This is outrageous. As if it wasn't bad enough that President Harper has placed a cone of silence over his government. Now he's trying to do it with our heroic dead. He uses our soldiers as a backdrop when they're alive to make himself look like a Commander in Chief. But when they're dead they're just a political liability. He won't even be there on the tarmac when they come back.
I didn't know quite what to make of the decision not to lower the flag for our dead soldiers. I wanted to give the Conservatives the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was just tradition. Maybe it was just the practical thing to do. With all the soldiers who are probably going to die in Afghanistan, and the mortality rate of our aging senators.... The poor maple leaf would rarely make it back to the top of the pole.
But now I know it was just cheap politics. Harper is afraid that the sight of all those coffins will undermine support for the war. And since he is posing as Chief Chickenhawk, he is afraid that it will cost him votes in the next election. Barely two months into our new mission in Kandahar, our wobbly tyrant seems to be already worrying that what happened to his hero Chimp Bush will happen to him.
So he's doing exactly what the Chimp did to try to limit the political damage.
I haven't seen the DND communique yet. But I bet it will offer up exactly the same rationale as the Pentagon did. They just want to respect the privacy of the families ...etc etc Although really what the army is afraid of is that it will put a dent in their recruiting drive.
I think that the privacy of the families should be respected. And I think the media who have been covering these arrivals, have been doing exactly that. For example, when the families approach the coffin of their loved ones for the first time, the open doors of the hearse prevent cameras from capturing that very private moment. If needs be other ground rules should be drawn up. But Canadians shouldn't be prevented from joining in what I believe should be a very public moment too.
We don't want our dead heroes brought back in the middle of the night. Like the yanks do at Dover Air Force Base.
We don't want them, or their wounded comrades hidden from view. Like they were something to be ashamed of rather than be proud of. And that doesn't mean that the sight of those coffins is going to make us give up either. What kind of weak cowards does Harper think we are?
If the mission is a good one. If it's carried out well. And if it's consistent with our values not yankee ones, then the sight of those dead heroes will only bolster our determination to see this mission through. If those Canadians can sacrifice their lives, it seems to me that many Canadians might think that's the least they can do.
But what do you expect from a Conservative government that is slavishly following every diktat that White House freak Karl Rove ever made? Don't they know that it didn't work?That Chimp Bush's polls continue to drop. And that Rove just quit.
If Canadians didn't realize how crazy this White House north nonsense, this secret government stuff is becoming. Surely after this they will. Maybe they'll ask the question that practically screams out to be asked: WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE?
And if they do, and they don't get the right answer, they might decide not to take any more chances. And refuse Harper a majority.
Today they have the power to do what they want with our dead heroes.
Tomorrow we'll remember...