Canadian Politics Immigration Politics Terrorism Uncategorized

More Khadr

Dave 07Last blog I suggested we might need a more balanced look at the Omar Khadr file. I expected to get some negative feedback, and I certainly did.

Why did I use a picture of a teenage Khadr? Because he was a teenager when the incident happened. And another: He wasn’t a child soldier under international law at the time. He was a child under Canadian law, and unfortunately, he is a Canadian born citizen whether we like it or not.

Earlier this week, Andrew Lawton substituting on Danielle Smith’s talk show, interviewed John Carpay, a citizen’s rights warrior who many of you are familiar with. John was discussing some of the too frequent incidents of governments trampling on a citizen’s rights.

Lorne Grabher is a Nova Scotian who’s had a personalized license plate, with his name on it, since 1991. Recently, a woman complained that it was hateful and promoted violence against women, so the government of Nova Scotia refused to renew it. (Personally, I don’t know that I’ve ever run into a woman that sensitive, but obviously, they’re out there.) In any event, the government took away Mr. Grabher’s freedom of speech, including the freedom to use his own name! You might think it’s trivial, but it’s not. It’s about free speech.

Most provincial governments have passed laws restricting free trade between provinces. It’s against the intent of Confederation, but until now, they’ve gotten away with it.

New Brunswicker, Gerard Comeau, realized he could buy beer in Québec much cheaper than in New Brunswick, so he made a beer run and brought back a trunk load. The RCMP was waiting for him, and charged him under provincial law. Now, you may be a teetotaler and think this doesn’t concern you, but, again you’d be wrong. Anytime a government tramples on the freedoms of a Canadian citizen, we all need to be concerned. Incidentally, Comeau fought the law, and he won.

So back to Omar Kahdr. It is a fact that he was 15 years old when he threw the grenade that killed the American soldier. There is reasonable doubt that he threw the grenade, but let’s accept it as fact, so he was taken to Guantánamo and spent 10 years there as a prisoner.

During that time, he claims he was tortured. I personally don’t think sleep deprivation is torture, or else I’ve been tortured for many decades. But when sleep deprivation is employed as a tool for obtaining a confession, there can be reasonable doubt as to the veracity of that confession. In any event, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled, unanimously, that during his time at Guantánamo, Khadr’s rights as a Canadian were abridged.

And that’s the crux of the matter. When a government tramples on any citizen’s rights, that government must be brought to heel by every legal means possible, even if we believe that particular citizen to be inconsequential, or despicable, or, someone who, in our eyes, deserves no rights.

I have been uncomfortable with the lynch mob mentality that has accompanied this case from the beginning, just as I was regarding the Maher Arar case. Jurisprudence based on emotion is something to be feared by every Canadian.

Liberals and Conservative governments are both culpable, but the Liberals are most deserving of our opprobrium. A couple of decades ago Prime Minister Jean Chretien actually intervened on behalf of Khadr senior, a known terrorist, but the genesis of this debacle began even before that with a Liberal immigration policy primarily designed to create Liberal voters.

The Conservatives brought some sanity to the immigration file; Justin Trudeau is bringing back the insanity as quickly as he can.

Personally, I am in total agreement with Kelly Leitch’s proposal that we screen immigrants for a willingness to accept, and adopt, the values that have made Canada a magnet for millions. And one of those values is the right to due process.

We don’t need immigrants or refugees that favour sharia law, nor those who practice female genital mutilation, nor for that matter do we need Northern Ireland Protestants who get overwrought about a 400 year old battle, or Basques that feel that car bombs are a legitimate political tactic.

Of course the $10 million settlement is ridiculous, and the way Trudeau handled the file displayed typical Trudeau hubris. The Khadr case should have been allowed to wend its way through the judicial process, even if it ended up costing taxpayers $40 million, and it might have.

Hopefully, something’s been learned from this immigration related debacle.

Don’t hold your breath.

Canadian Politics Politics Terrorism Uncategorized US Politics

Regarding Omar Khadr

Dave 07I realize that I have a gift for occasionally making everybody mad, and this may be one of those occasions. As I’ve been able to uncover them, here are the facts.

Omar Khadr’s parents were both born elsewhere, his father in Egypt. They met and married in Canada and the children, including Omar, were born here. Therefore, Omar is a natural, rather than naturalized, Canadian citizen.

The elder Khadrs were not interested in integrating into Canadian society. They supported terrorist organizations, and the parents should never have been allowed into Canada in the first place.

Omar KhadrOmar was immersed in Islamic radicalism from the time he was born. When he was 15, and still legally a child under his parents control, he was taken by his father to Afghanistan where at the end of a firefight with American soldiers, he threw a grenade which killed one American soldier and wounded another. His father was killed.

Omar was apprehended and even though he was technically a child soldier at the time of the incident, he was convicted by a US military court and spent 10 years in Guantánamo Bay Cuba, during which time he claimed he was tortured. There has been no proof.

There is no question that he is a Canadian citizen, and that he did not receive Canadian standards of justice. It is also clear that he has not, since returning to Canada, made a serious effort to dissuade other young Canadians from following in his footsteps.

I suppose I could stop there because I probably already have made everyone mad at me by trying to give both sides of the story. If we ever needed King Solomon to come back and adjudicate an issue, now would be the time.

My view is that any Khadrs, or any other immigrants born elsewhere, who actively support terrorist organizations, should have their citizenship revoked, and be expelled.

But Omar Khadr is a Canadian born, Canadian citizen. I don’t trust him, but he was not treated properly according to Canadian law, and therefore should be compensated.

And 10.5 million is way too much.

Tear a strip off me on my blog site, and I’ll post your comments.

Dave Reesor

Canadian Politics Terrorism The left Uncategorized US Politics

Does It Look Like a War?

Justin Trudeau says that whatever sort of conflict we are in with ISIS, it’s not really a war; Dave 07it’s just a fight. Now I know that Justin isn’t a lawyer, but he has obviously spent too much time around people who fiddle with semantics to obscure the truth. Justin Trudeau and Stephane Dion both say that a war is something that can be won by one side or the other, and that terrorist groups like ISIS can never win. Really?

Who won on 9/11 when air traffic was shut down around the world? Who wins when Caucasian or Oriental grandmothers are forced to take off their shoes and be x-rayed when they go through airport security?

Who won last week in Belgium?

What war looks like has changed repeatedly throughout history. The invention of the British longbow changed it. The invention of gunpowder and firearms changed it again. The invention of tanks and mobilized warfare in World War I changed it again.

The French forgot that lesson in the lead up to World War II, and built the Maginot Line, a series of fortresses strung across the border with Germany. German Panzer divisions invading France simply drove around it. The French regarded the change in rules as lacking in chivalry.

The struggle against Islamic terrorism once again redefines war, and also what defeat and victory will look like. ISIS may not play by the rules, but that doesn’t mean we’re not at war with them.

A battle won is a day with no terrorist attacks in your country; victory might be a week with no terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.

But those victories will only come if we take the war seriously, and Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama, both of whom have declared that climate change is the major threat facing the world, are simply not serious leaders. They are Kardashians in pants; famous for being famous.

ISIS attacks targets around the world, but their operational headquarters and source of finances are based in specific areas in Syria and Iraq, and increasingly, Libya. We need to get serious about cutting off their oil revenue ; dismantling their financial structure; and killing them if necessary.

And who knows, taking that task seriously might eventually lead to weeks, or even months, with no terrorist attacks anywhere in the world. And quite unlike last week in Belgium, that would feel like victory.

I’m Dave Reesor, and that’s my perspective.