North Western Winds

Contemplating it all from the great Pacific Northwest

The Warren thing

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Warren Kinsella’s upset by Damian Brooks saying that he might in some small way have responsibility for the death of a Canadian submariner, since he (Kinsella) was a part of a government that has cheaped out on things military for a very long time – since 1993, I believe. The obvious comparison is to comments that the leader of the NDP made during the last election, where Mr. Layton accused the Liberal government of responsibility for the death of a homeless person. That accusation was, rightly I think, laughed off by Paul Martin, and most Canadians that I know thought that Layton was a bit off in suggesting it. Is this a comparable case?

Submariners, and all Canadian military personnel are making a very large sacrifice, by the nature of their profession. It is done voluntarily, but in a moral sense I think we are bound to recognize the scope of what they are doing. The sacrifice they make is among the highest we can make for our countrymen, and since it is so high, we ought to make every effort to ensure that we respond in kind, as best as we can. That means good equipment, a high degree of public respect, and a judicious use of our military force. I don’t think we’ve lived up to that part of the equation. Is that Kinsella’s fault? Not really. There are too many other factors that need to be considered, so many that assigning blame to one person, never mind the government, is too much of a stretch. The homeless person’s claims on us are those he has by right of being human and being a neighbor. He has those rights and they are not nothing. But the military offers to do something very noble and worthy for us and that, in my mind, makes it’s claims on us more serious.

What am I getting at here? Simply this. If it was OK for Jack Layton to make his accusation on behalf of a homeless person during an election, and no lawsuit was threatened then, why is it NOT OK when a similar question is asked with no election on, and when the dead person may have a greater demand on our conscience? If Kinsella had not threatened to sue the whole thing would have blown away. There was no election pressure or media scrutiny of Damian’s comments. Paul Martin, who I’m no fan of, had a better sense of the perceptual dynamics and let it go when the whole country was looking. Kinsella can’t stand a few lonely bloggers even asking the question.

The answer to the question, is Kinsella responsible for Lt. Saunders death, is no, he is not. The answer to the question, should Canadians be able to ask that question is, yes, they should. And no, I’m not talking about the state of the law here.

Meanwhile Kinsella is still going about “kicking ass” (his words):

Those kinds of guys [conservative bloggers]- and they’re mostly white, angry and aroused by Mark Steyn’s web site – get offended by all sorts of things.

Kinsella is also white (relevance?) and it is clear he gets angry and aroused by these questions too. He just doesn’t get it: The problem is that it is his own ass that he is kicking, because Damian’s question has been amplified and readers’ sympathy diluted by the addition of more questions: was the response appropriate? Was it appropriate given the way he plays the game?

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Written by Curt

October 15, 2004 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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