The Canadian government will pay $10.5 million to Omar Khadr, 30, the Canadian-born al-Qaeda militant who killed American soldier, Sgt. Christopher Speer, in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.
Khadr was captured and served some 10 years in Guantanamo before signing a deal allowing him to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada. He was released in 2015 and is now reportedly living comfortably in Edmonton. In addition to the $10.5 million ($8 million in Canadian funds), the Canadian government will issue an apology to Khadr. That has left many Canadians puzzled but an American case may offer some perspective.
John Walker Lindh, a teenage Muslim convert, trained in al-Qaeda camps and like Omar Khadr was captured in battle in Afghanistan. Lindh explained that his “heart became attached” to the Taliban, with whom he fought against U.S. Afghan allies.
Senator Hillary Clinton declared Lindh a traitor and 40 percent of Americans believed that “Jihad Johnny” should be tried for treason. In February 2002, Lindh pleaded guilty to two charges and the Taliban trooper was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.
Like Khadr, Lindh lawyered up and made a plea for a reduced sentence but in January 2009 President George W. Bush denied his petition. Lindh remains at the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, slated for release in May, 2019.
Imagine if the U.S. federal government released Jihad Johnny ahead of time, paid him $10.5 million, and added an official apology. Safe to say, social media would explode, and there could even be a march on Washington. As for Omar Khadr, his case marks a stark contrast to the Canadian experience.
Canadians have normally fought abroad in the Canadian Army, with Canada’s allies, and against Canada’s enemies. My grandfather Lorne Henry Billingsley was with the Canadian forces at Vimy Ridge and other major battles of World War I. He was one of the first victims of German mustard gas attack but he never received a monetary award in seven figures.
His son James Richard Billingsley, who recently passed away at 94, fought in the World War II Battles of Groningen and Oldenburg. He was twice wounded in action but returned to his regiment and fought on. The Canadian government never issued this hero a monetary award, let alone anything in the millions.
My father Kenneth Billingsley’s World War II service in the Canadian Merchant Marine left him with respiratory problems but he never received any kind of monetary payout. Indeed, the Canadian government contested my mother’s efforts to get the veteran the compensation he deserved.
Canada’s few remaining World War II veterans and their families would be more worthy recipients for the $10.5 million, accompanied by an official proclamation of thanks for their role in defeating Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist regime. Other candidates come to mind.
During the Iranian hostage crisis, as portrayed in the film Argo, Canadians helped Americans escape the clutches of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic regime. Those who pulled off the “Canadian Caper,” are surely more deserving of a monetary reward than Omar Khadr.
Consider also Kevin Vickers, the Canadian House of Commons sergeant-at-arms who in 2014 shot dead Islamic terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who had already murdered a Canadian soldier. Vickers’ action surely saved many lives but no rush to stuff millions into his bank account.
And how about the Canadian sniper who recently took down an Islamic State jihadi at 3,540 meters, a new world record. Might he be more worthy of recognition and reward than Omar Khadr?
According to Omar, his father Ahmed, a bagman for Osama bin Laden, was “just trying to raise his children the right way.” As Michael Friscolanti noted in MacLean’s, “not once does Khadr accept even a shred of responsibility for his lot, consistently shifting the blame to everyone else.” A ballpark figure for what he deserves is zero.
The surest sign of a rotten ruling class is the inability to distinguish between allies and enemies,
When Sado-Stalinist dictator Fidel Castro died last year, Justin Trudeau called him a “remarkable leader.” So no surprise the Prime Minister can’t tell the difference between Muslim militants and their victims. In similar style, he fails to recognize that actions have consequences.
The $10.5 million gift to Omar Khadr is certain to boost the jihadis’ recruitment drive. On the other hand, it will not spare Canadians from terrorists’ wrath.
At least 24 Canadians perished in the attacks of September 11, 2001. A 2016 attack by al-Qaeda in Burkina Faso claimed six Canadian lives and more than 20 others from 18 different countries. In April, 2016, Muslim Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines beheaded Canadian hostage John Ridsdel of Calgary and left his head on the street in a plastic bag.
Even so, the Trudeau government seeks to colonize Canada with Muslim refugees whose identities cannot be verified. As the anthem says, we stand on guard for thee.