Monday, July 12, 2010

Old White guy with constitutional law background...

So let's see if I have this right, Mr. Selley:

Duh old white guy with constitutional law background bad, terrorists good

Does that sum up your position, Mr. Selley?

I hate to sum up your position so simplistically, but it seems as though that's what you're doing to everyone else, so apparently it's fair game.

First, the "Old White Guy". For the record, Michaelle Jean did an exemplary job during a politically tumultuous time in our history, and the Sun is wrong to bring up her CBC background again BECAUSE she did an exemplary job. But you have to know, Mr. Selley, that the last thing that the country wanted to see was yet another journalist receiving a job for which he or she is only qualified because of the colour of their skin, or their linguistic skills, or their religion (first Sikh perhaps?) or their gender. The country wanted to see someone who is qualified, and Mr. Harper was going to make that choice regardless of identity politics because HE wants to see that too. The added bonus is that by selecting someone eminently qualified for the position, he is putting those who would disparage the candidate in an awkward position by forcing them to focus only on the identity politics of the choice (and show their true feelings on the subject in the process).

Next, let's focus on your point regarding Omar Khadr:

And today, in an only slightly less cretinous effort, the Sun Media editorialists say “screw him” to Omar Khadr on account of his father and brothers are/were such awful people. Classy. Still, unlike the Johnston editorial, it’s at least somewhat in keeping with what many Canadians think. On the other hand, what the hell is this supposed to mean: “Khadr was 15 when he ended up in the American prison camp at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, and he is now almost 24. Boo-hoo. And la-dee-dah.”
Now, some facts. Mr. Khadr was captured on the field of battle in Afghanistan, where he was fighting against the NATO force (in this case, our allies the Americans) in support of the terrorist cause... you know, all those guys that keep planting bombs by the side of the road and strapping vests full of bombs to their bodies and detonating them? Yes, THOSE roadside bombs that have succeeded in killing 150+ Canadians in Afghanistan. Mr. Khadr was wounded during that battle and suspected of throwing a grenade at those same Americans, mostly through the circumstantial evidence of being the only one who COULD have thrown that grenade. He was 15 at the time. He was then taken to Guantanamo Bay (after medical treatment and rehab) where he was held and interrogated as an enemy combatant. Now, I don't know if you know this, but Child Soldiers stop being child soldiers at age 14, and enemy combatants don't get constitutional protection because the Constitution of Canada AND the US covers only what happens within our own country - it's not a get out of jail free card.

Now, Mr. Selley, if you want, it might be a good idea to also highlight that Mr. Khadr has repeatedly thrown wrenches at the legal process he is supposed to be charged under, delaying through obfuscation and tactics like firing his legal representation, boycotting hearings and the like, all of which lengthened the time he was in Guantanamo. It would also be a good idea to highlight that under the Geneva conventions, "enemy combatants" can be held without trial as a prisoner of war indefinitely - as long as there is a war ongoing. You might also want to note that since this has been ongoing since 2002, which essentially means that 3 different Prime Ministers have had the option of doing something and has refused. One more thing to note - of those 3 Prime Ministers, only Mr. Harper has chosen to allow the justice system in functioning allied democracies run their course before bringing the suspect home to serve the sentence.

The sum of all these things is to point out that Mr. Khadr will stay where he is until justice has run it's course, and very few people in the country can make it go otherwise. If you want, however, we can pay for his ticket back to the hills of Afghanistan where he was originally taken, with a detailed account of what he told Canadian and US authorities. We can also replace the 3 bullet holes taken out of him as well, and leave a grenade in his hands, just in case he wants to use it. That way, he can pick up exactly where he left off. Fair enough?

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