Friday, July 7, 2017

Let Him Get On With His Life

Whenever I see Omar Khadr, I never fail to be impressed by his thoughtful reflectiveness. Despite the fact that there is a rabid element in Canada that will never see him as anything more than a terrorist, those with the ability to assess him critically and understand how his rights as a Canadian citizen were grossly violated during his time in Guantanamo will agree that it is time to let him get on with his life.

This CBC interview with Khadr deserves to be widely seen. The first two are clips from Rosemary Barton's interview with him. The third is the full interview. Even if you don't have much time, at least watch one of them:


  1. Hello Lorne. Thank you for linking these. I too find young Mr Khadr to be very impressive, and I also wish that he could get on with his life. I may have shared this with you when it first came out, but there was a lovely piece on CBC's. Tapestry about the English professor who corresponded with Omar while he was in Guantanamo.
    Educating Omar Khadr

    1. Hi Karen; good to hear from you. Thank you for the link, and let's hope people do give him the space he deserves.

  2. .. to the greatest extent possible, the Omar Kadhr saga.. was etched into the collective Canadian conciousness by that avid amateur 'historian' Stephen Harper. Yes, he of the prorogues, the obstruction of justice, denier of The Supreme Court of Canada.. the great Afghan warlord & energy superpower economist..

    To this day, partisans, elected public servants, certain alleged media mavens, and a particular political party Jason Kenney once represented, as did Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay, Jenni Byrne, Andrew Scheer.. Rona, Tony Clement the $$ hogging MP from Muskokee, John Baird.. and the brainwashed many.. all trumpet the same mantra as Stevie/Ray & Laureen.. ie 'it was a wonderful good old war, until Omar Kadhr came along with a grenade made in.. (fill in the NATO country) and blew up a special forces dude - who wasn't looking and deserved better.

    Of course Kadhr - a ripe old warrior of 15 was shot in the back multiple times for his error, presumably by another 'medic' armed with a 7.62 cal automatic weapon and seeking those needing medical aid eh!

    This was a firefight.. backcountry combat in Afghanistan & most of the known facts and extended history are highly accessible, aside from what our elected public servants decide to hide or deny from us, who elected them to 'serve us' ..

    Kadhr was & is a wondrous Canadian Afghan Canadian villain chosen by government.. take your pick, Chretien, Martin, Harper, Trudeau.. They all go with the same script.. 'into the valley of death, rode the Six Hundred..' (USA Special Forces) and the infidel turncoat terroristas shot em down n blew them up..

    Does anyone recall the 1st military attempt by Donald Trump ? That wondrous success, that killed off civilians plus a Special Forces martyr.. Now there's some fake news eh ? A successful mission.. wot ?

    1. So much of what I see, Sal, in'news', I realize the older I get is simple manipulation and framing. All story-telling, I guess, is a manipulation, but the one in which Omar has been framed, as you say, as the villain. Villains are often traditionally stereotypical, inviting no one to examine the person beyond the stereotype. To listen to Khadr, to read his whole story, is to realize he is much, much more than the right wing cares to admit.

  3. CTV News certainly slanted their coverage against the Khadr settlement two days ago when it leaked out. It was very obvious to me. No real mention about the Supreme Court cases he won, but coverage by several talking faces arguing against paying money, and five seconds from D'Allaire who agreed with it - shut that man down early, you can almost hear the producer yell, the cutaway was so obvious.

    So your average blob, voting on a web poll with pre-determined questions on Halifax CTV (2500 in all, about 2000 dopes), with no memory of nine years ago, having forgotten all about harper now he's gone, and the result was 78% came out against Khadr/settlement. Just your average uninformed mass opinion.

    You can tell whose side Bell is on. Shockingly poor coverage, I can only assume on purpose, and with only that to go on and loaded options in questions, character assassination was only a few hours away.

    We forget here that people like us on these progressive blogs are totally unlike the average citizen in our awareness of news and politics. The usual response to anything requiring one to have paid attention when roving reporters ask citizens on the street questions like name 5 premiers, is that not a one can. Course, they've got earphones on and are texting and the reporter is interrupting. They only look sheepish for a second or two, and then defensive, as in "who cares anyway?" With this level of knowledge, neoliberalism will never die, and Justin is still "great". I'm not saying we're the elite in being up-to-date, but that it's our hobby, one which the average prole couldn't care less about. I know nothing about pigeon racing. Two seconds of deep and insightful thought, and your average prole's mind is made up. And then the social media goliaths burst forth at full chat if enough doughheads agree that something is reprehensible. Just the way it is.


    1. Your assessment rings true here, BM. Even when I worked, I made a point of keeping as well-informed as possible, believing then as I do now that such is a responsibility of citizenship. Clearly, it is not a view widely held, and I say that not in arrogance but in sadness.

      In today's Star, Susan Delacourt has a very interesting column on polarization, and she makes the point that many people who were adamantly opposed to Khadr have changed their view once they have learned the whole story: