Saturday, April 07, 2007

All's Well in the Empire...

Whenever I see on The National yet another piece of embedded reporting from Afghanistan, I find myself cringing and reaching for my remote. Most often I turn the channel, but sometimes I watch and try to read between the lines of the oh-so-carefully orchestrated journalism, to see if any leak comes through via errant word or gesture: but don't those reporters love our darling boys in uniform, and they are nice boys, aren't they? Of course, nobody can be sure from these reports what the hell they're doing there. The Taliban are clearly bad news, but so also is Bush's war in Iraq, and of course our Harper government's cosy relationship with the White House is one factor that enables him to carry it on. If we get a few reprisal bombings in Montreal or Toronto -- if this humble writer gets blown into gobbets on the way to work -- it'll be a small price to pay for our efforts on behalf of world peace and security. So the story goes.

It's refreshing, therefore, to get direct reportage of some of the darker realities behind our war effort. Get a load of this photo montage of our Minister of Defence, Gordon O'Connor, addressing an audience -- here in Montreal -- of PR spinners and war-profiteers, a number of whom are extremely familiar names on our economic landscape. Check out those napkins beside the $90 plates in the Grand Salon. And the security breach that follows! It's telling -- even rather touching -- that we're still somewhat asleep at the wheel up here. Here too, some words and links about said Minister and said event-- polemical, sans doute, but a tonic counter-balance to those cloying reports on the CBC News.

P.S. CBC redeemed itself somewhat. See my post of April 12.

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