Friday, August 17, 2007

Selective Rights


I think the time has come when we must ask ourselves the difficult questions. So many serious subjects are reduced to "party" rhetoric, that deeper thinking doesn't occur.
The issue of Omar Khadr is one that seems to be sidestepped all to often by politicians. Today as part of his request to Mr. Harper, Dion included:
Demand the removal of Omar Khadr from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and his transfer to the United States to be tried in a legitimate court. Mr. Khadr must also be afforded same the legal protections and guarantees upon which Canada’s government would insist for any other Canadian citizen. If the US cannot do so, we will call for Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada where he can be dealt with by our justice system.
Khadr generates an awful lot of hatred and specific characterisation, which is really neither here, nor there. The real issue to me, is the desire to compromise the rights we associate (and cherish), with being a Canadian citizen. I simply don't believe you can choose to whom you will apply the rights implied by citizenship.
In doing so, surely you diminish it's value and our collective values that we generally view with great pride. Our country has developed through those values and while this is not the first time that we have reduced the rights of some, haven't we always lived to regret that? Haven't we always seen the great injustice of it as time passes? Aren't we meant to develop beyond the last error, not just keep repeating it? The Canadian aspect of Maher Arar's passport was ignored. Did we not learn from that?
Harper now stands virtually alone among U.S. allies in not condemning or even criticizing the Guantanamo prison camp, which even the administration here concedes has become a stain on America's reputation worldwide.
That is an astonishing fact. We know of course that Australia and the UK had all their Nationals returned. Harper is either to reluctant to demand the same, due to the potential political fall out, or he doesn't care and is comfortable with leaving him there.
Good for Dion in making this request of Harper. No one is asking for his freedom, he deserves to be charged and tried in a legitimate court of law. Dion is for the justice that we in Canada demand for ALL citizens, not just the one's you like.

5 comments:

Johnny said...

KNB i totally agree with you on the issue of Omar Khadr. He should be standing trial in a civilian court,but i disagree with you when you say:"Demand the removal of Omar Khadr from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and his transfer to the United States to be tried in a legitimate court." Military courts are legitimate court i grant you that the rules are a lot different then civilian courts.

Next you said:"If the US cannot do so, we will call for Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada where he can be dealt with by our justice system." What I'm afraid
about this if he is ever tried by our courts I'm afraid if he would be found guilty he would only get a slap on the wrist because he is 15 years old. I heard on the news that he will be tried in the U.S. I'm not
sure in what court system
it will be in maybe you know. Where is Layton? Thee only time i hear him say anything is bring the troops home now. If the U.S government decided to
try him there as they wish. I'm not sure what we say or do will change anything. Again I will ask where is Layton the big supposedly human rights proponent.

John

knb said...

John, the words you are quoting are Dion's I think, not mine. While I think there is a legitimacy to military courts, the mandates are quite different. Frankly, having seen Canadians killed in "friendly fire" and seeing the US walk away from that, gives me no comfort. Actually, the whole Tillman thing, one of their own, gives me no comfort in that system. Police investigating police...not good.

Our system is not as bad as you portray. I know it's easy to say that, but generally it's based on exceptions.

He's no longer 15, he's 20, but he writes with crayons.

I have no idea where Layton is, but I suspect he wants him released too. How and on what terms, I don't know. By his website, it doesn't seem to be mentioned lately.

I'm surprised that you agree with me on the whole, but it tells me you care about Canadian values.
Actually, you'd disagree with many of your conservative friends on the Blogging Tories. Maybe you could help them understand the concept.

btw, good for you for taking out an account. Better than anon, but I'll give you credit for having used your name from the start.

Johnny said...

KNB it doesn't matter who words they are."He's no longer 15, he's 20, but he writes with crayons." That maybe so but we all know the way our system is.They usually go on the age they were when the supposedly crime was committed thats my fear.

"btw, good for you for taking out an account. Better than anon, but I'll give you credit for having used your name from the start." Thanks for the complement!! The reason i took out an account is because i didn't want someone using
anon and then sign my name on the bottom and make it look like i wrote
that post even if i didn't do it that's why. This way its more secure.
What is btw please i keep seeing it but i don't know what it means thanks!

knb said...

It means, "by the way", (btw), John. There are some odd expressions on blogs and comments...once you know them, it's easy, but it takes time.

Johnny said...

KNB thanks for the answer!!