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Harper's war.

WORD HAS IT Stephen Harper has declared war. And that's true enough, at least when it comes to deficits and Liberal legacies. But we're talking the real thing here: all out, guns blazing, bombs dropping, fight to the bitter end warfare. From right-wing pundits and tub thumpers who drool with bloodthirsty glee to scared-witless scribes sure the third world war is nigh, all seem confident that Uncle Stephen has finally emerged from his dark chrysalis to become General Harper. Radical Islam, look out.

People get stupid when they're scared. It's why many go out of their way to scare them; makes them pliable. How else to explain the legions around the world, be it in major cities or while making Hollywood acceptance speeches, declaring "Je Suis Charlie" with pens in the air over a bloody attack on a satirical magazine they've never heard off. If they had, they'd know Charlie Hebdo did not so much exercise freedom of speech, but abuse it as a child might with buckets of excrement and a handful of potty words. The Holy Trinity engaged in group sodomy anyone? How about Mohammad bent over, naked, and waiting for the same? Freedom of speech at its best folks; wave that pen!

Nonetheless, 'radical Islam' has declared war on us and our freedoms; even if few ever bother to think about them, much less exercise them. So heck, it's right back at you Mister Muslim. And to be sure, the prime minister of France has made it very clear 'radical Islam' is definitely in his country's crosshairs, knee-jerk stupidity that will do nothing but perpetuate things and do wonders for recruitment of even more of those pesky extremists.

But let's not include Uncle Stephen in that sort of idiocy. No sir, he has his own brand, thank you very much. To be clear, Harper never declared much of anything in his reaction to the recent terrorist slayings of editors and Parisian shop goers alike. Sure, he took exception to anything that would attack freedom of expression, the press, and democracy itself, which is a curious position for a man who has gone out of his way to suppress all three. But war? "We're just going to have to face that (jihadist movement) head on and deal with it" does not exactly come across, emotionally or logically, as a call to war. A call to something perhaps, such as an award for his not committing too much before an election, but the recent warmonger allusions have been a hysterical stretch.

So what does Harper really mean by facing something head on and dealing with it? Well, when it comes to Uncle Stephen and his trademarked government, it usually means to do nothing unless forced to.

Admittedly 'do nothing' seems to be a good way to go when you consider such recent cluster fudges as the Afghanistan War or the great liberation of Libya by aerial bombardment. They were both exercises in martial might done more for politics than altruism, and both ultimately achieved more for the recruitment and arming of terrorists and 'radical Islam' than any religious fanatic could have ever dreamed.

However, the idea of sitting on your hands and hoping the whole world, or at least the ghost of Adam Smith, sorts it all out has been far more lethal to Canadians than any radical. Sadly, if it doesn't involve issues of, say, resource extraction or coming legions of internet surfing pedophiles, Harper has been more Pontius Pilate than Patton. Twelve hundred murdered or missing Aboriginal women has not been a cause of concern, study, or inquiry for him, much less the underlying problems of poverty and discrimination (he'd call it 'committing sociology'). It's all merely an exercise in enforcing and prosecuting the laws of the land, dear Watson.

Closer to the military home, the fact that more soldiers have died from suicide than combat in Afghanistan, or that suicide rates amongst those who have left the service are significantly higher than the general populace means not a whit. Ignore it all and look for some more financial savings is the Harper modus operandi.

If Stephen Harper has declared war on anything, it is government: be its size, its involvement, or ultimately its competence and commitment to the welfare of this country. So if Johnny Taliban or any other black-clad boogie man is reading this, rest assured there's no need to declare war on us. We're doing a perfectly fine job of it ourselves.

Michael Nickerson is a freelance writer and satirist based in Toronto. His website is


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Title Annotation:COMMENTARY; Stephen Harper and the war on terrorism and national politics
Author:Nickerson, Michael
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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