Last week, in honor of Canada Day, I decided to whip off a list of The Top Ten Reasons We Here in The Great White North Should Be Both Proud and Ashamed of Being Canadian.
However, I soon realized that it wasn't something that could simply be whipped off in a few minutes, so I decided to take a few more days to think about it and here, finally, is my official list of the top ten things I love and hate about this country:
"I'll go along with the charade
Until I can think my way out
I know it was all a big joke
Whatever it was all about"
- Bob Dylan, "Tight Connection To My Heart"
Whatever one may think about the so-called "War On Terror", there are certain stories that both boggle the mind and dramatically highlight just how ridiculous this War Without End really is. One such recent story concerned the release of yet another innocent man, Mohamed el-Gharani, from America's notorious gulag down there in Guantanamo Bay.
Now, sadly, the release of an innocent man from Guantanamo is hardly a rare or unique occurrence, but this case, as you'll see, was particularly disturbing.
This whole situation with Omar Khadr is so repulsive, shameful and depressing. Thinking about how this poor kid from Toronto has been treated makes me, as a Canadian, feel so embarrassed and sad. All his rights have been violated, he's been abused, tortured, held for six years (so far), long periods of which have been in solitary confinement, he faces a sham trial that would make the Soviets proud, and he was just 15 years old when captured, yet Canada has done absolutely nothing to help him. In fact, as we now indisputably know, the Canadian government has been an active participant in this whole tragedy. And so I ask: What sort of nation have we become anyway?
The American gulag in Guantanamo Bay has one - just one - remaining Western captive still being held by the U.S. government. His name is Omar Khadr. And he's Canadian. Every other Western government did all it could and eventually won the release of every single one of its citizens held in that Kafkaesque joke of a camp. But not our government. No, the Canadian government has abandoned this guy. And the worst thing is he was already abandoned back when he was just a 15 year old kid. That's how old he was when the American's locked him up and started their mental and physical torture regiment on him. Torturing kids? Yup, that's how fucked up the American government has become. Abandoning Canadian kids in foreign gulags? You bet, that's exactly how fucked up the Canadian government has become.