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Bickering Over the Dead

Our politicians are at it again, bickering over dead soldiers.  This time around it’s  whether or not flags should be flown at half mast on Parliament Hill when soldiers are killed abroad, and whether the media should be permitted to be present at the repatriation of soldiers remains.  The Globe and Mail covered the story, this morning, about the Government’s decision not to permit reporters to be present when the bodies of the four soldiers killed this weekend in Afghanistan arrive at CFB Trenton today. 

Stephen Harper is playing with fire on this issue.  By needlessly copying the American protocol for the return of the dead, which is widely criticized as a way to control the media, he is opening his government up to the same criticisms.  Apparently, none of the families of the soldiers have objected to the presence of the media.  Until there is such an objection, Harper should let reporters be present.  To do otherwise is to risk the Liberals painting him as a George Bush clone.

More importantly, how about sending more equipment and money to the men and women still on the battlefield?  Honour the memory of the fallen, not with flags and ceremonies, but with a real commitment to provide the tools that are needed to get the job done and safely bring our soldiers home.

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