Khadr is PM’s Whipping Boy

Khadr is PM’s Whipping Boy

As published in the Toronto Star: September 25, 2015

Re: Judge eases Omar Khadr's bail conditions, removes bracelet, Sept. 19

I don’t dispute the notion that 15-year-old Omar Khadr made a poor choice in traveling to Afghanistan and taking up arms against U.S. forces. However, labeling and prosecuting him as a war criminal continues to be both excessive and unfair.

According to Conservative sentiment, Khadr is worthy of lingering persecution for killing an American special forces medic. I don’t doubt that he threw the grenade that killed Sergeant Speers but mainstream media claims that Speers was a mere “medic” are misleading.

This Green Beret soldier was an elite commando, not some innocent first aider with a Red Cross on his helmet. It is standard special forces policy that troopers develop a specialization (battlefield medicine, communications, sniping, artillery observer etc.) to complement their full arsenal of lethal skills. That’s what makes special forces so “special.”

The only people who benefit from the ongoing misrepresentation of Khadr’s Afghanistan episode are the pre-election Conservatives pandering to a diehard base who seem willing to accept whatever reinforces their convictions.