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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A night with Khadrites

Toronto's downtown Annex neighborhood is Canada's epicenter of soft-headed leftist extremism. Its upper-middle class residents are represented in Parliament by Jack Layton's wife Olivia Chow and it is home to the Trinity St Paul Church, which has perverted a religious sanctuary into a house of communist radicalism, housing such organizations as The International Socialists and the pro-Iran so-called "Canadian Peace Alliance." A few blocks west of the church, on Prince Arthur Avenue, just around the corner from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, itself a depraved institution that promotes crackpot racialist, cultural relativist ideologies, is a pub called The Duke of York.

A remarkable, attractive young woman named Terri Chu has taken it upon herself to revive the tradition of public salon evenings, and holds monthly gatherings upstairs at that pub to have open conversations of matters of public interest.

Monday night, the ostensible topic was Charter Rights, but in truth, the gathering was for discussing the violation of the Canadian Charter Rights of confessed terrorist and murderer Omar Khadr.

Two speakers made presentations to the room of mostly middle aged Annex dwellers who were almost to a person sympathetic to the Canadian-born Guantanamo prisoner who was the son of al Qaida bag-man Ahmed Khadr. That sympathy for Khadr was clearly shared by the speakers, the first of whom, Barbara Falk, is an instructor at The Canadian Forces College. A clearly intelligent woman, bespectacled, with hair styled in a military-buzz cut but distinctive in its being dyed bright red, she began with a somewhat selective history of Omar Khadr's life story.

Like so many of Omar Khadr's supporters, she attempted to paint a sympathetic picture of a "child soldier" while ignoring Khadr's commitment to jihadist ideology. She implied that Khadr may not have been physically capable of  throwing the grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer and that his confession to that killing may have been coerced. While conceding that Khadr's family was unsympathetic to the public and harmed his cause whenever they speak publicly, Falk didn't make herself particularly convincing by euphemistically referring to Khadr's sister Zaynab and mother Maha as "critical of Canadian foreign policy." That is much like describing Luka Magnotta as "someone with slightly unusual culinary tastes." In actuality, the females in Khadr's immediate family are openly supportive of Osama bin Laden and his goals.

Falk also said that she believes Canadian reluctance to repatriate Khadr is because of racial and religious prejudice and to support her assertion, compared him to American Taliban John Walker Lindh and Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks. She indicated that if Khadr had a more Anglo-Saxon sounding name and appearance, he would have been reclaimed by his country as those two had been. Left out of that argument was the fact that Khadr differs from Lindh and Hicks in that he is an unrepentant jihadist who is likely to be surrounded by a radicalized infrastructure in Canada including his family and religious leaders.

Attempting to discredit internationally-acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner, she referred to his report, in which he did extensive research on Khadr, his associates and family as well as interviewing the young al Qaida fighter himself for 8 hours over two days as a "travesty."

One salient observation did emerge from Ms Falk's presentation; that in the new world of asymmetrical warfare, combatants on the side that surrender often continue to wage war in the form of insurgencies and the Geneva Conventions are not equipped to deal with that contingency.

The next speaker was Gavin Magrath from Lawyers Rights Watch Canada. Passionate and affable with a sort of hippie look, he seemed like the sort of leftie lawyer Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind actor Richard Dreyfus would have played well about 30 years ago.

Magrath too was outraged at Khadr's treatment and his denial of Charter rights even though the dilemma of how Canadian Charter rights could be enforced outside Canada was not addressed. More humanization and a softened depiction of the young terrorist was going on, with Khadr continually being called "this kid."

During Magrath's talk, there was an implicit suggestion that when Khadr does return to Canada, his lawyers will try to argue that the violation of his Charter rights should invalidate his conviction by the US military tribunal and he should immediately cease to be incarcerated.

When I heard that, the first thought that occurred to me was that the best solution would be to have Omar Khadr declared a dangerous offender when he returns to Canada so he can be incarcerated here indefinitely.

Keep in mind that this event was occurring in a bar and by this point, I had already pounded back a few rye and cokes (served by cute blond waitresses whose informal dress code appeared to involve mini skirts and knee socks.) And that last matter struck to the point of concern to the overwhelming majority of Canadians who do not want Omar Khadr returned to Canada, ever. So I felt it was my time to pipe up.  Conceding that his Canadian Charter Rights rights were violated, I added that nothing said that night addressed the practical considerations of unleashing an avowed jihadist and al Qaida terrorist on the Canadian public.

That remark of mine infuriated a few aging, white-haired socialists at the other side of the room who repeatedly screamed out "he is not a member of al Qaida!!"

Magrath concurred with the enraged Khadr supporters saying Khadr wasn't a terrorist and hasn't even had a chance to pay up his al Qaida membership dues.

If Khadr wasn't in al Qaida, it was a strange coincidence he lived in an al Quada camp, fraternized with al Qaida terrorists, fought with them against the Americans and was filmed building improvised explosive devices for them. But maybe that's just the Afghan version of the Cub Scouts.

My calling out Magrath on being glib without addressing got him to get to the heart of what the position was, that he didn't care whether Khadr was a terrorist or a war criminal, but that he had a right to due process under Canadian law.  And then came the more telling point, when Magrath used the "c" word. He identified the real problem, from his perspective, as "colonialism."  He continued, "the problem is our going over there with airplanes and warships and Marines and then crying because the people fighting you don't want to put on a uniform!"

And that was everything I could have expected to typify the muddle headed positions of the useful idiots in the west who sympathize with our enemies. On one end was the pathetic cognitive dissonance by some who refused to even acknowledge that Omar Khadr could be a terrorist, despite the fact that even he hasn't denied his involvement in a terrorist group. On the other are people like Magrath who, in his impassioned condition appeared to forget that Khadr, father and son, went over there from here too. For people like that, the impression they give is that they are so obsessed that points of law take precedence over the safety, security and rights of innocent, law abiding members of the Canadian public.

They are basically good people. But they have a pathological devotion to multicultural aspirations and cultural relevance, and in the process have buried their heads buried so far up their backsides they can only hear the sanctimonious musings of their own internal processes.

At one point, it was said that Omar Khadr was a victim of "religious and community" profiling. Anyone whose religion and community believe they are entitled to slaughter infidels at will should be profiled and we have the right to protect ourselves from them. It's unfortunate we also have to fight a battle of ideas against our own citizens who are working to enable the people who want to destroy us.

you can watch the CBS 60 Minutes segment on Omar Khadr here (including video of his building IED's)


Anne said...

Congrats for speaking up to this deplorable crowd.

rick mcginnis said...

Yup, you definitely win the "In The Belly Of The Beast" award for this week, Richard. I honestly don't think I could last ten minutes in a room with these loons. I had the misfortune of attending a meeting of some sort of "Canadians for Cuba" organization many years ago in the Wychwood area (Annex North, as it should be known,) and it was the same bunch of earnest, condescending, hippy liberal types. At the time I just thought they were comic; in this context, I find these people sinister.

Richard K said...

Thanks Anne & Rick - they struck me as being largely deluded. One of the things that came up that I didn't include in the post for brevity's sake was how I mentioned that polls show about 60% of the Canadian public or more don't want Khadr back. Of course that greatly upset quite a few and they blamed that on "unfair media coverage" That, as much as anything demonstrated how nuts they are. It's the media, other than SUN, which is calling for Khadr's return. The Star publishes articles by Michelle Sheppard about Khadr that are reminiscent of the love letters pathetic, unstable women send to serial killers like Paul Bernardo. The Globe isn't much different.

But to keep things in context, this wasn't a room full of jihadists, just lame old socialists - one can still have a reasonable conversation with most of them, because, despite how destructive their ideas are, in fairness, they do, I think, mean well.

Anonymous said...

You are dead wrong. These people don't mean well..in fact, they are willing to gamble with Canadian lives in order to ensure that their 'processes' can be effected.

I would even go so far as to say that they would rather see you and your kind dead before they ever admit they were wrong. In fact, when it does all go wrong, they will blame people like you. Count on it.


Richard K said...

Well, here's hoping it doesn't come to that!

Anonymous said...

Come now. Young Omar was just thumbing a ride through Afghanistan when he was illegally detained.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't we like to know who those leftover 60s white haired nice dangerous leftists are, we probably know, yawn. Real people have disdain for them in their bubble. Khadr is a danger to Canada. These useful idiots would be first against the wall when the revolution comes as they used to say in the 60s. Real people hold these people in contempt as well they should. Kudos for the story.

Van Grungy said...

They certainly DO NOT mean well. These people ARE the slow march through the institutions, and THEY KNOW IT.

Every little step they take is one more step towards their utopia. Omar is a chance at a great victory for a certain type of precedent that they NEED to open the door for more repatriations that will be sure to come. muslims will be demanding Canada take them back in the hundreds, perhaps thousands as the Caliphate takes shape through constant jihad that WILL include muslim Western Nation Nationals that seek to fulfill their 6th pillar duty to jihad, especially against Israel (and America)... marxists want to help bring about these world destroying events.. fuck, it's like the marxists are the ones TRYING to make the book of Revelation come true.. no wonder they project that onto Christians..

Think tactically about this. They do know that muslims are a cancer. They have known ALL ALONG. It's easy for these marxists to internalize the lie that islam isn't the problem because that's been such a necessary strategy to get the perpetual police state people (muslims) into the West.

Damned evil fools...

Anonymous said...

Rick McGinnis: " I honestly don't think I could last ten minutes in a room with these loons."

I'm sure you could! Try it, the events are every month and free, refreshments available at the regular price, and I'm sure whatever else Richard will say about us personally and everyone else who attended, he will agree we did not discriminate against him or his questions at all.

One important point I feel Richard's commentary missed is that I believe our government must obey Canadian law, and that there should be equal treatment before and under the law, even for people you really really really don't like.

The issue isn't how bad a person Khadr is, the issue is whether you think you can just suspend the law any time enough people agree someone is really really bad.

I made no effort to whitewash Khadr's life or family because it is completely irrelevant to me whether he's an angel or a devil: In Canada, even devils get a trial before a constitutional court. If you don't believe that you don't believe in the rule of law.

While Richard's commentary contained very fulsome descriptions of people's hair, clothing, and style, it did not contain a robust description of the actual legal argument being presented; Anyone who would like to read the LRWC report, which has nothing to do with whether Omar Khadr is a criminal and everything to do with our government's legal obligations, can find it here:


Richard, watch out for keeping an eye on a crazy planet. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that may be where the crazy is too.

-Gavin Magrath.

Van Grungy said...

Omar was not tortured.


In later testimony, Attorney General Holder was forced to concede that waterboarding, even if it is rougher than what the three detainees were subjected to, cannot be torture if the government lacks specific intent to torture (e.g., the infliction of waterboarding on our own military in counter-interrogation training). Moreover, in arguing a torture case before a federal appeals court, Holder’s Justice Department adopted the Bush Justice Department’s legal theory that the infliction of severe pain would not be torture absent an evil motive — even as Holder pandered to Obama’s base by conducting a “professional responsibility” investigation against the Bush lawyers who developed that well-founded theory.


Richard K said...

Thanks for the comment, Gavin. I had an entertaining time, and will fully agree with you that I was not discriminated against. While I didn't discuss the legal arguments in detail, you may have noted that I did concede that Khadr's Charter rights were indeed violated.

There are other points that are relevant to the matter as well, including other aspects of the government's responsibility. First and foremost of which is the responsibility to protect the public - it's a difficult balancing act. I think there are some interesting analogies one could draw between Omar Khadr and Karla Homolka in that there is a reviled individual who very probably represents a danger to the public. But I'll save that for another time.

And by the way, I've been to it before and Terri, Devon, you and the rest are doing a fine job with "Why Should I Care?"

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but notice what a great job you did on the format of this blogspot site. Very tasteful and tidy.

Khadr can stay where he is until he dies of old age. Perhaps a regular morning water-boarding would be nice touch as well. Not for info, but pleasure.

Blogwrath said...

Great report. You're lucky you left unharmed. I live in the area - it's like a war zone completely infested by "progressives" of all ages. It is impossible do discuss anything with them without entering into a fierce argument.

I also had the idea of declaring Khadr a dangerous offender by the court and discussed it last month wit a lawyer. He said that the provision applies only if the crimes were committed by the offender in Canada, which is not the case with Khadr. I don't know if this is the only possible interpretetion.

Anonymous said...

Khadr can return in a body bag.

I had prepared a nasty screed for Khadr and his proghole supporters but I will leave it at this.

First, dhimmitude is not going to happen here. We will drop the gloves - eventually. Unfortunately we will likely need more body bags for real Canadians before we fight back.

Good thing the proghole politicians haven't succedded in disarming us yet.

We are at war folks, against both Islamofascists and Progressives. It is time Canadians woke up to that fact.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for coming Richard, and for your kind words. I hope you will come again, since I'm sure you will agree that increasing public engagement in these issues is important even if we don't agree on the result!


Cytotoxic said...

AhAHAHAHA "Internationally acclaimed psychologist Michael Welner"

Welner is the inventor of something called the Depravity Scale that purports to measure criminals by the extent of their cruelty and brutality. Others have described this as junk science in which the moralism of the investigator undermines objectivity.


Welner spent a tiny amount of time interviewing Khadr before he wrote a bunch of psychobabble that has ingratiated him with people who see no problem giving the government the option of due process or not.

You are every bit as dishonest as you criticize Khadr supporters as being.

Ode Nojh said...

I've watched this topic for a long time, and thought about it for a long time. There are a few issues that are always glossed over.

Omar is a Jihadist, not a child soldier. People say he was/was not a child soldier. I think that, regardless of which side of that issue that you fall on, you can agree that the environment that he was brought up in from a young age would have made a strong impression on him. He did not elect to go th Afghanistan, and likely had no say it the activities he undertook there. It is not like you have a 20 something year old person go off and decide to become a jihadist, what you have is a child who was brought up in an environment and told what to do. If you think this was voluntary think about how different your morals etc... are compared to that of your parents. Also, I am sure that many people would like to think that if they had been in the same sort of situation they would have stood up to their father and said that they would not participate, but I think that if you think about it honestly you will find that you also probably would have done what you were told to do.

The basic argument there is the Omar, like other child soldiers (and, yes, the UN says he met the definition) didn't really have much of a choice about the situation he found himself in.

There are also a whole host of issues with trying to extend his stay in prison, such as your idea of making him a dangerous offender. You are quickly going down a slippery slope with that, somebody does something that winds them up in jail, the majority of people don't like the punishment, make the person a dangerous offender.

At least you didn't try to go down the road of not allowing him back into Canada (he is, after all, a Canadian citizen), or trying to try him for Treason/High Treason (sort of hard since we never declared war, at the very least).

You can call me a "Leftie" or a "Progressive" if you like, or any other name to try to belittle my position (I really didn't like the tone of your article), however I hope three things happen:

1) Khadr is returned to Canada ASAP, as the Government implied that they would do,
2) he wins his lawsuit against the Government for his treatment (not just by the current one either),
3) and he is released on parole as soon as he arrives.

If those things happen then maybe, just maybe, the Canadian Government will behave in a proper manner next time, and perhaps my fellow Canadians will once again start acting like Canadians.

Richard K said...

Well Cytotoxic, I don't know how much you actually understand about forensic psychiatry, but it is a field in which "the moralism of the investigator" is always at play and there is no such thing as pure objectivity in it.

You may not like Welner or his conclusions, but the Khadr case was one of the most visible Gitmo cases and the prosecution were able to find people of the highest caliber. I don't think much of Noam Chomsky or the late Ed Said and think their conclusions are idiocy. But only an idiot would say they, or someone like Welner, don't have proper credentials or are acclaimed in their fields.

Richard K said...

Ode N, you are of course entitled to your opinion like anyone else. However characterizing your point of view as acting "Canadian" while implying those who aren't enthused about bringing a violent jihadi back to this country aren't, is the sort of sanctimonious silliness about which I was writing.

To be fair, that's not a left/right thing as both sides on this issue have people who portray their position as "the Canadian" one.

You're probably right in that Khadr went down his path because of his family's influence. But that doesn't make him any less of what he is and he killed Sgt. Speer and was active with al Qaida just a few weeks shy of his 16th birthday, which would make him old enough to be tried as an adult for murder in Canada.

Charlie Manson had a horrible, abusive childhood, but there's no less reason to keep him in jail forever either, and it's not just punishment, it's a public safety issue.

And don't worry, I'd never call you a "progressive" for reasons delineated HERE.

Ode Nojh said...

"Ode N, you are of course entitled to your opinion like anyone else. However characterizing your point of view as acting "Canadian" while implying those who aren't enthused about bringing a violent jihadi back to this country aren't, is the sort of sanctimonious silliness about which I was writing."

I think my point might have been a bit to subtle :-) I was actually being sarcastic with that comment. It is the inverse of what you were basically writing when you originally said things like "Canada's epicenter of soft-headed leftist extremism" and "promotes crackpot racialist, cultural relativist ideologies". There really is no reason to take such a hyperbolic tone about people. That being said, there is a bit of truth to what I wrote. Growing up in Canada I was taught to be tolerant of other people ideas, to me that is a big part of being a Canadian. I'd love it if more people shared that view.

You are making a huge assumption that there is no chance of rehabilitation of Khadr. That may be true, I don't know, but until someone in the Canadian justice system makes that determination I'll assume it is possible. I would also say that the best chance of rehabilitation would have been to bring him back to Canada right after the incident instead of leaving him to rot in Guantanamo.

It is truly a shame that Canada would treat one of its citizens thew way he has been treated (regardless of what he did or what your opinion is of him).

As for comparing this situation to Charlie Mason, I don't believe Charlie Manson had people shooting at him. It isn't at all comparable. I do know what you are going for with the comparison, but you don't have anything to say that he is not redeemable as a person (unless you go with the one psychiatric report and ignore the other ones or the comments made by the US military on him).

As for violating his Charter rights, the Supreme Court already spoke to this, and it said that they were violated. For some reason I am inclined to believe their opinion of yours in this matter.

Of course there is the best case for the people who want to keep him out of the country and in Guantanamo for the full 8 years. Unfortunate after that I believe he would return to Canada, we have to accept him, he is a citizen, and he will be free given that he has served his entire sentence.

Making him a dangerous offender is also, I hope, not possible. I would think that would be a huge abuse of the system. Also, dangerous offender status is given based on the crime committed, not the potential for future actions. Long term offender could be applicable however, not that that will really satiate the desires of people who are not happy about his release.

It is interesting watching people jump through hoops to try to find ways to increase the punishment or block Khadr from returning. The reason people have to contort is because what they want is not something that the law seems to allow, and there is probably a very good reason that the law doesn't allow that. This would be the other true part about my "Canadian" comments. Of course my personal opinion is that if a politician votes if favour of something that is later found to be unconstitutional or against the Charter that that person be immediately barred from holding public office for life.

Richard K said...

So you were being sarcastic but did mean it literally at the same time - yes, clearly I missed that subtlety.

I think you lost some of the point - I explicitly wrote (and said there) his Charter rights were violated, but that there is a need to balance public safety with Khadr`s rights.

There is also a tendency among certain sectors to completely dismiss Islamism, and the threat of Islamic terrorism, and for that matter the right to free speech, in the name of cultural relativism. The crackpots and extremists at OISE are willing to turn a blind eye to female genital mutilation in the name of that intellectually bankrupt ideology and I have no problem with calling it for what it is.

Ode Nojh said...

Yes, there was an element of truth to what I wrote, same as to what yours was. Mine was intentionally over the top, not sure about yours.

His Charter rights were violated. Period. Full Stop. That is it. No need to add any more. Some people Charter Rights are not more valid than others. It is horrible that anyone would think that they are. If you say his Charter Rights were violated but... then you are dismissing the Charter. And that, right there, is not being Canadian (no sarcasm, no subtly). It isn't Animal Farm where everyone Charter rights are equal, but some are less equal than others (yes, I said it that way on purpose, no need to correct me).

There are two separate issues: Islamism AND the threat of Islamic Terror. Those are two totally separate things. We don't go on about the Catholic Church and the Inquisition do we? Female genital mutilation is horrible and should not be practiced. Terrorism is horrible and should not be tolerated. However, there seems to be some assumption that because Khadr killed someone AND because he is Islamic he should have a different standard applied to him. That is simply not right. He should have been treated as any other 15 year old, the fact that he wasn't says something poorly about the people that treated him that way, and supported that treatment.

And, while you (not you specifically, your arguments seem better thought out than most I have read) have free speech, and should be allowed to say things that are true, that doesn't mean that other people can't call you on them for being dumb (things like deport him or bar him from entering the country).

To sum up, was he a terrorist, yes. Did he probably have a real chance at not being a terrorist? Probably not. Should he be treated equally as any other Canadian, absolutely. Did each Canadian Government make the issue worse? Yes. Can he be rehabilitated (the only real question that should matter)? I don't know, and neither do you. Given that we don't know should we go off half cocked with preconceived ideas about how to handle him? No. Should we further abuse his Charter rights? Absolutely not.

Richard K said...

You obviously (among other things) don`t understand the difference between Islamism, which is the promotion of political Islam (and which Prime Minister Harper inadvertently referred to as Islamisism) and Islam, which is a religion.

As far as sarcasm goes, as well as your ability to determine who is and isn`t Canadian, maybe you should stay away from those concepts, you clearly haven`t mastered either.

Ode Nojh said...

"You obviously (among other things) don`t understand the difference between Islamism, which is the promotion of political Islam (and which Prime Minister Harper inadvertently referred to as Islamisism) and Islam, which is a religion.".

And what do you call fundamentalist Christians who push their religious views on politics? Given the number of people who are "anit-Muslim because they are all terrorists" who knows what some random blog means when they use over the top hyperbole when talking about these topics.

Anyways, since you wont attempt to address my points, I guess I am out. Too bad, I was actually interested in seeing if someone with an opposing view actually had anything rational to back up their viewpoint. I assume that since you made no attempt at rebuttal to my points you have none.

Richard K said...

Actually, all of your points had been addressed earlier - you display an interesting psychological process when after being called on not understanding the difference between Islam and Islamissm, you try to deflect by lashing out at Christianity and political Christians.

When Christians call for the beheading of people that insult Jesus and the imposition of catechism as the law of the land, I'll be worried. And please, go ahead and make some fatuous comparison between the extremely rare instance of violence against abortion practitioners by the odd crazed Christian and the tens of thousands of instances of Islamic terrorism very year. Then, if you're capable, consider that mainstream Islamic clerics in Egypt and Pakistan condone the violence while every mainstream Christian clergyman in the world condemns it.

That's the religious and community structure of which Omar Khadr is a part and I pray neither you nor any Canadian has to pay the price for unleashing him on our public.