Omar Khadr deserves financial recompense

There really isn’t any reason to keep blathering on about the cash Canada paid to Omar Khadr, the former child soldier who was tortured by Americans in their illegal off-shore prison in Cuba with the open approval of his Canadian homeland’s government.

Yes, this was Canada’s official posture:

It’s okay to abuse a citizen of this country, lock him up, torture him, hang him up by his wrists which are tied at waist-level behind his back to rip at his armpits and force confessions from his bleeding lips. That’s how the Harper regime regarded the citizenship rights of a 15-year-old Canadian kid (officially a child soldier) who was found gravely wounded in a tunnel in Afghanistan where everyone in his end was dead but him. Shockingly, too many Canadians agreed with Harper.

The prohibition against torture is a bedrock principle of international law. Torture, as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, is banned at all times, in all places, including in times of war. No national emergency, however dire, ever justifies its use. No one may ever be returned to a place where they would face torture.

Yet Canada allowed just that and continued in that posture until the boy soldier grew up enough to strategize his own repatriation to Canada and submit to an immoral and likely illegal imprisonment in his own country.

The U.S. occupies a portion of the Cuban nation at Guantanamo Bay so it can perform illegal and inhumane acts with impunity in North America. This fits in with the American myth of world hegemony; that it’s the exceptional nation in the sense that whatever its ambitions and actions, the U.S. is entitled to enforce or perform them on this planet and in outer space.

That horrid and clearly wrong attitude doesn’t bother the astounding numbers of Canadians who profess disgust at Canada’s rightful, overdue and bargain-basement financial salve to the victimized Khadr in the form of a mere $7 million so many years after the fact.

I was especially shocked at two of the best English-language journalists in the world: Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star and Christy Blatchford of the National Post and formerly of the Globe and Mail.

Both railed against the settlement to Khadr when one would expect them to, if anything, condemn it as too little too late.

There really isn’t anything more to say. Canada was complicit in the illegal abuse of a citizen and is rightly paying damages…and at a bargain low rate.

If you won’t understand that, it’s your small mindedness and meanness of spirit that blocks your sensibility.

— Frank Touby