Jack Layton goes to sea aboard HMCS Halifax

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derrick derrick's picture
Jack Layton goes to sea aboard HMCS Halifax



AUGUST 5, 2009

  JACK LAYTON TO BOARD HMCS HALIFAX   HALIFAX - New Democrat Leader Jack Layton will be onboard HMCS Halifax on Thursday,to meet the ship's crew and observe a demonstration of naval operations."I relish this opportunity to spend time with our troops and really get tounderstand the job they are doing day to day," said Layton. "It is not an easy job,but it is a very important one. I am happy to have this chance to show my support."   The visit and tour of the ship will include an overnight stay. Layton will be available to comment on the experience when he comes ashore on Friday morning.  
Fidel

I'll bet he smuggled Rick Mercer aboard in a duffle bag. I can see it all now, there'll be laffs all around.

Jingles

Pathetic, pandering weasle.

Frmrsldr

Naval ships? Jobs for the boys and girls?

Fidel

Good place for them, as in not on dry land in AfghaniStan land. Screw the army.

Frmrsldr

Fidel wrote:

Good place for them, as in not on dry land in AfghaniStan land. Screw the army.

Yes, but they can do a supporting role for U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea where carrier based U.S. Navy ground attack planes can bomb, strafe and rocket people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I was also thinking of Jack Layton showing that he supports the federal government's recent Canadian Navy ship building projects.

Jobs for the boys and girls?

F.T.A. = F_ck the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines!Cool

Fidel

I think if I were young today, I might think about a job in the coast guard for a few years. I think I read that theyre hiring. Might be pretty cold where they'd be going though with northern patrols.

kropotkin1951

Just the ticket to recovery. War has always been profitable. But more to the point I'll bet Obama will like it.

Frmrsldr

Yes, got to love military Keynesianism and economic conscription (not).

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

I think if I were young today, I might think about a job in the coast guard for a few years.

That would be nice. Our coast guard is civilian, as opposed to the U.S., where it's military.

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I think if I were young today, I might think about a job in the coast guard for a few years.

That would be nice. Our coast guard is civilian, as opposed to the U.S., where it's military.

And a fine alternative to joining the military/navy.  In my view, it would be a better choice for kids determined to join the military. The ocean's dangerous enough for sailors without adding a military purpose to it. 

V. Jara

Finally, Jack can put his moustache to good use and do a remake of the Village People video!

Now that's what I call progress.

Fidel

Hey Jack Layton and gay entertainers! Moustaches even! I think I see a similarity, V Jara. And it's very creepy for sure. I think now I'm even more glad that I didnt vote for either of the two unprogressive stale old line parties.

RedRover

Truth be told...it will probably play well in communities where there is a contingent of military servicepeople and/or their families...thinking of places like Nova Scotia, Esquimalt, Goose Bay, parts of Manitoba, Ottawa etc.  There may even be a few target ridings being thought of in particular.

Fidel

Jeez, you guys make it sound like Jack is a politician looking for votes the hard way by an electoral system that dozens of other rich countries scrapped decades ago.

The only thing that would worry me more than seeing Jack on a Canadian war ship would be seeing Iggy or Harper on a Canadian war ship. Those two stooges are likely to sail it into another US-led quagmire somewhere in the world.

Or fearless Pete McKay flapping his gums in front of troops somewhere in Afghanistan, somewhere near a Tim Horton's coffee tent in an undisclosed part of Kanadahar, which used to be controlled by US troops until Paul Martin volunteered Canadians to an aggressive US style combat role in 2006 in order that US troops there could be transferred to Iraq.  

Slumberjack

derrick wrote:
"I relish this opportunity to spend time with our troops and really get tounderstand the job they are doing day to day," said Layton.

Suffering through dog and pony shows for visiting dignitaries is a routine aspect of military service, which invariably involves acting as photo backdrops for a host of tormentors.  There are always amusing moments to be savoured though, such as being referred to as troops, when one is a sailor.

NDPP

Slumberjack wrote:

derrick wrote:
"I relish this opportunity to spend time with our troops and really get tounderstand the job they are doing day to day," said Layton.

Suffering through dog and pony shows for visiting dignitaries is a routine aspect of military service, which invariably involves acting as photo backdrops for a host of tormentors.  There are always amusing moments to be savoured though, such as being referred to as troops, when one is a sailor.

NDPP

Absolutely so

"doh!"

LMAO

how ridiculous, thanks for this -  made my morning!

Tommy_Paine

Note to Jack:

 

No photo ops involving oversized head gear.

madmax

As someone with past military service.... I find alot of the comments here over the top.  The NDP have been one of the few parties that give a rats butt about the veterans after the fact.  It not all about the big purchases, alot is about people.  Most in the military don't trust politicians to begin with.  But it is important to see someone who appears opposed to many military actions, not taking his frustration out on the very people who enforce the roll of our government.

The NDP is not about to disband the military.

Tommy_Paine

 

Indeed, if there ever comes a day, the first act of an NDP majority government should be to double the pay of the military. 

genstrike

Well, instead of challenging militarism in society, I guess it's easier for the NDP to just go along with the whole "support the troops" bullshit.  It explains Layton doing photo ops with the Navy, and provincial NDP cabinet ministers speaking at Red Friday rallies or setting up yellow ribbon gardens.

madmax wrote:
As someone with past military service.... I find alot of the comments here over the top

Over the top?  I don't think any of the comments even approached going far enough, with the possible exception of Frmrsldr's (who presumably also has past military service) "FTA" comment (which, although not the most eloquent way to articulate it, represents how I feel)

I personally find the very existence of an organization whose very purpose is "to kill people" (in the words of their former boss, Rick Hillier) in support of imperial ambitions to be over the top.  And way more "over the top" than any comment on babble that I have ever seen.

madmax wrote:
The NDP is not about to disband the military.

I think that is quite true and quite unfortunate

Tommy_Paine

Well, instead of challenging militarism in society, I guess it's easier for the NDP to just go along with the whole "support the troops" bullshit.

 

Well, in my thinking, I'd double the pay of the military first, so I could have a chance at getting to item #2 on my agenda.

Slumberjack

Tommy_Paine wrote:
 Well, in my thinking, I'd double the pay of the military first, so I could have a chance at getting to item #2 on my agenda.

Boot camp?

Tommy_Paine

The arrest of all senators past and present, for crimes against democracy?

Well, maybe nothing quite so mellodramatic. 

Just abolition, with nice parting gifts.

Maybe a flower arrangement.  Something nice, but not too expensive.

remind remind's picture

So genstrike you believe Canada should have no military at all?

genstrike

remind wrote:

So genstrike you believe Canada should have no military at all?

Exactly.  Although I am open to having some sort of reserve for things like disaster relief.

When was the last time the Canadian military participated in something that wasn't an exercise in imperialism?  The only Canadian soldiers that I would want to support would be the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, and they were not part of the military.  In fact, the Canadian government actually tried to prevent them from fighting fascism.

Bookish Agrarian

I think many are confusing an institution with the grunts who do the work in that institution.  I have zero problem believing that the average soldier/salior what have you is worthy of both respect and a lot better living conditions for the work they do.  That doesn't mean there aren't exeptions to that - but in general - it is the case.

It is 'us' as a people - through our government- who decide what the military does - not the soldier.  If anyone is at fault it is 'us' as Canadians who should shoulder the blame for 'allowing' our government to place 'our' military in roles that did not support our values as Canadians. 

Many of those soldiers/sailors have taken one of the very few available paths to escape the very conditions we progressives like to say we condemn like economic hardship.

remind remind's picture

And what would you see happening if there was no military?

Do you think a militia military could stand alone/function itself withour regular forces in place first?

What other countries in the world have no military that we could example ourselves after?

kropotkin1951

So Remind does that mean you are comfortable with the deep integration and joint command structure of our military.  We no longer have an independent military but have returned to the pre-WWI status as a colonial addition to the empires command.  Until we get a military run by Canadians again I for one merely see it is an imperial agency that reports to its masters in NATO who report to their masters in Washington.  Jack showing his support for the "troops" is IMO merely adding the Canadian parliamentary left's voice to the chorus of "Ready Aye Ready to serve the Empire."

genstrike

remind wrote:
And what would you see happening if there was no military?

Canada would not be getting involved in imperialist wars (although without an abolition of capitalism, we would still have private companies engaging in economic imperialism, although it would be much more difficult for them to enforce it like they did in Haiti).  Also, we would have an extra $18 billion or so a year to spend on alleviating poverty both in Canada and abroad and expanding the welfare state

remind wrote:
Do you think a militia military could stand alone/function itself withour regular forces in place first?

Well, in Spain it was only the workers militias which resisted the fascists in the Spanish military and prevented a quick fascist coup.  I think the militias in the Spanish Civil War were a success until such point as they were denied weapons and then forcibly disbanded on orders from Moscow.  Also, many of these militias helped break down tranditional gender roles in Spanish society at the time, such as the integrated POUM militias and the anarchist Mujeres Libres (Free Women).

I am also curious about the implication that a military being able to "stand alone/function" is a desirable thing, something I would debate.  I would be very happy if the Canadian military was unable to stand alone/function in an imperialist manner, as they tend to do nearly without exception.  As an analogy to understand where I'm coming from, would you be worried that the Wehrmacht and the SS might be unable to function between 1936 and 1945?  I would not be concerned about their inability to function, and the world would actually be a much better place if they were unable to stand alone/function, just as the world would be a slightly better place if the Canadian military was unable to stand alone/function these days.

remind wrote:
What other countries in the world have no military that we could example ourselves after?

There are a few countries which don't have a military or a pact with other countries for defence (like some of the smaller Pacific colonies and European city-states).  Costa Rica abolished the military in their constitution in 1949 and spent large portions of the former military budget on education and culture and, unlike many of their neighbors, has not had a civil war since then (as the military is generally a force of reaction in most of the world - see Spain, Chile, etc.)

genstrike

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Until we get a military run by Canadians again I for one merely see it is an imperial agency that reports to its masters in NATO who report to their masters in Washington.  Jack showing his support for the "troops" is IMO merely adding the Canadian parliamentary left's voice to the chorus of "Ready Aye Ready to serve the Empire."

This might not make the left-nationalists very happy, but I kind of disagree with this, in that a military run by Canadians is not necessarily much better than one which is deeply integrated into the US military.  Canada is also an imperialist power, albeit a second tier one (everyone is second tier to the US these days), and has its own imperialist interests to defend (see: Haiti), and is not necessarily any less imperialist than the US in terms of anything other than capability.  I see the view of Canada as a lackey of the US to be problematic on the left, as we aren't really a victim of imperialism there is nothing inherently better about Canadian imperialism.  To the victims of imperialism, it doesn't matter if they are getting shot with a C7 instead of an M16.

remind remind's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:
So Remind does that mean you are comfortable with the deep integration and joint command structure of our military.

Nope.

Quote:
We no longer have an independent military but have returned to the pre-WWI status as a colonial addition to the empires command.  Until we get a military run by Canadians again I for one merely see it is an imperial agency that reports to its masters in NATO who report to their masters in Washington.

How are we going to get it back with imperialist governments in control?

Quote:
Jack showing his support for the "troops" is IMO merely adding the Canadian parliamentary left's voice to the chorus of "Ready Aye Ready to serve the Empire."

I do not believe this for a moment.

Papal Bull

Abolishing the military is a lovely dream. Name me one major country that has no military.

 

Yeah, I can't name one either. The permanent military is going to be with us forever more.

NDPP

remind wrote:

And what would you see happening if there was no military?

Do you think a militia military could stand alone/function itself withour regular forces in place first?

What other countries in the world have no military that we could example ourselves after?

NDPP

apparently the universe almost granted this wish:

Military Chiefs in near disaster:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/677556

as for militia military, one could do worse than study the example of hizbollah which is citizen based and proved itself very competent against Israel - unlike the Lebanese armed forces

remind remind's picture

Ya I read that non-news earlier, it was reporting on something that did not happen.

 

 

 

genstrike

Papal Bull wrote:

Abolishing the military is a lovely dream. Name me one major country that has no military.

Yeah, I can't name one either. The permanent military is going to be with us forever more.

I already answered this question upthread with Costa Rica, and they have been doing better since they abolished the military.

If you're looking for a more advanced imperial power without a military, that is just a contradiction right there.  All the first world imperialist countries need militaries to enforce imperial capitalism (and, to a lesser extent, provide a level of security from the people who their imperial policies have royally pissed off).  But just because every other imperialist country employs agents of imperialism doesn't make it the right thing to do.  The closest example in the first world would probably be Japan, which renounces the use of force to settle interantiona disputes, and if they actually followed all of Article 9 of their constitution, would not have a military (something which can be seriously discussed in Japan, as both the Japanese Communist Party and the former Japanese Socialist Party have supported - far ahead of what the NDP will seriously discuss in Canada)

But for the sake of discussion, if you don't support abolishing the military completely, would you support drastically reducing our military budget?  Perhaps eliminating the positions of many soldiers and continuing to pay these former soldiers to, say, serve free breakfasts to undernourished children in impoverished areas (just one of just many positive things we could be paying these people to do, hat tip to the Black Panthers for the idea) instead of killing brown people - I don't see what is objectionable about that, and if we do that, I wouldn't mind if we doubled their salary as Tommy Paine suggested upthread.  In fact, I think it would be a big improvement if we paid soldiers to sit at home all day instead of fulfilling their current job description of "kill people"

remind remind's picture

Well Canada has a military and has never endured civil war either.

Bookish Agrarian

It is a big stretch to say that Costa Rica has not had a civil war because they did not have a military.  In fact it is false logic.  Many, many other things have played into strife in other countries and into the relative peace in Costa Rica.

If Costa Rica had been in the sights of either the American or Soviet expansionist eyes you can bet a para-military force would have appeared there almost overnight.

jrootham

Costa Rica

On December 1, 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer of Costa Rica abolished the country's army after victory in the civil war in that year.[1] In a ceremony in the Cuartel Bellavista, Figueres broke a wall with a mallet symbolizing the end of Costa Rica's military spirit. In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution.

The budget previously dedicated to the military now is dedicated to security, education and culture; the country maintains Police Guard forces. The museum Museo Nacional de Costa Rica was placed in the Cuartel Bellavista as a symbol of commitment to culture.

In 1986, President Oscar Arias Sánchez declared December 1 as the Día de la Abolición del Ejército (Military abolition day) with Law #8115.

Unlike its neighbors, Costa Rica has not endured a civil war since 1948.

The above is a quote

Abolition of the Canadian military is a very long term political project, with both international and domestic requirements.

ETA.  Sorry, I missed the earlier reference.

remind remind's picture

It doesn't have to be.

genstrike

remind wrote:
Well Canada has a military and has never endured civil war either.

I'm not advocating removing the military because of a danger of a civil war (although without doubt it is a reactionary force), I'm advocating it because it is an agent of imperialism.  As such, I am in direct contradiction to Jack Layton, who believes that the military is an "important job" and therefore supports having a military.  I find this bit particularly curious as there are many other workers who are more important to the functioning of society, and not actively detrimental as part of their jobs.  Teachers, doctors, construction workers, letter carriers, and people working at minimum wage in the service industry are all more important and bring more to society than the military.

jrootham

No military != no civil war is not obvious in Central America.  It's also not particularly germane to this discussion.

To arbitrarily abolish the Canadian military would trigger a combined populist and elitist revolt.  If this is a serious political project the first thing to do is identify the preconditions that would make it possible.

My thinking:

a) Capture or replace the UN to make it a real peace enforcer, democratically representing the whole world (non trivial).

b) Break from NATO and the US.

c) Convert the regiments into reservists whose job it is to maintain the mess and do re-enactments.

Bookish Agrarian

genstrike wrote:

remind wrote:
Well Canada has a military and has never endured civil war either.

I'm not advocating removing the military because of a danger of a civil war (although without doubt it is a reactionary force), I'm advocating it because it is an agent of imperialism.  As such, I am in direct contradiction to Jack Layton, who believes that the military is an "important job" and therefore supports having a military.  I find this bit particularly curious as there are many other workers who are more important to the functioning of society, and not actively detrimental as part of their jobs.  Teachers, doctors, construction workers, letter carriers, and people working at minimum wage in the service industry are all more important and bring more to society than the military.

I must have been away the day that Jack Layton said that all those other people in our society don't matter.  rolleyes.

genstrike

remind wrote:
It doesn't have to be.

Actually, I would argue that there are structural reasons why it does, given its very role as an enforcer of Canada's imperialist foreign policy.  If it wasn't killing people in defence of capitalist interests, it would have no raison d'etre - saying that Canada's military doesn't have to be an agent of imperialism is like saying the fire service doesn't have to be an agent of putting out fires.  The fire service has a role of putting out fires, and the military has a role of killing people - and that's not just me talking, that's their former Chief of Staff as well.  Say what you will about Rick Hillier, but at least he can be somewhat honest at times.

genstrike

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
I must have been away the day that Jack Layton said that all those other people in our society don't matter.  rolleyes.

My point is that all those other people provide services that people want or need.  The military, on the other hand, does not contribute positively to society and actually contributes negatively.

Saying the military does an "important job" is like saying a murderer or a rapist is doing an "important job"

jrootham

Job A being more important than job B does not imply job B is not important.

Canada's military is imperialist because our elected governments have decided they should be imperialist.

There is a huge space between an imperialistic military and no military. 

ETA, Sorry, posting delay.

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

I must have been away the day that Jack Layton said that all those other people in our society don't matter.  rolleyes.

I must have been away the day that Jack Layton issued public statements of condolence to the families of workers killed on the job, calling them "heroic" etc.

jrootham

genstrike wrote:

My point is that all those other people provide services that people want or need.  The military, on the other hand, does not contribute positively to society and actually contributes negatively.

That's the argument all right.  I don't see any evidence that most Canadian's don't want the military.  You obvioiusly think they are worng, how do you propose to convince them?

Traditionally the useful function of a military was to resist invasion.  Resisting US invasion was a real function of the Canadian military up until at least the 1930's and it was reasonably realistically capable of doing that until the late 40's.  US military gigantism is a post war phenomenon.

What's the threat model now? 

Commercial threats over fishing stocks.  Polar incursions from various nations.  I'd say defence of the realm is still on the table.  How well the current government is doing it is another question.

 

V. Jara

-

jrootham

Unionist wrote:

I must have been away the day that Jack Layton issued public statements of condolence to the families of workers killed on the job, calling them "heroic" etc.

 

National Day of Mourning

Don't be cheap Unionist.

Unionist

Listen, jrootham, I consider Layton's non-stop templated sympathy messages every single time some soldier gets killed to be obscene pandering. I don't give a damn if he salutes the day of mourning for workers once a year. Layton should get on a podium and tell the truth - that every single death of a Canadian in Afghanistan is a horrible waste - a death in vain. He should clearly call upon Canadian youth to not enlist if it means going to Afghanistan. He should lead by example. He should embody our principles, not those of the bloodthirsty Liberal and Conservative governments and their military-industrial overlords who embroil Canada in such overseas adventures. And if he hasn't got the simple human decency and nerve to stand up and tell the truth - the truth which a majority of Canadians already recognize - he should get lost and make way for some with principle and courage.

 

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