Monday, July 12, 2010

Khadr and Democracy. . . . .

Once again the Harper Government has demonstrated that it is not concerned with international law and basic human rights. A Federal Court judge instructed the Government to demonstrate ways that they can make up for the fact that Mr. Khadr`s human rights were violated and the Harper gang is appealing this, demonstrating once again that they are only interested in `law and order` when the court decisions go in their favor.

And one should be appalled not just at the reaction of the Government to this issue but also at the reaction of many Canadians. Go on any one of a number of Canadian news sites and look at the comments from readers and you will see that they are overwhelmingly unconcerned that Mr. Khadr's rights have been violated, that he was a child when his alleged 'crimes' were committed, and that he has clearly been tortured, probably with the tacit consent, maybe even help, of Canadian authorities. Many people not only don't care about this, but they actively praise his incarceration and torture.

People's approval of this is, of course, the active demonstration that a disconcerting number of people really don't care about the principles of democracy and rights which our system is supposed to be based upon. They are fine with violating people's rights as long as they are Muslims, people of color, or fail to conform to the mainstream. But we either believe in basic rights or we don't; that is all there is to it. And it appears that we don't because the government and many people are just fine with the fact that Khadr and others are subject to torture and are at the behest of Mickey Mouse courts that couldn't possibly be objective.

And the great irony in all this is that if people were honest they would say that even if Khadr did what he is alleged to have done, he did nothing different than other soldiers in war do - he fought back against armed invaders. If Khadr is guilty of a crime then so is every NATO soldier in Afghanistan and all of them should be put on trial. If an foreign state invaded the US, do you really think that Americans who were not active duty members of the armed forces would simply stand around and say 'Well, I can't do anything because that  would make me an 'unlawful combatant." I think not, and every American you can find would say it would be their duty to stand up and fight even if they were not soldiers.

So decide Canadians, do you really believe in democracy, in the UN Declaration on Human Rights, in the Declaration on Child Soldiers? I think most Canadians don't care and that is why it is turned out to be so easy for Harper to Dismantle our democracy.

1 comment:

CanNurse said...

Excellent piece! Thank you! It boggles my mind how either ignorant or just stupid the general public seems to be about the absolute basic & vital necessity of these principles for everyone in a democracy. I'm sharing the blog. Thx again!