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Monday, January 29, 2007

The illusion of "capitalism in China" and the Syria angle in the Arar case

Not to distract too much from the flap over political advertisements in Canada (see posts below - and I thought McCain-Feingold was dangerous!), but a couple of excellent (and for Canadian readers, pertinent) links are in today's post (here).  The first is from Macleans, of all things, discussing how Communist China's complete lack of the rule of law has made fools out of Canadian business owners.

The second intriguing link is in the next-to-last item, to a column by David Frum explaining the role that Washington's ridiculous naivete on Syria's Ba'athist regime has played in the Maher Arar fiasco.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 29, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink


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I find our PM's and government's actions concerning Maher Arar very concerning and disappointing and have advised the PM and local MP of this. Considering that the RCMP did not fabricate the information and knowing that such information cannot be quickly confirmed 100%, Canada was correct to share the information with the American authorities. Also it is clear that the Americans have other information concerning Arar not supplied by Canada. I am appalled and ashamed that we are now trying to dictate to the Americans whom they can or cannot consider a security risk. This holier-than-thou attitude smacks of Liberal/NDP mentality.

That Arar was truly tortured in Syria remains an allegation. If he was, then he should seek compensation from Syria. If he is truly innocent of any terrorist ties, then he could seek redress from the Americans. Canada has no blame and no obligation whatsoever.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-01-29 12:26:24 PM

Arar is guilty of something or else why would the US have information on him?

What is or was he up to ?
he quite obviously is a pain in the ass and has no business being in Canda in the first place
I hope the US releases the info they have, than maybe we'll all know

Posted by: gary jackson | 2007-01-29 12:58:10 PM

I hope the US does not give in to appease the media attention. I do not trust this man or his wife. Why does he not have permanent scars after all that extreme torture he claims, to have been put through??? I agree with Alain, and I too have let my MP know how disappointed I was that we had to settle. I guess it is better to error on the side of caution, but have reservations about the rest of Syria emigrating over here to line up at the trough.

Posted by: Freedom of speech | 2007-01-29 2:08:50 PM


"Arar is guilty of something or else why would the US have information on him?"

The US gov't is faillable as well.

That said, the idea that a Canadian investigation has cleared Arar doesn't exactly give me much confidence given our politically correct dogma about multicultural panaceas and hate-America attitudes. I just don't trust our political masters.

So, my advice to Arar is " Take the hint". The US has rolled up the welcome mat where you are concerned. Don't be a party crasher. There's always Cuban vacations.

My advice to Stockwell is "Shut your yap". Arar is a single individual of questionable bona fides and not worth trying to get past the bouncers at the pub.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-01-29 3:51:56 PM

The comment above, "I just don't trust our political masters" says it all.

All comments to this point are sickening and disgraceful. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by: Mark Yannone | 2007-01-29 6:15:11 PM

Please elaborate

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-01-29 6:19:33 PM

Guys, I think you're missing the point.

Frum has deduced that the U.S. and Canada got its information from the Syrian regime. Now, if he's correct (and while I like and trust Frum, it is an "if"), then the actions of my countrymen in insisting the information is credible would means we are still falling for whatever Assad and his henchmen says.

At best, my countrymen considered Assad and his henchmen fine partners in ths matter, despite Damascus' own long history as a terror sponsor.

Are Frum and I the only ones who have a serious problem with that?

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2007-01-29 8:32:17 PM

Some seem to question whether Arar was tortured. There is a separate report on that whole issue as part of the O'Connor investigation and it concludes that he was tortured. The prison where he was incarcerated most of the time (Palestine)is infamous for torture. Even David Frum in his article notes matter of factly that he was tortured.
The O'Connor report would seem to indicate that it was on the basis of intelligence provided by the US or Canada that Arar was incarcerated and interrogated and the Canadian authorities provided Syrian intelligence with questions.
THe Canadian authorities were not duped by the Syrians. THey believed what they wanted to hear. THe guy who decided that it was not the result of torture had no training at all in determining such matters. Having heard what they wanted to hear and received the confessions of Arar telling them everything the hoped to hear someone then leaked a lot of it to the press, damaging Arar's reputation no end.

Posted by: ken | 2007-01-29 8:56:39 PM

None of these comments justify any compensation, much less an apology, from Canada.

As to the question of having been tortured without leaving any permanent marks, one has to wonder what definition of torture is being used. Of course these days in the era of political correctness some consider a harsh voice a form of torture.

On this issue our government receives a big F.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-01-29 11:15:26 PM

Canadians want to line up and send billions of dollars taken from their paycheques to China so we can buy 'carbon credits' - hopefully they'll take our money even though they're a lawless fascist dictatorship! If not, then we won't be doing 'our part' for the environment!...

Posted by: Philanthropist | 2007-01-29 11:28:55 PM

China's "capitalism" exists only on their promotional propaganda...what we really have there is a small politically connected eite who run industrial monopolies with no labour, environmental or taxing regulation...just a skim for the government.

It's a robber baron's wet dream...slave labour, no labour laws or employee responsibilities, no environmental responsibilities, no patent or copyright responsibilities, super low overhead, no taxes ( just a political skim) High ROI and maximum profitization on retail sales in North America.

Posted by: Wlyonmackenzie | 2007-01-30 4:20:54 PM

As US ambasador Wilkins asserted , it is a bad time to be pestering the Americans for ' an apology ' , an apology incidentally which will open the door to a milti million dollar settlement in the US , in favour of this still shadowy Arar person.The Americans are still smarting from several incursions on their security recently , not to mention illegal immigration in general , so perhaps taking the side of our best ally and not demanding ' justice ' for the situation of our newest multi - millionaire , makes sense .

Posted by: daveh | 2007-01-30 5:44:35 PM

"Are Frum and I the only ones who have a serious problem with that? "

No. I was aware of the linkage. Hence my hesitancy to clear Arar or to outright believe the Canadian or American bureaucracies on this issue.

Frankly, there is no good or clear path to the truth.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-01-30 6:51:53 PM

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