Past Opinion, Edition 69-August 1, 2010
Edition 69-August 1, 2010
The tiresome tale of Omar Khadr
Why are the NDP and Liberals so interested in him?
By Thomas Terrio

The tiresome tale of Omar Khadr continues with the help of the federal NDP and Liberals, who never waste a moment in the media to let us all know how hard they work for the common man. How tiresome this case has become. American soldiers in Afghanistan captured Omar Khadr in 2002 while he was working as a translator for Usama bin Laden. Khadr, then 15-years-old, was caught in a firefight with the US military and later charged in the killing of an American paramedic. The Khadr family are known associates of al Qaida and admit so freely.

The Liberal and NDP's argument Omar Kadr is a child soldier is questionable. To some people, Omar Khadr gives shame to the term “child soldier,” because to them, he simply isn’t one. Most child soldiers are kidnapped, and then forced under threat to join militias; they are not recruited by family or friends, least of all a father. Then again, any father who would risk the life of his young son for a cause such as the Taliban’s, sadly, would sacrifice anything.

People like the Khadr family are a big part of the problem in this conflict. They allow religious beliefs to override their common sense reasoning. Furthermore, why should Canadians care about Omar Khadr. The people in Afghanistan who truly want political security and peace, don’t believe what the Khadr family believes, specifically women who make- up half the Afghan population.

Omar Khadr preparing and deploying Improvised Explosive Devices( IEDs) in Afghanistan.

There have been several legal attempts to bring Khadr home to Canada. The Supreme Court recently said in March of 2010 the federal government of Stephen Harper must make every effort to repatriate Khadr, because at the moment, as a Canadian citizen his civil rights are being violated. So far, Harper has simply ignored the Supreme Court ruling.

My question is this: Is Canada Khadr’s true home? Is he loyal to Canada, Afghanistan, or the Taliban? Does he care? It’s never clear where someone’s loyalty truly lies, but with Khadr, his behavior leads one to believe he did willingly what he was told to do with his father’s blessing. Why a family living safely in Canada would return to Afghanistan and involve themselves in a war against the destruction of the very poverty and tyranny from which they fled when they first immigrated to Canada, confuses the mind. If that’s why they immigrated here to begin with; or could they have immigrated to Canada simply to raise cash for their jihadist cause?

Even though Canadian troops will begin scaling down in 2011, Canadians have so much already invested in Afghanistan that it is highly unlikely Canada will back away from any foreign aid already promised. Canada will most likely increase its aid to the failed state sometime in the near future, because of the so-called media term, “The Rebuilding of Afghanistan,” or “ The Mission”—which has no end in sight. Khadr is part of a larger threat. The last thing we need to do as a nation is begin releasing known terrorists like Khadr into our cities, no matter how innocent they may appear. Canada has been fortunate not to have had a terrorist attack on its soil. However, the terrorists have proven they can strike anywhere. Such like-minded radical Islamists may one day smash our quiet peace.

In war, a child can kill you just as quickly as an adult. Omar Khadr followed his father’s will and now finds himself in very serious trouble at the mercy of an American military tribunal. This is indeed very serious for Khadr, but not for Canada. In my view, the only people legally liable for what happened to Omar Khadr is his family. After all, no one put a gun to his head. Canada has more serious issues to deal with then the plight of an enemy combatant whose comrades are still killing Canadian soldiers in the field.

But why are the Liberals and the NDP so interested in the fate of Omar Khadr? Could it be they are courting the immigrant vote, and Omar Khadr is the son of an immigrant first, and a terrorist associate second? On the other hand, perhaps it's simply the grand old game of partisan politics, with the Loyal Opposition grasping and whining at every single government decision or policy, whether good or bad.

Canada must respect the American judicial system the same way we expect the Americans to respect ours. I believe Omar Kadr deserves his day in court—an American court. And if he receives a life sentence, then he will serve it under American terms, not ours. There are issues that are more important then what the media has labeled “The Plight of Omar Khadr.” This is indeed a cold-shouldered approach to the Khadr family cause, but Canada is at war with Islamic extremism—and war is a very cold, immoral, and unwanted thing.

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