Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Never thought I'd say it, but...

Jonathon Kay is right -- this time, anyway:
"This is a bad day for Canada. As I write this at 1pm Tuesday, piteous video images from Omar Khadr's interrogation at Guantanamo Bay are not only the #1 news item on the National Post web site, but also the lead item on BBC News and USA Today. Millions of Web surfers are now wondering why Canada's government has acquiesced — and as the video shows, even participated — in the unconscionable treatment of a blubbering boy-soldier.

As someone who otherwise considers himself one of the War on Terror's noisiest Canadian cheerleaders, I submit that the bleeding hearts are right on this one: Omar Khadr needs to come home."

Kay summarizes the reasons Khadr should be brought home, including the fact that he probably didn't kill anyone; if he did kill (something that has yet to be proven after an astonishing 6 years of incarceration -- talk about "justice delayed"), he acted as a soldier in a military engagement, not a terrorist; his treatment at Guantanamo has been atrocious.

Of all the arguments in Khadr's favour, the most significant is that he was the product of his upbringing. Having been indoctrinated from birth into militant Islamism, it should come as no surprise that he ended up a kid soldier doing what he was told was the right thing: defending a Muslim country under siege on the other side of the world. It doesn't matter what side of history he was really on, only that as far as he knew, he was in the right. At 15, how would he know otherwise?

It's surprising the number of conservatives who, screaming for Khadr to be "waterboarded until he stops crying", don't seem to get this. One can't insist that The Family is the pinnacle of importance to society because of its profound impact on children, then turn around and completely dismiss familial influence in Khadr's case.

Kay is right: bring Omar Khadr home.