Archive for the ‘OMAR KHADR’ Tag

CANADA’S OMAR KHADR – FORMER CHILD SOLDIER SHOT AND TORTURED BY AMERICANS JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FINALLY GETS BAIL – A FORMER AMERICAN SOLDIER IS USED BY THE NATIONAL POST TO STIR UP HATE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE NATIONAL POST AND PROMPTLY REMOVED

This man’s words are pathetically ignorant special pleading and, in publishing them, the National Post shows how far it will go to stir up the right-wing against the proper working of justice. The comments generated by the article, the ones left posted, resemble an orgy of right-wing hate-masturbation.

You go to war, sometimes you get wounded. You don’t whine and snivel about it long afterward, even more so when you were a paid professional killer in America’s special services, as this man was.

The man was a Green Beret, the guys who made their wonderful reputation crawling around at night in the jungles of Vietnam to sneak into villages and cut civilian officials’ throats. They were part of the CIA’s Project Phoenix which included perhaps 40,000 such brave and honorable acts.

But here he is, whining about a 15-year old who was caught up in the bloody mess of war, as though he were a criminal.

Omar Khadr is not a criminal, full stop.

Otherwise every soldier and volunteer who ever went to a foreign war is a criminal, and there are hundreds of thousands of them, including many who ran off to Israel’s various wars to help the IDF kill Arabs.

But they are not treated as criminals by the law.

It has never been the practice, after a war is over, for the winners to try the losers as criminals, unless flagrant war crimes were involved, and even then, it generally has not been the practice.

The United States has itself behaved as a massive war criminal in Western Asia. War after war. Threat after threat. Killing after killing. Massacres. Assassinations. And plenty of torture. The “laws” of war were broken countless times by the United States, and then it had the arrogance to try others for war crimes after torturing them for confessions, including a child, no less.

Only recently, it has been confirmed that a million souls perished in America’s totally illegal invasion of Iraq. Criminal acts do not come a great deal larger than that, but no one received years of confinement and torture for being part of them, much less planning and authorizing them.

This young man was fifteen when American soldiers shot him – twice in the back, a little detail often left out in the telling of the story.

Then they shipped him off for years of torture and isolation in Guantanamo, denying him for a long time all Red Cross-guaranteed rights. His interrogator was a Nazi-like American who made this kid sit up – pulling at his serious and unhealed wounds each time he brutally questioned him, and that after sleep-deprivation.

After years of abuse and without a hope of improving his situation, Khadr finally gave his torturers what they wanted and confessed to killing an American. I am virtually certain he did not kill anyone, but even if he did, he was a mere child and in a war the United States launched. The U.S. in its abuse of him has violated countless laws, including violating the UN Treaty on Child Soldiers, the Geneva Conventions on Prisoners of War, and Red Cross International Conventions on the Rights of Prisoners.

If you want a world governed by law, then you yourself must live by the law. Otherwise, we have international anarchy where might makes right and where America feels free to tell everyone, everywhere what they can and can’t do and even decide who may live and who may die.

And this man who is whining about Khadr’s finally receiving bail was himself nothing less than part of America’s bloody enforcement mechanism.

Thank God for a Canadian judge with some courage and proper legal values. A lot of the most beloved qualities of our Canada have suffered under the hateful government of Stephen Harper, but every once in a while it’s nice to see the old values shine through the gloom.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHAT WILL BE OMAR KHADR’S FUTURE NOW THAT HE IS IN CANADA AFTER A DECADE OF HORROR IN GUANTANAMO?   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

A little kindness I would hope.

Having been a child-soldier is only a small part of what happened to this bright and brave young man.

He was shot in the back by American soldiers.

Then he was treated in prison for a long period with no appreciation for his horrible wounds, wounds that would take a long time to heal.

Indeed, his early American military interviewer deliberately used the pain and discomfort of his wounds as a form of torture, making him sit up for his sessions.

He was held in Guantanamo with no access to lawyers or family or the Red Cross, a place which in those days resembled outdoor zoo cages with men in orange suits chained on their knees.

And we know terrible things were done, a number of prisoners having died from their abuse.

Every day would be smirking American torturers who did everything they could to make their prisoners uncomfortable, including sleep-deprivation and ugly acts like the desecration of the Koran.

It would be hard to imagine the terror a 15- or 16-year old experienced under such circumstances.

And in all of this, the basic fact remains that Omar Khadr did not kill that American soldier for which he has been found guilty. We have independent testimony to that fact.

But Khadr was finally reduced to pleading guilty to the charge since it was clear it was his only hope for any kind of future.

However, even supposing he had killed the soldier, Americans just overlook the fact that they were themselves the invaders of the country, and invading soldiers get killed all the time.

Khadr and others in volunteering over there only did what tens of thousands have done in the past, including in emotional events like the Spanish Civil War which drew volunteers from many lands.

And Americans have a long history of being soldiers of fortune, going over to distant lands to kill just for adventure and pay.

There is no tradition of treating such volunteers the way Khadr was treated.

And there is an international convention on the treatment of child soldiers to which the United States is a signatory and which the United States deliberately ignored in all of its dealings with Khadr.

On top of everything else, this is a boy of superior intelligence who has been deprived of any kind of proper education.

In God’s name, one hopes that Harper does not display his worst instincts with this young man, playing to the ugly crowd of witch-burners and anti-humanitarians, but I am not hopeful and feel sure comments will be posted here by the hate-filled extremists to whom Harper regularly caters.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OMAR KHADR AS A LUCKY YOUNG MAN? ONLY A MORALLY-OBTUSE BRUTE COULD WRITE THAT   Leave a comment


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MARGARET WENTE IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Omar Khadr is a lucky young man. He is lucky to be entitled to Western justice…”

Even for Margaret Wente, this is perhaps a new low.

Lucky young man?

Ideologue parents push him into war at fifteen?

Shot twice, in the back, by Americans?

Taken to Guantanamo against all international conventions?

His first years in isolation without any contact or representation?

Tortured many times?

Part of his torture consisted of making him sit in uncomfortable positions with raw wounds?

Being forced to appear before a kangaroo court, which has no proper jurisdiction?

Being forced into confessing to something he did not do?

More than one-third of his life in that hellhole?

A bright boy deprived of education?

His country’s government too afraid of Washington to insist on his rights?

Ms Wente has a very odd idea of lucky.

I should remind readers of how bizarre Ms Wente’s thoughts about children have been in the past, just so long as they were Islamic children:

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/the-iraq-wars-trashiest-piece-of-propaganda/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE COURT’S RELEASE OF ABDULLAH KHADR – OMAR’S BROTHER – AND THE MEANINGLESSNESS OF CALLING PEOPLE TERRORISTS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“The integrity of the Canadian judicial system would be better served by extraditing Mr. Khadr to face charges in the U.S.”

A genuinely morally obtuse statement, that.

There is a long history of men going abroad to fight for causes in which they believed. And there is a long history of men going abroad as paid mercenaries.

Men went by the thousands to fight in the Spanish Civil War. They went in the thousands to fight in parts of Africa during the 1960s. Some went to South Africa as mercenaries during Apartheid.

Indeed, Jewish Canadians and Americans have gone to Israel to fight in that country’s many wars of aggression and participate in its long occupation and abuse.

In all these cases, and in many more over time, we do not afterwards illegally arrest, imprison, and torture the people involved.

The only genuine difference here is the highly questionable use of the word “terrorist,” a witches’ brew of a word which truly defines nothing.

If you claim “terrorists” are evil people who kill innocent civilians for their cause, then what in God’s name are the United States and Israel? Decades of bloodshed, most of it civilians. Only last week the U.S. bombed and killed 54 civilians in Afghanistan. And we just celebrated the anniversary of Hiroshima – a non-military target in which only civilians died – an absolute black spot on America’s soul.

And we must never forget America’s glorious record of killing 3 million people in Vietnam, most of them civilians, by the most horrifying methods, and the legacy of an earth soaked in poisonous Agent Orange – a true holocaust by any definition of the word.

And then a million victims in Iraq and at least two million refugees created.

Of course, those horrors are not all. The U.S. is far and away the world’s biggest procurer of arms, supplied to everyone from dictators to murderous juntas all over the world for decades.

And the Globe frets about a judge’s correct and lawful treatment of Abdullah Khadr, a mere suspect at arms procurement who had been terribly treated owing to U.S. blood money paid out?

The editorial writer here needs, as they say today, to get a life.

And thank God for fair and decent judges.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OMAR KHADR SAYS HE WILL NOT GET A FAIR TRIAL IN AMERICA – AND HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

A fair trial for Khadr, or any other tortured captive for that matter, after eight years of illegal imprisonment is impossible.

Moreover, how can there be a trial in which no proper jurisdiction exists?

That is the very nature of war.

People invade the home of others – as the U.S. did in Afghanistan – and they get killed doing it.

You do not, afterward, “try” the people who may have killed your soldiers.

But topping it all was Khadr’s absolute status as a child soldier.

It is the U.S. who has broken many laws in arresting him (after shooting him in the back), abusing him, torturing him, and imprisoning him.

God, what a dreadful example to the world the U.S. has set.

But when you are as arrogant, ignorant, and rich as America, you just do not care about laws and what the world thinks.
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“Was he fair by throwing that grenade?”

“He’ll get a fairer trial and more of a chance than the one that he gave to the soldier that he murdered.”

It really is too bad people do not even think for one second before writing such ignorant comments.

Yes, throwing grenades is part of war.

No, he murdered no one. Using a weapon in war is not murder.

You do not get tried for doing what’s part of war, only for atrocities, like the ones both Israel and the U.S. have committed by the score in recent years.

And, again, Khadr was a child soldier who, in the name of God, has suffered enough. Shot twice in the back, tortured, held with no rights, and in fact falsely accused of the very act he is said to have done.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SUPREME COURT DECISION ON THE TERRIBLE CASE OF OMAR KHADR – AND THE IGNORANT SAVAGERY OF SOME COMMENTS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Do the right thing?

And just when in his entire career – except for events in Haiti where he would have appeared a fiend had he not responded – has Mr Harper done the right thing?

The Supreme Court had no choice here, and I think their decision a wise one.

The government has been complicit in denying a boy his rights, and in so doing, they assisted the buzz-cut thugs at Guantanamo in torturing a boy. (I remind readers that this poor boy had been shot, twice in the back, by American soldiers. He was tortured while these ghastly wounds slowly healed.)

The ethical and legal issues are clear here. There are no ambiguities.

But legality and ethics mean little to power-driven, compulsive personality like Harper.

Had the Supreme Court attempted to order a remedy, it would have pitched the country into a constitutional crisis.

They have done what they can in making it as clear as it can be that Harper has denied a Canadian the most basic rights.

That’s the kind of man we call our prime minister, a politician who has done more than any other in memory to shame Canada and lower its former fine reputation in the world.

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“Your boy’s buddies DELIBERATELY targeted their own children.”

That is simply ignorant beyond belief.

Since when are the acts of an accused judged by those of anyone else, whether known or unknown?

And, Good Lord, if we’re talking about targeting children, Israel just killed 400 of them. Has any Israeli soldier or general or politician been charged with anything?

This young man was fifteen when he was shot, arrested, and tortured.

And we now have evidence to a certainty that he did not even do what he was accused of.

But even if he had, so what?

America has sent thousands of mercenaries and idealists to various wars over the decades, going back to the Spanish Civil War.

Were they all to be tortured and held indefinitely in prison for their acts?

Moreover, he was a child, one pressed by ideological parents, and the United States and Canada are signatories to international conventions on child soldiers.

Clive G, no wonder you don’t sign your name to your opinions. That’s pretty well what one expects from the cowardly with savage ideas.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA AND GUANTANAMO AND THE OMAR KHADR CASE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES
“First of all, we need to know a lot more about each individual still being held in Guantanamo…”

That’s rather cowardly, to say the least.

We know more than enough.

These men were arrested and sent to Guantanamo against all international law.

They have been abused and tortured for years, again against all international law.

For years, they were allowed no lawyers, no visitors, and even the Red Cross was not allowed to visit.

The US has not only ignored international law and obligations, it ignores its own principles.

You cannot have a Bill of Rights worth spit if its provisions are completely ignored as soon as you put a toe over the border.

The very existence of this concentration camp – for that is precisely what it is – is an affront to people who love freedom and decency.

It is also the final proof of George Bush’s complete incompetence: he foresaw none of the consequences of creating this horror.

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The case of Omar Khadr is the one I am thoroughly familiar with.

He has suffered, at the hands of American soldiers, beyond the understanding of most.

He was a mere boy, pushed by ideological parents, when he went to Afghanistan.

At the age of 15, he was shot twice, in the back, by cowardly American soldiers.

Then he was arrested and imprisoned in violation of all international conventions about child soldiers.

He was charged with a crime over something that is not even a crime in war, that is shooting one of your opponents.

But as we know now, he didn’t even do that. It has all been trumped up.

Khadr was tortured for years, again against international conventions. This included a particularly vicious American interrogator, well known for his brutality, having the boy with two horrible wounds trying to heal sit up regularly in uncomfortable positions, pulling at his wounds.

Khadr was held with no access or help for years.

I recall in many, many wars abroad having nothing to do with the US – civil wars and revolutions and colonial wars from Spain to the Congo – American soldiers of fortune and motivated idealists going off by the thousands to fight for one side or the other.

They weren’t subjected to this Nazi-like treatment afterward. This is a total disgrace on the part of the United States.

And our Prime Minister’s cowardly refusal to stand up for a citizen and an abused boy is also disgraceful, but he unfortunately reflects American sensibilities. To have asked for this boy, in view of a family history which includes a dead father who knew Osama bin Laden, would have been viewed as an unfriendly act by an insanely mad American government.

And we have the horrible irony that some of the images from that other ghastly place, Abu Ghraib, now being held back include images of American guards Sodomizing young prisoner boys. Our great investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, has told us this over and over, but America pays little attention.