few people are tolerant of it.

  6. The last time I said this, Macleans readers encouraged me to come back.

    I did.

    I regret it.

    This will be my last post on this Blog.

    Your uniformity will remain safely intact.

    • There are a number of regular conservative commenters on these blogs — jwl, sf, madeyoulook spring to mind — and though I may violently disagree with them I have never mocked them personally, because when push comes to shove we have some common ground as interested citizens. In other words, we may ruthlessly attack each others’ opinions but we don’t make it ad hominem.

      Your posts, by contrast, kody, assume no common ground and are simply rhetorical appeals, larded with self-pity. The uniformity you leave us in is uniformity of basic human decency and basic human dignity.

      • Actually, I beg to differ, you do mock people sometimes (personally, and ad hominem).

        • Apart from kody? Well, it’s pretty rare. You have to distinguish between “You are an idiot” and “Only an idiot would say something like that.” E.g. when I compared you to an Argentinian colonel once, I obviously wasn’t comparing you to a Junta member but implying that your position (I forget what it was) was extreme. You have to make allowance for metaphor.

          Anyway, how ad hominem can it be when most people use pseudonyms? At most it’s ad personam.

    • You’re not a conservative and you’re not hard done by. You’re merely another right-winger like Harper, Bush and Palin who claim victimisation in search of validation and vindication when reality, and then criticism, intrudes upon the fabrications that are the basis of their convictions.

      • No, I beg to differ once more, Kody IS a conservative. And you strike me as especially simplistic and partisan when you actually lump Harper, Bush, and Palin into the same group. And your post is missing a coherent idea or thought, so it essentially qualifies as an ad-hominem attack and nothing more. Classy.

        • God, the whining that passes as “conservativism” this days.

          • You recycle your comments. This one has been used before. How environmentally friendly, yet intellectually vapid.

          • Intellectually vapid?!! Well I mean I never…

  7. I just like how he capitalizes Blog. Boy, I’m gonna miss that guy until he comes back in four days. Or 16 minutes. It’s always kind of hard to predict the timing of these things.

    • Contracts usually run Mondays to Sundays. Unless there’s been cutbacks, I predict tomorrow.

  8. Nothing like a flame war to needlessly contribute to global warming. Think of the polar bears, people! If I may be so obtuse as to come back to the original post:

    I still await an expert in criminal law to quote whatever section of the Criminal Code that could be thrown at a then-fifteen-year-old Canadian citizen whose activities of interest were in a foreign country against the armed forces of yet another foreign country.

    Until I get that enlightenment, all I see out of a repatriation of this gentleman is indeed “setting him loose in (NIMBY!) as a totally free man…” And that is indeed a conversation this country should start to have.

    • Oops, sorry: alleged activities of interest…

  9. I do question the lack of civility around here which seems to have gotten worse in the last couple of months. I appreciate that things can get a little rough and tumble on blogs and I don’t like to see anyone being censured unless it’s beyond the pale but I’m wondering if this group vitriol directed at Kody has gone a little far.

    Kody if you’re reading this please reconsider, most of the people posting here are well-behaved and the small minority who badger you are probably unhappy people who are lashing out with their sorry states of mind. I basically ignore them although I sometimes feel sorry for them.

    I think now that Parliament is upping it’s game, question period is becoming more rational, the parties are settling lawsuits, the parties are co-operating on the budget, the Liberals have a leader worthy of the name etc… it’s maybe time that the partisans who frequent this blog, (which is 90% of the people here) should follow suit and put forward substantive points to discuss and avoid personal attacks and invective. That doesn’t mean that people can’t be forceful in dismissing arguments or points that they think are weak, but they should stick to argument. If they can do it with brevity and wit so much the better.

    • Whenever a right winger mentions the word “civility,” I start to dry heave.

      I don’t know what is civil about dishonesty, self-righteousness, selfishness, arrogance, condescension and mystifying conceit.

      …and the humourlessness…lord, the humourlessness….

      One day, “conservatives” will learn the difference between civility and decency.

  10. Jarrid, what’s your favourite example of kody taking a contrary point of view and treating it with respect? Out of the thousands of comments he has posted here — starting, oddly enough, on the day last August when the PMO started telling reporters an election was imminent — which one really struck you as an excellent example of his willingness to consider other points of view?

    If you can’t think of any, don’t worry, there will be more, because he will be back, because the Maclean’s blogs are his assignment.

    • Kody’s opinionated that’s true, but then so is pretty well everyone else around here. He espouses a small-c conservative viewpoint and appears to back the Conservatives, but again, most people here have a set of assumptions from which they argue and many have partisan leanings, some clearly more than others. Some appear to cover their partisan leanings or don’t overtly display them but their positions on partisan squabbles of the day usually betray their particular allegiances.

      I’m not sure what you mean by Kody being on assignment but if the past is any indication, I have to agree with you that he’ll be back.

      Kody is lambasted around here for the reason Kody said, the left is peculiarly intolerant and tolerating Kody is something that surpasses their already challenged capabilities in this regard.

      • I notice you dodged Wells’ question.

        Surely you have at least one example, since you’re defending the man.

        • Hate to pile on, but I like Jarrid to answer Wells’s question as well.

          • Kody once agreed with me. Well, it was 3am, and he could have been humouring me. Oh and i was wrong anyway. The search will have to continue, i’m afraid.

          • on what level? it does end with a smear of the left as uniformly intolerant….is that really helpful, never mind accurate?

      • Jarrid, there’s something about the word ‘tolerate’ and its derivations that tends to rub me the wrong way. It means “to put up with” or “to endure,” and as such it is not all that inspiring a word, even when it’s used in the most generous way possible.
        But there’s especially something about the way kody (and now you as well) uses the word that really gets my back up. When I read, “Today’s tolerant progressive left” at the bottom of kody’s posts, the word becomes a blunt instrument, a weapon to be used against anyone who won’t quietly and with good humour accept as fact the stuff some resentful child blabs at them.
        kody is an irritant; I don’t care so much for him because he never deigns to actually engage; he only ever appears on this blog to ‘tell’. And then, when someone makes explicit their demand that he justify or substantiate his assertions, or at least engage in genuine give and take, we get ‘told’ some more, until Wells or somebody or everybody finally gets fed up, and then it’s “today’s tolerant progressive left,” as though there is some reason why “today’s left” (broad, sweeping and largely meaningless generalization that that is) is obliged to “endure” or “put up with” such bad faith malarkey.
        There isn’t, so screw kody and screw you too if you’re so keen to join his little self-pity party, but before I finish, here’s some advice: enjoy your party, boys. Really enjoy it. Eat a giant tub of ice cream together. Have a good cry. Make up a “Big Mean Meany” badge and send it to me. I promise, I’ll wear it proudly. And if all this makes me so intolerably intolerant to you, I look forward to reading about it sometime very soon.

        • You may be right, but there’s nothing unique about it. Lots of people here do the same (most from the leftist perspective).

          In particular, there are a bunch of Harper-haters around here. Nothing they will ever say deviates from the “Harper is the devil” theme. It’s very similar to Bush Derangement Syndrome. All you will ever hear is one thing after another about how the devil walks among us. It’s the same kind of mindless partisan drivel.

          And for those who are tempted to reply, “but he IS the devil”, don’t bother.

          BTW, please provide your address so that I can send you the Meany badge.

      • Yes, it boggles my mind why they can’t just ignore his comments if they dislike them so much. Instead they hurl vitriol.

        Kody is very partisan, but I agree with Jarrid, so are a lot of people.

        • You’re not even reading the comments you’re responding to.

  11. kody’s a PMO plant! Surely things haven’t got that desperate yet?

  12. I will suspend my promise to leave for a single moment.

    Paul Wells’ brave act of chiding me after I promised to leave cries out for a response.

    Paul Wells speaks of “respect.”

    Interesting that.

    Paul Wells who stands by and watches as others repeatedly use vitriol (I believe I was referred to as unhuman awhile ago) against me and others. I am called a liar, but never a single “lie” is identified, as that would invite scrutiny. The drive by smear isn’t about close scrutiny. Apparently the drive by is “respectful”……if the target is the “correct” variety.

    What is this “respect” that he speaks of? What was so outlandishly disrespectful on this thread that warranted attack? Did I not show enough “respect” for Jihadis? What in your opinion warranted the the point that I should be followed by the secret service?

    You’ll note that I do not name call. I do not use brazen language like “liar!!!” which is all too frequent on your threads. I state my views forcefully. But most heinous of all, I state my views effectively. And therein lies the problem.

    When Mr. Wells demands my “respect” he most certainly means my AGREEMENT. He also most certainly means “respect” for his profession (which I have spoken out against).

    And so for instance, he has no answer as to why hundreds of esteemed scientists’ views against global warming aren’t even worthy of mention ahead of say…..the local pie eating contest at the neighborhood high school featured on B17. My theory is correct. Of course these sceintists views are newsworthy. They may be more newsworthy than anything on our newspages today. He will not argue that it isn’t, because he cannot. So he lashes out, at my horrendously posting a few sceintists views (see his global warming thread) and childishly name calls (“crybaby”) in the process. [Calling someone sub human – respectful, posting sceintists’ quotes – worthy of scorn.]

    Mr. Wells, you beg for “respect”, but you fail to understand the most basic tenet of that which you demand:

    respect is earned.

    Surely even you can appreciate the absurdity of barking for respect in one breath, while engaging in taudry name calling taunts with the next.

    • Kody yr absolutely correct, you aren’t ” un human”, say no more…please.

    • kody, I do hope you’ll reconsider leaving, since as I’ve remarked more than once I consider you to be a great artist. Not entirely sane, of course, as many great artists are not, but absolutely deaf to whatever might hinder your creative fire. I genuinely admire that. I could wish, though, that you would husband your spirit for the greater struggles to come — what if Joyce had spent himself on Dubliners, or Virgil on the Eclogues? Who wouldn’t wish to hear Mozart at 60, or Orwell in 1965? I beg you to remember that you are commenting not just for a day, not just for a year, but for all eternity.

      That said, I was actually trying to make a serious point in the post that provoked our lopsided flamewar. Namely that extremism as such should not be considered a crime. The law punishes acts, not opinions. And since there is really no evidence that Khadr still holds radical jihadist views — though frankly I too might take to jihad, atheist that I am, if you locked me up in a camp, hooded half the time, for 7 years between the ages of 15 and 22 — I think letting him roam the streets of Toronto or Calgary or Espanola would be fine. Presumably CSIS would keep an eye on him, in the unlikely event that he decided to start an Al Qaeda faction in Scarborough. And if he goes abroad and rejoins Al Qaeda, well, he’s an adult and we can prosecute him on that basis in the future.

      So, how’s that for reasonable response? Care to answer it in the same spirit? Instead of instantly informing your loyal fans that I’ve equated you with a jihadi extremist? Which, for the record, I found rather offensive and which provoked me to humiliate you.

    • No. Jack, bless his heart , still thinks he can talk to him.

      • You can’t talk to Kody, just at him. Far’s i’m concerned he should get himself a park-corner soapbox. He’s not interested in any form of reciprocal communication.

        • Check out different members of the Blogging Tories.. you’ll find a lot of them share the same trait.

          Must be a genetic thing.

          • Thanks, but no thanks. I stuck my head into SDA once. Never again, it must have been feeding time. They had a naive young lib they were torturing. Interesting what PW had to say. I’m sure i’ve seen glimpses of a rational and decidedly lucid Kody before. I could well believe he’s a pro-agitator.

          • So, would someone please explain to me how “must be a genetic thing” is somehow a superior comment to “today’s tolerant progressive left”.

            Exactly what is superior about Scott Tribe’s mindless retort? His throwing all conservatives into the same bin, like a typical antagonist? His lack of respect for opposing viewpoints.

            You people are such hypocrites.

          • How does it differ? Kody’s posts aren’t funny.

        • So why do you respond to his comments?

          There are several others who refuse to debate, mostly from the leftist persuasion. Please explain to me what is the difference, other than the fact that these other people hurl insults and don’t even bother to offer rational arguments (at least Kody backs up his arguments).

          • So why do you respond to his comments?

            We assume that when people participate in a discussion, they expect others to engage them.

  13. He’ll be back. Again. And again. So soon, and so pervasively, nobody will remember he was away. This place is his life.

    • I sincrely hope he isn’t on retainer, because if he is, i want some too! Fairs fair, it’s not lie his spelling’s any better than mie.

  14. “… and since there is really no evidence that Khadr still holds radical jihadist views”

    There is also contradictory evidence regarding who threw the grenade.

    Bring him back to Canada and put him on trial for his alleged crime of throwing the grenade that killed the American medic (soldier?).

  15. Ok, child soldier,etc…I agree that he is accused of killing an american soldier..But i think it was a war, so accusations of war criminal to this boy are fair?How many kids were wounded or die due to “authorized , well equipped, paid and trained Killers”( soldiers) that went there? How many families, cities and lives were consumed? Are these soldiers going to be charged? I guess that authorities missed the point

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