Wednesday, April 26, 2006

vision this; half mast harper ...

Then they came for the Caskets
Sun Media, 26 Apr 2006, CHARLES ADLER

They came for the National Press Gallery. I wasn't a member of the National Press Gallery and I said nothing. They came for the Canadian flag. I wasn't a flag waver and I said nothing. And then they came for the caskets.

Tory true believers will say that this columnist has now gone mad. Is he invoking the good name of the Rev. Martin Niemoeller to make the point that Stephen Harper is becoming Canada's first fascist prime minister?

Not at all. But that's what the left will do with Stephen Harper's clumsy handling of the latest scotch broth from Afghanistan.

The real story is that our guys are giving up their lives to give Afghanistan a chance at freedom and democracy. The hope is that the country can become something other than one in which the world's sickest of predators train to commit mass murder. Canadians are fighting the good fight. But the Harpoons in Ottawa are spearing the real story. Four heroes falling in Afghanistan has morphed into a sad tale of flags and caskets. Flags won't get lowered in Ottawa and caskets won't be seen in Trenton. The left-wing media isn't making this one up. And the more the Harpoons try to lay it off on the media, the more Bush they look.

Stephen Harper's whiz kids surely must have computers. It doesn't take a minute to find out who put an end to having TV cameras at Dover Air Force base when the U.S. coffins were coming from Gulf War I. Dick Cheney was Bush the Elder's secretary of defence. Today Bush continues to talk about his personal relationship with Jesus. But many Americans have come to believe that George's Jesus is fat, bald and evil and goes by the name of Dick.

If the Harpoons want to ape the George and Dick White House, they will get smeared with the kind of language that you see at the top of the column. For years now, the Bush-Cheney strategy has been to blame the media while at the same time feeding selected stories to certain members of the media.

The strategy now has Bush's approval numbers starting to resemble Richard Nixon's. When Neil Young's Let's Impeach the President is released it won't be just the burned-out dope-smokin' lefties who nod with approval.

This week it isn't a Liberal defence minister who is telling the media to stay off the property in Trenton when the caskets come home from Afghanistan. In justifying the move, the honourable member for Subterfuge says the ban was being put in place to protect the families.

Hey, Minister. Please jam a teething ring back into the mouth of the backroom infant who offered you that.

You have not a lick of evidence that military families have been offended by this or by the lowering of the flag at the people's house, the House of Commons. If you want to keep boiling your reputation in oil by putting all this off on the media, good luck with that.

It's probably not easy being Stephen Harper.

Ever since he first went to Ottawa to do backroom work in the '80s, he fell in love with the idea that Liberal governments were without moral legitimacy. The Liberals only formed government because the national media framed the issues, and in doing so, real Canadian leaders were getting framed. The Liberal Goodfellas took Mulroney out to the desert and beat him with a shovel and then did the same to Preston Manning. Facts rarely fracture the fantasies of a young man who is a chartered member of the paranoid right.

The problem is that even paranoids have enemies. If Stephen Harper continues to play it Bush, his government will be buried in a casket of his own making.