Some people are giving Fantino credit for "sincerely apologizing" to veterans for the spectacle he created. Except that it wasn't a sincere apology and accepting any part of it would be a huge mistake. Professor Stephen Kimber explains why.
Sincerely? In the next breath, Fantino was bitching to his stenographers at the Toronto Sun that the multi-medalled, wheel-chaired vets had been “duped… jacked up” by the union representing public servants who will lose their jobs and who had paid the veterans’ airfare to Ottawa.Keeping in mind, of course, that on one of Fantino's previous yap-sessions with those same stenographers he tried to paint himself into the same frame as a combat veteran. That should have told the veterans who attempted to meet with him that such endeavours were likely to fail. Fantino, who does not know how to control his authoritarian impulses, views himself as a hero. A self-styled hero who brooks no protest without his explicit permission.
When those mindless-dupe vets failed to show Fantino the due deference he required, he told the Sun, “I wasn’t just going to play dead.”
Fantino clearly does not understand veterans. Worse though, is that he expects veterans to kneel before him and then be grateful for his very existence. His style is to issue orders; not to listen. And he further insults veterans by telling them they have been "duped" by the public service union, PSAC.
Really? Duped by the very union veterans watched like hawks when they were serving? The same union whose collective wage and benefit package formed the basis for the Canadian Forces compensation and benefit negotiations with the Treasury Board? Ya think?!!
If there's been any "duping" going on it's been by Harper and company, Fantino included. They have made a point of positioning themselves as "friends of the forces" and the "protectors of veterans", all without having done much except make loud noises about it. While the Harperites have been diligent in making certain they applied a nice shiny surface paint job, they have been hacking away at personnel, cutting pay and benefits, cancelling equipment acquisition and fighting against veterans attempting to hang on to disability benefits.
Not to mention the biggest duping of all. Harper, on Sunday, 1 March 2009, on CNN in the U.S., (he never says this kind of thing where a Canadian can get at him), told Fareed Zakaria that the war in Afghanistan was futile. And rather than call the Chief of Defence Staff and require that all Canadian troops be withdrawn to a safe area, he continued to knowingly send Canadian kids to their death. That made them cannon fodder and it highlighted Harper as a dangerous sociopath. Fantino too, is a sociopath but with perhaps a more lingering aroma of corruption.
And here ends part 1.