The Khadr coalition


The coalition lives. If now only to champion fundamental human rights and international law.

The letter from Messrs Ignatieff, Duceppe and Layton can be viewed here.


The Khadr coalition

  1. While I am all for fundamental human rights and international law, to be focusing exclusively on the plight of this one person while ignoring the greater issues of the war on terror and its egregious and widespread violations of human rights and international law, is to be guilty of looking through the wrong end of the telescope. With a blind eye, no less.

    I can understand why Ignatieff, Duceppe and Layton would do so, they are after all politicians and they have a vested interest in prolonging and elaborating the conflicts in the middle east.

    But what puzzles me is why the media so slavishly keep their noses 2 inches away from a single and relatively minor event and resolutely ignore the bigger picture. It’s like cranking out 10,000 words on Michael Phelps and whether his picture will be on cereal boxes without sparing a single moment to question the War on Mild Stimulants and its resulting human carnage.

    • Well, that’s the first time I’ve seen either Jack or Iggy compared to Nelson.

      There are a few reasons why they might be wanting to retrieve Khadr, but “prolonging and elaborating the conflicts in the Middle East” . . . ! Original.

      • By “Nelson” you mean Horatio Nelson?

        • Sorry, yes, re: “. . . is to be guilty of looking through the wrong end of the telescope. With a blind eye, no less.” Reminded me of Nelse at the Battle of Copenhagen.

          • Er, “reminded me of Nelson.” Only his best friends called him “Nelse.”

          • “Kiss me, Hardy.”

            “As you wish, Nelse”

      • I bet Duceppe particularly loved it! “Nielzun, who du fucd’s dat guy”?

  2. If you take the approach that leaving Omar Khadr to rot in Guantanamo Bay for the better part of the last decade is in fact contributing to alienating the next generation of would-be jihadis (particularly in Canada), then focusing on the plight of one person does become inportant. Though, I would argue that Khadr’s human rights are also important as an individual case as well as on principle. But then, I always had a problem with the reductionism of ‘the good of the many outweigh the good of the few.’

  3. The reason is that this case puts the Canadian public, its government and ultimately its courts to a very interesting test.

    How highly do we value the rights of a Canadian individual?

    There is absolutely no question that Khadr is Canadian and those posts (see G&M article) that question that are for the most part simply the racist fringe.

    There is also no real question that Khadr is damaged goods. Between the US, his father and wacko mother, it is clear Khadr is either going to be at best challenged, at worst extremely dangerous in dealing with Canadian society.

    We actually see this all the time. Children abused by parents go on to abuse others. Troubled youth who drift into gangs. People who abuse narcotics. People with certain mental problems. There are many examples of Canadians who really if one looked at statistics are more trouble than they are worth. Do we nuture them, off them or look for a third party to take care of them for us.

    What is remarkable to me is the transposition of nominal conservative and liberal comments on this issue. The conservatives who proudly uphold the value of the individual are more than willing to throw Khadr under the nearest bus. (Especially now that they are running in Ottawa) Will the lefties who uphold societal rights over all else in terms of gun control etc argue that we have to bring Khadr back due to the principles involved.

    • Paradox? Two boats.

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