Now that justice and the American way of life, have been served, America can sit back and feel good about itself as the paragon of virtues and righteousness it has always been claiming to be.
That includes you and me.
Throw up maybe, but getting Americans to take active, affirmative stands against injustice, is an entirely different problem.
Omar Khadr was “detained” back in 2002 on charges of throwing a grenade at a vehicle, that resulted in killing a US Special forces soldier in Afghanistan. Khadr vehemently denied the charges right up to the last second when he suddenly agreed to plead guilty to all charges.
A number of questions arise from this shameful episode…
Based in the repeatedly proven fact that US kills hundreds if not thousands of people simply for being at the wrong place or just continuing with their daily lives; based on the proven fact that the US accuses Muslims of crimes that exist only in the fantasies and figments of over-active imaginations …sometimes even fired by US agents provocateurs, can we regard the charges against Khadr as accurate?
When the shoe is on the other foot, we blithely dismiss the entire issue. We have refused to charge and when charged, we have found them NOT guilty; members of the US militia, the mercenaries also known as “contractors” in Iraq and Afghanistan, who have slaughtered locals without even the consciousness required to recognize a person as a human being. Our soldiers who were found to have participated in torture and murders, have been allowed to walk away free with the exception of a few whipping boys from Abu Ghraib, but that was only to assuage international furor and to protect the higher-ups from Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and on down to the former commander of Gitmo, General Miller.
Move on…the child Khadr, was 15 years old at the time of his supposed action, how in the name of precedence and international law, can the US imprison someone of that age?
We have pushed hard, very hard, to rehabilitate child soldiers in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, South America, why is Omar Khadr any different except that he is supposed to have dared to attack Rome?
Or, was it an attack?
For the sake of discussion, even if we agree that Omar Khadr did throw the grenade and it did kill Speer, we must ask ourselves, what was the crime committed?
A soldier is killed in an area that even the US, calls a “War Zone”; an American soldier, who is part of the invasion and occupation forces there, a soldier who was in a military vehicle, in uniform and armed…is that murder?
If killing Speer was murder, then surely, the killings of all the civilians that the US casually butchers every day, by their drone attacks and by the US forces, are also crimes…even war crimes and must be tried in court?
But wait! Khadr was not tried in court! He was first imprisoned for years (starting at age 15) without any formal charges…”detained” was the euphemism used by America as Americans nodded in acquiescence.
We put Khadr and others, hundreds, possibly thousands of others, in Guantanamo Bay prison, in our many ghost prisons in secret military prisons and even on US naval ships (and of course, our proxy prisons abroad) under the consciously false position that if a person is not held on US soil, s-he is not subject to US constitutional protections. If that position were accurate, anyone we found to be committing a crime overseas, could not be tried or punished; Americans could treat Blacks as inferior while at jobs on American ships, aircraft and facilities, Jews could be relegated to lesser areas in US embassies and US bases…we could get away with a lot of injustices under the protection of the argument we have used to imprison, torture and kill people with.
Finally, we decided to charge the Gitmo prisoners (“Detainees“) and actually try them and again, euphemisms proved to be everything.
We set up special “Military Courts”, courts that are as legitimate as a court set up in a bar to decide whether to lynch a Black man or not. These “Military Courts” are presided over by officers who have no experience with any form of justice, not even military code of justice and the rules under which the “courts” operate, have nothing to do with any military court that has ever operated in the history of the United States.
The courts are set up specifically and exclusively to find the prisoners guilty; even in a few cases when the “judges” found the prisoners guilty, the cases were sent back to the “courts” by the Pentagon, to re-try them and re-try them again, until the “verdict” came in as “guilty”.
The prisoners are not allowed to review the evidence against them, nor are they allowed to cross-examine witnesses; in many cases, they are not even told what they are charged with!
America has harbored a hostile attitude towards Muslims for almost as long as it has existed. This began as the old Christian feud against “Mohammedans” and was carried on to Christian-majority lands and onto the lands over which Western Empires ruled; the brown man was always inferior and the “Mohammedan” was always untrustworthy.
Until September 10, 2001, this attitude of hostility against Muslims and Islam, has remained in the back and whispered around, after all, this is America, where all men are created equal…at least as far as the rhetoric goes.
Then came the tragedy of the 9-11 attacks by people who were Muslims and America could almost be seen to heave a sigh of relief; the hostility towards Muslims and Islam could finally be brought to the fore and it could be regarded as an act of supreme patriotism!!
Overnight, the people’s mood changed and opportunistic politicians saw their opportunity and grabbed it with both hands as they led the scream of patriotism against Islam and Muslims. Open Season was on and free hunting passes were being handed out as if they were confetti.
King George the Worst presented the façade of “tolerance” by stating that Muslims were Americans too and right behind him came US Attorney-General John Ashcroft, with his USAPATRIOT Act which our gutless and pandering Congress passed without a whimper and the Great Hunt was on.
By the time a year was out, Ashcroft had imprisoned (“Detained“) over 14,000 Muslims under various pretexts, with the logic that “these people are like pieces of a mosaic that cannot be discerned individually, but we are looking for the design to fall in place collectively“; it never did.
We declared “War!” on Afghanistan and Iraq and then went into Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen without declaring “War!”, killing an estimated two million people if we start the count from when we imposed our inhuman sanctions against Iraq which killed almost a million people.
Dirty, brown scum! who really cares if a million or two “sand-niggers” are “no longer a problem” _as King George the Worst characterized in Congress once.
We placed $5000 bounties on the heads of people in Afghanistan, many years salary in a country where unemployment was the rule and suddenly we got thousands of “foreign fighters“. Some were “detained” under the tender mercies of local thugs (“government” of Afghanistan) while others were given even more tender treatment in our foreign prisons and finally some in Guantanamo Bay prison.
Although today, our newspapers are telling us Khadr was the youngest prisoner in Gitmo, the actual youngest “foreign fighter
” was TWELVE years old
when he were brought into Gitmo (Khadr was an elderly 15), another was 13 and another was unknown and believed to be even younger…qualifying as “among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth
” in the words of our brave Donald Rumsfeld.
Welcome to Camp Delta, Camp X-Ray…Guantanamo Bay, where we don’t torture, we do “Robust Interrogation”, where you are guilty because we say you are guilty and where you will remain, even when by some extraordinary miracle, you are found innocent, because we have brought you here. No one will defend you; your soul now belongs to us.
Justice has nothing to do with the much-touted “American Way”, Law is where it is. Our legal system is based on the advocacy principle, which means that people are defended whether they are guilty or not. This is a reflection of the “American Way of life” where we have become so partisan that we even start fights with people who support opposing sports teams and colleges.
Since our leaders created Gitmo prison and decided to wage “War!” against “terrorism”, it has to be our position that we support our leaders, because we are Americans (by God!) and only a traitor would oppose the righteousness of our cause!
We used to deride the Soviet-style courts and the unjust “justice” of tyrants.
Today, we are in the position where even those systems look better than ours. Our Supreme Courts have found that the fruits of foreign torture may be used in evidence against an accused person in the US; our courts have remained silent when our leaders created the se so-called “Military” courts, which are independent of our civil courts even though our constitution insists that ALL courts are inferior to the Supreme court; our courts and our leaders have remained silent when we have forced a US-born citizen, to renounce his citizenship under threat of remaining in prison forever and the final insult, our president (Obama) has signed a order to kill a US citizen without even a trial in absentia…something even the old Soviet Union did not do.
Our collective arrogance prevents us from recognizing the enormous evil that is growing like a festering wound in our national body
I say we must get off our comfortable seats and get involved to help change this country for the BEST it can be and this fight for improvement must not be limited to Muslims only, we ALL have a duty to fight the evil that is pervading out country before we go down a path of no return.