2003 February 15 Saturday
Canadian Government Dislikes Positive Army Publicity

Says Alain Pellerin, director of the Conference of Defence Associations:

"The army wanted to make a real land contribution to the operation in Iraq, as they did in Afghanistan," he said.

"But the government's never been very comfortable with what the PPCLI did in Kandahar.... It put the army in the public eye and gave them a lot of positive publicity. The government didn't like that."

The Canadian government has decided to send a couple thousand Canadian soldiers to Kabul to function as police. By sending those soldiers to Kabul the Canadian government puts itself in a position where it will not have enough soldiers to also send troops to take part in the attack on Iraq. Yes, you heard that right. The Canadian military does not have the ability to send more than a few thousand soldiers into a combat zone. Canada, population 32 million people and with about a $900 billion (in US dollars) economy is militarily tapped out after sending a couple of thousand soldiers into a combat zone.

Lets put that into perspective. In World War II 5,500 Canadian soldiers were awarded the Burma Star for serving in the Burma campaign. Sound like a lot? 91,000 Canadians were awarded the Italy Star for serving in the Italy campaign. 12,800 Canadians were awarded the Air Crew Europe Star for serving in Europe in air crews. 43,500 Canadians were awarded the Atlantic Star for air and sea service in the Battle for the Atlantic. In World Wars I and II a total of 110,214 Canadian soldiers gave their lives fighting for King and Country (the total figure is probably higher since some deaths can't be traced to individual names; there are additional civilian losses too). But today a wealthier and larger populace elect a government that chooses not to spend the money needed to put more than a few thousand soldiers into the field. Hey, that certainly puts a cap on military casualties.

But the really curious aspect of all this is the desire of the Canadian government to prevent their soldiers from doing anything brave or gallant or daring. It is obvious that in the minds of Canada's ruling elite a judgement has been made that Canadians shouldn't be exposed to anything that might awaken a spirt of martial ardour. This suggests that lurking under those pleasant smiles and maple leaf hats lurks a warrior race which is being kept placid only by careful stage management of their environment by their benign and wise rulers.

What is next for Canada's elites as they strive to create a post-militaristic utopian society? I probably shouldn't be giving the Orwellian speech controllers of Canada (whose hate speech laws are thoroughly illiberal) any ideas but its too much fun to resist. Greece points the way forward. If Greece can ban the use of electronic games lest anyone use them to gamble (yes, really, I'm not making this up; though they eventually backed off for private use) then certainly the Canadian government could at least ban violent action games, war movies, action movies (Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger should probably be prevented from entering the country), army soldier toys, and all things that might give the young and impressionable encouragement to pursue a life of martial valour.

But wait, they can't stop there. What's the biggest source of exposure to violence in Canada? Ice hockey! It has to be banned. You might be objecting at this point. You might want to argue that playing ice hockey is an innately Canadian thing to do. Sorry, not any more. Any sport that conditions youth to be brutally competitive can't be allowed. A person could get hurt getting slammed against the walls or into the ice or by getting punched or whacked with a hockey stick (perhaps the sticks should be coated in soft foam as an early step toward the abolition of the game?). We can't have that. In the New Canada (which is almost a contradiction since the very idea of nationalism must be stomped out) sports should be about everyone working together to make harmonious patterns. Groups shouldn''t be pitted against each other in physical competition that inevitably leads to injury and even violence on the ice. I grew up watching the Philadelphia Flyers treating hockey as gladiator battle and so perhaps my limited knowledge of hockey has distorted my view of the sport. But the tendency to violence is inherent in the sport. Ice hockey is patriarchal and masculine. It is more dangerous that electronic games. It must be brought to an end along with the Canadian military.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 February 15 06:31 PM  Civilizations Decay

Bob said at February 15, 2003 8:58 PM:

Yes, well, we don't want our soldiers killing anybody, eh? Do that and the next thing you know, they might cuss somewhere near clergy! Can't let that happen, eh! Then nobody will want us as peacekeepers.

But I don't think it's fair of youse American guys to be mocking our national game, eh! Hockey players are not the only thing we export to youse guys. How would you like it if we reduced Molson production by a million barrels a day, eh? And what about all them there female pop singers, eh?

Mark my words, if youse guys keep going around mocking Hockey every time Chretien makes a stupid decision, we'll make him move to Florida when he retires. How would you like that, eh? Then youse guys would have to figure out what the hell he's saying all the time!

John Ray said at February 16, 2003 5:10 AM:

Good sarcasm! Richly deserved.

Tom Roberts said at February 16, 2003 2:18 PM:

You buggered up the Canadian KIAs in WW I&II. Your link gave 66.7k and 45k respectively, for a total of 111.7k total, not the 1.7mil you cited. Otherwise, good post. Actually the WW I figures are really high on a per capita basis, and compare only to the ANZAC per capita casualties.

Randall Parker said at February 16, 2003 7:08 PM:

Tom, Sorry about that. I read the one link's 1.7 million dead for commonwealth forces as referring to Canada as a commonwealth rather than the larger British commonwealth. Oops. I'll fix the original post. Thanks for pointing it out.

Jeff Fecke said at February 18, 2003 8:54 AM:

One note: The 76ers are a basketball team. You're probably thinking of the Philadelphia Flyers, the last NHL team to wear long pants. Ah, the seventies. Good times, good times.

Go Wild!

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