Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Jonathan Livingston Buffalo

The sweet voice - although a little testy, and why not? - of reason from Neil Kitson on the prospect of yet another election in Canada.

You’d like to think that some buffalo at the back of the herd, following all those thundering bulls with balls, Jonathan Livingston Buffalo maybe, is thinking, in response to the shrieking of crazed humans: "Wait a minute…"

OK, so we’re having elections up here in Canada like we’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We’re trying to decide which minority government is least obnoxious.

He points out something that nobody ever spends any time on at all, the complete vacuum that surrounds discussion of the war in Afghanistan from any party at all in this. Even the NDP are largely missing in action on this one.

The endless parade of military and civilian casualties, the pumping up of ex-generals like Rick Hillier and the absence of much discussion about the families of dead soldiers or the physcial and mental wounds of injured soldiers, the endless war spending without even a question or discussion about it - the Memory Hole has opened in Canada and people are being thrown into it.

Jeff Huber, retired US Naval Commander at Pen and Sword muses on endless war and endless spending this way:

It would be nice to think our woebegone wars will die of natural causes when we can no longer afford them, but when it comes to the federal budget, war is like Jell-O: there’s always room for it.

Note that General Petraeus, hereinafter to be known as King David, is wearing the Calgary Stampede Special white hat presented to him this year in Alberta.

Speaking of generals and their life after combat, I remember that one of the few times Rick Hillier was anwhere near danger in Afghanistan, the minute the bomb went off somewhere in the vicinity, he was scooped up and bustled off like a piece of precious china. Now he sits on boards and rakes in the bucks.

Dr. Kitson is not very impressed with either offering for the new "leader" of this lovely, mismanaged country, but saves the most withering disapproval for Stephen Harper.

"Stephen Harper, who seems to have a primordial, completely un-Canadian dream of converting the world into a disciplined unit that will do whatever he says, which always involves more punishment and less imagination. Show me something – anything – that Harper has done in his life that has contributed – remotely – to the well-being of Canadians. Show me that he’s produced anything at all."

Neil Kitson has hit the nail squarely on the head. Stephen Harper doesn't have particularly advanced academic qualifications in anything, does not have a trade or a skill, has never run a business or met a payroll - nothing, nothing, nothing. And yet his contempt for people who have is so palpable that you could cut it with a knife.

As for Michael Ignatieff, he reminds me of any empty vessel which every passing breeze can make sing a different tune.

No comments:

Post a Comment