Our government is changing. And it is changing for the worse. I know this is NOT news for many people (especially the five or six who read this blog), they already feel that to be true. In fact, many Conservative party supporters are even feeling that way and, it seems, over two dozen sitting Conservative MPs are NOT running again – presumably BECAUSE of their feelings toward Harper. That says something.
But politics is not why I am blogging this time. At least not partisan politics. Last night I watched on TV an ad for Canada’s military along the lines of the ‘Be all you can be’ ads the Americans run. It glorified our military. It heaped praise on soldiers for simply being soldiers. It was blatant boosterism and sickening propaganda.
Yes, I know that these ads are not the first. But they were the latest.
Now don’t get me wrong. I think any person who signs up to keep our country safe is a good person. Well intended, anyway. I have no problem with that. And if they actually have their mettle tested in battle or even in a peacekeeping mission, my respect for their commitment to our country increases even more. I have no problem with soldiers and, in fact, I have intimate second hand knowledge of their sacrifices as my father was catastrophically wounded in WW2. He suffered incredibly and we, his family, suffered alongside him.
And that is the point, really. War should NOT be glorified. My father paid a huge price for his dedication to Canada. His life was ruined (he had a 100% disability). Being a soldier is nothing to be proud of until you HAVE TO BE a soldier. Then and only then is it something to be hailed as heroic. And my father would likely disagree even then…“how the hell does a young man or woman know what they are getting themselves into when they sign up? War is hell and so is surviving it. Don’t think otherwise, there is nothing good about it. And once you know how horrible it is, you just want out. People should only do it when it is absolutely necessary and, even then, they should think twice!”
Harper’s government spent millions in television advertising waxing boastful about Canada’s War of 1812. Same for the Franklin Expedition. Same for other stupid historical parodies like the Fathers of Confederation ads. Harper spends even more millions now extolling military virtue at every turn and even going so far as to saber-rattle against Russia (Ukraine) and actually sending a rusty saber or two against ISIS/ISIL. Canada is fast adopting a bombastic and pugilistic face where before we presented a neutral, peace-making presence.
If that was all there was to it, I’d just ignore the imbecile and hope that we eliminate his weirded-out personal agenda and influence from our country in the next election. The problem is that he is leaving a legacy, a smear of stupid and evil that will stink and linger even after he has left the building. Harper is a disease and we have not been inoculated.
“Why would you say that, Dave? Won’t getting rid of Harper be sufficient?”
No. Propaganda is an insidious thing. People tend to believe what is brainwashed into them. The inundating Harper-messages are sinking (and stinking) in. Another stupid ad on ‘being a hardworking Canadian and getting a $4000 loan so that you can work in the trades’ runs even more often. And there is a hidden message in favour of the oil industry in that, too. Not to mention indebting youth for their education. We are already tainted.
And it just feels to me as if it is ramping up. Last night’s ad raised the hair on the back of my neck. I have smelled the rank odour of politics gone awry for some time. Last night I am pretty sure I also smelled a rat.
I think Harper changed the emphasis away from Canadian forces as peacekeepers to regime changers. Canadians wore the UN blue beret in many hot spots around the world Gaza, Cypress, East Timor, Darfur, Suden and do so to this day but the government chooses to focus on the combat roles. Day after day the role in Afghanistan is front and centre but silence on Haiti, Sierra Leone…why. Harper once described Canada as a third rate socialist country. Is he ashamed of Canda’s tradition of peacekeeping. Does he want to go to Syria to fight ISIS? Harper glorifies the military but has cut services to veterans by over a billion dollars.
I know. The hypocrisy is staggering. But what I don’t get is WHY? What has happened to warrant such a whacked sense of militarism? Does he actually WANT a war so that HE can be an historic figure or something? Is it part of some quasi agreement with the US to ‘fortify’ N. America? How does sinking millions (if not billions) into rusting, diesel-powered submarines and NOT into BC Ferries (or any major infrastructure) make any sense to anyone truly patriotic? How can we sit silent while the Feds bombard us with nonsense (that we pay for) and that only serves to foster fear and insecurity?
I’m in total agreement with the “jingoistic” tone to these latest military ads. The previous ads touting Peacekeeping, emergency responce for natural disasters, etc. seem to me to be a far less antagonistic way to portray the military.
Lets face it.
If , like a 20 year old nephew of mine, you join the military you may have to go to a foriegn land and kill people. Thats part of your job. But lets not glorify it. My father was a commander in the navy, never saw action and was very happy to say that. One of his uncles was just given the Legion of Honour in France for being on a Corvette on D-Day. I’ve met this particular relative and had no idea he had ever even been in the navy let alone experienced the insanity of D-Day. Very humble, quiet man( who oddly enough LOVES trains???????). But I digress.
The Canadian military , while very well trained, pales in insignificance to most militaries in other countries of the world. Our population, our tax base, cannot afford to maintain a military of international significance.
For the Harper govt to pretend OR expect otherwise…….is criminally stupid hubris.
The conservatives have increased our national debt by over $175 billion, reduced corporate tax by $ 60 billion and have failed to diversify our economy. They have become the mean spirited party. The corporations have pocketed the tax breaks and have not reinvested in Canada. I think Harper is a closet Libertarian without a drop of compassion. Harper is not a leader. He is one trick pony who claims to be for smaller government but his actions say otherwise. Harper is an ideologue who has run out of ideas and the rats are deserting the ship.
The conservative fiscal record proves they couldnt be trusted to run a Lemonade stand.