Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dallaire Again

It's hard to say enough about this guy. As a peacekeeper in Rwanda, he did everything he could - even as everyone tried to ruin peacekeeping by making Rwanda a failure - to save as many lives as he could.

It got so bad in Rwanda that the guy temporarily lost his mind.

And now this: Dallaire speaks on Omar Khadr's return to Canada.

Omar Khadr was a 15 year old boy, a child soldier recruited in to Al Qaeda and manipulated into fighting the invading American army. Khadr is now 21 years old and is still being held in Guantanamo Bay, charged with murder for killing an American serviceman.

Dallaire points out, perfectly reasonably, that a child soldier should be rehabilitated, not punished as an adult. He also points out that, as a Canadian citizen, we should be working to free him.

But the daring bit it this:
“The minute you start playing with human rights, with conventions, with civil liberties ... you are no better than the guy who doesn't believe in them at all,”

As the guy who watched a whole lot of people suffer in Rwanda, basically because the rest of the world refused to send enough help to stop the slaughter, Dallaire's judgment is quite respectable.

He was then put on the spot. Are you saying we're as bad as Al Qaeda? He doesn't back pedal, but puts the hammer down.
"Absolutely. You're either with the law or not with the law. You're either guilty or you're not.”

Moral clarity. Do the right thing. Believe in something and stand up for it. Yes, there is a close moral relationship between torturing a 15 year old boy for 6 years and blowing up civilians to attain political goals.

What can I say? For what he's been through and what he continues to do, I respect him deeply.

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