amongst books

amongst books

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

non literary topic due to outrage

Normally my posts here have to do with literature, music etc, but Harper's latest shenanigans have me pissed off enough to post my Citizen letter to the editor here.

re: Canadians won’t see fallen troops come home, Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It is unacceptable that Prime Minister Harper has barred the media from the CFB Trenton ceremony to repatriate the remains of the four soldiers killed in Afghanistan. To say that the government is doing this in order to respect the privacy of the families is nonsense and a typical example of the current Conservative double speak. The families did not request a coverage black out. This decision dishonours the memory of Cpls. Matthew Dinning and Randy Payne, Bombardier Myles Mansell, and Lieut. William Turner.

More generally, this decision, as does the new policy not to lower the flag on Parliament Hill when a soldier dies, demonstrates that Harper, like his American counterpart, is trying to control and stage manage the public’s knowledge and perceptions about the consequences of Canada’s military presence in Afghanistan. It is clear that Harper expects the death toll to rise and doesn’t want Canadians to see a constant reminder. If he thinks he can suppress information, he’s dead wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the families themselves or even members of the Canadian military in attendance at the ceremony take photographs to send to the media. Harper has made a huge mistake. He has drawn more attention to his information quashing policy, and to the soldiers’ deaths. I noted two photos showing troops carrying coffins in the front section of the April 25 Citizen. The media, as it always does when the government attempts to curtail freedom of the press, will find ways to ensure that this issue is brought to the public’s attention.

Opposition parties are taking too long to get rid of this minority government. Luckily with decisions like these, the Conservatives are doing a great job of ensuring they won’t be in power long.

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