The Love Story of Romeo and Omar

One politician's quest to bring a terrorist "home" to Canada.

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.”

What particular thing has the Khadr family done that we may “disapprove” of? Ahmed Khadr, Omar’s dad, was considered Canada’s highest ranking member of Al-Qaeda.

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.

Of the remaining Canadian citizens of Clan Khadr, Abdullah was caught while trying to acquire surface-to-air missiles to resell to a high-level member of Al-Qaeda. Canada has refused American requests to extradite him. But like Romeo, Abdullah Khadr has gone into documentaries and has appeared in “Son of Al-Qaeda.”

Zaynab Khadr married a terrorist at a wedding attended by Osama bin Laden and has been accused of aiding Al-Qaeda. In an interview she has said, “I'd love to die a martyr. It's a desire that I believe that any Muslim would have or should have.”

Abdurahman Khadr, once a temporary ward of Osama bin Laden, was captured and also sent to Gitmo. He is also back in Canada and the scriptwriter for “Hotel Rwanda,” which featured Romeo Dallaire, is supposed to be writing the movie based on his life. The producers would like Johnny Depp to play him.

There’s only one conclusion to be drawn from all this. Romeo Dallaire is looking for a new movie deal. Rwanda, which he has spun into a string of films starring his mustache, is old news. Afghanistan is still new news. African genocide is so '90s, but sympathetic Islamic terrorists are so '00s.

The Khadrs have been in more movies than Romeo Dallaire and he would like to work on a joint deal. Maybe “The Love Story of Romeo and Omar,” a drama about a general and a 25-year-old child soldier battling to come home and blow up parts of Canada. Even if Johnny Depp doesn’t come calling, there’s bound to be at least one CBC documentary in it for him.

Romeo Dallaire, freelance moral conscience of the world, walking proof that you can watch genocide happen and then turn that into a lucrative career of telling people how sad the genocide made you, is joining forces with Abdul, Zaynab and Abdurahman to bring the last Khadr to Canada. Unlike Zaynab, he probably won’t go on a hunger strike while sitting in a burqa on Parliament Hill. Instead he will wax his mustache and deliver furious denunciations of the United States and Canada for refusing to give him Omar right this minute.

In 2008, Romeo Dallaire compared the United States and Canada to terrorists. Conservative Member of Parliament Jason Kenney replied: “Is it your testimony that al-Qaeda strapping up a 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome and sending her into a pet market to be remotely detonated is the moral equivalent to Canada's not making extraordinary political efforts for a transfer of Omar Khadr to this country?”

“Absolutely,” Romeo Dallaire replied.

So speaks the man whose own bio on his own site shamelessly praises his “defiant dedication to humanity” and talks up his “courage and leadership.” A “devoted humanitarian,” our poor Romeo sits on the anti-terrorism committee, but cannot tell the difference between Al-Qaeda and Canada. This is the mark of the moral blindness which is the true devil whose bony hand Romeo shook in Rwanda and which he still clasps as he agitates for Omar Khadr.

Christopher Speer, along with nearly a million Rwandans, is dead. While the Khadr clan romps through Canada, defended by Romeo’s valiant mustache, Christopher’s children were left with no father. They are the true “child-soldiers,” forced to face the world alone in a war that the Khadr clan wanted.

We know how many Rwandans died because Romeo stood below the genocide balcony with firepower, but no will to use it. The question now is how many Canadians will die because of Romeo Dallaire?

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