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Sunday, January 25, 2009 

Harper's Opinion On Omar Khadr's Status Is Either Stupid Or Political

"My understanding of international law is, to be a child soldier, you have to be in an army,"
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

"A child soldier is anyone under 18 who is a member of, or attached to, government armed forces or any other regular or irregular armed force or armed political group, whether or not an armed conflict exists."
The International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

"A child soldier as anyone under 18 who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including cooks, porters, messengers, and minors forced into marriage or recruited for forced sexual purposes."

Stephen Harper is NOT stupid. Therefore, you must conclude that his unwillingness to deal with Omar Kadhr's situation is based on nothing but near sighted, right wing ideological nastiness!


Bang on...It'd be nice to have a Prime Minister who was idealogically fixated on the RULE OF LAW.

Most of the world's worst abusers of child soldiers are irregular militias with challenged or nonexistent legitimacy. Harper's 'officially recognized army' bar for child soldier status would in a stroke disqualify almost all actual child soldiers.

Its the same kind of playing with definitions for ideological purposes that White House legal enablers used to say "We do not torture...given an idiosyncratic definition of torture that only we hold that includes any pain up to organ failure or death."

Or for another example, try to get a conservative to give a tortured definition of torture that always includes our enemies but always excludes ourselves or our friends.

I look forward to a solid week of one expert in international law after another publicly explaining to Stephen Harper what a moron he is.

Khadr needs to be tried, but lets not forget hes still a victim. His life is probably permanently ruined, as I understand it his mental state is in tatters. He has been tortured, the soldier who did it has come out and described it for christs sake.

Hopefully he receives a fair trial, and gets incarcerated in Canada - he can get the help he needs here, and maybe, just maybe, he'll be able to resume his life after he has done his time.

Now u know me dog, im kinda hawkish, but even I realize this poor kid was brainwashed by his parents.

All that being said, he still of course, made a decision to fight for the taliban.

Harper is trying to invent a new category as Bush liked to do. Just as enemy combatants are not regular soldiers according to Bush and thus not covered by the Geneva conventions so Harper wants to invent a category of child combatants who are not child soldiers and thus not covered by the conventions you cite. Of course both inventions are dodges to avoid responsibilities under international law.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

Khadr violated all four clauses. He's a war criminal. Execute him.

I am asking Obama to bring Omar home on Air Force One when he visits Ottawa in a few weeks. Sweet don't ya think?

Michael Ryan, that's what we call 'right wing' extremism. It borders on serious emotional or mental illness. Not tolerated well here.

"Khadr violated all four clauses. He's a war criminal. Execute him."

Really? He violated all four clauses did he?

Do you have evidence?

Cuz you know, there is as much evidence that shows that he was NOT the one who through the grenade and was wounded himself in the incident. He was also 15 at the time and there at the behest of his father. His American Military lawyer has evidence that he was be railroaded after the fact because he was the only one to survive. Of course the kangaroo court in Gitmo wouldn't let that be used.

But don't let facts get in the way right Michael? He's a Muslim so he should be killed for daring to stand up to the USA, home of the free, land of the brave and beacon of fairness and liberty the world over.

Yeah, that last bit is sarcasm, idiot.

It amazes me that these right wingers will completely ignore the war crimes of Bush - Cheney and Blackwater ... yet want to execute a boy who was 15 years of age when his idiotic father forced him into a combat situation. If MR wants to talk about executing war criminals ... well lets talk about the 'big guys'!!

Either Harper is stupid or he's lying. If you are right in saying that he is not stupid, then that leaves only one alternative.

The question is really how stupid does Harper think WE are? And if he is talking to his base, the answer is "pretty stupid".

He's right, of course.

John Stuart Mill, in a letter to the Conservative MP, Sir John Pakington in March 1866 was right on the money when he said, "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it."

Nothing changes.

Thank you, Some Old Guy. That quote gave me a good laugh.
And leftdog, you stole the words right out of my mouth. Yeah, Khadr may be considered a war criminal, but then what would you call Bush and Cheney? They didn't have to live the realities of their making, and they still don't. Criminals or not, those prisoners will never forget what happened to them, and for someone to say that Khadr should just be executed (especially after what he endured at Gitmo) isn't only inhumane, but ignorant.
Okay, let's just neglect the idea that war is a reality for many children who don't have a choice of whether or not to fight. Let's just ignore our own complicity by sweeping these child soldiers under the rug. Let's just focus on the Middle East's "Death to America" view without asking why they hold it.
How about we just never ask questions or consider context? Then nothing bad can happen to us, not in North America...right?

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