Friday, January 23, 2009

Excuse Me?!?

Khadr was not a 'child soldier': Harper

Harper's assertion that the government's "legal position" is that Khadr was not a child soldier is bound to anger supporters of Guantanamo's youngest and only Western detainee.

"My understanding of international law is, to be a child soldier, you have to be in an army," he said in the pre-taped interview.

And in that, sir, you would be WRONG.

"A child soldier is any person under 18 years of age who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to cooks, porters, messengers and anyone accompanying such groups, other than family members. The definition includes girls recruited for sexual purposes and for forced marriage. It does not, therefore, only refer to a child who is carrying or has carried arms."

- Cape Town Principles and Best Practices on the Recruitment of Children into the Armed Forces and on Demobilization and Social Reintegration of Child Soldiers in Africa (Cape Town, 27-30 April 1997).

You know, if he were actually as stupid as some former world leaders I could mention, I could cut him some slack for this kind of blatant error. But he's not stupid. Not at all.


  1. But remember! Omar Khadr is a TERRORIST from a family of TERRORISTS who should be EXECUTED for MURDER...

    Ugh... He fits the mold of a child soldier perfectly. Stephen Harper is either misinformed or willfully ignorant of child soldier definitions. Our Prime Minister is a man who lacks the ability to recognize the dangerous and manipulative circumstances Omar Khadr was raised in, and the effect it had on his world view. He is an embarrassment for Canada.

    Good on Ignatieff for calling for his repatriation though.

  2. Stephen Harper has "Chosen" to reach his understanding of a child soldier.
    The next question to Harper has to be, "What is the source of your understood opinion on Child Soldiers?".
    The truth probably lies somewhere between Rush Limbaugh, Goerge Bush and Jason Kenney. Otherwise, Stephen Harper "CHOOSES", to remain ignorant; a not uncommon position for far right authoritarians.
    Stephen Harper and his legal interpretations would make a great book.

  3. I'd be interested in learning who shaped his definition of "child soldier" as well.