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1 part fundraising move, 1 part ideology = Harper’s stance on Omar Khadr (& other matters)

There’s a column in the Star today from Professor Errol Mendes, who teaches constitutional and international law at the University of Ottawa, on the background of the Omar Khadr case as it has wound through the Canadian courts. There is also an observation or 2 from Professor Mendes about Stephen Harper being offside with the court decisions, and he lists a reason about why he thinks Harper continues to oppose asking for repatriation, and why he potentially will appeal the latest 2-1 Federal Appeals Court ruling against him ordering him to ask for Omar Khadr’s repatriation to the Supreme Court of Canada:

The rulings by the Canadian Supreme Court in 2008 and now by the Federal Court of Appeal represented a rebuke to the values of the former Bush-Cheney administration that created Guantanamo and seemed to have condoned even the most serious violations of human rights in the cause of its simplistic war on terror…That Harper immediately ran for cover behind Justice Nadon’s dissent may well augur an appeal to the Supreme Court. Whatever the result of that appeal, the real aim could be to play to a certain part of the Conservative base that regards the Khadr family as not really qualifying for Canadian justice, but rather should still be subject to the rough justice sanctioned by the Bush-Cheney administration.

In otherwards, Professor Mendes feels that Harper is trying to keep his Conservative “base” onside with him in order to keep them happy enough with him to vote for him next election. I’d go a step further on Harper’s stance; I agree with Professor Mendes in thinking this partly an appeal to the Conservative base, but I think this is also setting up a potential new CPC fund raising letter to send out to these hard-core Conservative voters, urging them to donate more money to the CPC to help with their re-election.

If Harper appeals the Khadr case one more time, and it goes to the Supreme Court of Canada and he ultimately loses there (as Profressor Mendes is hinting he believes he would, based on the recent Supreme Court ruling on Khadr in 2008) the Conservatives could then figuratively “shrug their shoulders” and tell their red-meat rabid base of supporters that they had tried the best they could, but got thwarted by the “liberal judges”. They could then appeal to their base to send them more money, in order to help with their re-election, so as to be able to appoint more judges that would be friendly to the Conservatives POV on matters like this (or, seeing as they always like to go negative, they might argue that supporters need to donate to prevent the Liberals from returning to power and appointing more “wimpy bleeding heart liberal judges”, or something to that effect).

Secondly, I don’t doubt that Harper follows the Cheney and Bush doctrine of seeing the world with regards to terrorism and other matters in black and white terms; that the ends (i.e. eliminating the terrorists) justify the means (i.e. eliminating civil and human rights in that pursuit). You see that with regards to their stance on Omar Khadr. You also see it with their stance on Abousfian Abdelrazik until forced to repatriate him as ordered by the Canadian courts, and while not terrorist-related, I believe you also saw a similar pattern with their refusal to believe Suaad Hagi Mohamud or help her come home from Kenya, until public pressure and a DNA test confirming that her articles of identification and passport were hers embarrassed them into action.

Harper and his government’s mindset as to what Canadians they feel should or shouldn’t be helped, and whether certain Canadians should have no rights or limited rights if accused of terrorism, should be disturbing to the vast majority of Canadians that are not in Harper’s “base” and who don’t believe in the Canadian government acting borderline-authoritarian, as a lot of Conservative/conservative supporters seems to want their government to act like in cases like these.


5 comments to 1 part fundraising move, 1 part ideology = Harper’s stance on Omar Khadr (& other matters)

  • Ezra Levant is a liar and a media whore. nothing he says or writes should be taken seriously.

    Me, I’ll listen the the US Marine Major who has represented Khadr thee last years who has said time and again that there is no case against him and it now seems he probably didn’t throw the greneade.

    Mind you if the fascist Bush had actually held a fair trial, we’d know by now wouldn’t we.

    Poor Stan, unable to think for himself or do anything other than parrot liars.

  • Stan

    Here’s a great column on Khadr and the left win lawyers:

    “If the CBA had a general policy of demanding the return of Canadians caught in trouble overseas, its Khadr fetish wouldn’t stand out so garishly. But the CBA doesn’t do that. In fact, when it comes to the world’s worst regimes, the CBA isn’t just silent — it participates in their PR rehabilitation.

    Take Burma, a brutal country that just extended the illegal house arrest of democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The CBA recently sponsored a tourist junket to Burma, full of sightseeing and shopping. Suu Kyi has specifically called for a tourism boycott, saying in a 1999 interview “to suggest that there’s anything new that tourists can teach the people of Burma about their own situation is not simply patronizing, it’s also racist.” But the CBA sent 60 vacationing lawyers to Burma on an itinerary that included some great bargains on lacquerware and rubies.”

    Any of you liberals ever heard of Bill Sampson?

  • Stan

    Where is the law society on Huseyin Celil?
    Where was the law society’s concern for Khadr before 2006?
    Seems it wasn’t a big deal when the liberals were doing nothing.

    Khadr is lucky to be alive, in previous wars he would have been shot on sight for breaking so many of the Geneva convention rules.

    Now maybe he deserves a trial and maybe he doesn’t, but isn’t it odd how so many other Canadians held overseas don’t matter tot he liberals?
    What’s so special about this guy?
    Is it because you think you can score the most political point off his situation?

  • foottothefire

    Thanks for picking up on this one Scott. It goes hand in hand with last weeks Canadian Law Society rebuke (what? 3rd time now) of Harper over Khadr.
    Fascism is all to attractive to the ignorant but it’s mind blowing how large that segment of the Canadian population really is.

  • I’m going to await the highly enlightened and compassionate response form your BT trolling regulars before I tell you you are right. Even us libertarians and market anarchists can see that obvious move…

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