Amidst a growing controversy over his government’s denial of funeral assistance to impoverished Canadian veterans, Stephen Harper delivered a bold Remembrance Day speech in which he avowed his esteem for Canada’s armed forces and promised to send off more young men and women to die to keep the national holiday viable in the future.
“We all know that Canadians love to wear poppies every fall to signal to others that they are not as apathetic or oblivious to political issues as they may seem eleven out of the twelve months,” said Harper, “but we have to address a growing demographic challenge which faces us in the years to come.”
The Prime Minister was referring to the fact that, of all the thousands of Canadian soldiers sent off to kill or die for the British and American Empires, most of them are already dead or extremely old.
“Remembrance Day will become an obscure reference to a dimly remembered Canadian past like Confederation Day or Victoria Day if we don’t maintain a steady stream of body bags imported from foreign theaters of war,” he said.
In a follow up to Harper’s speech, Peter Mackay identified modern military technology as the culprit.
“While airstrikes and drone attacks have proven extraordinarily efficient at killing Muslim civilians, especially children , they have been far less effective at killing enemy combatants and Canadian soldiers than your traditional ‘boots-on-the-ground’ approach,” said the Minister of National Defense.
If Harper’s speech is to translate into concrete policy changes, critics charge, military spending will have to be addressed. While pouring more money into the armed forces may appear to be a solution, they say, too large a portion of these funds are directed to programs such as “Arctic Defense” where there isn’t really anybody to shoot or to be shot by.
“Iran is really our best, brightest hope,” said John Baird, “Now that they’ve been accused of developing Weapons of Mass Destruction, the pressure is really on the international community to invade them before any evidence emerges to discredit these allegations.”
The Minster of Foreign Affairs pointed to the build up to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“Can you imagine what would have happened if the world had listened to Jean Chrétien and had given weapons inspectors more time? There wouldn’t have been any war. Countless human beings would still be alive. That’s unacceptable.”
While Harper devoted some time in his speech to reaffirming his solidarity with the United States and Israel on the issue of Iran, he bemoaned their current joint military exercise as a signal that the coming war will once again be waged by aerial bombers and long-range missiles.
In his closing remarks, Harper pointed to Israel’s nuclear stockpile as a source of optimism.
“If Israel were to nuke Iran, it would be a great boon to our government’s commitment to the fetishizing of dead soldiers. In a post-nuclear apocalyptic Iran, Canadian soldiers could come in to pacify roving bands of mutant marauders and to rebuild badly needed infrastructure for western oil companies. Death by radiation poisoning may not produce the dramatically high numbers of Canadian military casualties incurred by previous generations who fought in both World Wars and the Korean War, but it will ensure a steady supply of military deaths.”
Should Harper’s policies prove successful, Canadians shall not want for fresh corpses to mourn over and to thank for defending the freedoms and liberties of a nation that has never, ever, been invaded or had its territory threatened since its independence in 1931 .