Red Poppy, White Poppy. Different Colours, Same Flower
Julian Fantino, the M.P and Minister who is closing Veterans Affairs offices across the country, has come out swinging against pacifists. This former police chief, who has never been ordered to put his own life on the line for his country, claims the white poppy is “an offensive attempt to politicize Remembrance Day.” Whether I wear a red poppy or a pink delilah, it is irresponsible for a Minister of the Crown to make negative attributions about a group of law-abiding Canadian citizens and claim they all intend to insult veterans. It takes a lot of balls to accuse pacifists of ‘politicizing’ Remembrance Day when the Harper Tories use every government tool at their disposal as a potential campaign ad, including Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.
Allow me clarify what a white poppy means to me. It means I’m sick of being lied to. The whole Vietnam War was based on a lie. The Gulf of Tonkin “incident” has now been acknowledged as a U.S. fabrication, which ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. The whole weapons-of-mass-destruction justification for invading Iraq was another U.S. fabrication which benefited Dick Cheney’s company tremendously at the expense of the lives of thousands of Americans and over 50,000 innocent civilians among the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties. Closer to home, the goverment of Canada has always made the committment to honour the sacrifices our vets make by promising to treat them with dignity and respect. As Rick Mercer’s latest rant makes plain, our current government is failing miserably by kicking wounded vets out of the military months before their eligibility for indexed pensions. Methinks Fantino wanted to distract us from that reality with his attempt to sow conflict among the poppy-wearing public.
The government likes to trot out and stand beside the old World War vets because they represent a simpler, cleaner kind of war that took place where the truth could be better controlled. The red poppy I wear says thank you to all the Canadian soldiers who, to the best of their knowledge, were doing something right and just and honourable. If I wear a white poppy, it is to express my disgust for a government that lied to those good men and women and continues to do so. Mr. Fantino, my white poppy is not an insult to veterans; it is a criticism of a government that fails to walk the talk and your own ministry’s abysmal track record.
Posted on November 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Canada, Canadian Forces, Julian Fantino, news, politics, random, Remembrance Day, Rick Mercer, Veterans Affairs, white poppy. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.