Saturday, February 08, 2014
Let's end the history lesson there and get to the point of this whole discussion. Veterans are now the recipients of some of the shabbiest treatment ever at the hands of the federal government and the fault lays, not just with Julian Fantino, but with Harper himself.
Harper, always prepared to pump Canadian military history for the lazy patriotic vote it garners, is a tribalist, self-centered, sociopath. Fantino was his perfect hatchet-man. But make no mistake about it, what is being done to veterans now is very much calculated by Harper and the elitists who surround him.
Of the roughly 1.1 million Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served in the 2nd World War, less than 90,000 are alive today. At an average age of 90, those veterans are dying in the hundreds per month. Korea veterans, a much smaller group, have all but vanished. No veteran of the 1914 - 1918 Great War survives. In short, the corps of veterans from the declared wars and Korea is shrinking rapidly.Veterans from the Cold War era, Gulf War 1, peacekeeping and Afghanistan do not constitute the same numbers as the large group that returned from the world wars and, (get ready for this), the Harperites don't really consider them veterans in the same light anyway. Those veterans do not meet the Conservative fetish of military glory associated with the big total wars. If you don't believe me, replay some of Fatino's interviews where he tries to minimize the standing of today's veterans by elevating the risk and contribution of municipal police, himself included. He's trying, along with Harper, to make national service, with a full combat liability, no more than police work.
And we all know, for a multitude of reasons, it is not, and never will be, the same thing. Julian Fantino never once deployed for the better part of a year to any one of the world's shit-holes. Ever. We did it with all too familiar regularity.
So, here's the thing, (and you need to absorb this one fully). What Harper is doing to veterans is NOT singularly unique. What he is doing to you, he is doing to everyone. He has shattered the Canadian public service. He is destroying labour law in this country. His myopic focus on creating a petro-state (in Alberta) has promoted accelerated rust-out in the Canadian manufacturing sector. Essential middle-income jobs are being destroyed in the most populated areas of the country in favour of corporate wealth generation from wanton resource extraction. You are just another domino to fall in a long line of tiles. Complaining loudly will do one thing: he'll do what he can to silence you faster.
It's not that Harper doesn't care about you. Harper doesn't care about anybody. He consults nobody outside his elitist circle; he accepts no advice; he answers no questions. When cornered, he runs for cover and hides.
Veterans are in a decidedly exceptional position, should they (we) choose to exploit it. We have always been there for Canadians and we have nothing to hide. And Canadians in general appreciate that we have honestly done our duty on behalf of this country in the best interest of our country.
Do what you have always done best. Lead, and accept nothing short of a fully completed mission.
A majority of Canadians sympathize with veterans. They do not accept the mistreatment and the abuse at the hands of a sociopath. They are watching you. They want to see what you are going to do.
There is a strong belief that if your loud protestations garner some kind of pay off, that you'll take it and resume your seat at the camp table. That would leave the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have had their lives and dreams crushed by Harper's policies sorely disappointed. And you will have lost them forever.
Do the right thing. Get out front. If you never want another Fantino, you have to gather your forces, muster your strength, fight off the fear and get rid of the whole force from which the Fatinos originate.
You need to suck it up and realize that you are only one segment of the population which has been kicked in the genitals. You need to organize and slam Harper hard. So hard that he is totally and completely de-stooled.
If you do not do this, Harper will be back, even if he pays you off this time, and he will do untold amounts of damage. Your meager pension will not withstand the financial assault he will carry out on you if he is returned to government. Do you like your health care plan? He'll kill it. Do you expect to get Old Age Security? It will be gone. Don't believe me? Ask a 55 year old when they get to access their Canada Pension Plan? No one figured on that one but Harper ripped it away from them.
It is time that you considered all of those Canadians you never saw when you were in Bosnia, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, the Golan Heights, Cyprus, Haiti, Cambodia, Viet Nam and any number of places where bullets flew until we took the lead and realized that they want you to get out front, look them in the eyes and say, follow me.
You don't have a lot of time. If you think Harper is going to wait until the fall of 2015 to go to the electorate, you're not paying attention. He is under so much pressure that he could trigger an election at any moment. Never mind the "fixed election date". He's already broken that law once before. All the signs are there and if you're not ready, he'll trample you.
You need to look at the door to your front and realize that it could open at any moment and expose you to a hail of hostile fire. So, get organized and lead. Make your issue big and make it a part of the bigger issue. Harper is not and never will be your friend. He lives in a world where hatred and ignorance are political weapons. You can defeat him and deny him his weapons. Quit worrying about who replaces him. We've all been in situations in far flung places where victory meant we got rid of the nasty prick in the chair without knowing what came afterwards.
You've done it before.
Do it now. Lead.