Last Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Canada has sunk to the moral equivalent of al-Qaeda by failing to treat Canadian Omar Khadr the same way it treats other child soldiers, Liberal Senator RomÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©o Dallaire said Tuesday.
Dallaire, who appeared before a foreign affairs committee on international human rights, said Khadr is clearly a child soldier who shouldn’t be prosecuted by an illegal court system at Guantanamo Bay but reintegrated into society.
Canada is heading down a slippery slope by failing to obey the United Nations conventions on child soldiers to which it is a signatory, he said.
In a testy exchange with Conservative MP Jason Kenney, Dallaire suggested by failing to treat Khadr as a child soldier, Canada has sunk to the moral equivalent of terrorists.
Kenney pointed to a number of al-Qaeda actions, including an incident in which the group allegedly outfitted mentally challenged young girls with explosive belts and sent them to their deaths in a Baghdad animal market.
“Is it your testimony that al-Qaeda strapping up a 14-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and sending her into a pet market to be remotely detonated is the moral equivalent to Canada’s not making extraordinary political efforts for a transfer of Omar Khadr to this country?” asked Kenney.
“If you want a black and white [response] … I am only too prepared to give it to you: absolutely,” said Dallaire. “You are either with the law or you are against the law. You’re either a child soldier or you’re not. You’re either guilty or you’re not.”