Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to the Future as Canada Now Fights for King and Country

When Louis St. Laurent was acting as secretary of state for external affairs, he held a dinner party in honour of Ernest Bevin, then Great Britain's foreign secretary. At the end of the meal, Bevin got up and made a speech, praising Canada for standing beside Britain in her hour of need.
'His compatriots, he said, would never forget the way their cousins across the Atlantic had come to their assistance during the darkest days of World War 11.'

St Laurent was not impressed by the implication that Canada had entered the war out of loyalty to the mother country, rather than for reasons of principle. In his reply to Bevin he went out of his way to emphasize that Canada's declaration of war had been an independent decision made by the country's elected representatives, that it was prompted by the nation's determination to fight Nazism and had nothing whatever to do with helping Britain. (The Making of a Peacemonger: The Memoirs of George Ignatieff, By Sonja Sinclairp. 108)
That was an important stand, because Canada's foreign policy was based on what we felt was right at the time. And that same independence kept us out of Vietnam and Iraq, despite the fact that they were wars waged by our powerful neighbours to the South.
St Laurent believed that most Canadians wanted their country to contribute to world peace and better understanding among nations. (Sinclair)
The big news yesterday was that Canada will now be going back decades to "correct an historic mistake", fighting under the Royal Standard. Back to the time before we thought that we were no longer a British colony.

Silly us.

Stephen Harper said "king me" and so it was done.

A year ago, Liberal Sen. William Rompkey, wanted to change the name of our navy from Maritime Command to the Canadian Navy. I've always called them the Canadian Navy.

The "monarchists" sprang into action, insisting instead that we go back to the Royal Canadian Navy, which sparked an immediate response.
While everyone agrees the name Maritime Command is terrible, senators and witnesses are squaring off over whether to call it Royal or not.

Numerous retired members of the navy have suggested the rank-and-file don't want Royal in the name, and some senators believe it conjures up a colonial past that doesn't reflect the modern Canadian navy as independent
James Knox of the Times Colonist, writes that the name change will upset the United States, as Canada reclaims its independence.

Poor Jack. He doesn't get out much.

Since coming to power, Stephen Harper has slowly signed away our military sovereignty.

Operation "Shiprider" allows U.S. agents to patrol Canadian waters, and make arrests.

An agreement with their military, allows the U.S. to send troops across our border in the case of an emergency. One of those emergencies would be an indigenous protest over a joint venture like a pipeline or highway.

And the Border Security deal, locks us inside fortress North America. We can no longer refuse to go where the U.S. tells us to go.

If they want to invade Switzerland for their chocolate, we'll strap on the AK-47s and fondue pots, and keep Jenny Craig on standby.

We are no longer a sovereign nation, and invoking memories of our military past, only hides what is in store for our military future.

Former prime minister, Louis St. Laurent may have felt that "most Canadians wanted their country to contribute to world peace and better understanding among nations", but that is the polar opposite to what Stephen Harper believes.

The Reformers back in the day, hated the new Canadian flag, believing that we should bring back the Red Ensign. So is that the next step?

Or maybe a blue flag, with the image of King Steve?

Anything is possible.

1 comment: