For several days Canada’s airwaves have been vigorously discussing the anti-immigrant rant by a well-known hockey commentator Don Cherry.
He was upset because many recent immigrants do not wear a Remembrance Day poppy.
During Saturday's Hockey Night broadcast, Cherry, who has on previous occasions made other discriminatory statements said that "You people that come here, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that, these guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada."
As most Canadians reacted negatively to the above supremacist statement, the TV station fired Cherry.
However, the discussion around Cherry’s comments took a bizarre turn as opponents started challenging him only within the multicultural paradigm.
Cherry’s reference to the poppy wearing tradition should be challenged on a far deeper level than let us all sing kumbaya and get along.
Wearing the poppy symbolizes not simply support for ordinary soldiers. Those who fought in the First World War did so for a narrative framed by imperialist interests of regimes that did not care for ordinary people.
The soldiers were simply cannon fodder.
It represents support for a senseless war and glorifies war-mongering.
Cherry’s call to wear a poppy because all Canadians must blindly support any cause in which Canada participates, is intellectually dishonest and morally indefensible.
It is fanaticism.
A statement saying that "these guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada" is first and foremost a manifestation of great ignorance.
None of the autocratic monarchies in Europe were aiming to invade Canada and none of the regimes involved in the senseless war upheld the values most Canadians value today.
Anyone who has even elementary knowledge of the reasons behind WWI would understand that any form of glorification of it cannot be completely detached from the senseless cause of the war.
WWI was a war between power-hungry and racist regimes. One fact makes this very clear. As the Austro-Hungarian army mobilized in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Russians ordered their army to mobilize as well.
Once the Russian Czar realized that Russia was not going to achieve an easy victory and wanted to de-mobilize, he was advised not to do so. This would be more expensive than going through with the mobilization.
These regimes cared more for gold and silver than human lives. Wearing a poppy partly commemorates the atrocious regimes that caused WWI, which lay the seeds for WWII.
Wars are terrible and not all wars are fought for noble reasons regardless of how they are framed.
Canadian soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan. What did they achieve? Yet there are people in Canada that glorify their role as if they were there to help a noble cause. It was not.
Canadian troops were ordered into Afghanistan because a righ-twing racist prime minister (Stephen Harper) wanted to suck up to George W. Bush.
Apart from destroying Afghanistan, the invaders have achieved nothing. They were not meant to do so; their purpose was altogether different.
One final point is in order. If governments want to honor war veterans, the least they can do is to take care of their needs. Regrettably, on this score, Canada, like many other countries, has fallen far short.
Wearing poppy to portray respect for veterans is so much poppy cock!