How do you solve a problem like Omar?

Omar Khadr is not going to be tried under a military tribunal – at least not for now. It is reassuring that a process run by military officials did not simply seek the first opportunity to avenge their comrades’ deaths. I’m sure that the judges as well as the defense attorneys have probably endangered their careers by acting this way.

So now what do we do with Khadr? First of all, it’s never been clear to me why he was even having to face a murder charge. This was after all in the middle of a war in Afghanistan. Yes the Taliban/al Qaeda have a terrible ideology, but certainly not any worse than that of the Nazis. The underage soldiers (Khadr was 15 at the time this took place) charged with defending Berlin as the Soviets rolled in were surely not defending anything better than what the Khadrs were defending. Yet even those soldiers who fought under the most despicable flags were not charged unless they were actually guilty of war crimes (e.g.: SS concentration camp types).

If the US government wants to build the case that a 15 year old was part of al Qaeda’s command and control, they are free to do so. I don’t know if anyone will be buying it though.

The soldier killed by Khadr was obviously dealt a terrible fate, but surely no more terrible than the fate that struck down countless soldiers fighting under every flag since time immemorial.


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