Monday, May 11, 2015
Elizabeth May and Stephen Harper's Big Omar Problem
I'm very sorry to see that Elizabeth May is very sorry about livening up the deadly dull Press Gallery Dinner, with a choice comment about Stephen Harper and his cabinet.
Green party Leader Elizabeth May says she is "very apologetic" about remarks she made on the weekend that included profanity and insulted the federal cabinet about how it has treated Omar Khadr.
May played a recording of "Welcome back Kotter" -- a theme song from a 1970s sitcom -- and stated that Khadr has "more class than the whole f---ing cabinet."
Because while she does owe everyone an apology for playing the theme song from "Welcome back Kotter." That was a faux pas.
In the matter of Omar Khadr she was only speaking truth to power.
Khadr does have more class than the whole federal cabinet. As does Elizabeth May.
And it's Stephen Harper who has the Big Omar Problem.
The reason I say that is because I have been struck by how many Canadians seem to have changed their feelings about Khadr after seeing him and hearing him for the first time...
The day before that news conference 49% of those who voted in a Power and Politics poll thought he was a threat to society.
The day after the news conference more than 70% said they had changed their minds about him.
That huge and sudden swing is also reflected in the comment pages of newspapers all over the country. And in letters like this one.
Tut-tutting like sour Victorian schoolmarms, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his talking point-equipped ministers speculate that Omar Khadr is a danger to Canadians. Out on bail, Khadr presented himself last Thursday as an articulate, reasonable young man with no apparent grudge over his questionable imprisonment as a child, including torture at the hands of U.S. government agents.
If those torturers enjoyed what they did to Khadr and now walk free in the U.S., they may visit Canada where we can speculate that their urges to inflict harm could lead them to commit awful crimes here.
So, one must ask, Mr. Harper, who do you speculate is the greater threat to Canadians? Are you with the torturers or against them?
And when Stephen Harper loses the support of a Sun columnist, in Calgary of all places, you know he's in trouble.
This unrepentant redneck — whose attitude towards the ‘War on Terror’ can be helpfully summed up in this handy, seven-word phrase, “Kill em all, let God sort them out” — has one thing to say after notorious war criminal Omar Khadr has been turned loose on the Canadian public.
Welcome home, kid. And good luck. You’ll need it.
For his attempt to demonize Khadr appears to have backfired big time.
Under Canadian law, if Khadr had been convicted of murder on our soil, he’d have been freed six years ago. But by any reasonable standard, Omar Khadr is not culpable. He is a victim. A child soldier who required therapy and rehabilitation. Not illegal incarceration. Certainly not to be declared public enemy No. 1 by Harper.
And when in a few days time the Supreme Court delivers a judgement on whether Khadr should have been treated as a young offender, rather than being sent to an adult prison. And will almost certainly rule in his favour.
Stephen Harper will be left looking like even more of a bully.
Or even more of a sadistic monster...
And even worse for his chances of winning the next election, it will surely make many Canadian wonder whether they can trust ANYTHING he says about ANYTHING.
Which raises a fascinating question. Could the Guantanamo Kid, who Harper tortured for so long for crass political purposes, turn out to be his nemesis?
And wouldn't that be ironic?
The child soldier in the orange jumpsuit came back to Canada to torture Harper.
And in the court of public opinion dressed HIM up in orange...
Yes indeed, wouldn't that be poetic justice?
Liberated by Canada's most famous prisoner.
And what a wonderful end to a horrible story...
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