It isn't Stephen Harper's pig headed arrogance that upsets me the most in his handling of Omar Khadr, but the knowledge that way too many Canadians, who must also believe in Santa Claus, even though he repeatedly violates rules governing international air space, unquestionably buy the primary-school level logic that Khadr is guilty because some biased american 'authority' says so, even though law experts have lined up to condemn the entire Guantanamo process, and Canada's abdication of responsibility to look after it's citizens.
Never mind that the Canadian government is practically gleeful in its pride over how it treats someone who was only 15 at the time, in a grand 'fuck you' to the international conventions outlawing trials of child soldiers, to which Canada is a signatory. This is the Harper Archipeligo, after all, and goddammit Democracy is whatever the hell he says it is. Lawyers know that evidence like the fact that it was an American grenade that killed Sgt. Speer, and not anything that Khadr possessed, is meaningless in this movie version of Alice in Wonderland as written by Khafka.
And, if the comments on the media sites are anything to go by, I'm swimming in a sea of fear and ignorance. "That's what you get for killing someone" is a common theme, even though an actual unbiased trial would be a slam-dunk in Khadr's favour, in this universe, he has to plea-bargain in order to avoid life in prison in extra-terratorial space. Life in Guantanamo is the life of the un-dead, and to the untrained eye of conservative supporters, Khadr's life is neither here nor there.
Eight years he's plea-bargained for. Eight fucking years on top of the eight he's served. There's no "time served" in Alice in Kafka-land, so he'll serve 16, which, if you're Mullah Omar, is fitting as it delays his reunion with the 72 virgins, but for someone who is innocent, it's just tragic, and insulting to the rest of us who believe in a just Canada. We should have insisted on his return a long time ago. The Americans acually wanted, no, begged us to take him back. But Harper would have none of it. It wouldn't play to his base. Justice isn't worth pissing off the 35 percent of people who vote for him at election time. God, how I don't want to live in that world.
The front-line of ministers, Lawrence Cannon-Foreign Affairs, Vic Toews-Public Safety,and Peter McKay- defence, who is still acting out all this time after getting dumped by Belinda Stronach, have no interest other than towing the party line. Nuance need not apply.
I'll give ya this much. The rest of the Khadr family is pretty nasty. You'd think his mother would shut up already about how Americans should die. Omar Kadr is suffering for nothing more than the sins of his parents.
A pre-empitve note to the ignorant commentators to follow. No, you are.
Lalo Espejo is a writer, monologist and political satirist whose work has appeared on CBC radio, campuses across Canada. He has also taught writing and presentation skills at career colleges in Vancouver. firstname.lastname@example.org