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Compassionate Canada.
February 10, 2009 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Canada is a desired location for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Canadian Council for Refugees has profiles (pdf) up for some of the people they are helping.
posted by gman (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
And yet, we still have our own people in Guantanamo.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:31 PM on February 10, 2009


It's great how the US imprisons people at such terrifying rates, and yet is so afraid of bringing these particular prisoners onto US soil for incarceration. You'd think we'd have more confidence in our imprisonment capabilities, it's one of the few growth industries left in the country.
posted by mullingitover at 3:33 PM on February 10, 2009


I have very mixed feelings about this. What happens to an innocent person who's held and humiliated for x number of years without trial and then released into the very society which wronged them?
posted by gman at 3:42 PM on February 10, 2009


gman, I don't see how your question gives rise to mixed feelings. Are you saying that they should possibly be held because they've been hurt in the past, which could lead to them wanting to hurt their former captors? More importantly, in this case they are not being released into the society that wronged them.

Also interesting: China doesn't want them going anywhere but back home.

Uyghurs in Canada, from a few years back.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:51 PM on February 10, 2009


The 'West' wronged them and many people don't differentiate. My mixed feelings stem from the fact that these people deserve a new lease on life, but to what degree have they been radicalized by their incarceration?
posted by gman at 4:04 PM on February 10, 2009


I'm sure that's the very reason that the US doesn't want to release them: if they didn't harboour hatred towards the United States in 2002, unless they have the depth of forgiveness of a Gandhi or a Christ it's rather likely that they're going to hold a pretty huge grudge after 6+ years of sustained abuse.
I'm all for this and hope that Canada goes through with it; after all we aren't the 'very society that wronged them', we're Canada dammit. I'd love to hear what the Tories and the editorial board of the Calgary Sun think about this proposal though!
(on preview - they deserve a chance at least, and if we don't offer it to them, who will?)
posted by Flashman at 4:07 PM on February 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Many people don't differentiate. However, the odds that these prisoners can't tell the difference between the people that locked them up and the people that took them in are quite low, I would think.

But Flashman's got it - whether or not they've been radicalized by their incarceration, that's not a license for a government to lock them up. If they cannot be charged, they must be released, and the consequences are up to us to deal with.

That being said, assigning a platoon of social workers & therapists to them for a few years would probably be a good idea.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:15 PM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


However, the odds that these prisoners can't tell the difference between the people that locked them up and the people that took them in are quite low, I would think.

Right, but should it be Canada which deals with the consequences of radicalization when these people were not locked up by us and are not Canadian citizens. Khadr being a different story...
posted by gman at 4:19 PM on February 10, 2009


And yet, we still have our own people in Guantanamo.

If you want to claim Khadr as one of yours, do it in your own name, not in the name of all Canadians.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:35 PM on February 10, 2009


However, the odds that these prisoners can't tell the difference between the people that locked them up and the people that took them in are quite low, I would think.

Yes, quite low. Maybe you or some Hollywood celebrities can adopt a few.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:38 PM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Krrrison, Khadr is a Canadian citizen.
I claim him in the name of all Canadians, because that's what being a citizen means.

I like the visuals of that first sentence.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:40 PM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Khadr family are a bunch of sociopathic shitheads, but they're still Canadian citizens, and there is no reason to imprison (and torture) a child soldier, Omar Khadr.

Wiebo Ludwig is at the same level as these guys, yet no one is trying to revoke his Canadian citizenship.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:16 PM on February 10, 2009


The US have been dumping former prisoners in Albania, apparently one of the very, very few countries on Earth still willing to help the US dig themselves out of their very deep hole.

Switzerland offered to consider granting asylum to freed detainees the day after Obama was sworn in as president, after rejecting three applications from Uyghurs in November last year. At least Germany and the Netherlands have refused to consider taking in released detainees.
posted by LanTao at 6:54 PM on February 10, 2009


If these are innocents who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, sold for a bounty to the US military and imprisoned and tortured for seven years, perhaps they should have right to sue the American government for enough money to claim refugee status on their own private islands.

As it is some church groups probably driven as much by anti-American political sentiments as by their charitable instincts will help out ten or twenty men who will find that living in a high-rise on the outskirts of Toronto or Montreal under the refugee program is the continuation of a miserable life, and twenty-five million of us will find it harder to cross the border because talk radio types will constantly portray Canada as that softheaded country that gives refuge to the world's worst terrorists.

And they won't be totally wrong in the skepticism. Remember, this is the country that spent 20 years and 120 million dollars, that reconstructed a submerged plane, and still couldn't put people in jail for the Air India bombing.
posted by TimTypeZed at 6:58 PM on February 10, 2009


Maybe you or some Hollywood celebrities can adopt a few.

Or perhaps Dick Cheney could.
posted by nudar at 7:12 PM on February 10, 2009


Khadr is Canadian. He should be brought back and carefully integrated into society. Wouldn't the ultimate success against fundamentalist terrorism be for him to be a tolerant and peaceful member of society?
posted by captaincrouton at 7:31 PM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think they should be welcomed into Canada but it really bugs me that once again, the US creates a problem and then expects another nation to clean up after it. Huh, didn't take me long to lose respect for Obama.
posted by saucysault at 8:14 PM on February 10, 2009


...we're Canada dammit.

I love this, for what it implies.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:55 PM on February 10, 2009


That we, as a nation, still have tangible ideals worth aspiring to?
posted by stinkycheese at 10:23 PM on February 10, 2009


Exactly. It wasn't so long ago that everybody was going on about Canada had no identity. Now here's a moral dilemma, with one solution that seems... unCanadian. We've come a long way in the last twenty years.

Could these men be a danger in the future? Maybe, or maybe not. But helping them out seems like the right thing to do.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:43 AM on February 11, 2009


Going on about how we had no identity. Sorry for the typo.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:44 AM on February 11, 2009


Speaking of Canadianness, it's not very Canadian of me to assert this, but I think if I were locked up in Gitmo for eight years, Toronto or Montréal would be exactly where I would want to go. Ridiculously diverse, polite, socialist, full of pretty girls and great food, established communities of any ethnicity you care to name... Gentlemen, humanity is not all full of militarist xenophobic fuckfaces. Have some poutine and we'll get you a beer and sort this whole terrorism thing out.
posted by Super Hans at 2:52 AM on February 11, 2009


after all we aren't the 'very society that wronged them', we're Canada dammit.

Well, Canadian troops went into their country as part of the NATO invasion. We stayed fighting alongside the Americans even after it became clear how they were treating their detainees. We can't pretend we weren't part of the problem, if a small part.


Krrrlson, the thing about citizenship is that I can't disown you anymore than I could disown Khadr. We're stuck with each other.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:04 AM on February 11, 2009


I guess for Krrrlson, some citizens don't deserve the equal protection of the law.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2009


I think they should be welcomed into Canada but it really bugs me that once again, the US creates a problem and then expects another nation to clean up after it.

What, are we supposed to offer Khadr a green card?
posted by oaf at 9:23 AM on February 11, 2009



I think they should be welcomed into Canada but it really bugs me that once again, the US creates a problem and then expects another nation to clean up after it.

What, are we supposed to offer Khadr a green card?


oaf, that's in reference to the Uyghur detainees that might end up coming to Canada referenced in the main post, not Khadr from our derail.

My thinking on that fact is that it fits in very well with Canada's tradition. We have a (slowly dying) tradition of peacekeeping, which is pretty much cleaning up other groups' problems. It's the mediator's approach to conflict resolution - 'I don't care who started it, I just want it fixed.' Fairness is not the goal. A better life for everyone involved is.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2009


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