Friday, June 01, 2007

Harper the warrior king. Channeling Dick Cheney

What Tim said. Steve Harper has done it again.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appeared to have had enough of Dion's line of questioning about the competence of O'Connor, who had served previously as a general in Canada's military.

"The minister of National Defence is a veteran of the Canadian Forces," Harper said. "He has served this country courageously in uniform for 32 years and when the leader of the opposition is able to stand in uniform and serve his country then I'll care about his opinion."
Actually, O'Connor was a brigadier general who never achieved his goal. He wanted to be the Chief of Defence Staff but came up three ranks shy. Not that any of that matters. He isn't in the fucking service anymore. He's a civilian. A minister of the Crown. While I know there are countless dozens of people who criticized the performance of O'Connor when he was in uniform, no one is bringing that up.

But we could.

Harper, as Stephane Dion pointed out, has placed a caveat on criticism of the Minister of National Defence. In Harper's mind only those who have been members of the armed services are allowed to criticize Gordon O'Connor's record as a cabinet minister. And, when called on his own military service, Harper had this to say.
"It's true I've never served in the armed forces," the PM admitted. "I consider that an experience in my life that I've missed."
Really?! I can do no better than to quote Canadian Cynic.
Let me explain something to you, Steve, you ignorant sack of pus -- military service is not something that you "miss." It's not something that just pops by briefly while you were out and forgets to leave a note. Military service is something you explicitly and deliberately choose not to partake of. It's a decision you make consciously, not an unfortunate accident you look back on wistfully and wonder, "What if?".
Precisely, and I'm going to go one further. Harper intentionally and deliberately avoided any form of military service because he's a coward. On 13 April 2006, while addressing troops in Wainwright, he said this:
And I believe that military service is the highest calling of citizenship, not because you are ready to die for your country, though every soldier is prepared to do that. No, it is the highest calling of citizenship because you are ready to live for your country.
What a load of fucking tripe, and what a demonstration of how little that overweight sack of shit knows about military service. Declaring that military service is the highest calling of citizenship, he stands out as someone who has avoided answering that call. Further, I don't know anybody with a modicum of sanity who is prepared to die for their country. Service personnel are prepared to fight for their country and swear an oath or affirmation to do so. But nowhere does it say on any document that the members of the Canadian Forces stand ready to die. Only a flat-faced, pencil-necked, reeky fucking politician would be dumb enough to even suggest such a thing.

But then, that's exactly what Harper is. He's also a ghoul.

On 18 September 2006 Harper told Peter Mansbridge that the war in Afghanistan had made Canada's military a better military "... because of the casualties."

As long as he's not one of them.

You see, Harper would have failed miserably in any branch of the military. The armed forces is a team effort and Harper is anything but a team player. Given his propensity for back-stabbing and uncontrolled fits of temper, he would have been extremely unpopular and, I would go so far as to say, he probably would have had his lights punched out before seeing off his sixteenth week of service.

Harper had no desire to join anything. He hates established institutions unless they're willing to change to suit his view of the world. And he's not patient enough to adapt to the demands of the institution, as he has already demonstrated many times in his contempt for the parliamentary process.

Harper has another problem which would preclude his serving in the military. Advancement in the armed forces is based on merit and performance. That wouldn't sit well with a political animal like Harper who craves, more than anything else, power. The armed forces expects servile compliance from its members. Harper, who has spent his career advancing on the backs of others and manipulating his way to the top would have found the military far too tough.

In short, he wouldn't have lasted in the service. He would have quit. Again, not that it matters. He never even entertained the thought of actually visiting a recruiting office. He missed that part.

Let's get back to O'Connor for a minute. Apparently, according to Harper, only those who have served, in uniform, are in a position to criticize the Minister of National Defence.

I qualify.

I have more decorations than Gordon O'Connor. We are members of the same military order. I have combat experience. O'Connor doesn't.

I don't care what O'Connor was like as a brigadier general, although I considered him a careerist boob at the time. What he is now is an incompetent, lying, shiftless moron. He has forced unwanted equipment on the military without completing a proper defence review; he was so confused as to prisoner transfer arrangements that an international aid organization had to lay out for him exactly what they were not doing; he so lacked awareness of the budget demands of the Afghanistan mission that he left the navy underfunded to carry out scheduled patrols; and, now, he has no idea why an assistant deputy minister had not issued payment for the funerals of service personnel killed in action.

He says he directed that all costs to the families be reimbursed but that order was not obeyed.


Well then, Gordon O'Connor, with all that luscious, courageous military service should be able to get himself off the hook with a great deal of ease. You see, we former military types understand how such direction works and an order of that nature would be written. O'Connor has simply to appear in Parliament and show us the signed and dated direction that he issued. It is undoubtedly unclassified.

Unless O'Connor is lying to us again.

While we're discussing "orders", O'Connor should issue one to his blow-hard Chief of Defence Staff. Tell him to quit showing up at public events and news conferences dressed in camouflage combat clothing. Unless he's in the field, he has an office job and we have the right to see him properly dressed with visible rank insignia and medal ribbons. Being dressed as a variegated, multi-leafed plant in downtown Ottawa is incongruous with proper military deportment.

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