Written by: Josh Lax and Michael Kravshik.
At what point does dissent become treason?
Any free nation requires its citizens to challenge its decisions, but where do we draw the line?
A journalist trashing the government’s newest policy is clearly part of the democratic process. However, a citizen deciding to fight for the enemy and kill our men in uniform, is undoubtedly an act of treason. Not all issues are so clear cut, and where grey areas exist we must rely on true democratic debate to determine societies will.
The case of Omar Khadr is not grey. The coverage it has received astounds us. We’re not talking about the legal case, we’re talking about the emotional case for a convicted murderer and proud jihadi warrior. The support he has received from the Canadian public and the fanfare he has garnered should be offensive to any sensible Canadian. Omar was born in Toronto in 1986, into the self proclaimed “al Qaeda Family,” that phrase being uttered by his older brother in a 2005 CBC interview. His mother’s view of western culture was fairly straightforward, “by the time he’s 12 or 13 he’ll be on drugs or having some homosexual relation or this and that”. This was very clear by the family’s disjointed life between Pakistan and Canada, coming back whenever they wanted to take advantage of our healthcare or other support systems put in place for Canadian citizens. Omar’s father, who refers to Canada as “the dirty swamp”, started a charity raising money around Canada for what he claimed to be livestock for families left fatherless by war and artificial limbs for children left limbless from landmines. By 1986, coincidentally the year of our fellow citizen Omar’s birth, it was clear to the Canadian intelligence community that his charities were meant to serve another purpose when his association with Ayman al-Zawahiri became known. For those of you who are unaware, Ayman is currently the head of Al Qaeda after Osama’s very timely and overdue death.
So we know Omar’s roots, let’s talk about how he feels about his actions. Actually, we don’t need to talk, lets let him. “I felt happy when I heard I had killed an American. When I wanted to feel good in US custody I just recall the killing of Sgt. Speer and it makes me feel good.” Omar not only fulfilled his duties as an enemy soldier and terrorist, he literally fantasized about them. He believes “Americans are non-believers and it is justified to kill them anywhere.” Obviously, he has chosen not to identify as a Canadian and should not be treated as one. He is simply an enemy combatant. If he made the decision to protest against the government or write a paper in opposition we would support his actions as acceptable discourse, but these are inexcusable.
Dr. Michael Welner, a top expert on child soldiers, was the chief psychologist on the Khadr case. His analysis revealed the following; “Omar Khadr is not a child soldier in the manner that has afflicted so many conflicts. He was never uprooted from his family, never desensitized to violence with drugs and alcohol, never groomed into violence from a peaceful origin. He glorified violence rather than was horrified by it (as are child soldiers). Khadr was a worldly 15-year-old rather than a naive one. His family supported his violence, rather than adopting it from captors’ influence. Child soldiers seek nothing. Omar Khadr sought martyrdom.” Welners final conclusion is that, “he is highly dangerous” and that “the proudest moment of [his] life was constructing and planting IEDs.”
Omar Khadr is soon to be a free man, and is currently preparing a case against our federal government for the lofty sum of $10 million. There is no doubt in our minds that fighting against and killing Canadian soldiers, as well as the soldiers of our allies is treason in its worst form, and in return we offer this man a free walk and potentially ten million silver linings. This is a travesty and should not go unnoticed and unopposed.
Now lets compare this case with that of Conrad Black, another well known Canadian imprisoned in the United States. Unlike Khadr, Black has served his entire sentence. Also unlike Khadr, Black has never killed anyone. Yet, Black’s release and subsequent return to Canada has been protested arguably more vehemently than Khadr’s. No one would argue Black is a saint, but if given the choice of neighbours I think the decision is pretty simple. Yet, many of the same people who are arguing against Black’s return are the same people pushing for Khadr’s. How has the distinction between violent treasonous terrorist, and white collar criminal been skewed so much?
Its about time we came to terms with who Khadr really is, and treat him appropriately.
This is our opinion, what is yours?