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Romeo Dallaire is best known for building a career on his pathetic failure to stop the genocide in Rwanda. Where other men might have felt eternal shame at the piles of bodies testifying to their failure, he saw a book deal. His book, “Shake Hands with the Devil” (foreword by Samantha Power), was turned into a movie from the director of “Turner & Hooch” and “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot,” and he has made more appearances in documentaries than Michael Moore, showing up in “The Last Just Man,” “The Journey of Romeo Dallaire” and “The Greatest Canadian.”
Above all else, Romeo Dallaire is a humble man who avoids the spotlight and has built a political career on top of a media career built on top of a pile of bodies as the Liberal Senator for Quebec. In line with his expertise in doing nothing during a crisis, he sits on the Senate committee for national security and defense and the anti-terrorism committee. In that latter capacity he has been frantically lobbying on behalf of Omar Khadr.
Omar Khadr is an angry bearded Muslim terrorist who murdered Christopher Speer, a medic who six days earlier had walked into a minefield to save two wounded children. Omar Khadr, currently enjoying the hospitality of Gitmo, is often described as a “child soldier,” which at the age of 25, makes him one of the oldest child soldiers in history. Like Trayvon Martin’s supporters, Omar Khadr’s supporters brandish a teenaged photo of the boy that he hasn’t been in a long time as an argument in his defense.
“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Juliet cried, but Canada’s Romeo is busy crying for Omar instead.
At the end of June, Romeo Dallaire, the man who had built a career on his inept opposition to war crimes, delivered a Senate speech full of outrage that Omar Khadr had been prosecuted for war crimes.
“It is my intention to speak about the nightmares this now man has suffered, the failures of our government to protect him,” the famous mustache waggled, “and the immediate necessity for this government to sign the transfer agreement and bring Omar back home.”
Canada does not particularly want a terrorist and murderer to pack up his “I Killed an American Infidel, Chilled in Gitmo and All I Got Was This T-Shirt” shirt along with a map of the Toronto subway system and come home. According to Romeo Dallaire this unwillingness is “a stain upon our society,” “a fundamental reproach” and a lot of other things that occasion mustache waggling.
The theme of Romeo’s Khadr speech was that Omar the Grenade-Thrower was a helpless lad who had no choice but to kill Americans and that since then dogs have barked at him while mean people shone lights in his face and asked him questions such as, “Why did you kill a medic who was there saving the lives of your fellow Muslims?”
Romeo Dallaire knows quite well that Omar Khadr isn’t some African child soldier who had a gun shoved in his hand before being marched out of his burning village. Romeo may be stupid and incompetent, but he isn’t that stupid. In his speech he urged Canadians to demonstrate wisdom and compassion toward junior terrorists “even if they or their families have done things of which we disapprove.”
The Pakistanis locked up Khadr, but thanks to the intervention of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, of Romeo’s Liberal Party, Papa Khadr was set free and came home to Canada. But soon he was back to his old tricks and was finally blown away, along with a bunch of Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists, in Waziristan.
Another son, Abdul Kareem Khadr, was left paralyzed in the raid, but returned to Canada to bask in the joys of the country’s health care system which took such good care of him that two years later he was being charged with sexual assault against a minor. Abdul was even younger than Omar when he was shot, but there is no word on Romeo Dallaire’s willingness to help rehabilitate this “child soldier” before he goes after any more children.
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