This morning, Wednesday, I started the day with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley, live on AM640. John began with an appalling soundbite from Councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, speaking at the city's Remembrance Day observances and flubbing the names and ranks of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, the two Canadian soldiers murdered by Muslim fanatics last month. Afterwards, she compounded her carelessness by sloughing it off with "Sh*t happens."
Right. In Flanders fields, sh*t happens. At the Cenotaph in Toronto, this particular sh*t didn't need to happen, and it happened only because Councillor Ramkhalawansingh, on a day to remember our soldiers, couldn't be bothered to remember.
This stuff shouldn't be difficult, unless you're a thoughtless twerp winging it. Yesterday, 75 years after it was dedicated by King George VI, and three weeks after the killing of Corporal Cirillo, HRH The Princess Royal and the Governor General, David Johnston, re-dedicated the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Their words were simple, solemn, and bore the weight of the occasion:
Freedom without peace is agony, and peace without freedom is slavery, and we will tolerate neither. This is the truth we owe our dead.
After chewing over Councillor Ramkhalawansingh, John and I moved on to discuss Remembrance Day more generally, and Obama, Putin et al at the big Asia-Pacific shindig. Click below to listen:
~John mentioned my piece on the heavy security at Remembrance Day services, in the wake of the murderous assault in Ottawa and the plot to stab the Queen in London. It included this picture of the Royal Gurkha Rifles at the Cenotaph in Whitehall:
Reader Bruce Gentner writes from Down Under to draw a more general lesson:
Does it not strike anyone else as strange that there is an armed police-person GUARDING armed soldiers?
No doubt the Gurkhas are carrying rifles, but equally without doubt, those rifles are not fitted with magazines containing LIVE ammo.
That was also true at the Cenotaph in Ottawa. The barbarian who shot Corporal Cirillo had a loaded gun. The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders did not, as is customary on ceremonial duty. Now the Ottawa Police dispatches officers from its SWAT team to guard the soldiers. Bruce continues:
Thus we have the ludicrous, but all-to-common, situation of DISARMED armed forces and a sprinkling of heavily-armed "law" officers to "protect" them.
It has been apparent for quite some time now that, at least in what remains of the "Western World", the cops have become militarised and the military have been reduce to lightly armed (no ammo, please) social workers sent to distribute aid in crappy places around the globe. This latter practice seems intended to remove the "aggressive" tendencies of those nasty soldiers. It is also definitely intended to sow tactical confusion in said soldiers: Nobody can be an effective COMBAT soldier if they have to switch "modes" in a life-or death situation on the two-way rifle range. That moment's "confusion" WILL be deadly, but not to the enemy.
There is something unsettling about the sight of soldiers being guarded by heavily armed policemen. I hope it's not becoming a habit.
~Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be south of the border with Chris Stigall on WPHT The Big Talker in Philadelphia, live just after 8am Eastern. I'll close out the day with my weekly date on The Hugh Hewitt Show at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific and then a reunion with my old pal Alan Colmes coast to coast at 7pm Eastern. Full details of all my telly and radio appearances can be found in the On The Air box at right.