A kind of monster

America, in my view, has created a monster, and has hindered the effectiveness of its own troops.

Thanks, Bruce Wark, for your editorial ("Supremely unjust," February 4) on the Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr. Aside from doubts that Khadr did kill an American army medic, the whole scenario is a philosphical minefield. If Khadr did kill someone in battle, why is it being called "murder"? Because if he's a suspected murderer, then so is every American (or any other) soldier.

America's armed forces sneak around this problem by claiming that he, as "an illegal combatant," was not allowed to kill, whereas they were. Of course, to argue this position, they had to throw away the Geneva Convention---which would view Kadr as a prisoner of war, deserving of human rights and humane treatment---and, also, the rules for the treatment of child soldiers. (Khadr, as you know, was 15 when he was captured.)

America, in my view, has created a monster, and has hindered the effectiveness of its own troops. It has made an American soldier a frontperson for a gang of toturers. If you were the enemy, would you want to surrender to such a compassionless mob? The logical outcome is that America is perpetrating war instead of winding it down. America would do better if it abolished torture, re-embraced the Geneva Convention and threw out all the trumped-up charges that were made to justify endless war.

The Conservative government of Canada would be wise, too, to bring Khadr back home, or risk being voted out in the next election. Hasn't that boy---now a man---suffered enough?—David Rimmington, Halifax

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