Stephen Harper – playing at soldiering
My brother is on tour-of-duty in Afghanistan these days – returning next month after a 8 month stint that fell on him completely out of the blue.
We have talked in our emails about comrades he has seen die, the quagmire that is the foreign military presence in the country, and the harsh realities that exist for Afghanis trying to eek out a daily existence. But we have also talked about hockey (he’s been a Hawk’s fan since he was about 7-years-old), the slow rise of the Blue Jays, and the gossip of family and friends.
I mention this because yesterday Stephen Harper, our esteemed Prime Minister, visited the flooded communities and cities of southern Alberta, and he did so all the while wearing a military-type jacket.
Not only was this ridiculous with his perfectly combed hair, middle-aged pot belly, and nice shoes – but it was an insult to our actual real soldiers who live and die in real wars around the world.
Stephen Harper grew up in the suburbs of Ontario before moving to the suburbs of Alberta. He has never been in the military. But like all closet fascists he loves military symbolism. He has moved to have our history re-written to focus more on our military accomplishments; he has increased support to military history, to glorifying the War of 1812 and such things, and to changing the focus of our national museums to be more military inclusive.
But when he dons military fatigues – no matter how fake that jacket actually is – he makes himself into a poser-clown and it is an insult to my brother and the other men and women who are in Afghanistan in that pointless military adventure.