Sunday, November 10, 2013


If you're not acquainted with it yet, here's a new tune from Canadian music icon Brian Adams, just in time for November 11th.

Let's leave aside the hoary sentimentalism represented by a choir of wives left behind as their men go off to war - that is so 100 years ago.

Let's focus instead on the lyrics;

...hear the battle cry
see the Ric-A-Dam-Doo
It's the flag of freedom in the air
Always glorious, victorious
Standing shoulder to shoulder till the end

That's a jingoism as dated as the gender stereotypes that inform the very concept of the song. The Van Doo's most recent posting in Afghanistan was not glorious, nor was it victorious. In fact, it brought freedom to no one, made widows of a few of those wives left behind, and killed or maimed dozens of Van Doo.

Why? So that a clique of political leaders, men who have never served in the CF and whose experience of warfare is limited to watching Full Metal Jacket on TV, can strut about on the world stage as fully-made combatants in the War on Terror.

What disturbs me about the annual "remembrance" ceremonies is that for all the claims that we are honouring the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for our "freedom," we're not really. We're celebrating war.

War is glorious. We're always victorious, even when we're not, because we are the good guys, and our flag is the flag of freedom.

In 1914 tens of thousands of Canadians were among the millions who gave their lives so a few spatting Royal Families in Europe could sort things out amongst themselves. It was the war to end all wars.

Barely twenty-five years later they held another war to end all wars to tie up the loose ends left by the first. Tens of millions more gave their lives. Alas, that was not the war to end all wars either, and we've been fighting for peace in one country or another ever since.

This new song does have one redeeming feature; all proceeds will be donated to assisting soldiers suffering from PTS syndrome and other issues. The government that never tires of basking in the refracted glory of "the troops" has been steadily eroding the supports it provides for them.

They fought for our freedom so they can rely on charity when they get home.

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