Sunday, July 08, 2007

Reality bites

Lorrie Goldstein has a gutsy column in today's Sun - We're ill-prepared for war. I must admit I was ready to pillory Lorrie on this one until I read it all the way through.

He suggests that most Canadians have been ill-prepared for the real cost of war, after so many years of living in a la-la land of euphemistic 'peace-keeping' initiatives. He says we must educate our children so they understand reality and are prepared make such commitments being fully informed, so that there isn't a knee-jerk reaction to cut and run when the going gets tough.

But the argument that most opposition politicians and media are now making each time another soldier's life is lost -- as six were lost last week -- is a disgrace. The argument is basically that the validity of this mission hinges on the number of dead, in a war which has claimed fewer than 70 Canadian lives over five years.

Exactly.

So what number is the magic one, Jack Layton?

What is the tipping point whereby we skulk back to Canada? We obviously have already reached it Jack. Which one was it? How many deaths were you comfortable with before you said, o.k. that's it?

And what about you Mr. Dion? How much blood had to be spilled before you started looking a little greener than usual?

The rumour that the Conservative government is 'softening it's stance' is hardly surprising. We need all of Canada behind our soldiers - and that includes the opposition.

Otherwise, we may as well just pack up and go home.


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Joe Warmington - Fallen Soldiers to get Special Tribute.

...In fact, a saluting OPP officer will be on bridges on Highway 401, between CFB Trenton and Toronto, as a unique funeral procession edges west. Each car, which already dons a yellow-ribbon decal, will also have its lights flashing...


Good thing Waterloo Regional Police won't be there, since they're not allowed to display yellow ribbons. Ken Seiling, give your head a shake!


Toronto Star - Why military might does not always win.

Principle over Popularity - Frank has a link to a heart-warming story. "What Canadians have done for us is a blessing."


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29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really liked Lorrie's column today Joanne. I think that what he talks about is a sad reflection on how badly we teach our children about our history these days. I wonder how many more Rememberance Days and Canada Day's we'll continue to get our shorts in knots about how badly our schools are teaching our children, and actually DO something about it?
Has anyone even picked up a history text lately? Very sad, and history from a very, VERY liberal point of view. What next a chapter on how Al Gore's Earth Aid is given a place in our history?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, thanks for commenting.

Yes, history doesn't seem to be pushed very much in high school, and as you say, if it is, it's from a liberal POV, as is much of school curriculum.

I know there are other people out there reading this post. Please weigh in. Don't worry about your point not being witty enough or whatever. Speak from the heart. Thanks.

Gabby in QC said...

From The Gazette article by Jason Fekete, Dion is quoted as saying:
"The Harper government has "flipped-flopped" on its steadfast support for continuing the mission because it is slipping in the polls."

Maybe I completely misunderstood the PM's words when he said this at the end of Parliament session press conference:
"We expanded this military mission to February 2009 and this mission will end in February 2009. Should Canada be involved militarily after that date? We have been clear that would have to be approved by the Canadian Parliament. For my personal perspective, I would want to see some degree of consensus around that. I don't want to send people into a mission if the Opposition is going to at home undercut the work ..."

What I took the PM's words to mean was that once the decision was voted on in the Commons to extend the mission, opponents questioning its validity were undercutting the work our soldiers were/are trying to do, even going to the extent of accusing our soldiers in being complicit in torture of detainees.

So, if there is another vote (which never happened under the Liberals) to extend the mission again, opponents of the mission should just STFU, until the next vote on whether to renew the mission takes place.

It is one thing to seek information from the government about the number of schools, bridges, roads, clinics/hospitals rebuilt by our soldiers, about the concrete results of their being there.

It is quite another for the opposition to keep picking away, like a child picks at a scab, at the Afghanistan mission once it has been approved by a vote in Parliament, even if it passed with a slight margin.

So, Mr. Dion, who's flip-flopping? It's those who approved the mission while in cabinet, apparently never raising objections to it, but then saying yes, we'll pull out one day, or we'll stay, but in a different capacity another day, or bring Taliban prisoners to Canada to make sure they're not tortured over there. Whose muddled thinking needs clarity, Mr. Dion?

Kingston said...

Darn Joanne, I really want to be witty, I am going to step outside the box of blaming the teachers and the left or right side of the spectrum for this one. Is going to seriously dump this one right back on the lap of parents. We never talk to our kids anymore and explain Canada. Seriously, I know this sounds weak but when was the last time most of us on Remembrance Day or Canada Day told our younger children about the truly historic events in this country that would ignite a flame to learn more. I have two daughters now in Queens, One Pol Sci Major, History Minor, and one Education/History, I asked them once why History, and they told me (Pat on the back time), you always told us stories and explained stuff that was on the news using examples from history and it made it fun, plus you told us that history is just a huge real soap opera and it made it fun. I can remember BBQ with their friends in High School where the main topic of conversation was history, although I was a bit worried at a school meeting when kids and friends teacher approached me about it. I expected to be told to tone it down but was totally surprised when he asked me keep it up. He said it was refreshing to hear, XXXXXX's dad told us.....

Kingston said...

Gabby, No newspapers get sold by saying , the PM continues to be consistent.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

you always told us stories and explained stuff that was on the news using examples from history and it made it fun, plus you told us that history is just a huge real soap opera and it made it fun.

Your daughters have a good Dad, Kingston. I think parents underestimate their influence on kids.

I have a love for reading and current events that came from spending time with my Dad, discussing books and debating issues. Looking back I realize it was a priceless gift.

Kingston said...

So do Grandparents, My love for all things Canadian come from sitting at the feet of my Grandmother. She had the gift of talking not lecturing to her brood.

Gabby in QC said...

"... No newspapers get sold by saying, the PM continues to be consistent."

Agreed, but journalists and those they support by their inaccurate "reports" need to be told again and again that we - average Canadians - are not completely oblivious to what is going on around us, that we ARE listening, reading, weighing what is being said.

Just a few minutes ago, for instance, as I was doing stuff around the house, I heard Ms. Jane Taber, that paragon of serious journalism, interviewing Stephane Dion on CTV's QP, asking him a question about the appointment of William Elliott as the new Commissioner of the RCMP, and she summed up Dion's views with this comment:
"So you think his (Elliott's) Tory bias will make him ineffective ..."
Why is she putting in her own slant? Can't Dion explain himself fully to make his views known, he of "clarity" fame?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"So you think his (Elliott's) Tory bias will make him ineffective ..."

Unbelievable. No, scratch that. Very believable considering the source.

Anonymous said...

As usual Lorrie is right on!And he includes 'the media' as being part of the problem....definitely not a 'crowd pleaser' in his field is he?
Vicki

Anonymous said...

kington...our 15 year old 'pretends' to be bored by our discussions, but according to his friends he had all the answers in the history class!
We cannot seperate current events from the past.
Vicki

Kingston said...

Gabby, I totally agree with your thoughts, I see no fix for it unfortunately. As much as I am loathe to admit and actually admire the CPC policy of a arms length distance from the MSM, I do not think it is helping their chances. I truly think the CPC communications dept is horrendous and requires changes as soon as possible, they have to get back to talking to main stream Canada as they did during the election campaign.
I would love to see a political show that all politicians were afraid to go on, because the best ones are the ones where the host goes after them no matter what their political stripes are.

Kingston said...

excellent news Vicky, hope to see him at one of the top universities. It amazing how much the actually listen while pretending not too. Then again, I remember doing that too.LOL

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I truly think the CPC communications dept is horrendous and requires changes as soon as possible, they have to get back to talking to main stream Canada as they did during the election campaign.

I am in total agreement, Kingston.

Kingston said...

As to the fact that I have no desire to have to split the pension with the wife, pay child support, and or saw the house/furniture in half, thats it for me today. "Coming dear, yes a drive in the country is a wonderful idea". LOL

Gabby in QC said...

" ... I have no desire to have to split the pension with the wife ..."
Is that why many wives are referred to as "my better half"? ;-)

Re: teaching of history. Let's remember that education is under provincial jurisdiction, an unfortunate decision by the Fathers of Confederation, IMHO.
It is thus more difficult to instil a sense of NATIONAL pride if each province can determine whether to fund the teaching of history - more or less, or even at all.

As a radio announcer in my neck of the woods says, some people think History began with their birth.

Anonymous said...

Gabby makes a good point, however, given that the education system is charged with educating our children, and that yes, Canadian history should be a part of that, sadly it's not. That's not the fault of parents, as Kingston will have us believe. Although I will admit that if we had a strong elementary/secondary history curriculum in this province it's up to parents to do their part to support it. Similarly, if parents like Kingston do a good job of talking to their kids about our history, it's crucial that the school system support that also. It's got to be a two way street. One way and a weak link gets us nowhere.

National pride can be driven and footprinted federally I believe. How sad is it that our country has no vision for educating our youth?

My American cousins learn about their country from the day they start school.

Speaking of Canada Day. You couldn't even find anything on TV that was remotely interesting or related to our country except the, what was it, one hour of celebrations on the hill? Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

let's face it. Maybe we're all doing a really bad job at educating our kids? Schools, communities, parents, support groups.

What's it going to take?

Even if we wanted to would today's kids really hear us? If theirs is a generation which didn't know war except through video games, perhaps there's a more serious problem plaguing our kids. What are kids doing to help themselves might be a question to ask because unless there's a buy-in from the next few generations we'll be twisting in the wind about this for years.

J.

Gabby in QC said...

Just to introduce a ray of hope: I know of a couple of schools in my area that organize visits by Veterans from nearby Legions. They go to the schools on Remembrance Day, or near the day, to put on a little ceremony for the assembled students. After the ceremony, students are welcome to ask the Veterans questions, which can be a fruitful exchange for both students and Veterans.

That is one reason why I would oppose Remembrance Day being declared a National holiday, for I fear it would be just one more day to linger longer in bed or fritter it away at the mall. At least now, on weekdays, Remembrance Day can be marked with appropriate activities.

john said...

"Waterloo Regional Police won't be there, since they're not allowed to display yellow ribbons"

If the W.R.P. off icers had any balls at all they would ignore the orders of their spineless brass and display the ribbons anyway.

If some asshole Ontario peacenik soccer mom complains take the ribbon off the car when you're told to and put it right back on the next moment.

Anonymous said...

correction John. Make that "some NDP Ontario soccer mom...." because just like in TO it was those councillors with ties to the left politicizing the ribbon emblems.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

John, good in theory, but the Waterloo Regional police get their funding through the Region (obviously). Civil disobedience by the police force would be difficult for police officials to condone.

The whole thing reeks of NDP interference for sure.

John said...

Joanne, I'm not expecting police officials to "condone" anything. I'm expecting individual street level officers to show their support.

Let the cowardly police management wail, bluster & threaten all they want. Sending an individual officer up before a disciplinary board for ribbons that "mysteriously" keep appearing on cars would be a neat trick to pull off. Let them try. It all depends on whether the individual street level officers have the guts to do it. Apparently they don't.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

John, that would be a beautiful thing to see. In fact, I'd love to see all city and Regional employees break the rules and show support for the troops with ribbons!

Candace said...

Re: teaching history - Edmonton has a school devoted to Canadian & military history - Vimy Ridge. There are also optional history courses in high schools (sadly, optional).

Re: getting involved - my daughter's rather liberal social teacher makes a point of asking her questions - I think she likes hearing "my mom told me..." and was quite appalled when discussing global warming my daughter piped up with Gore's electrical costs and the fact that the cool spiral neon lights that use little energy are hazardous waste hazards.

Maybe there's hope...

Mac said...

My nephew (Army Reserve) just got back from his tour in Afghanistan. It's too bad I'm on the west coast and he's on the east coast as I would love to hear his perspective on what's going on over there!

Any soldier I've ever talked to says more-or-less the same thing: they intensely dislike the word "peacekeeping" since that's a Liberal code word for "budget cutting".

Ever since Trudeau's reign, the Liberals systematically underfunded the Armed Forces, the RCMP and other enforcement agencies, preferring to use that money to pay for things like Official Bilingualism and their assorted social-engineering programs. Who has the hidden agenda again?

The former president of the local branch of the Legion in my area wrote a lovely "letter to the Editor" for the local rag. Basically, he said there's been more soldiers killed in Canada in traffic accidents in the past five years than were killed in Afghanistan in the same time period... so the media and politicians should get over it.

There were some lessons on history during my schooling (25+ years ago) but it wasn't much. From what I've seen of my kids' schooling, there's even less history being taught nowadays.

My son participates in Army Cadets and one of the things he's learning is about our military history in a very "hands on" way. Everything from going to the local military graveyard to clean headstones to meeting with Legion members at a variety of events.

A buddy of mine who was involved in the Cadet movement says the goal of Cadets is to mold the next generation of leaders and model citizens for Canada and, from what I've seen so far, he's absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

“Otherwise, we may as well just pack up and go home.”

The consequences of this will be that Al QAEDA will then have a whole country base to operate out of with all the resources to do what they want. So they will have Sharia law enforced and united with Iran they will start to bring about the world-wide domination of the world. Nobody seems to think that it will happen here. Give your head a shake, and wake up!
They will take over the West by birth rate alone.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

and was quite appalled when discussing global warming my daughter piped up with Gore's electrical costs and the fact that the cool spiral neon lights that use little energy are hazardous waste hazards.

lol!! I love it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Any soldier I've ever talked to says more-or-less the same thing: they intensely dislike the word "peacekeeping" since that's a Liberal code word for "budget cutting".

Mac, I must remember that one! Thanks.


Anon, I agree. The consequences of packing up and going home are unthinkable.