Monday, November 11, 2013
Stephen Harper and the Revolt of the Veterans
There couldn't be a more powerful protest. Or a greater slap in the face.
For years he posed as a patriot, for years he strutted around boasting he was the best friend the Canadian military ever had. For years he could count on the support of most veterans.
But not anymore.
When the clock strikes 11 a.m on Remembrance Day in Chilliwack, B.C., retired Air Force captain Claude Latulippe will be at the local cenotaph paying homage to former comrades and to the many other Canadians who gave their lives for their country.
But, when it is time for Mark Strahl, the local Conservative MP, to lay a wreath, Mr. Latulippe and other veterans will face away.
Now many of them will be turning their backs on him and on a Con regime, that would treat them so miserably.
In fighting a case brought against the charter by a group of severely disabled veterans, the government is arguing that the Crown has no sacred duty to care for veterans – a position that has outraged former military personnel. Veterans are also upset that some disabled members of the military are being dismissed before they have put in the 10 years of service required to qualify for a pension.
And betray them so shamelessly, as they have betrayed this country and its values.
And that's all I want to say about that, because I'd rather not talk about Harper and his Cons today, they disgust me so much. They dishonour the day itself.
Except to say that their time is truly running out.
And today is a day I'd rather remember them...
Like this young Canadian who lost his life on a training mission when his Wellington bomber crashed in the highland hills in the north of Scotland.
And whose grave along with those of others I try to visit, every time I return there.
Like these in the grounds of a 700-year-old ruined abbey not far from where my parents live...
So far from home but never forgotten.
Like the grandfather who left me this...
One of my most precious possessions, and in whose pages I have pressed some leaves from the fallen tree that inspired the Maple Leaf Forever.
Because like so many others he risked his life to keep this country free. And he would be disgusted to see it surrendered so easily to right-wing extremists like Stephen Harper or Rob Ford. Or infested with teabagger traitors and clapped out collaborators. As am I.
So although it is, as I said, a day to remember the dead and the living.
We go overseas, we fight for our country, we do what we’re asked and when we come home it’s like we have to start another war all over again just to get the medical help we need...It’s been going on for years and years and years and it’s time for it to stop.”
And those who are still suffering so horribly at the hands of the ghastly Con regime.
On this November 11th in the year 2013 I also believe it's a day to rededicate ourselves to the grand struggle to bring down that regime.
Who would do to our soldiers what they would do to all of us.
For so many didn't sacrifice their lives to see it become Harperland.
They died for a country called CANADA...
And now in a peaceful but powerful way we must return it to them.
For anything less would be to betray them as miserably as the Cons have.
Lest we forget.
They did their duty.
Now we must do ours...
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