by Dave Hubert
Fight, fight, fight the recurring Department of Defense recruiting ads urged my grandson as he watched the Maple Leafs and Canadiens do battle on Hockey Night in Canada. Join Canada’s Armed Forces. Fight fear, fight distress, fight chaos repeated the ads and the accompanying recruiting posters.
Fight, fight, fight the ads urged my only grandson, whose parents, his grandmother and I were bringing up to be a peacemaker, to resolve differences without resorting to violence.
Fight, fight, fight, like the Habs fighting the Leafs, concussions be damned.
Eagerly, with propaganda fuelled enthusiasm, our generals led by example.
Our sons and daughters fought in Afghanistan. And 158 came home in maple leaf shrouds. How many more came home with PTSD and, getting little help from the Chain-of-Command that sent them into battle, died by their own hand or sought solace in booze and dope? There was $22 billion of our taxes to fight the Taliban and make Afghanistan safe for the war lords and their opium production, but just a pittance to help our returning sons and daughters-the walking wounded. $22 billion to fight, but how much to make peace; to increase foreign aid and address the root causes of so much conflict; to expand mental health services; to improve aboriginal education; to restore the environment; to strengthen our democracy?