Saturday, September 29, 2012

Welcome back Khadr

Having exhausted every possible avenue of foot-dragging, legal or not so much, Canada has reluctantly repatriated her most famous child soldier from Gitmo.

Omar Khadr was fifteen years old when he may or may not have thrown the grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan. His age at the time is pretty much the only fact not in dispute.

Canadians like to portray themselves as the most virtuous of the Nations of Virtue. Canada is a leading proponent in the international push against child soldiery. When it's a Canadian child and we don't like his father's political affiliations, all that do-goodery is forgotten in an instant.

A great swath of the Canadian media, who can in many matters be counted on to be conventionally liberal, will continue to refer to Khadr as a convicted terrorist, a murderer, or a jihadist. They won't refer to him as an Afghani patriot, a member of the resistance, or a freedom fighter.

He should be remembered as a child soldier and be allowed to live a normal life. The Harper gang's insistence on using legal technicalities to obstruct his reintegration into society risks making him an icon for radical Muslims in Canada and beyond.

Set him free, leave him alone, and let him live his life.

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