Monday, December 27, 2010

Canada at War in the 21st Century

Peel away the hockey and one sees Don Cherry as a loud man fond of violence and flamboyant suits. He wears outrageous costume as he advocates that fit young men wearing uniforms be allowed to commit public acts of violence against each other. He himself is not subject to that violence, yet he voyeuristically enthuses that others commit acts of brutality for his entertainment. Hockey and war.

Some would call that a fetish and wonder what sort of things are stored on his computer. Some would call him a coward, and wonder when he last had a fist connect with his own face. Some would call him psychotic and wonder why he hasn't been committed. Canadians apparently regard him as some sort of icon.

The other day, Christmas I think it was,  he got to fire a gun with a maximum range in the area of 40 kilometres. Like the hockey players pummelling each other on ice while he sits in his box, or Canadians sitting in front of their TVs, he won't see the impact of the round he fired. The army won't take him to see the bone fragments and lumps of flesh, a gut torn open by shrapnel and with the intestines splayed like noodles over the ground. He won't smell the putrifaction and the faeces, or see the flies buzz. He won't hear the screams of wounded, and observe the blood pouring out of their ruptured ears and limbs. He won't see the tears streaming down the faces of the soldiers assigned to clean up the mess or hear their deafening silence. He won't have their nightmares, or feel the pain of the loved ones at home as they try to understand why daddy spends all night drinking in the garage, or why mommy took them away to live with grandma.

If the round didn't explode right away and instead buried itself in a field, he won't meet the grieving family of the villager or child who disturbed it years later, long after we leave that place.

This man, Mr. Cherry, is three quarters of a century old. He was too young to volunteer for the Second World War, but old enough for Korea. He didn't go. Instead, like most of Canada since 1945, he spent a pampered and lucky life indulging in his fetish for chasing a small piece of rubber up and down a patch of ice. When he failed at leading these men to victory, he found a very well paying gig commenting on the skills of others. Millions of Canadians listen to his gaseous pontifications.

Somewhere along the way he decided he was a fan of the Canadian Forces. He whispered sweetly in their ear, told them they were beautiful, and they gave him an nice little award for his 'commitment' to them. He traded well on their laurels. They let him fire a gun and cheered his bluster.

Ten years ago, before Afghanistan, he was 66 years old. In ten more years if he's still living, he'll be 86 and quite possibly incontinent and senile. His stage-managed little blue pill with the gun is likely one of the last major acts in his charmed and cowardly little life. Canada, lazy and bloated on double-doubles and 60 years of peace and prosperity, looks on admiringly.


Fat Arse said...

One word: Bravo!

Rev.Paperboy said...

the only question is: how long before Fox News offers him his own hour long program?

hettygreen said...

Guaranteed he'll be moved to tears over the noble, democracy spreading, school building, Canadian Forces on his next HNIC appearance. And we used to think Howie Meeker was bad.

Anonymous said...

The best way to deal with Cherry is as commenter Fat Arse over on the Dawg suggests.(

Regard him as a nasty curiosity, "a chimp throwing his poop at the enclosure window."

Something to make you glad you're who you are.

Trout said...

Don Cherry is a piece of human garbage, there, that's been said.

However he has as much a right to kill Taliban as does Private Jones from Flin Flon, which is none. Afghanistan never attacked NATO, the article 5 thing was always a fiction. NATO in 2001 was a relic of the Cold War modelled on western nation states. Afghanistan in 2001 (and in 2010) is as close to a western nation state as an apple is to an orangutan.

Have Celine Dion and Gordon Lightfoot do a special where they direct some drone strikes, it's no different.

CK said...

Rev Paperboy, I think a Fox News North show for Cherry is coming.

I don't get why the CBC hasn't fired him, especially after he bites the hand that feeds him.

Petey MacKay should be forced to resign for allowing Cherry near these weapons to begin with.

There is something disturbing indeed about Cherry, that he enjoyed his experience a tad too much.

Boris, who says he isn't senile and incontinent now?

masterymistery said...

Didn't know him or anything about him before reading your post. Now that I have, I don't want to!

"gaseous pontifications" nice phrase.

masterymistery at cosmic rapture

Brian said...

Cherry would have been 17 in the second year of the Korean War which was the perfect age for a high school dropout to join the army. You’re right, why didn’t he?

Alison said...

How long before Harpie gives the loathsome creature a Senate seat?

900ft Jesus said...

well said.

CK said...

Alison, The tv freak in the pink suit won't be getting a senate seat, unless, of course, Harper somehow manages to do some of his voodoo to change the rules. Age limit for senators is 75; the old goat is 76.

Jim said...

Blogger Trout said...

"Don Cherry . . . has as much a right to kill Taliban as does Private Jones from Flin Flon, which is none. Afghanistan never attacked NATO, the article 5 thing was always a fiction."

An interesting take on it, but not quite complete. International law is not very good yet at dealing with non-state actors, but there is a good argument to be made that Al-Qaida was a legitimate object of attack because of the attacks on 11 Sep 01.

Specifically, Article 5 is triggered by "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America", which the attacks of 2001 certainly were.

Note that Article 5 is not restricted to attacks by nation states.

Upon such an attack, Article 5 provides "that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them [the Parties], in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

The intransigence of the Afghan government (although I understand and respect their reasoning) does arguably create a casus belli.

That does not mean, however, that the war thus "justified" is open-ended, unlimited or outside the scope of other international law (specifically Geneva and Hague law). Which raises the question that no one wants to ask or answer: If Al-Qaida has (apparently) left town for the friendlier regions of Pakistan and elsewhere, what justification do we have to continue our armed presence in Afghanistan?

There is no legal theory that allows one nation to invade another to promote democracy, women's rights or any of the other rationales that I have heard in the last several years.

And of Cherry killed anyone with that round, international law does not protect him as it does members of the uniformed services. It would appear to be murder, plain and simple.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong.