Monday, September 20, 2004

Canada celebrates cowardice

The CBC, like Canada itself, is far too ignored by the blogsphere.

Draft-dodger memorial to be built in B.C.

NELSON, B.C. - B.C. activists plan to erect a bronze sculpture honouring draft dodgers, four decades after Americans opposed to the Vietnam War sought refuge in Canada.

The memorial, created by artists in Nelson, B.C., ties into a two-day celebration planned for July 2006 that pays tribute to as many as 125,000 Americans who fled to Canada between 1964 and 1977.

"This will mark the courageous legacy of Vietnam War resisters and the Canadians who helped them resettle in this country during that tumultuous era," Isaac Romano, the director of the Our Way Home festival told a news conference in Nelson Tuesday.

No, Isaac, there was nothing courageous there. The courageous resistors were people like Mohammed Ali who stayed and faced prison, or Australia's Bob McMullan who stood by their convictions and took their objection to court. A requisite condition of courage is the presence of risk you see, and the defining characteristic of courage is a willingness to face that risk. The draftees who ran were averting risk, not facing it, but you weren't really building that monument for them, were you? Despite the attempt at validating the enterprise as an altruistic tribute to others, this Canadian monument after all is for Canada; for Canadians. You're not celebrating the flight of the draftees, but the warm embrace that Canada extended.

However, before your arm faces the risks inherent to the act of patting yourself on the back, you should note that the Canadians who helped them faced no risk at all, a condition which qualifies them as demonstrating no courage at all. Building a monument to yourself commending yourself for qualities you do not posess or exhibit... there's a word for that, isn't there?

A word? Hell, I think there are whole branches of psychiatry devoted to it.

There has already been a momument built to people who did exhibit bravery during the period of the Vietnam draft; it bears the names of people who took the place of those who ran away to teach you courage, Isaac. A larger-than-life tribute to your courage would be a small thing indeed.

No word on when we can expect a monument to the courage of the boat people.

Update: Looks like I owe an apology to CBC Watch which, in my oh-so-typical Kerry-like American arrogance, I implied does not exist. When my French arrogance kicks in, I'll pretend they did not give attention to this article first.


Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Lest you take the CBC as representative of all political thought up north of the border, I would suggest you visit some of the members of the Red Ensign Brigade.

There are a lot of Kerry-esque morons up here. But they haven't turned all of us yet.

Keep digging in the couch - I like the change you're finding.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

As a Buffalonian, I've spent the bulk of my life living alonside (and periodically being drank under the table by) denizens of the Great White North. While this has kept me aware that Canadians don't march in lockstep with the CBC, it's also shown me over the span of perhaps a decade that the ranks of those Cadanians out of step are dwindling fast.

Thanks for the link to the Brigade blogroll. I've only heard of a couple of these (and it's high time I got them blogrolled), so I'm sure I'll be pleased to have discovered the rest.

1:25 PM  

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