Monday, July 02, 2012

200 Year Old Triumphalism a Bit Stale

Stephen Harper obviously likes wars.   His type, the kind who are never actually around for the killing and the dying, often do.  Perhaps because he so royally screwed up his own war, the one he made his own, Canada's war in Afghanistan, Steve is so desperate for some, any measure of triumphalism that he's become a latter-day booster of the War of 1812.

I was somewhat saddened today to learn that our Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill had been given a War of 1812 theme.  Why, what for?

I'm something of an amateur aficionado of the War of 1812.   My family, at the time, lived a short distance from Fort Malden where Isaac Brock commanded the 49th Regiment of Foot.   It was from that wooden and earthwork palisade that Brock, defying orders, sallied into America to capture Detroit, destabilize the American invasion plans and essentially win the war by denying the Americans the victory that should have been theirs, hands down, in that first year.

On the wall behind me as I type this are various memorabilia, some real, some reproductions, of the War of 1812.   The "real" include a collection of regimental buttons dug from the battlefields of Lundy's Lane, Crysler's Farm, Queenston Heights, Snake Hill and elsewhere from the 49th (Foot), the 41st (Foot), the King's 8th (Foot), the Royal Artillery, the Royal Marines and the Canadian militia.

I have no problem with the War of 1812.   It did preserve the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada to permit them, half a century hence, to unite with the Maritime provinces to forge Canada.  But to make it a theme for a festive event like Canada Day seems eerily American-like.  We're Canadians.   We don't revel in wars past.  We mark them annually in solemn remembrance and gratitude for sacrifice and loss.

Harper's triumphalism seems, well, a bit greasy.


Owen Gray said...

The simple truth is that Stephen Harper would never make it through boot camp, Mound.

That fact gives the whole celebration the air of fantasy -- nasty misplaced fantasy.

Anonymous said...

When we consider what Harper wants to do to, our young maimed Veterans of to-day...celebrating the war of 1812, fell very, very flat.

I found nothing to celebrate, for Canada Day. Everything Canadian is being destroyed. Our Democracy, our Civil Rights and Liberties and our Human Rights, all being stomped out of existence.

My allegiance to my country has gone. This country is no longer, our once good and decent Canada. Our Nation is a cesspool of corruption, lies, deceit, dirty tactics, dirty politics, and cheating to win. There are no morals, nor ethics in our government, what-so-ever.

Anonymous said...

Mound, this is a new Canada. In New Canada, or Harperland, we are not true Canadians. We are unCanadians, for we believe in science, evidence, and social justice. For that we are radicals and enemies of the state. I grew up in a Canada that was known for peace keeping, and caring for one another, not an every man for themselves war mongering state. This is a new Canada. I did not celebrate New Canada Day.

Anonymous said...

It is only the chubby neocon/religious fundamentalists, currently in command of Canada, who would glorify war. Ordinary Canadians (except for the occasional psychopath), who have been on the front lines of real shooting wars, never glorify it.

Beijing York said...

Pure war lust propaganda on Harper's part. He even made it the theme of the annual Canadian Heritage Canada Day poster competition for kids. Disgusting.

The War of 1812 has it's place in our history as does the Battle on the Plains of Abraham, the establishment of the Hudson Bay monopoly in Rupertsland and many other events that PREDATE Confederation. But they have nothing to do with celebrating confederation and the creation of a legitimate nation.

Mogs said...

My grandfather battled in the first WWI
my father and mother WWII, Stephen Harper is a cowardly liar cheat and thief, how many children did he kill through his order's to bomb? Libya and Afghanistan?

Can you count the deaths and suffering?

And he is afraid to go out in public where the US and Canadian Armed Forces don't do daily bombing raids.

Stephen is a coward>

thwap said...

The War of 1812 was fought by British regulars and Tecumseh's warriors against Southern US firebrands. The bulk of the population on either side of the border didn't care who won.

If harper were alive at the time and in power (no doubt through fraud) he'd be ruthlessly trying deserters (the majority of the milita) and trying to avoid any payments to compensate the wounded and maimed soldiers.

Anonymous said...

And....who won the war so called, of 1812 in Canada? It was a mish-mash of messing around. There were 63 men from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment...if they had had more from that Regiment they may have!!

Anonymous said...

I think its a great idea for canada day, If we had not won this war, where we stand today would not be canada! stephen wants us to remember those who fought for our country because without them we wouldnt have one!