Thursday, September 10, 2009

Seventy Years Ago Today: Canada Goes To War

A week after the British, and two years before the Americans: Parliament had to decide and on Sept. 9, Parliament did, almost with unanimity. The next day, the king declared war.

First things first. We emigrated to Canada when I was a baby, in 1957. About 45,000 Canadians were killed in the Second World War, and another 55,000 were wounded; Ireland was officially neutral.

My parents' families were not. After Britain declared war, my auld fella, a fierce Irish republican and a sworn enemy of the Blueshirts, crossed the Irish sea and joined the Royal Air Force. He returned for a brief visit to his hometown in Midleton, County Cork just to "walk down the high street in the uniform of the enemy," which was his way of publicly renouncing Ireland's official disinterest in the anti-fascist war. It was the last time he called Ireland his home.

Dad was among roughly 100,000 Irishmen and Irishwomen, many of whom were republicans like him, who sucked it up, put past disagreements aside, and put first things first. In Britain, he met my ma, whose family were Clare people. She was in the RAF, too. Her brother, my uncle Patrick, was killed by the Nazis in the Netherlands. Which makes me merely one of several million Canadians who can count relatives who died in the Second World War.

Now, as then, Canadians are distinguishing themselves in the fight against fascism. Now, as then, first things first.

No Pasarán.

(Regards to The Torch).


Blogger Jonathon Narvey said...

I thought Dirk was banned? Not that his defeatist stance is necessarily censor-worthy. Actually, it's a rare opportunity to debate a semi-cogent position.

"The taliban are not trying to take over the world,the taliban operate inside their own country."

A false distinction, as the Taliban are plainly allied with fundamentalist thugs in other backwaters that are attempting to carve out a Caliphate cave by bloody cave.

"The most powerful countries and richest countries on the planet have been in Afghanistan for 8 years now."

There was this thing, you may have heard of it a little while back, called the Iraq war, which diverted essential American resources. Meanwhile, the most powerful and richest countries of Europe have been keeping their soldiers on bases, where they mostly performed sweet f**k all. Finally, we're getting the resources into Afghanistan that should have been there in the first place.

"And exactly when does the Afghan government step up to the plate and set the agenda/offer up solutions rather than just looting the aid monies ?"

Actually, not entirely an unbalanced question. Soon as the political situation around the election is resolved, I hope. We'll see.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

He's banned.

"The taliban are not trying to take over the world,the taliban operate inside their own country."

It's not just that it's a false distinction. It's that it would makes absolutely no difference. It makes no difference to the 94 per cent of Afghans who oppose the Taliban. But it makes all the difference in the world to the morally ill.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


It also makes all the difference in the world to the objectively pro-fascist and the subjectively pro-fascist:

Blueshirts, Blackshirts, Brownshirts, makes no difference to me or to mine.

No Pasarán.

6:34 PM  

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