He’s been described as a child soldier, a lost Canadian, someone the government ignored.
I like to describe Khadr as a Canadian of convenience.
Omar Khadr was born in Canada and came back occasionally but only when it was in his best interests.
His family came to Canada in 1977 but by 1985 was already living outside of the country to avoid to coro0sive influence of Western culture on their children. From 1985 until after his father Ahmed Khadr was killed and his brother Kareem was paralyzed in a firefight, the family pretty much stayed out of Canada, unless it was for healthcare or the birth of children.
Remember that: they left in 1985. Omar was born in 1986.
He didn’t stay long. Soon he’ll be welcomed back and to some he will be welcomed back as a hero.
Omar left Canada for Pakistan’s Peshawar district when he was only months old, spending the rest of his life going between Pakistan, Afghanistan and when the family needed medical treatment, Canada.
His story is now well known.
His father was an Al Qaida financier, his brother an arms runner, the family has denounced Canada and claimed open support for violent Jihad.
Khadr was captured by US forces after a firefight. He spent several years in prison at Guantanamo Bay, a prison so horrible that prisoners put on several pounds, some getting little bellies as they consumed their special diet that was tailored for their religious concerns.
And of course who can forget the conditions that saw prisoners given access to video game consoles and Nintendo DS hand held games and even a foosball table with all the faces filed off because it was so Western.
Throughout his time in Gitmo, Khadr has been held up as a victim. Media and legal pundits described him as a child soldier and called for him to be treated as such. Most child soldiers are reunited with their parents. Of course in Omar’s case it was his mother and father that turned him into a little jihadist bent on killing westerners.
His father may have been dead but his mother still supported Jihad.
No matter to the media party, they just wanted a soft focus on Omar.
They even gave credence to a so-called deal to bring him back to Canada under certain conditions such as limiting where he would live, work and worship. That deal would be a violation of several charter rights and there would have been no way to enforce it.
No matter, it allowed Omar, this Canadian of convenience, to be shown as a sympathetic character.
We’re about to see that portrayal of young Omar again, a misunderstood boy who just needs a second chance.
And trust me he will come back and he will likely be free rather quickly.
Last year there were attempts to assure Canadians this would be the case.
Here’s what U.S. Navy Capt. John Murphy, chief prosecutor for the office of military commissions had to say at the time.
“Following one year, if there is a balance of a sentence, Omar Khadr doesn’t go back to Canada as a free man. He goes back to serve whatever remains of his sentence within the Canadian penal system and under Canadian law.”
It’s a nice try but I think you and I know our courts and legal system better than Captain Murphy. I think within a year of returning he’ll be a free man, or at least in the process of having the courts release him.
It’s what we do and it’s why so many Canadians won’t be happy about Omar’s return.
And that’s the Byline.