The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Still Babies After All These Years
It's good to know the election of the Conservatives hasn't changed Canadians one bit. We're still childish, whiny and self-absorbed. From Canwest today:
Canada is not getting enough recognition or appreciation for the work it is doing in Afghanistan, something Peter MacKay says he hopes to remedy.
As the new Foreign Affairs Minister leaves on his first trip overseas, he plans to push for kudos from Britain, NATO and European Union allies, some of whom have soldiers operating under Canadian command in Afghanistan.
"Our role ... is one that we should be very, very proud of and I know that it's sometimes appreciated, but it's not often expressed in a way that Canadians here at home and in the larger global community recognize just how significant that contribution has been," he said in an interview with CanWest News Service this week.
"I hope to reiterate this during my time in England that Canada's role be recognized and that there be value expressed ... for the increased role that we are playing."
I had so hoped, when the Liberals got the boot, that things would change. I hoped we would grow up, stop embarrassing ourselves and begin to participate like adults in the War on Jihadists.
So far...no good.
Still, what can we expect from Peter MacKay? I try to stay away from talking about politician's private lives (except when a filthy joke can be made), because it really shouldn't matter. But last year, when he put his private life on display, and pulled that simpering, "Poor me, look at me in my rubber boots with my dog," act, I thought, "Oh Lord, keep that man away from the halls of power."
Soldiers don't fight so that people will say "Hurrah for you!" And if they do, they're in it for the wrong reason. Yes, we should appreciate our military -- I am second to none in that appreciation. But all glory, as a somewhat famous soldier named George Patton once said, is fleeting. What isn't fleeting is freedom. That's what they're fighting for.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
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You'd have thought P-Mac would have learned the first lesson of politics by now: only you can toot your own horn. If he wants the rest of the world to appreciate Canada's role in Afghanistan, he should talk it up more. Simple as that.
Forget Emerson and Fortier, MacKay's appointment was easily Harper's biggest mistake.
Posted by: China e-Lobby | 2006-02-22 1:02:08 PM
Maybe, Mr. McKay, we would appreciate those efforts more if there wasn't such an anti-war undercurrent in this country. Perhaps if our government and our media fed us the information we need in order to be proud (instead of squirreling it away lest we become like those damn war-mongering Americans), we would be better informed and know what our brave men and women were up to. As it is, we only get the reports when they kill people or are killed themselves. Not much to be proud of there.
Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-02-22 1:32:47 PM
You wrote what I was going to before I could get to it.
Posted by: Heather Cook | 2006-02-22 4:01:27 PM
Our feeling of not being rightly appreciated is a deep rooted problem. It started in WW1, and continued in WW2. I was born 10 years after WW2, and grew up surrounded by veterans and their children. It left a lasting impression. The only real thanks our veterans get is from the Dutch. Our wartime Prime Minister was not allowed to attend the summit which was hosted by Canada. We had very few top level commanders. We were never involved in any planning. Our casualties in both wars was way out of proportion. I believe these factors kept us out of Vietnam and Iraq.
That said, it is time to grow up. I hope Mr. Harper takes us in another direction. You can't complain if you don't participate.
Posted by: dan | 2006-02-23 12:03:46 PM
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