Thursday, September 13, 2007

Support the getting rid of those bloody yellow ribbons

As the militarization of our society continues apace, yellow ribbons are blooming all over municipal vehicles like toadstools after rain. Yellow ribbons mean supporting the Harper Conservatives and their neverending War in Afghanistan, a branch plant of War on Everything (U.S.). As if the recent revelations about the RCMP and the Sureté Québec aren't bad enough, we are now seeing the military solution as the only solution to everything, including domestic policing.

So, what happens now? Like the Toronto Police Union campaign to sell window stickers to show support for them, one wonders what happens if you don't buy one. More tickets? Less action if the car should be stolen? No help if the police see a motorist in trouble who doesn't carry a sticker?

Transfer that into people who don't sport yellow ribbons, wear red on Fridays (my favourite colour, by the way, and I'm intensely angry that it has been co-opted by the shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later brigade), or other knee-jerk (with emphasis on the "jerk") reactions to pronouncements from Our Glorious Leader.

From the Coucil of Canadians:

There is a growing trend among municipal and local governments across Canada to endorse the “Support our Troops” campaign by placing decals on ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and other municipal vehicles, or by supporting “Wear red Fridays” and other similar actions. At our latest count, 18 local councils have either passed resolutions, had city management allow the decals—usually yellow ribbons that say “Support our Troops”—on government-owned vehicles, or are considering allowing them.

This is disturbing considering that the “Support our Troops” message is a political statement of explicit support for the current mission in Afghanistan – support that isn’t shared by a majority of Canadians.

The Council of Canadians opposes the “Support our Troops” decals because it is unacceptable for public vehicles to carry any political message, let alone one that promotes the views of the governing party. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that “Support our Troops” implies support for the current mission in Afghanistan. In other words, the campaign excludes people, like the Council, who support our troops by demanding that they be brought home immediately.

...[T]he Council of Canadians is also deeply concerned that the use of public resources to endorse the war in Afghanistan represents a militarization of our society. Propaganda expert and University of Carleton professor Randal Marlin told The Hill Times recently that the overall impact of the “Support our Troops” message is “the suppression of dissent… and encouraging military solutions to problems.”

Write now and let your majority voice be heard. No more U.S. wars, no more punching above our weight, no more of this crap. Stop it now, get our soldiers back where they belong so they can protect us if we need them, not in some desert somewhere learning how to be good snipers.

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