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Simple questions unanswered


 

The Bloc’s Paul Crete, questioning the Foreign Affairs Minister yesterday about the status of Omar Khadr. 

Mr. Paul Crête (Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, BQ):  Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for international treaties to which Canada is a party, is refusing to demand the repatriation of Omar Khadr, the child soldier being held in Guantanamo and the only westerner still imprisoned there. Since the Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for Canada’s signature at the bottom of the protocol on child soldiers, can he provide us with the definition of a child soldier?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, I refuse to agree to the request submitted by the Bloc Québécois and the other two parties for the simple reason that the individual concerned has been formally accused of serious crimes. I have already said so several times here in the House. The Americans have begun the process, which we will respect, and once the process is done, we will act accordingly.

Mr. Paul Crête (Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, BQ): Mr. Speaker, all of the countries that have signed treaties regarding child soldiers are keeping their promises. All but Canada, that is. The minister has not given a straight answer, so I will ask the question again. What is his definition of a child soldier? As Canada’s representative, will he keep this country’s word?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, once again, Canada is keeping its promises, keeping its word and adhering to its treaties. Unfortunately, the member seems to be having some trouble understanding that this individual has been accused of serious crimes. He has been charged with murder and terrorism. He is in American hands, and they will take appropriate action in accordance with the review ordered by the President of the United States.


 

Simple questions unanswered

  1. I think the questions were answered, Aaron, you just don’t like the responses. And they are not simple questions because the definition of who qualifies as a child soldier seems to be quite complex.

    • Oh really? The question was “What is his definition of a child soldier?” Where exactly did Cannon answer that? I must have missed it.

    • child solider (n): One accused of serious crimes of murder and terrorism, left in American hands for appropriate action.

    • jwl
      Cannon is saying, yes we are complying with our legal obligations to child soldiers and at the same time saying we can’t do anything about those promises since he’s in US hands and accused of serious crimes. You see no contradicion, obfucation, abdication of responsibility or just plain illogic here? No? I thought not, silly of me to ask really!

      • KC I don’t see it either : Khadr is not in our hands and being held by the states therefore not our responsibility except to offer some help whenever they make up their mind. simple easy pie case closed.

        • That’s sweet Wayne.
          Did you write Cannon’s response for him?
          It’s not our responsibility to uphold our treaty obligations because uncle sam wont let us!
          PM to Prez: ” Mr Prez it’s become increasingly obvious that O. Khadr, a Canadian citizen is unlikely to face due process in the US now or at a future date. Since he is a child soldier and we do have obligations in his area, and given yr wise decision to shut down gitmo, we had better have the little bugger back here then”.
          Prez: “sure Steve, can’t think what took you so long”.?
          Simple easy pie case closed.
          But it’s not. Harper would look like a fool ergo, nothing’s going to change until Prez makes him do so!

          • what if they said NO!

          • Wayne
            Could be. However ya gotta ask first!

        • Khadr is not in our hands and being held by the states therefore not our responsibility except to offer some help whenever they make up their mind.

          Do we really need to look that hard to find examples of Canadians being held by other countries in which the Conservative government has interceded, thereby contradicting the above? I don’t think so.

        • So, if that’s the case, what line is being drawn?

          Are we saying that it doesn’t matter whether or not Khadr is a child soldier because we have no problem with the U.S. imprisoning and trying child soldiers as they’re not a party to the treaty? Would such a blanket exception apply only to the U.S. or any Western democracy? Presumably if some African nation were holding a Canadian citizen who may have been a child soldier for seven years without trial we would not say “He’s been charged with serious crimes, so until the nation of X is done with him, it’s not our place to interfere”.

          Or, perhaps we’re saying “Maybe he’s a child soldier, maybe he’s not, but that’s not our decision to make, that decision needs to be made by the country holding him and we won’t interfere until THEY make some determination” (and again, is the courtesy of simply ignoring the question of whether he’s a child soldier or not a courtesy we would extend to any Western democracy, or just to the U.S.?).

          Or, are we saying “The Americans can do whatever they want with one of our citizens, period, easy pie case closed”?

          This whole notion that “he’s been charged with serious crimes so there’s nothing we can do until that’s resolved” seems to me to be a blanket exception for the United States to hold any Canadian citizen without trial indefinitely with not a peep of protest from the Government of Canada as long as they “charge” said citizen with some “serious crimes”. No need for a trial, or even the sense that a trial is imminent, simply hold him as long as you like, we’ve got no problem with that whatsoever. It turns the notion of due process into a quaint relic of a bygone era when such ideas still mattered. I mean, according to the previous U.S. administration, even if Khadr were tried and found NOT GUILTY they STILL maintained the right to keep him incarcerated indefinitely post-acquittal. Do we demur to the Americans on THAT point as well.

          • PS: The treaties all say under 15 and Khadr was 15 : so techincally we are aokay now to the rest of your absurd point -> Okay say I agree . So what would we do? I Know – we can send a strong diplomatic letter to the prez demanding the release and threaten to remove our troops from Afgahanistan and then attack Gitmo to get him back … or … maybe turn off the tap to the oil or I don’t know what do you suggest ask for him back, get him and because we have no authority over him we can’t charge him with anything so let him go … why not … what the heck and if for whatever reason he goes out and kills some children somewhere well it’s not really our fault we were being civilized and other non sense and we can still sleep although it sad about the latest victims.

          • Wayne
            Technicality shmality! That fig leaf wont cover a big boy like Steve. As for the rest of yr …arguement…what if we get hit by an asteroid?

          • Wayne, how about we start by asking nicely for him back? That’s something that we haven’t tried yet, even though it has worked for the UK and every other Western country that had detainees at Gitmo.

          • Wayne, there’s no evidence that we’d need to do anything more than ask. Every single other Western citizen who has ever been held at Guantanamo Bay has been repatriated to their country of citizenship (MANY of them to be immediately released (heck, the latest big release was of a British RESIDENT… not even a citizen)).

            It’s cute to imagine that we, and we alone would need to stage a full-scale attack on GITMO to get Khadr back, but here in the real world every other Western democracy on the planet repatriated their citizens simply by asking that their citizens be repatriated (admittedly, some of them may have gone so far as to say “Please”).

            As for Khadr being 15, and therefore too old to be considered a “child soldier” that’s a valid argument to make. Now, go find me one member of the Harper government who’ll say it in public. Our Foreign Affairs Minister clearly doesn’t think it’s that simple, and neither does the Prime Minister.

          • good pts. i think fear of lawsuit is strong with this one.

    • the definition of who qualifies as a child soldier seems to be quite complex

      That’s hogwash in this context.

      The opposition is arguing here that we have a duty to protect Omar Khadr because he was a child soldier and we’re bound by treaty to protect child soldiers (one might hasten to add “particularly child soldiers who are our own citizens…).

      The Tories are arguing (and the Prime Minister has said explicitly, though not lately) that Omar Khadr was NOT a child soldier so we have no duty to protect him as such. Your logic and theirs seems to be “It’s entirely too complex for Canada’s MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS to possibly explain to Parliament what the definition of “child soldier” is, but we’re nonetheless quite certain that Khadr’s not one, even if we can’t tell you why”. In other words, “I can’t explain, you’ll just have to trust me”.

      Sure.

      I’m more than willing to entertain the possibility that the definition of child soldier is extremely nuanced and complex (I’m not convinced, but I’d entertain the argument).

      I’m willing to entertain the possibility that Omar Khadr doesn’t qualify as a child soldier.

      What I’m not willing to do is simply take the PM and MFA’s word, and only their word, that Khadr is not a child soldier, while they maintain at every turn that it’s just too complicated for them to explain to me WHY THAT IS in a way that doesn’t make experts in international law laugh out loud.

      The government is telling us with one mouth that the answer is simple and definitive, and with another mouth that it’s murky, and too complex to explain.

      Of course, I’ve long since stopped believing most of what my government and its Ministers tell me, but given examples such as the above, what other choice do I have as a rational being?

      • what other choice do I have as a rational being?

        Ummm, become irrational? Seems to work for many as a coping mechanism.

      • Splaning’s for wimps.

  2. He answered the questions the best he can.

    When an ally illegally detains a child in the role of a soldier for 1/3 of his life and tries him in an illegal court outside international law, we must see the process through to the end and let the travesty against law, justice, order and morality play out.

    It really is all we can do for Canadians we don’t like. Which is nothing…

    • Complete and absolute nonsense. ALL OF THE OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES got their citizens back when they asked for them. ALL OF THEM.

      Khadr is still at Gitmo for one reason and one reason only: We didn’t ask for him to be repatriated.

  3. What on Earth possessed this person to think this is an opportunity for the angry male to go on an angry male rant about how hard done by the angry male is.

    What exactly have you done to advance the cause of the poor, persecuted angry male, besides whine about it?

    Men like you embarrass me as a man. I can’t believe how whiny and ranty you’ve all become.

    • The guy named “Canadians Against Preposterous Narratives” is an amusing oxymoron by deed in this instance.

    • You actually exclude yourself from the whining and ranting crowd?

      What are you doing here on these forums?

      • You actually exclude yourself from the whining and ranting crowd?

        Indeed I do.

        What are you doing here on these forums?

        Observing the death of public discourse as an element in the decline of Western civilisation. I’m fascinated by it. It’s like a train wreck.

        • I hope you’re being ironic when you mention the decline of Western civilization immediately after excluding yourself from the whiners and ranters. It is hard to determine sarcasm from lunacy without face to face contact and hearing the tone of voice. One also can’t be sure given the general noise of ideological kooks.

        • Spare me the passive aggression please. If you want to accuse me of being a whiny ranter, a lunatic and a kook, be my guest.

        • Don’t worry, I’m a whiny, ranting kook too. I’m on these forums after all.

  4. Yikes… I hope you don’t make any serious decisions in your day to day life. I imagine anything beyond a basic meal decision must get very convoluted by your Conservative hackery.

  5. One must remember that, for conservatives, people charged with crimes should be considered guilty, and harsh sentencing should take place immediately, if not sooner. All that evidence and trial stuff in the middle is just criminal-coddling liberal nonsense.

    The government’s response on Khadr should be understood in that context.

    • One must remember that, for conservatives, people charged with crimes should be considered guilty, and harsh sentencing should take place immediately, if not sooner.

      It’s disturbing when it comes with the conservative general indifference to being wrong or right about anything. They don’t seem to have that much invested in their credibility or any respect with regard to the truth.

      I mean…look at Harper. He can contradict himself from minute to minute and his supporters simply do not care.

      • Oh we care, there just isn’t anywhere to go.

        I’m sure you’ll see some dusting off of the Reform stationary soon enough. The money I donate to the conservative party isn’t going to come out of my pocket anytime soon either. If I wanted people who believed that we can spend our way out of a recession and think every abortion is a triumph of progress, I’d vote for the NDP.

        • Oh we care, there just isn’t anywhere to go.

          But that’s the thing. It’s not all or nothing. Being a Conservative supporter doesn’t mean one should have to buy into everything that Party proposes nor should it prevent anyone from being critical. In the end, the only real important decision people make is at the polls on election day.

          I don’t care that Conservatives vote Conservative…I care more about just how little substantive dissent there seems to be. I don’t think it’s informing the Party very well.

          and think every abortion is a triumph of progress,

          I don’t know anyone who has ever believed this. I feel like joining the Conservatives just so I can argue beliefs like this right into extinction. They’re toxic.

    • JV
      Consistency would be nice. These big tough principles seem to not apply to their own. Human nature i guess, but still barking mad!

    • except, ummm, when they look in their own mirrors

  6. Back to “… can he provide us with the definition of a child soldier?”

    For heaven’s sake, what would the PM say to him if he did answer the question. Oooooh.

  7. Can’t be all that bad if they allow internet access.

  8. Khadr was 15 : Child Soldier -> The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 38, (1989) proclaimed: “State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities.” However, children who are over the age of 15 but still remain under the age of 18 are still voluntarily able to take part in combat as soldiers. This still allows children to be exploited within the war. The Optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict to the Convention that came into force in 2002 stipulates that its State Parties “shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons below the age of 18 do not take a direct part in hostilities and that they are not compulsorily recruited into their armed forces”.[1] The Optional Protocol further obligates states to “take all feasible measures to prevent such recruitment and use, including the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practices.” (Art 4, Optional Protocol)[2] Likewise under the Optional Protocol states are required to demobilize children within their jurisdiction who have been recruited or used in hostilities, and to provide assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration. (Art 6(3) Optional Protocol)[2]

    Under Article 8.2.26 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), adopted in July 1998 and entered into force 1 July 2002; “Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities” is a war crime.[3]

    [edit] United Nations
    The United Nations Security Council convenes regularly to debate, receive reports, and pass resolutions under the heading “Children in armed conflict”. The most recent meeting was on 17 July 2008.[4] The first resolution on the issue was passed in 1999[5] (it did not contain references to any earlier resolutions).

    In a resolution in 2005[6] the Security Council requested that the action plan[7][8] for establishing a monitoring, reporting and compliance mechanism produced by the Secretary-General be implemented without delay.

    [edit] International humanitarian law
    According to Article 77.2 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1977:

    The Parties to the conflict shall take all feasible measures in order that children who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, the Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest.

  9. Here’s another question. While we steadfastly refuse to ask for Khadr back, several other countries, notably Spain and Albania have expressed an interest in helping the Americans by taking some GITMO prisoners off their hands as they close GITMO. So, once other countries start accepting foreign nationals being transferred from GITMO, how will our refusal to ask for the repatriation of our OWN CITIZEN look?

    Worse still (for the Harper government) what if the Americans end up shipping Khadr off to Spain or Albania because we’re unwilling to ask for him and some European nation is willing to help the Americans out with that?

    Even worse still, what if the Americans decide that they can’t convict him and/or that even if they could convict him that no American system of jurisprudence would ever sentence someone like Khadr (who was 15 years old at the time of his alleged crimes) to anything more than time-served after being shot in the back several times and serving 7 years in a Cuban prison (allegedly under torture and threats of rape and exile to Syria) and therefore they decide to just release him and be done with it?

    Worst of all for the Harper government, what if the review of the GITMO legal processes determines that Khadr should be freed because he meets the international standard of “child soldier”?

    Make no mistake about it people, this isn’t about respecting an American process, or trying an alleged criminal for serious crimes, or punishing the guilty or protecting the innocent. The Harper government can’t afford to take Khadr back because it raises the question of why we (and here I include the previous Liberal administrations) let him rot for 7 years before finally doing something.

    The big problem is, I’m absolutely convinced that as a result of the Obama administration review the Americans are going to end up having to either formally ask us to take him back, or just out and out let him go. If we’re asked to repatriate one of our own citizens because the Americans decide they can’t try him (read: can’t convict him) and are unwilling to continue to hold him indefinitely without trial then A) how could we refuse, and B) what the heck could WE do with him? If the American’s can’t convict him with their system, we surely can’t with ours. If the Americans are unwilling to keep him locked up without a conviction, are you going to tell me that CANADA will lock him up without conviction on their behalf because the Americans decided that to continue to do so would be morally repugnant?

    Of course, maybe we’ll never have to deal with those questions. After all, if the Americans decide to just let him go, there’ll be nothing we can do about it whatsoever (including, I hasten to add for our Torybot readers, nothing we can do to stop him from returning to Canada to live out the rest of his days quietly suing everybody from Nunavut to Florida either for imprisoning him for years without trial, or for torturing him, or for not respecting his status as a child soldier, or for quietly acquiescing to any of those things).

    • I don’t really see why this is the issue where my fellow Tories decide to hold firm on either. Sure, we’ve all seen the picture where he smiles while he holds up a bouquet of severed hands, and he is likely to always be our enemy.

      But this whole process got really screwed up, and the basic rules of law were not followed. I would let Kadr go because I don’t want the precedent of his “prosecution” to be given to people who would use it against me. Every law and legal process has the potential to be used against you by your enemies someday, no matter what your political or ideological stripe.

      The simple fact that the United States was able to seize people and not treat them as either criminal prisoners or prisoners of war is incredibly scary. Even if someone thinks George W. is the best thing since sliced bread, why would they give that power to anyone?

      • What rule of law : Khadr was picked up off a battlefield in the middle of a no man’s land one of the alivend what are they going to do look around for a policeman somewhere – where? there wasn’t any the nearest law and order was in Pakistan more than likely – oops can’t do that against the law – the law is bound by where it can be enforced hence the long arm of the law : no enforcement no law it’s quite simple really. You might be able to stretch the geneva convention to cover it but then you have that pesky little thing about the Taliban and Al Qaeda not being signatories to the convention and all so that gets tricky – hmmm what to do I know build a special prison outside of reach of anyone and call it gitmo! – oops going to have stop that this year so what next = I know rebuild Bargarm base in Afgahnistan now you can say law and order exists there now so the newbies you pick up have a nice place to go if only Khadr went there now rather than years ago everything would be much better.

        • there most certainly was law governing the conduct of the coalition forces involved in the capture and detention of Khadr, and it’s looking unlikely that they were followed. The fact that an army is fighting in a chaotic nation (wait? aren’t all the women going to school now?) doesn’t mean there is no rule of law.

          • I would also argue that there is a natural law that binds behavior and proper treatment of human beings in the application of legal power. I truly believe that an unjust law should never be followed or tolerated.
            I’m a disciple of Thomas Aquinas’ ethical theories however, so I know I’m out of fashion.

          • The arguement for natural law is a dangerous one Terry. Whose law, mine, yours? Was Ludwig right to allegedly take matters into his owm hands? Are the native folks at Calidonia right to act like thugs? Was Latimer right to take his daughter’s life – a lot of people thought so, the law didn’t agree. Everyone’s right in their own eyes – isn’t that in proverbs?

        • Wayne
          Not getting the point of rule of law once again.
          “…taliban and Al qaeda not being signatories to GC…”
          Beside the point.
          The law is for our benefit!

    • BINGO : finally someone starts to make some sense around here – yes indeed Virginia = a formal request indeed .. I have been waiting for this … we are going to end up letting him go one way or another the yanks dropped this file and it will be our dime to pay for the mess that’s left .. there is no doubt about this and anyone with a modicum of experience in the world knows it will play out this way … all we can hope for is a little quid pro quo as it were. Even if we started to jump and down yell at the yanks and demand his release it would have no effect of any kind as he was ‘ Charged ‘ with an offense that means a whole other ball game different from the others released incidentally a fair portion of those released have been captured again up to the same old tricks – surprise surprise – I wonder what you say to the families of the new victims – thank god that isn’t my job is what I say – principles are great as long as the barbarians aren’t at the gates

      • Principles are just as important when the barbarians are at the gates. External enemies can be scary, but the state is omnipresent in your life. The chance of dying from a terrorist attack is negligible.

        I imagine the chance of being imprisoned by the state, being compelled to renounce beliefs, being compelled to restrict speech, being stripped of property and personal rights is considerably more. Particularly if you people powers that suspend what little protection we have against the collective power of the state which can put more resources towards our prosecution than we can usually put to our defense. Just ask farmers who want to get out from under the thumb of the CWB, natives who didn’t want to go to residential schools, people dragged before the human rights commissions, and innocent people trying to overturn wrongful prison convictions.

        That’s why, for a conservative, the suspension of habeas corpus and any other traditional legal protections is a really bad idea. Imagine Wayne, people who feel that you are a vile troglodyte that is a barrier to human progress and a good society. You know the people I mean. Imagine giving them the power to imprison you for a decade without trial, without the basic rights you would give a criminal prisoner or a prisoner of war. The right to use various tactics to break you into confessing or giving information that you don’t want to give.

        You can be sure, that if you enshrine this way of doing business as normal, those people will use these powers against you when they control the reins of the state.

        • Terry’s nailed exactly why we need to respect the law whether we like them or not – especially our govts These new state powers are far more of a threat in the long run the terrorist attacks. Of course we should still pursue them with all legal means at our disposal. It’s their goal, to piss us off so much that we shred our own constitutions and become barbarians ourselves. This shouldn’t even be a partisan issue for us at all!

          • Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say we should respect all laws whether we like it or not. I do believe that laws have to follow a natural sense of justice.

            I will agree that laws which protect individual liberty against the power of the state should be encouraged. When laws are passed, they usually invariably erode individual liberty in favour of the public good. This of course can lead to public good, but one must be careful as well because of the inordinate power the state has compared the individual. Laws should never be enacted rashly, and any law that removes specific hard fought protections of individual rights should be eyed with an incredible amount of scrutiny as to how it will be used against you.

      • anyone with a modicum of experience in the world knows the quid pro quo argument is absurd.

      • If the barbarians are at the gates who gave them a lift? Hindsights 2020, but if Bush had not invaded Iraq and excepted the taliban’s offer to turn OBL over, maybe a few more people would be alive now?
        Saddam could have been dealt with in other ways – assasinate him for all i care, happens every day for a lot less good reasons – 911 had little or nothing to do with him anyway. Maybe it was ok to invade Afganistan when you consider what the taiban represent, but why stp there; a lot of other bad people deserve to die too! End result. More people alive, OBL captured, tried whatever – good lessn for the Arab world on how law should work, and US reputation still good , it’s own laws respected and[ see Terry’s post above ] no big brother bs for us to deal with.
        Impeach Bush/Cheney i say – still we got bigger problems then those two clowns now!

        • Assassination as a legitimate political tool is also very scary. Saddam had a security force watching his ass, whereas a country’s own dissenting voices generally don’t. I don’t want to give the executive the power to order the summary execution of anyone without (at least theoretically) legal repercussions. I’m not in favour of executions in general when we have a secure prison system either, though at least there one can have some defense in a trial.

          As for the wars in general, I can’t decide where I stand on them. On the one hand, there has been some measurable benefits to liberty in both countries despite the loss of security and rise in violence. On the other hand it has been the death of tens of thousands who would otherwise perhaps still be alive. I do not allow myself the luxury to believe that life would be pleasant without the invasion and that there would have eventually been a groundswell of liberty without the use of force. I will certainly say what I did before the invasions, which is the military use of force for any reason other than self defense is unacceptable. However, my condemnations are weak and meek.

          • I don’t disagree with most of what you say. Although when states are faced with real threats to their security they take whatever measures they can. Israel being the best example. Still i’m no advocate of extrodinary powers for states, even if that does sound contradictory. I do believe that too much liberal handwringing [ remember i’m a liberal at heart ] leads to overreactions a la Bush. I’ve no evidence of course, maybe they would have come along anyway.
            As far as the middle east goes, i think the west should butt out, we’ve been meddling for too long. I know it ssounds crazy, and maybe we’re in too deep now, but after they sort things out for themselves and the dust settles the fanatics will have lost and we wont be accused of meddling. Haven’t really thought it through, but the empire crap asn’t been that hot either!

      • ” . . . principles are great as long as the barbarians aren’t at the gates”

        What separates civilisation from barbarity are, precisely, the principles you seem willing to dispose of.

        Barbarian, heal thyself.

        • Couldn’t have said it better. Seems to me that those who argue against removing Khadr from Gitmo have a whole lot more in common with the terrorists they seem to fear than they think.

    • “quietly suing everybody from Nunavut to Florida either for imprisoning him for years without trial, or for torturing him, or for not respecting his status as a child soldier, or for quietly acquiescing to any of those things).”

      to add: he is a Canadian Citizen with Rights under our Charter.

  10. hmmm , guess the G&M comments were closed.

  11. “Barbarians at the gate.” Sheesh.

    Some people are playing too much Civilization III

    • I haven’t seen civilisation 2. yet!

  12. principles are great as long as the barbarians aren’t at the gates

    I’m not sure Wayne understands the definition of “principles”. Here’s a hint. If it’s something you’d abandon because “the barbarians are at the gate” it’s not a “principle”.

  13. Here’s a thought that should scare conservatives – all democratics really – using the precedents that Bush/Cheney established -not really started, that goes back further, Nixon maybe – Obama could, in the name of whatever excuse, use those powers for yet more partisan evil. It doesn’t look like he’s that kind of President, however he is just human whatever some folks may think! I’ve no idea if these things can be shoved back into Pandora’s little box…

  14. “There is a moral law in this world which has its application both to individuals and organized bodies of men. You cannot go on violating these laws in the name of your nation, yet enjoy their advantage as individuals. We may forget truth for our convenience, but truth does not forget us. Prosperity cannot save itself without moral foundation. Until man can see the gaping chasm between his full storehouse and his humanity, until he can feel the unity of mankind, the kind of barbarism which you call civilization will exist.”

    — Rabindranath Tagore

    • So what is this moral law that applies to both individuals and organized bodies of men?

      • “Tut, tut, child,” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral if only you can find it.”

        — Lewis Carroll

    • Love thyself last.
      King Henry viii
      William Shakespeare.

      • I want to dissent, but it is too poetic.

    • why would he want to? we have a PM who lusted after the office so much that he defended the moniker of “pedophile” for his predecessor. a PM who pushes ppl out of their positions if he doesn’t like them. there are no “winners and losers” in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. they apply to everyone.

      • forgot to add; Stephen H is Khadr’s PM. Khadr is Stephen H’s responsibility as the so-called “head” of our govt.

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