By Letter to the Editor on July 28, 2017.
“The Khadrs, Canada’s First Family of Terrorism” is how Dr. Daniel Pipes of Pepperdine University and of the Middle East Forum has labeled this controversial Canadian family. He has documented their activities inside and outside Canada to the most recent happening. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issues a public apology to Omar Khadr and also decides Canadian taxpayers will pay him $10.5 million expeditiously and secretly.
The family was very hostile against the West and it supported militant Islamists in Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. It is understandable that the five of six children were influenced in this toxic environment. Present in a firefight in 2002 between American troops and an Al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan was not a surprise. Christopher Speer, an American army medic, was killed and Layne Morris was partially blinded. Omar was captured, his life was saved by the Americans and he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay.
The debate will continue about the innocence or guilt of Omar Khadr, but the bigger issue now is why a prime ministerial apology topped with a $10.5 million payment. This very generous consideration appears directly related to the phenomenal transition of the Khadr family from terrorists to victims. How did this change occur? Several factors have contributed: the rulings in the Canadian courts, the support by left-leaning politicians, the media and the anti-U.S.A. bias in this country.
“Roaring Ralph” Goodale, the rotund MP from Regina who likes to exaggerate, blamed the Khadr fiasco on Stephen Harper, that Western Canadian Conservative who just did not get it right. The Harper government delayed repatriation, but until that time, Harper had continued the policy of both Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.
Prime Minister Trudeau argues that the apology and compensation were made because the Canadian government failed to uphold Khadr’s Charter rights, and fundamental principles must be respected. If the Canadian courts ruled that Khadr was a child-soldier, why hasn’t the government charged the living parent for child abuse (Criminal Code, Section 215) for having this so-called child engage in a high-risk activity, a firefight? Why hasn’t the system also considered any action of treason against the Khadrs?
It appears that Trudeau’s rationale is very much the Liberal approach. Canada’s principles are like multiple choice. What the Liberal Government chooses is fundamental. The others are not important.
The Trudeau explanation is neither convincing, nor adequate. The decision was Liberal politics. It should result in more votes for the Liberal Party, especially from the ilk in support of Khadr. Also, the Liberal Party has a history of being anti-U.S.A. Omar Khadr fits this bias.
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