July 10th 2009 Tim Buck 2 Performance: The NEAs Win Yet Again? Will they pull off total domination?
Were you at this performance? Let us know your thoughts and feedback. Hopefully this is the first stage of development for this project and we’d like to know what you thought.
Uncertain what this is all about?
Come check out Tim Buck 2 at the Toronto Fringe Festival to learn more.
Where do you start? This show featured some fine performances but the narrative became more than a bit disjointed. I’m still not sure what poor, dead, Commie Tim Buck had to do with Islamofacist Omar Khadr but if he was alive I’d guess he’d want nothing to do with him at all. The debate at the end was so horribly rigged and the question itself so loaded that there was no point in even trying to be a “Yea.” The question had all the two-sidedness of “who thinks puppies are assholes?” Agitprop is a lovely tool and debate a powerful and vital part of all democracies, so take advantage of it and ask a specific question that is better-phrased (I’m not going to state the question asked because nobody likes a spoiler). If you close your show with a leading question you simply tip your hand and that just kinda undoes all the good work being done onstage (and there was plenty). There are numerous relevant and pressing issues that can be debated but God (or something like it) is in the details and the big question at the end desperately needs some detail.
ps. Calling people “fascist” as they exit the theatre through the “wrong” door isn’t cool or funny or edgy – just sad.
Without any hint of smamryness: thanks for your comments. I agree with some of them, and fundamentally diagree with others. Regardless, I’m grateful to anyone who wants to engage with us at this stage of our work.
Starting at the end, it’s not part of the show to call people fascist as they leave through a certain door. It was my choice to antagonize certain people I knew, you being one of them.
I don’t think we make it clear enough yet that what door you go out should have anything to do with how you feel the government should balance individual and societal rights. The instructions to the house were to vote based on who made a better argument in a given performance. I thought the government was much stronger at today’s performance and more people should have left out the YEA door than the NEA today. Unfortunately I think the audience is worried their actions will be misinterpretted (perhaps as fascist) so they just stick with the safe political decision and go out the NEA door.
I believe however, Jeff, that you may have tipped your hand in reherence to a 15 year old child soldier as an “islamofascist. It indicates to me that you likely have a fundamentally different perspective than about civil rights and whether they should be extended to all Canadians or most of them, but not the ones whose parents were terrorists. The Supreme Court of Canada agrees with me. Stephen Harper does not.
In any case, the debate was pretty forced tonight. I was not enthusiastic today and would be a fool to defend it as something that would change anyone’s mind about anything. But other shows it has been my favourite part, the days that we made people in the audience comfortable enough to speak and you could see that everyone in the room was paying attention.
Thanks for your thoughts and hope to see you at the next iteration. We likely need more feedback from people we disagree with.
Michael, THIS is the debate you needed to have! Right here: here’s the meat of it. We need laws that specifically speak to enforcing terrorism. Does Khadr deserve a trial? OF COURSE! Will he get one in Canada? Ahhhh, there’s a very good question, glad I thought of it (clap clap clap… silence). And speaks directly to your point that I “likely have a fundamentally different perspective than about civil rights and whether they should be extended to all Canadians or most of them, but not the ones whose parents were terrorists.” Because, to start, that’s not the case, at all. And further, to invert that question: are we willing to put this man on trial whether his parents are terrorists or not? Because if we aren’t going to have a trial for Omar Khadr (who was not, in the eyes of THE UNITED NATIONS, a child soldier, as that distinction expires at age 15, Omar’s age at the time of his firefight with US soldiers) then we should allow the Americans to try him as their soldiers were attacked in the first place and this is a military tribunal.
Bring him home, if you must, but put his ass on trial for treason, war crimes etc…
I’m no fan of Guantanamo but I’m a bit of a stickler for justice. You should allow your audience the freedom of thought to make that distinction.
I hope you, like me, have a scotch in your hand at this hour for this debate. First up Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US forces heavily bleeding out of one eye after a firefight with US forces in Afghanistan in which the Americans killed everyone else he was fighting with. In my books that makes him A) A child soldier and B) A prisoner of war. I haven’t looked into UNITED NATIONS regulations but I do believe THE GENEVA CONVENTION agrees with me on that one.
Meeting either of criteria would make a trial out of the question. That’s why he won’t get a trial in Canada. Because if he ever does get back, there is nothing to try him for. Treason? Are you kidding me? I would charge top members of of our government first for destroying the fundamental checks and balances between the judiciary and the legislative branches by ignoring a ruling by the top court in the land simply because they disagree with it.
And that’s my worst fear: he can’t be tried here because this is a US case. He can serve out a sentence here, perhaps, but that’s about it. That’s why I’m saying the laws need to be changed to reflect the world we’re living in where stateless terrorists can be as young as Khadr was. Khadr’s repugnant family (PLEASE DISAGREE WITH ME ON THIS) poisoned his mind and directly contributed to his body getting shot to pieces.
In case you’ve lost score:
– Patriarch Ahmad Said al-Khadr met Osama bin Laden in 1985, funneled Canadian taxpayer moneys to him, eventually moving his entire family to Afghanistan to join him, dying in an October 2003 shoot-out with Pakistani forces.
– Wife Maha Elsamnah took her then-14-year-old son Omar from Canada to Pakistan in 2001 and enrolled him in Al-Qaeda training.
– Daughter Zaynab, 23, was engaged to one terrorist and married, with Osama bin Laden himself present at the nuptials, al Qaeda member in 1999. Zaynab endorses the 9/11 atrocities and hopes her infant daughter will die fighting Americans.
– Son Abdullah, 22, is an Al Qaeda fugitive constantly on the move to elude capture. Canadian intelligence states he ran al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan during the Taliban period, something Abdullah denies.
– Son Abdurahman, 21, reluctantly trained with Al-Qaeda, was captured by coalition forces in November 2001 and agreed to work for the Central Intelligence Agency in Kabul, Guantanamo, and Bosnia. He returned to Canada in October 2003, where he denounced both extremism (“I want to be a good, strong, civilized, peaceful Muslim”) and his family’s terrorist ways.
– Son Omar, 17, stands accused of hurling a grenade in July 2002, killing a U.S. medic in Afghanistan. Omar lost sight in one eye in the fighting and is now a U.S. detainee in Guantanamo.
– Son Abdul Karim, 14, half-paralyzed by wounds sustained in the October 2003 shoot-out that left his father dead, is presently a prisoner in a Pakistani hospital.
We’d all be better off without the Khadrs in Canada. But until they get themselves into enough trouble (I give it a year or two) we’ll have to make do with making sure that Omar is tried for his five war crimes, including murder for the death of U.S. Delta Force medic Christopher Speer.
Or would you rather he just walked?
Some of my favourite “Memories of Omar” moments (don’t click the links if you’re the least bit squeamish)
He’s always been a real charmer and a class act, let’s (don’t do it, Jeff!) give him a hand! He’s an unlawful combatant, no “soldier” would ever do this.
My Grandfather fought at Dieppe. All sorts of Nazis were throwing grenades and shooting at him and they killed alot of his friends. That he survived was a miracle. Hypothetically, if he had captured one of the Nazis, and brought him back to England, would he be charged with war crimes?
Incidentally, there has been significant evidence that the grenade that killed Speer wasn’t even thrown by 15-year-old Khadr, but as the only one not killed by the Americans in the firefight they pinned it on him. As for the rest of his family – Are we going to futher erode our justice system to make people responsible for the actions of our relatives? Can I be thrown in jail if my Dad robs a bank?
The double standard you are proposing does not stand up to logic. When allied forces kill people it’s a victory over terrorists and when terrorists kill someone in a firefight (we’re not talking about suicide bombers here) its a war crime. As for “letting Omar Khadr walk”, the guy has spent his entire adult life (8 years) in an internationally condemned facility designed to torture inmates. What the hell else do you want to do to the guy?
Whether or not we would be “better off without the Khadr’s” is not a question I feel should even be addressed. If you are a Canadian citizen you should be protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The whole point of constitutional rights is they are there to protect the rights of everyone, even the ones that many of us despise.
Up and at ’em.
I’ll just address your points one at a time:
“My Grandfather fought at Dieppe. All sorts of Nazis were throwing grenades and shooting at him and they killed alot of his friends. That he survived was a miracle. Hypothetically, if he had captured one of the Nazis, and brought him back to England, would he be charged with war crimes?”
“The double standard you are proposing does not stand up to logic. When allied forces kill people it’s a victory over terrorists and when terrorists kill someone in a firefight (we’re not talking about suicide bombers here) its a war crime.”
Michael, I don’t expect you to be an expert on international law but the way it works is in a conventional war where both sides have a right to engage in combat with one another, if a soldier kills a soldier on the other side, it’s not murder unless it is done somehow contrary to the laws of war or in a treacherous manner, or killing someone when they have already surrendered.
I’m not making this up, these are the rules and you need to understand them before you can refute them or attempt to draw a groundless parallel between WWII and al-Qaeda.
In the case of members of al-Qaeda (Khadr) and the Taliban, while they may have thought (and you may have thought) they were defending themselves, they had no legal right under the laws of war to be engaging in combat. Period. Full stop.
“Are we going to futher erode our justice system to make people responsible for the actions of our relatives? Can I be thrown in jail if my Dad robs a bank?”
I never said that. I’m simply stating the facts about the Khadr family and how they destroyed their own son(s) and their goodwill with the Canadian public, at large. Can you be thrown in jail if your father robs a bank? Of course not, silly head, but if your father signed you and your siblings up for bank-robbing classes and your entire family had a history or robbing banks, people might reasonably wonder what those charming Wheelers are doing on a day-to-day. In fact, after the Wheelers have robbed bank after bank and killed police officers along the way, some people might wonder why the Wheelers haven’t served lengthy prison terms or (at the very least) been asked to leave the country.
What else do I want to see done to Khadr? THAT’S PRECISELY THE POINT, it isn’t my call or your call – the Yanks have him for the killing of THEIR soldier. They may very well let him go and he’ll be free as a bird and you can have him over for tea. Just a warning, he might be a taaaad right-wing for you.
“Whether or not we would be “better off without the Khadr’s” is not a question I feel should even be addressed.”
Of course you don’t, because that’s a rabbit hole not even the most left-leaning Canuck can climb out of. When you start looking at their past, their connections to terrorism and their potential as al-Qaeda organizers right in our hometown, it gets more than a bit scary. I’m sure you know all about it, and it feels like you’re willing to turn a blind eye to it and I can’t figure out why.
The Charter is paramount, but I hope you understand that terrorists don’t honour it, they don’t care about it and people that apologize for them are their best friends in the world.
You’d do better to focus your attention on Abousfian Abdelrazik, now THAT’S a Government fuck-up.
Okay, clearly we will have to agree to disagree on this, just as Stephen Harper disagrees with Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton and Giles Duceppe on these points. Certainly I am not an expert in international law, but almost anyone who is, will tell you that a lot of them have been broken in how the Americans have treated Khadr.
I think you are ignoring my central argument when you write that Khadr, “might be a taaaad right-wing” for me. I don’t have to agree with another Canadian, or even like him for me to be outraged by another citizen being stripped of his charter rights. It makes being Canadian mean less for all of us.
Your bank robber response, although admittedly hilarious, (man my Dad and I would make bad bank robbers) does not hold up if you follow it to its logical conclusion. If all that you wrote DID happen when I was 15 at the time I would MAYBE be charged under the Young Offenders Act, but most likely as a minor whom the state recognizes can not fully be held responsible for his actions, I would likely be put into foster care with a focus on rehabilitation.
That this is a U.S. case is B.S. and everyone knows it . Khadr is the last remaining prisoner at Guantanamo with citizenship in a Western country precisely because our government hasn’t demanded his return. Even Britain which obviously is struggling with how to balance individual rights with national security in the wake of the 2005 London bombings has demanded their citizens be returned from the torture cells there and got them back. When Ignatieff and Rae got their 5 minutes with Obama in his visit to Ottawa, they used it to bring up this very same point. And I don’t even like those guys.
Finally, if security here at home really is your concern, you will likely be interested in this report by our own Foreign Affairs Department that concludes Khadr is “a good kid”, but “that extended detention in Guantanamo would however run the risk of turning him into a radical.” Better get him back BEFORE he turns into a problem.
As of January 2009, 64% of Canadians supported repatriating Khadr to Canada, up from 41% in June 2007.
Feel free to have the last word. I’m going to stop here. Thanks for engaging in the debate. Hopefully it made up for the one you weren’t impressed by yesterday.
Link isn’t working. Drat.
Two final points to this. When you write:
“That this is a U.S. case is B.S. and everyone knows it.” Gives as much respect to the U.S. tribunal as you think I’m giving to the charter – none.
And to the point of Khadr being worse-off in prison than back home with “Canada’s first family of terrorism,” is a bit of a stretch.
The guy needs to get deprogrammed and allowed to become a member of society, I think there’s substantial concern that his family might not be the best people to allow that to happen.
Ultimately, I don’t believe he’ll get a trial, I think he’ll be repatriated and he’ll end up on no-fly lists and watch-lists and spend the rest of his life under the microscope and no one will want a thing to do with him except that lousy family. OR he could speak out against the terror that put him in jail in the first place. If he can become a voice for progressive Islam and speak out against terrorism and even against his own family – he’ll be a revelation and he’ll be a voice for change. Do I think this will happen? I’m not holding my breath but I’d like to see it and I’m sure you would too.
For fundamentalist Islam, the ball is in their court and the whole world is waiting to see if they return the serve or storm off the court. Omar Khadr could be a good player or he could burn down the stadium, time will tell. We’ll revisit this in five years if the planet hasn’t melted or been irradiated by an itchy trigger finger.
And hey, at least you finally got some debate – this wall was too quiet.
Sorry, here’s the link.
Canadian officials describe Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr as an intelligent, humorous 21-year-old who is liked by his American captors and remains “salvageable” if not allowed to languish in the U.S. offshore prison.
And yes, I am happy to get some real passionate comments on these posts!