Skip to comments.Oh Canada - In WWII they were heroes – now they're victims
Posted on 04/22/2005 11:30:31 PM PDT by 26lemoncharlie
Canada's two national newspapers last week unwittingly elucidated the startling contrast between the Old Canada that once was, and the New Canada that now is.
The National Post, characteristically though not dependably the less liberal of the two, devoted one-third of its front page and half an inside page to the trauma still being suffered by a soldier who survived the mistaken bombing of a Canadian infantry unit in Afghanistan three years ago by an American fighter. Four men were killed in the incident, that being four-sevenths of total Canadian dead in the Afghan war.
This smitten soldier, like the four who died, is presented as a victim. Victim of just what, the article did not say American irresponsibility perhaps, or American incompetence, or American militarism but most assuredly victim of something, and probably something American.
Meanwhile by coincidence, the rival Globe and Mail day by day was presenting a history of the Canadian Army's role in the closing weeks of the Second World War in Europe, 60 years ago. Each day's story ends with that day's casualty count: April 13, 1945: 39 dead, 137 wounded; April 14, 79 dead, 142 wounded; April 15, 110 dead, 39 wounded; April 16, 65 dead, 29 wounded.
That was a Canada with a population slightly more than one-third that of the present Canada. It did not view these men as victims. Purely and simply, they were heroes. Old Canada cherished its heroes. New Canada cherishes its victims.
This notable late-20th century shift in view is not, of course, confined to Canada, though it has taken an amazing hold here. In Old Canada, many war veterans unquestionably suffered traumatic consequences. But it was a point of manly honor to suffer them silently. To do otherwise would not be widely admired. You kept your pain to yourself. It's hard to imagine them speaking publicly like the National Post's victim: How horrors have haunted his mind ever since, how he has continually longed for death, how he is beset by "nightmares, voices, the everlasting guilt," his self-doubting, his self-loathing.
The connotations of that very world "self" have changed. In Old Canada, the self was something to be constantly patrolled and frequently curbed. True, "self-confidence" might be encouraged and admired. But things like self-interest, self centeredness, self-absorption, self-satisfaction, self-righteousness, and above all self-pity were terms of reprobation. And where self-esteem was once regarded as contemptible, it has now been elevated to become the central objective of the educator.
But this reverence for "victimhood" must go deeper than what educators call "selfism." Somehow we have been taught not only that it is acceptable to be an object of sympathy, but that it is admirable. In New Canada, one must aspire to become pitiable.
You could attribute some of this to the human-rights movement. It necessitated setting up categories of people deemed deserving of special protection races, religions, gays, women, etc. and in so doing established whole populations of victims. To belong to one of these favorably disfavored groups could earn you, not only attention, but if you played it right, money too.
However, none of this explains why victimhood has gained so much more prestige in Canada than in the U.S. Even our federal government attempted to wrap itself in that comfortable mantle last month.
All this graft, collusion, kickbacks and fraud currently being attributed to the Liberal administration, it pleaded, is outrageously misdirected. The real culprits were a coterie of perfidiously unscrupulous Montreal businessmen who had taken advantage of the nobly principled Liberal Party of Canada, and made it their benignly trusting victim.
But even in Canada, this wouldn't wash, possibly because every last grafter, collusionist, kickbacker and fraudster involved in the case was either a senior member, blatant crony, or a paid employee of the Liberal Party of Canada.
The Canadian embrace of victimhood derives, I would say, from the fact that we have accepted as dogma that bad things should not happen ever. Therefore, if they do, those injured by them are victims, and somebody or something must be to blame. It was interesting, for instance, to watch the frantic search for the cause of last December's tsunami disaster. If it wasn't the failure of the warning system, it was the absence of one. And if it wasn't this, it must be the oil industry disturbing the earth's crust. And if it was none of the above, then it was the Americans. They're in charge, aren't they?
What happened to those soldiers was terrible.
A clear double standard and the difference in attitudes in fighting for freedom and against oppression. The Socialist,Liberals are twisted in their thinking.
liberals are the same everywhere.
Oh Canada!...socialism has you by the balls!...
"The Socialist,Liberals are twisted in their thinking."
I would say that they are truely orwellian in their perceptions.
leave the soldiers alone
That's not directed at the soldiers, friend.......
Yes, we are. You would be well advised to remember it.
Now, they are a poor joke on those who served and died.
"Yes, we are. You would be well advised to remember it."
But, seriesly, this was an excellent article. It tied together some rather disparate issues quite well. Much better results than many such efforts usually yield.
It reminds me of that crying baby joke-logo you see here for the dem party. It could really be the true logo for all liberalism. Waa Waa, I'm a victim, I need the Nanny State to come and change my nappy! WAAAAAAAA!
As the author so rightly puts it "we have accepted as dogma that bad things should not happen ever. Therefore, if they do, those injured by them are victims, and somebody or something must be to blame."
Re: "If the Canada we know today were in WWII they would have rolled over like France and called themselves 'Far West Germany'."
Amen, brother. Amen!
As I wrote last week, the Canada of today couldn't hold off an attack by Greenland. The land of wimps.
Re: "As I wrote last week, the Canada of today couldn't hold off an attack by Greenland. The land of wimps."
They'd be hard pressed to fight off the Massachusetts Highway Patrolman who carrys Ted's bottle of scotch...
BTW how is downunder this early morning (here in Texas)...
Late afternoon there I suspect
Here is an interesting article in the NRO.
Yes, for the most part, that is true. Unfortuneately, years of liberal government has lulled many to sleep. Also, for those who DO want to serve their country, there is no venue for them to take after years of military cuts.
However, I am confident that there is a silent and formidable portion of our society that wouldn't hesitate in standing up to the challenge. I believe such because I know many who would, including myself. I also know that for years, the Armed Forces have been turning away recruits because the budget just isn't there to train and equip them.
Within the general public, I believe that the desire is there. However, said desire is quickly squashed when you take into consideration those who are governing this country. Should the Conservatives take power, which I believe they will, I know that you would see a shift in perspective from north of the border. The military would get the cash flow that they so desperately need and it would snowball from there.
The winds of change are blowing.
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), Canadian Army
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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