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Monday, April 24, 2006

They think we're stupid, don't they 

Stephen Harper thinks Canadians are stupid.
He thinks if we don't see flag-covered caskets on our news, then Canadian opposition to the war in Afghanistan will not increase.
After all, this "see no evil" policy has worked just soooooo well for Bush, hasn't it? You know who I'm talking about, don't you -- that president who is not supported now by two out of three Americans?
What Harper doesn't seem to realize that if anything will turn Canadians away from Afghanistan, it will be incompetent, uncaring, callous and cynical leadership.
That's what has turned America off Iraq -- "Bush lied and our soldiers died" has been absorbed into America's consciousness now.
Its neocon slander that either Canadians or Americans could be frightened away from a righteous war just because soldiers are dying. But in both countries, we do demand righteousness. In Iraq, Americans have now realized that this was an illegal war started by lies and executed with increasing incompetence. In Afghanistan, both Americans and Canadians still support this war. But Canadians could change our minds if Harper continues to demonstrate such contempt for our mental processes.
Like Bush, Harper is now preventing coverage of returning soldiers' caskets. And like Bush, Harper will not be meeting the coffins either.
Not exactly a profile in compassion, is it?
The Conservatives can prattle all they like about privacy and tradition, but Canadians know the truth. These are NEW measures, not old ones.
Honestly, do they really think we will believe this fairy tale about how the Liberals were violating some revered "tradition" of not lowering flags for war casualties -- when Canada hasn't actually HAD any war casualties for the last 50 years, except the recent ones for whom the Liberals lowered the flag? And preventing coverage of the caskets is an insult to the families of these soldiers, implying that their sacrifice is not worthy of media coverage.
Some Canadians ARE doing the right thing:
. . . Alberta Premier Ralph Klein says flags at the legislature will be lowered to half-mast whenever a soldier from the province is killed. He said Tuesday that this is what most Albertans would want, as an act of respect for fallen soldiers. He said when soldiers, either from his province or stationed in his province, die, flags will be lowered on the day of the funeral.
Canadian flags outside post offices in Edmonton are also at half-mast -- Lieut. Bill Turner was a part-time army reservist who worked in that city as a letter carrier.
"It is important because (Turner) was one of our members," Ramon Antipas, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers local, told The Canadian Press. "He truly believed in the mission. This is in recognition for what he was doing." The mayor of Toronto has also made a decision to lower the flag atop Toronto City Hall, beginning Tuesday, to half-mast in honour of the four Canadian soldiers. One of the soldiers, Cpl. Dinning, was from the Toronto area.
The Prime Minister's Office can't do anything about Ralph or about Toronto, but I would imagine Canada Post will be getting a phone call from some PMO flack issuing orders to get that flag back up -- and I hope someone hangs up on them.

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