Thursday, October 28, 2010

child soldiers? naaaah.

isn't it kind of hypocritical that one one hand the canadian media (and people) celebrate the rehabilitation and rescue of child soldiers but on the other hand totally ignores omar khadr, lets him be put on trial, and allowed him to remain detained for so long? especially in light of all of the media around romeo dallaire's new book on child soldiers?

what's the difference between ishmael beah(author) and omar khadr? one was give a chance and the other one was made an example of?

ishmael beah wrote "a long way gone: memoirs of a boy child soldier" about his childhood in sierra leone and his time in the military as a child soldier.

beah says he killed "too many people to count" and has talked about how "dehumanizing" children is a relatively easy task for the military. after three years as a soldier beah was rescued by unicef and eventually wrote his book about his experiences.

i watched this clip of ishmael beah on the hour (ishmael beah on the hour) and then i read this article about the widow of the soldier who omar khadr "killed" reading her impact statement and letters from her children.

she called omar khadr a "murderer" and that it doesn't "matter" what he says.

she read letters from her daughter and her son, expressing their anger and their hatred of the child who killed their father. "because of you my dad never got to see me play soccer.”
well... because of the war, because of illegal use of child soldiers, and because of the canadian government and people's complete apathy towards what was and is happening in afghanistan, omar khadr never got to play soccer. a child was captured and detained until he was an adult, and then put him on trial to satisfy the public's demand for "justice."

in 2002 canada signed an international treaty aimed at rehabilitating child soldiers. canada was even the first to ratify the option protocol to the convention on the rights of the child, a "treaty that requires signatories to give special consideration to captured enemy fighters under the age of 18."

well, canada's basically bowed out of that one as we can see with khadr's guilty plea this week.

how often do soldiers who die in combat get to put ONE person on trial for their death? i get that this is sad for the family who lost their husband and father, but is breeding hatred and indifference really going to help? is putting someone who is actually a child soldier in jail going to help? no, it isn't.

one of the letters the widow read from her children concluded by saying: “Army rocks. Bad guys suck.”

ah yes, how astute. to a lot of people around the world, the canadian army is the bad guy. all of the afghanis who are killed by canadian soldiers don't get trials, they don't get to read victim impact statements.

i read a news story today about two men who planned a rape and murder of a young woman in b.c., her badly burned body was found in march. the men, 16 and 18 years old, lured the woman to their home, raped her, and murdered her. then they transported her body to a trail and set it on fire.

these men can't be named in the media, because they were underage when the crimes occurred.

rapists and murderers are protected by the courts and the media, but we're putting a child soldier on trial and encouraging people to demonize him.

complete hypocrisy, it's what canadians are good at.

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