Warrior Nation

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A few years ago, I noticed a bus shelter poster showing a soldier with the banner: FIGHT! across the top - a recruiting ad for the Dep't of Defense it turned out.

I wrote a letter asking the government to fill me in on the change of plans since I (and all my friends and neighbours) were still under the impression that we were a peace-keeping nation, and posted it to Harper, Mackay and my MP. I got back a boiler plate response from Mackay's office saying I was mistaken, that we were a fighting nation and to get used to it.

I also remarked to them at the time and have since emailed again (no response from anyone) about the huge presence of armed forces at the 2011 Calgary Stampede parade and the "fun and games with the armed forces" event staged in a public square beside City Hall in Toronto during the Grey Cup this year. They are marketing war to us as if it were a game! So, so scary, to me. We have got to express our concern in a manner they take seriously. So thank you for this but I am afraid it is just preaching to the converted.

Tannis Baker more than 10 years ago

rebranding the warrior concept

I agree we are a warrior nation. Warriors of our times. In the above conflicts we supported the standard of our bloody, colonial history and were ecceptional. As founding nations in the development of Peace Keeping we reinvented the warrior in Peace keeping adventures as described in The Medac Pocket, in the midst of one the most distressing modern conflicts we stepped between the battle lines and prevented, for a moment in time, the progress of that auful conflict. Now we are faced with a rebranding of our culture of tolerance. I believe we are faced with a struggle within our own culture. The ideology of our current national government is a gload to spur us to pursue the innovative independant social ideals that formed our self concept if not our political system. It's time for Canada to progress down the idealistic avenue we hold as our standard. A warrior nation? A warrior reflects the highest ideals of ones time not archaic feudalism of our current political structure. The ramparts are not the bloody battlefierld but the highest and best of our expressive culture. It's time to wrest control from the bean counters and create anew our own house in the progressive perspective of the priviledge we have developed within.

Riun Blackwell more than 10 years ago


Here in the Okanagan, the history centred around 1812 arrived not from the East, via Canada, but from the south, via Washington Territory, after a fifty year cross continent delay as it made its way through a series of extreme pressures on native american culture south of the 49th parallel. This south to north process has continued to the present. Canada here is an 1858 border that separates this land from its history, causing all kinds of development opportunities, certainly, but closing down many others, without, however, erasing the deep north-south connection. Whatever else it is, it sure isn't Mr. Harper's warrior nation. As far as that goes, there's an old archival photo of women picking apples in Kelowna in 1915, which appears to show the beauty of the old colonial ideal, when the English middle class packed up to come to their image of paradise. However, the reason the women are picking the apples is that their men are all dead in France. Warrior nation? More like war victim, I'd say. The very notion of Canada is a story, and one that doesn't fit the facts on the ground very well. It tells less of the story than there is to tell and leaves a large amount of cultural and historical material invisible. It is, in other words, not a very good story. The peacekeeping story fit the facts better. After all, this place was a socialist paradise for a long time. Between the two World Wars Penticton was even a kind of German colony, populated largely by communists and their culture, whose comrades were all in Buchenwald back in Germany. (The local Nazi regional administrator, self-appointed, was in Summerland, under watch by the RCMP.) When post WWII German refugees showed up here, they met not so much Canada as a Germany that had been murdered back home. When my father showed up, he was virtually given an orchard, to continue its peace-making potential, by an army major who left it to return to the new peacekeeping army. That's not a warrior nation story. The warrior story only applies to one ethnic group, with one history, although it does have a kind of logic: people who identify with that particular Canadian narrative are the people to whom that narrative applies. George Ryga would, however, turn over in his grave, as would old fruitgrowers such as John Bibby, who grew apples on Languedoc Road in Naramata from 1937 to 1948, most of that time as part of the war effort, yet in solidarity not with Canadian soldiers so much as with his comrades in Russia. The Okanagan has historically been a dynamic culture, seeing itself as an independent world culture, with American, Aboriginal, European, and Canadian cultural threads, which are not separable into a pure Canadian one without silencing 3/4 of what it is.

Harold Rhenisch more than 10 years ago

Warrior Nation

Peace, Prosperity and Writers,
War, Austerity and Fighters

Andrew Phillips more than 10 years ago