"A picture is worth athousand words!"...Thank you Tim!
Cpl Philip Hunter Canadian medic with interpreter/ friend Sayed Shah Sharifi in Afghanistan
I believe that all artists share a common need to "make sense" of the world they live in... and in so doing they see it in an entirely different manner than those around them. Artists usually are are unlike those around them in our two and fro world... who only seem to look, but seem never able to truly "see"... that is to say... understand what is all around them. They are content to live in a "taken-for-granted" existence... blinders on... plodding grudgingly through their uninspired lives.
I find it very strange that very elite (no reference to the artists) in this "blind battalion" are our people in high positions of power... and highest amongst these... our political leaders. On the very day after Remembrance Day... after all of the wreath laying and droning political rhetoric... befitting a funereal setting... Veteran's Affairs here in Canada unveil a plan to reduce the pension benefits by the amount of disability pension a returning (physically or mentally wounded) veteran receives... in some cases leaving soldiers and their families with no income.
In Saturday's edition o\of the The Toronto Star it was reported that Sayed Shah Sharifi, a former Afghan interpreter used the Canadian Forces (then cut loose when we withdrew from the heart of Taliban heartland) has been denied a visa to immigrate to Canada who he served during the conflict. I am... admittedly "a bear of little brain" and of VERY little interest... when it comes to either military or political topics... however, it makes sense perfect sense to me... that this adopted soldier (along with all his family members)... one in our rank and file by choice... will most certainly suffer a deadly, if not horrific end at the hands of the remaining insurgent faction still operating in Afghanistan. He has already been "marked".
You can pack away your poppy Mr Harper... along with your sanctimonious public false face. You can indeed hide behind your desk on Capitol Hill in Ottawa. But how can you sleep at night? How can you ever face another Silver Star Mother with her war-orphaned children and a crowd filled with veterans at a future Remembrance Day Ceremony?... Or attend the funeral of a veteran who has committed suicide... after returning to the "safety" of the homeland that he or she fought for?
How can the government justify the claim ever again... that the reason for Canadian involvement in a conflict abroad... is to guarantee a (Afghan) people freedom and the hope of a better life.... when we can't afford our own returning veterans their due respect... thanks and support from an involvement dictated by politicians and military heads ? It reeks of the worst kind of hypocrisy and is a disgrace to our nation! You offend all veterans deceased or alive... and all Canadians through your callous actions!!!!
I apologize for using the space in this bog, usually devoted to art... to embed this rant. But veterans were just ordinary folk... who gave their all... so that ordinary folk like us could express and share our opinions... so that "We" could have a voice! I join these Canadians to speak on behalf of all veterans... anywhere.
My thanks to Cpl Philip Hunter, an Afghan veteran/ medic himself, for his courage to speak out via The Toronto Star against the government's rejection of his interpreter and friend Sayed Shah Sharifi's (promised) application for immigration and asylum in Canada. My thanks to political cartoonist Tim Dolhigan for granting me permission to use his cartoon in this post. It eloquently supports veteran feelings and certainly my own. It underscores the power of a picture..."to be worth a thousand words!" Thank you Tim! You can visit Tim's web page at dohlighan.com .... Great stuff!
If you return to an earlier post this month...November is the Cruelest Month... you will understand my anger... disgust with our government and the reason for my rant. As Canadians... we ALL lost a part of our Selves... each and every time a Hercules aircraft touched down at Trenton Airbase... repatriating the body of one of our fallen 158 young men and women... and their surviving comrades-in-arms. I simply can't... and won't remain silent because.... only the living can speak and act!!
"The torch be yours to hold it high....
"The torch be yours to hold it high....
If ye break faith with us who died,
We shall not sleep though poppies grow...
On Afghan hills!...
Lest we forget!
Just one Grateful Canadian's's opinion.... and I'll let you, the readers be the judge and jury on whether these opinions are valid... and worth responding to. Do those actions make sense to "You"? I wonder????? If they matter to "You"... take the time to respond... and better still send off your thoughts to the Canadian Veteran's Affairs Minister... and the Minister of Immigration. I intend to do so.
The Honourable (optional) Steven Blaney
Veteran Affairs Canada
66 Slater Street
Again... to my followers....sorry for the rant! But as I said earlier... November is always the cruelest month for "Me' personally. Remembrance Day will forever have a "face" for "Me". I shall not forget or be quiet - ever! I do, however... promise a snappy... upbeat painting to salute my American Thanksgiving celebrants' upcoming Turkey n' Football Fest!..."I" promise!
Good Painting... and Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!