Thursday, August 24, 2006

He didn't Really Say That, Did He?

The Liberal leadership 'hopefuls' were meeting out west this week. Along with all the bonhommie and 'good times' crap that goes along with this band of brothers, and sisters, came a grenade, in the form of an interview, with liberal MP Boris Wrzesnewskyj.

Wrzesnewskyj had been on a personal (i.e. non-funded) trip to Lebanon sponsored by a Canadian-Arab group to have a first-hand look at the damage. Apparently, what he saw caused him to doubt the common wisdom of Israeli 'self-defence' being propounded by the Prime Minister, the Americans and neo-cons everywhere. In fact, he described the damage as "state sponsored terrorism'.

Immediately he fell prey to Jason Kenney, among others, who castigated him for his pro-terrorist stance, his un-Canadianism and a reputed demand that Canada do some editing of its official terrorist organization list. Kenny, a man who might have met one too many canapes - maybe they were blintzes- was morally indignant and about as enraged as only a self-righteous 'pol' can get. Even the B'nai Brith - a jewish charity group weighed in on the issue.

It turns out that the kettle was somewhat black hisself, when it was revealed in Thursday's news, that that battler for truth, purity and the American-Canadian way - J. Kenney esq.- had himself vocally supported a group of Iranian freedom-fighters last year in front of the houses of parliament; this group apparently affiliated with another on the 'terror' list. Kenney developed some amnesia and, when reminded, had a 'good explanation'. Putz!

What a bunch of wussies our Liberals are. All scattered for the mikes to align themselves with Canada's supportive Jewish population - many notables among which had indicated they were turning Tory. Currying favour, our pols decried Boris' ill-discipline and failure to check before speaking. Bill 'Woodie' Graham gravely accepted his resignation as assistant foreign affairs critic.

This gang would have you believe that they think Harper was wrong to align Canada with the US about Afghanistan and the 'war on terror' but that he was right to issue blanket approval for Israel's Lebanese onslaught and the delayed ceasfire. I think they're as full of it as he, and other 'Israelites', are. Somebody actually had the stupidity to tell me, last week, that hezbolleh was emptying out hospital morgues to provide corpses for the cameras. I guess if you were willing to do that, you'd probably be just as willing to mess them up for better effect. You might even want to plant some in the rubble. There were enough pictures flying around last week to indicate that a lot of lebanese 'deadlife' were the real mccoy and that hezbolleh probably had enough on its hands lobbing katyushas into Israel, than to be transporting putrifying corpses up and down the country under the watchful eyes of the IAF.

Nah, the Israelis bombed those buildings , roads, bridges, hospitals, homes - they killed those people. They continue to 'blockade' Lebanon, controlling humanitariian aid and fuel imports - controlling Lebanon. I tend to think that the smell in Boris Wrzesnewskyj's nose entitled him to his opinion. Those potential leaders who preferred to do the 'old age home' circuit, instead of going to see for themselves, need to dummy up. If they don't support him, keep quiet. At least Boris had the balls to say what he thought, and to resign, so as not to 'embarrass' his party.

Those 'leadership hopefuls' ought to resign to avoid embarrassing the country.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Big Bro and the Holdup Co.

Do you ever stop to think that what passes for "news" is really a contrived 'reality TV script' being run out? I mean look at the media - it's getting more and more like a Jabeau industries thing every day. These guys are truly scattered!

They go nuts on a daily basis or, in a hyper period, more often. Last week it was War and Hezbolleh rockets. Three days ago airline terrorism and to-day they're obsessing about JonBenet's supposed killer. Tomorrow Kim Sung Il is due for a rerun and around the end of the month they're featuring Iran. The only thing that will upset this applecart is another hurricane, flood or fire of biblical proportions anywhere.

It may be hard for some to believe but the whole of the American news media is run from a second-floor walk-up in an industrial park in the east end of DePew, New York. 'Scenarios Unlimited' is a three-man operation founded by Mike Wahlowitz after he graduated with a certificate in Journalism and Advertising Arts from the 'School des Beaux Arts' in Niagara Falls, Canada.

"My friends Wally and Alicia, and a whole bunch of old Saturday Night Live tapes gave us the idea. Like if they can make you believe in a Ninja bartender or a Bass-o-matic they can make you believe in anything, right?" After the trio discovered that, there was no looking back.

A steady stream, of successful advertising campaigns followed. Some of the most notable were the series for the retirees of Enron and how happy they were. Another is the current DOW chemical campaign to make sure people think there are actual human beings at Dow chemicals. It's outstanding! Totally believable!

Lately, however, their business has become more involved with a three-year contract to the US Govenment press service to generate 'coverage' of world events.

The Israeli-Lebanon war was 75 percent controlled from the office. "We scripted it and passed it off to the Israelis and Hezbolla. Those guys were great. You want footage of a dibber strike at 11:00, Monday - set up ya camera and the footage will be in editing while you're having lunch. Anderson Cooper? A 'Scenarios' walk-on. "Boy that guy almost worked his AZZ off. Lebanon one day, Israel the next. And nobody ever wondered how he was getting in and out of Lebanon. Israeli helicopters, stupid - like the bombs, right on time.

"It was pretty good for a month. Right?" asks Wahlowitz. He obviously takes great pride in having things come off as planned. "Alicia's our details person and it don't hurt that her aunt's an Israeli cabinet minister and her cousin's having an affair with the French foreign minister."

"Anyhow we're really busy with the JonBenet killer stuff - he's a real killer to look at,ain't he. Sort of like a young Hannibal Lector - his arms are even the same length. But it's all bullshoi anyway."

"Bush is coming back from vacation next week and he wants Iraq celebrating the Shu'um al Ramba'an, a new back-to-school holiday. He also wants us to get Nasrallah and that Iranian we invented, Ademinedab, assassinated, or brain-damaged in a fake motorcycle/boating/RV accident. He thought it would be more credible if they took holidays, too. We have to get somebody assassinated, or at least a TV show about it. We could get the Patriot Riders to do it. They're a bunch of new age bikers who show up at military funerals to shout "OOOhah" at those Christian protest freaks - they hate anything that's not american - except some expensive european bikes, or dykes."

"But first we have to do a bit on how Kim Jung Il has stolen all the food relief and fed it to his army so they can put some weight back on. After that he'll be threatening to nuke Taiwan unless he gets some MacDonalds. He's going to have to settle for Burger Kings, because MacDonalds and Wendy's only operate in a democracy."

"In between times we'll be covering a family of cannibals who have maintained their ideal body weight for over 15 years without exercising. We also have a really interesting story about a dog who can sniff out exraterrestials. I just love the news!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Latex in Modern Life

The AIDS thing is well underway. Bill Gates is coming across as the 'funder of the fight'. Bill Clinton, a devotee of hi-risk sexual behaviour, has upstaged Stephen Lewis as the AIDS international spokesperson. And the theme, 'Time to Deliver', is played up big - throw a lot of money at it and we can 'defeat' AIDS by 2021, says Bill Gates.

The focus this year should be on sex-trade workers. There is no secret that prostitutes and their clients, are largely affected and are vectors of the disease in many areas of the world. Bill Clinton wants to ensure that hookers everywhere have access to condoms and use them. He thinks this is do-able and most people seem to share his opinion. Perhaps a good coating of teflon might help.

Prostitutes and their clients, while part of life in many places, are virtually non-existent in others - it all depends on what behaviours are tolerated. Some behaviours, because of AIDS, are the equivalent of a bullet, and should not be tolerated, let alone promoted. The opportunities for error due to lack of control are simply too great.

In like manner, circumcision, is being touted as a possible panacea. What the third world needs is a cheap bris - foresight with foreskins! This as a result of a study indicating that AIDS is notably less-prevalent in northern African countries where circumcision (both genders?) is practiced. It might have escaped the students that the prevalent Moslem religion, which takes a dim view of AIDS-inducing behaviours, might have as much to do with that. Once again let's not talk about behaviour, when we can actually 'do' something!

What gets me is the poo-pooing that goes on about the ABC approach to Aids - an educative process aimed at the young which emphasizes chastity, faithfulness and monogamy. While successful in some countries (eg Kenya), those who work in the AIDS field, particularly in North America, feel that behaviour is a poor place to start controlling AIDS. Which makes me wonder, because behaviour has 88 percent to do with acquiring AIDS.

Prophylaxis - condoms, and now biocide (not virocide?) creams - have "reduced" the transmission rate to only 15 percent a year in Canada. Somehow, I don't think that many new cases a year is anything to be proud about. Given what we know about AIDS in Canada, and how we treat AIDS, either sombody's not taking medication as they should, or we're missing something. AIDS is going to kill you eventually, antiretrovirals into account, and unless there is some behaviour change, there is still a large margin for dumping viral loads into other people, or into things like the blood supply. As I see it, it's that first two or three symptom-free years that are the dangerous time - pills can't touch that, condoms might, better behaviour will. Yes, use condoms, but unless people change, you're going to need some form of immunization to stop AIDS - and that is nowhere on the horizon. Right now, I think education seems to be the best choice, better behaviour the only guarantee, anything else is risk, a risk that still too many take, the effects of which can beggar us all.

As far as Africa is concerned, the situation has gone too far, in many places, to be turned-around. Consistent delivery of anti-retrovirals - even in one-a-week or one-a-month form - if there were such a thing - is problematic in most areas where infection is rampant. Resources might better be used to ensure that the AIDS-free population, and uninfected orphans, have better access to education and the basic resources for life - they may be able to effect change. For the infected, home-grown palliative care, even euthanasia and decent burials might be the best way to go.

There is a tremendous groundswell of support and funding for AIDS 'industry' - more so than for other more prevalent diseases. But AIDS is no 'romantic' way to go - it reduces us to our lowest common denominator before it slays us. I don't envy the altruists who work in the field, they are truly akin to Mother Theresa. But there is no cause for celebrating anything about AIDS, especially the behaviours that transmit it.

A is for Afghan; Like Granny used to Make

Another 6 Canadians hurt to-day in Afganistan. The prime minister's doing an arctic tour and dodging the AIDS conference.

Some yankee had posted video of Canadians engaging the Taliban on a US web-site last week, which drew some negative commentary from the Canadian Government, but raves from US shootin' fans. Apparently, the Canadians are very good at fightin' and that makes our friends south of the border very happy. Obviously the 'U.S. newsy' didn't stick around for the counter-attack the next day that saw some Canadians fighting for survival (four were killed) in a deserted school building. Had he been there, he might have had the sense and the humility to keep his video to himself. The yanks all said we should be 'proud'.

There is a disturbing jingoistic streak starting in Canada about this Afghan thing. The 'support our servicemen' theme - easily slips into - 'you're not a real Canadian if you don't support the war in Afghanistan'. There is also the natural comparison between what's going on in Afghanistan and what went on in World War 2. Other than Canadians killing and being killed, there is no comparison. We've got the old 'they fight so you can be free' crap springing-up, and a host of other recycled red, white ( and blue) "isms" from south of the border, emotional e-mailed sentimentality about airport salutes and kissing babies. Not bad for an undeclared war we joined without cause, or national debate. I think Mr. Harper's dodging this issue as well.

Americans, and most Canadians I think, don't know squat about Afghanistan and most Americans, I know, care less. I think Canadians would like to see the Afghans get started on the road to moderation - they've almost been there before the Russians and Americans destabilized the place to fight their 'cold war'. But we're buying into that stupid American idea that sometimes ya gotta kill them to save them. And while I don't think our guys are that inhumane - it doesn't take long to pick up a negative and nasty attitude. Particularly when you start losing guys. In Kandahar the yanks poked the hornets' nest for three years until they got somebody else to jump in - us.

In a refreshing revision of outlook, the recently appointed Brit commander in the area, was fairly outspoken in his prognosis. 'Three months, of going at it hard, should change things around. If things don't change, they never will and we should be rethinking our involvement.' The Yanks will probably want him dumped for his 'negativity'.

I think the services are a great experience for young Canadians. I think young Canadians who serve are a cut above the rest. As far as sending these young people to fight a war in Afghanistan - that verges on criminally stupid!

A 5th of Beethoven

Well the UN succeeded in passing a cease-fire resolution that was accepted by both combatants in the Lebanon flare-up. The shooting stopped, more or less, refugees started un-fleeing and the fighters started their wihdrawals. The Lebanese army is quasi-mobilized and the UN is trying to patch together a band of warriors for some peace-keeping duties, again.

In the meanwhile, the talking heads who've underscored the news for the past month were declaring themselves victorious. In actuality they might just have well declared it a gigantic exercise in modern 'stupid' and a tremendous waste of damn good explosives.

Hezbollah, naturally were first off the mark. They probably have the best claim: they're still there to be off the mark. The true test for them will happen now. If they can re-build Lebanon, like they say they will, they stand a good chance of changing the political geography of the place. Lebanon is, and has been, fractured among its different linguistic and religious groups, each with their own bailiwicks and political apparati, but the majority are Moslem. Hezbollah has an opportunity to unite the Moslems. Lebanon might be a far harder nut to crack next time, especially if Hezbollah is the major governing party.

Of course the Israelis declared victory, too. This based on the claim that they had set-up a UN force that would really disarm Hezbolleh and keep the Galilee peaceful at last. Wanna buy a good watch?

Israel ,if the USA wasn't springing for it, has spent a fortune on this little sideshow, not to mention lost productivity and a blown tourist season. They also have some rocket and other damage to repair. Not the least of which is to their armed forces.

Israel expended a good bit of capability just sitting around the northern border for 3 weeks waiting for a 'go' that almost never came. They used up their store of airborne ordinance making lovely rubble berms and road cavities that their tanks would have had to negotiate had they been given the 'go'. And they used up a chunk of their world 'good will'. If there was a proaganda war, the other guys won. Little burned kids show up better than somebody crying because his jacuzzi got punctured. Goliath, in this battle, didn't live in Lebanon, and little David, this time, wasn't the Jew.

I don't think the Israelis ever intended to invade Lebanon again. They were foolishly hoping that the world would be sympathetic to their aerial 'defence' and that Lebanon would be forced to disarm the nasty bastids that were 'causing' all the damage. It didn't happen.

Israel is, strategically, out of the picture for the next wee while, when it's most needed to shake the spear, or toss it, at the nasty Iranian 'atomicists'. George Dubbya and PM Olmert were 'supposed' to have cooked up a lean, mean surgical strike at Iran when they met last spring. Israel doesn't do what anybody tells it, unless it's good for Israel. And so, an alternative poke at Hezbollah met a number of Israeli needs:
- it was pay back for 2001 and the forced withdrawal from Lebanon
- it would take world attention off Gaza
- it would hit indirectly at Iran and Syria
- it would set Iran or Syria up for further 'action'
- it would remove the hezbolleh threat from the northern border
- it would get Lebanon more on-side (maybe even a regime change)
- it would make POTUS very happy and divert attention away from a worsening situation in Iraq

Malheureusement, it didn't come off, or rather, it did come off - as a month-long exercise in demolitions with no other evident, positive outcome. At least the shooting has stopped.

George Bush took time from a busy vacation schedule to parrot Ha'aretz that hezbollah had received a 'serious defeat', and that the world was now a more peaceful and safer place. He should have stayed down at the lake house, working on the new dock.

Instead of trying to play the UN's 'peacemaker', not to mention the arms supplier, George could have announced a massive modern day 'Marshall Plan' to upstage hezbollah and get the rebuilding done, and to get both sides off to a good economic start - if they would sit down and make peace. Did he? Nope - but he'll make sure Israel's got 'bunker busters' for next time it has to defend itself!

No matter how you cut through the rhetoric on either side, it's bullshit! If they wanted peace as much as they want to kill each other, they could have the Garden of Eden. They're willing to settle for scorched, blasted earth, just to make sure they other guy doesn't get it. They're willing to kill somebody else's kids, to make sure theirs have land title. They're nuts, and they're liars!

Dah-dah dah, dah! Dah-dah, dah dah!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shylock? Sherlock? Oi Vey!

Mel Gibson dropped himself in the caca last week-end when a fun night out led to some offside banter with California police who had stopped him for speeding. It was the drinking part that, apparently, resulted in the commentary on current events to a Hebrew officer and ran him afoul of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

Coming, as it did, at a crucial time while the world watches Israel pummel Lebanon in self-defense against the Hezbolleh terrorists, and make frequent death-inducing forays into the Hamas hotbed of the Gaza Strip, the Mel-meister couldn't have picked a worse time to run down the children of Abraham.

Like a flurry of feathers raining onto his tarred carcass, the Hollywood establishment rose in righteous idignation to cast down this ultra-Christian and maverick film-maker. Such notables as the 'American Gigolo', Rob Schneider, who declaimed his "half-Jewishness", swore that he would never work with an anti-semite like Gibson in particular. Others followed the same suit, or pointed out that the anti-sermitism was foolish talk in light of the real sin - drinking and driving. The cop involved hoped that Mel had learned a lesson. Indeed Mel, just short of wearing sackcloth and ashes, and doing some public flagellation - pulled out all the stops of abject sorrow and regret - he may have done, as some observers indicate, his best acting ever.

But why would a 'good guy' like Mel pop off abut the Jews causing wars? Is he buying into the old horseradishes about the Jews financing wars? About American Jewish bankers funding the Russian revolution? About Adolph's idiot theories about the 'power of world Jewry' and the recent hubbub about the "Bilderberg Group" of 'supranational' leaders of industry, finance and government? Maybe, but in the US of A, you keep this stuff well-tamped under your fedora.

Have you noticed the accents of the Israeli 'spokespeople' on current news coverage - American, South African and Australian. No heavy eastern-european accents in that crew. Sabras they might well be, but they've spent most of their lives in other parts of the world. Of course the US is behind Israel all the way - it's hard at times to figure out who's leading, as both sides develop the same scripts at the same time. No surprise given the number of White House and Pentagon personnel with Jewish-sounding surnames. Probably a coincidence, however.

Mel should have known better, he's been in America long enough to have realized that the Aryan Nation are considered to be a terrorist organization, the KKK is a bad word, that murderer, thief and even pedophile are preferable to being called 'anti-semitic' and that, especially in Hollywood, you risk your career by getting on the 'nazi' side of anybody Jewish, even if they are non-practicing.

Maybe next time he'll do his drinking at home.

Caledonia, Fair Caledonia

The festering sore on the face of Ontario has erupted again in a welter of bad blood and animousity.

Last weekend another altercation resulted in some stone and golf-ball throwing between the residents of Caledonia and the Six-Nations protestors who've set up camp in a housing development.

Since last I posted on the topic, the government had 'bought out' the developer. The protestors had re-opened the roads, but had moved into the housing development and set up camp. Lunches and talks had been moving at their own pace with no resolution in sight. And the local Justice, who had issued the original order against the protestors, was wondering what was happening to 'justice' in the province. Gwen Boniface, the head 'honcha' of the OPP, at whose door the lack of direction was laid, was resigning to take up an advisory post with the Irish National police.

Anyway the crap hit the fan again last weekend. According to reports a 'tribal matriarch' was assaulted, twice she claims, by a local drunk during a confrontation. The justice ordered negotiators for the Federal and Provincial Governments to demur from further negotiations until "the rule of law is restored". The natives, and the governments are appealing his rulings to a higher court and the natives have re-established the roadblock barricades.

Caledonia, back to square one, except the natives have those Ontario Government estate homes to keep dry in. I concur with the Justice. The Iroquois have as much right to get mad as anybody else, but they don't have any right to break the law,assault people, build barricades and obstruct traffic, except if the road is theirs and they maintain it.

In fact, the government should just screw the negotiations and ask the courts to rule on the problem. Once that's done, make a deal and finish things for once and all.

We 'Got' One of Our Own announced tonight, the death of a another Canadian soldier in Afghanistan. This one as the result of the accidental discharge of a comrade's rifle.

Televised footage of a firefight involving Canadian troops last week indicated that at least one man had forgotten the prime lesson of gun safety: muzzle awareness and control. A light machine gunner was depicted firing bursts of shots across the top of a mud wall, while his comrades took cover behind it. He is seen taking cover between bursts. In two of these instances he swings the muzzle of his weapon across the body of a soldier crouched beside him.

Nothing occurred, but an accidental twitch, or a bump, might had resulted in another soldier shot.

One would think that, given the power of modern automatic weapons, a soldier would have the safety of his weapon in mind at all times, particularly in conditions of high excitement. That is when 'accidents' are most likely to occur.

I have noted, in video, that soldiers take particular care to see that chambers are empty and magazines unloaded when returning to base areas. While this is entirely laudable, it should also be noted that maximal danger exists when the weapons are loaded - as in a patrol situation. Real 'accidents' don't happen often, negligences do.

Canada cannot afford to lose young lives in 'accidents'. The military - by nature of the job it might be called upon to do, has no right to be frivolous in concern about the basic safety of service personnel. Anyone who puts safety second, except in the dire necessity of combat, should not be carrying a weapon. And even then fire discipline is every bit as important as promptly following orders.

This 'accident' should be investigated. I imagine his buddy feels terrible about the incident. It would be a good exercise for every soldier to imagine how terrible it 'feels' to accidentally kill a friend. This should be done, repeatedly as part of basic training. No soldier should be excused an 'accident' that harms a fellow soldier. It's tough, but nobody should think that he can 'goof' and apologise.
Our forces are too small to allow that.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Farewell Sweet Princess

The CO of the Ontario Provincial Police - Ms Gwen Boniface is being posted for service with Ireland's An Garda Siochana. This is a timely eventuation in light of the flak recently bursting around her kepi-ed head for her handling, or non-handling, of the on-going native protest at Caledonia, Ontario. Gwen was taking a pummelling from the solicitor-general as well as her police rank-and-file. You didn't hear the natives griping about her, and I wouldn't be surprised that a tribal adoption and 'princess status' is in the works as a farewell gift.

Gwen was the first of her gender to rise to supreme command of an organization notable for being commanded by non-entities. She might well have been the first female OPP-ie, as well. It's just too bad that her command period had to be disrupted by a native uprising. But then she shares those honours with a bunch of others. She is, however, the first to go - unenforced judicial orders are the main torpedo, as well as a sense of lack of support for those active in the field.

Speaking of fields, now she'll be able to roam Erin's green fields - much like Maureen O'Hara in the 'Quiet Man', or some heroine in a Harlequin Romance. Or like Queen Maeb, with wolfhound by her side, spear of justice in hand. At any rate she'll be able to teach the Garda all she knows about traffic work on Ontario's highways and by-ways. God knows the Garda could use a lot of help trying to tame Irish kamikaze drivers.

One thing's a virtual cert, that her expertise in dealing with aboriginal populations shouldn't be much use. Unless the Gardai need to develop better community relations with Gypsies, Gaeltachters, or the increasing population of south-east-Asian Irish.

Gwen will have a wonderful opportunity to stock up on irish linens and belleek crystal while padding out her pension in a soft-touch posting at a base for a protracted Euro vacation. Hope she enjoys it, and keeps posted on the native stand-off!

Mr. Harper's Big Adventure

It's about time the Canadian PM took another flyer to Kandahar.

Last week's loss of 6 servicemen to the War against the Taliban, and the wounding of a number of others points up the fact that Canada has well and truly got itself into a shooting war - American style.

The unequivocal support for Israel's 'right' to defend itself is a page right out of the neo-con's world view. Israel has a right to defend itself but all-too-often the perceived threats are imagined, more than real. Pre-emption has been a constant basis for Israeli action and the notion of the 'big-stick-beating' outweighs the surgical approach, especially with Arab neighbours. Added to this is a shreiking sense of paranoia and a willingness to believe in, and act on, worst case scenarios - all with scant, or no, evidence. "Hit Hard" is an Israeli password. The typical right-wing approach to any problem is to hammer it, physically, or with a barrage of bullshit.

That there is a symbiotic relationsip between the USA and the State of Israel is a fact of life in the modern world. Jewish members of the armed forces of the two are at entire liberty to belong to those of the other. The US administration is raddled with Jewish personnel, if not actual dual-citizens. If you've been watching TV coverage of the situation, you might have noticed how many Israeli 'spokespeople' speak with a north american accent. Israel and America share the sentiment that they are main defenders of the ramparts of freedom against the onslaught of the 'terrorists' they identify and the Islamofascists they define. They are both in deep denial of any element of causality ascribed to them. They are thoroughly modern in playing the 'victim's blame game'.

Canada has never had a particular bent toward extremes, but we have historically been affected by the elephant abutting us. The 'commie' scare of the fifties was felt here as well, the cold war as fought out on Canadian territory. Of course the economic vagaries of the US reverberate here, amplified. But while we've shared in these sensations, there has always been the basic notion that we are separate and distinct. Mr Harper's on his way to changing that. He'd like to see the economies even more intermeshed than they are. His political outlook is more attuned to that of the current US administration than ever before. That might not be a problem if it weren't for the fact that the current administration is basically chaotic in orientation and, possibly, evil in outlook. American domestic and foreign policies are antithetical to the style Canada has developed. Mr. Harper has neither sought, or receieved, a mandate to align and involve Canada as he has.

It is a good thing that Canada's military is gung-ho in its desire to execute government policy. It is good that Canadians, by and large, support their service personnel. It remains to be seen if the Canadian public is willing to support the cost in treasure, and in lives, of an adventure in democracy on the far side of the world and which holds little meaning for our country.

Mr. Harper has certainly shone a brighter light on Canadian Forces and he has been notable in being seen to be supporting them himself. There is a 'change-over' in personnel going on now which will give him another 6 months before some of our soldiers will be looking at a second anti-Taliban posting. He might want to visit the troops now, rather than waiting for the end of their rotation. Risking a shelling at Kandahar might be an enlightenment for him, if the situation gets worse in the future.