Submission by guest contributor “Kids say the Khadarndest Things”
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Leaked news of the Omar Khadr settlement has drawn the ire of many Canadians. The payment of $10.5M for the hardship he endured during his detainment for assisting Al-Qaeda operatives originally seemed fair and reasonable, but Canadians’ attitudes are quickly turning. It has come to light that the payment to Khadr is only a meager forty-two times the amount that was paid to a soldier who became a double amputee due to an Improvised Explosive Device that was built by an Al-Qaeda cell similar to the one Khadr worked in.
“I’ve never been so ashamed of my country.” said Samantha Deerbrook, of North York. “Omar Khadr grew up in Pakistan and Afghanistan, he attended an Islamic school in Missasauga for three years, his family has close ties with Al-Qaeda, he’s just as much a Canadian as you and me. Now he’s being treated like a second class citizen.”
Samantha was initially relieved to hear that Khadr would receive his due compensation, but all that changed. “Andrew Scheer said that Khadr’s reparations were a slap in the face to our military members. That’s such a selfish, Conservative thing to say. Everybody knows that soldiers and veterans shouldn’t be seen, or heard, or mentioned, ever. But if that wasn’t bad enough, now it turns out that those same soldiers received up to $250,000 for losing their legs in an explosion during an imperialist war of patriarchal petro-aggression? That’s unacceptable.”
Tom Smith, editor The Fur online magazine, has been critical of the West’s pro-military bias for years: “When I was pursuing my degree in philosophy (Queen’s ’10) it drove me insane that my parents were paying for my education, while those privileged white males got a free ride for joining a force of colonization. Something wasn’t right.” he said, sipping his $11 craft IPA at a local microbrewery. “And now we’ve learned that one of these warmongers could get up to $250,000 for being injured by a roadside bomb, probably placed by peaceful children in self-defence. It really is shameful that someone who was deprived of sleep and doused with cold water gets a measly $10.5 million in comparison.”
Deerbrook, Smith, and other like-minded urban millenials, have had enough with the undeserved favouritism showered upon NATO soldiers instead of the innocent members of the Afghanistan insurgency. “At least $20 million.” said Deerbrook, at a demonstration condemning the government for shortchanging Khadr. “That’s how much Mr. Khadr deserves. Probably more. Canada owes it to him.” They claim their movement is gaining traction in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, particularly among people in the 18-28 age bracket and those who have never attended a Remembrance Day ceremony. They’ve started a website, www.KhadrDeservesMore.com to educate people on just how much money veterans are getting paid, with the hope that when future expatriates are apprehended for crimes against their country’s soldiers, the inevitable lawsuits will be settled more equitably. Smith, who manages the website, says it has been a great success: “It’s easy to publish your views online when you know that the people you’re criticising would lose their jobs for arguing with you.” He hopes that one day they can raise enough money to pay for he legal fees for all prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to sue the Canadian government, so that no convicted terrorist will ever be forced to live without due compensation from the Canadian people.