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Canada Bans Coverage of Returning War Dead

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posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:36 PM
Canada's new government has banned the media from showing flag draped coffins. The change in policy by the new conservative government came as 4 soldiers killed in action Afghanistan returned home. In addition the government has stopped lowering the flag to half mast in from of the parliament building each time a soldier dies. The policy mirrors the Bush administration's barring of similar photographs.
TORONTO - Canada's new Conservative government barred the media from covering the return Tuesday of the flag-draped coffins of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan, angering political opponents and some families.

The government also has stopped lowering flags to half-staff outside Parliament each time a Canadian soldier is killed, prompting Liberals to accuse Prime Minister Stephen Harper of trying to play down the growing human cost of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

Fifteen Canadians have been killed, including Cpl. Matthew Dinning, Bombardier Myles Mansell, Cpl. Randy Payne and Lt. William Turner, who were slain in a roadside bomb blast Saturday in southern Afghanistan in the deadliest attack against Canadian forces since they deployed to Afghanistan in 2002.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Its interesting that they would chose to do this. While it may still be echo’s of Vietnam where the flag draped coffins rapidly became a focal point of anti war efforts, I doubt anybody on either side of the issue is swayed one way or the other. However, it is disconcerting to see Canada’s government mirror a Bush policy that is a blatant attempt to control the spin the war is generating.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:54 PM
I ran across a very good article yesterday on the sacrifice that the Canadian soldiers are making. A very good read and one I encourage many to read. Give them the honor they are due.

Weep (and not crocodile tears) for those who made what is routinely and somewhat hollowly described as the "ultimate sacrifice,'' because that is proper. But grant them honour rather than pity, and acknowledge their commitment to duty rather than undermine it by exploiting the loss.
Fallen soldiers knew the risks: Troops should be honoured, not pitied


[edit on 25-4-2006 by Seekerof]

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:08 PM
Steven Harper's cabinet is way more proamerican than Paul Martin's. So there is no surprise if his actions are so similar to Bush's administration.
Tonight few TV channels in Toronto opened their news broadcast with the tittle Total Media BlackOut protesting against Harper's decision to deny media coverage about the arrival of 4 canadian soldiers caskets, soldiers that got killed few days ago in a ambush in Afganistan.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:21 PM
I guess Harper and Bush are both concervative so that's why they get along just fine

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:42 PM
At times Harper appears niave. His commitment to Afghanistan may be his undoing.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 12:05 AM
Harper wishes to enlarge Canada's military commitment to other arenas besides Afghanistan. Rather than call him naive, I would be more apt call him hawkish.

One of the first things he did upon gaining office was a surprise visit to the troops in Afghanistan. The ghost of the soldier that still resides in me was pleased by that move even though I have no liking for the party he leads.

However, on the issue of the media coverage...forget how the politicians react to the death of these 4 soldiers, it is the reaction of ordinary Canadians that should be noted.

Cpl Matt Dinning's home town is very close to mine and I can tell you, as a witness, that the people of Wingham honour him and every other Canadian soldier that has been killed or wounded in the service of their country, from the battle of Ypres during WWI to this recent tragedy. Canadians have always done so every November 11.

but... I find it difficult to care a whit about what politicians say at times like these.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 01:07 AM
The reasoning behind some of Stephen Harper's decisions to, first, prohibit televising of the repatriation fallen Canadian soldiers and, secondly, to not lowering the Canadian flag to half mast is clear. Stephen Harper knows that there will, most likely be more combat deaths among Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, taking their lessons from Iraq, are resorting to suicide bombers, car bombs and I.E.D.'s. This can only mean that they are resorting to a war of attrition. That is, the Taliban believe that they can weaken the resolve of the Canadian forces (the Canadian people) by assuring that there will be more and more casualties. Harper is attempting to negate this tactic in much the same manner as the Americans -- by prohibiting the broadcast of returning coffins and keeping the flag flying high.

Otherwise, people would be reminded, on a daily basis, that there is a war going on every time they looked at a Canadian flag in front of every government building or each time they turned on the television to watch the news.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 08:18 AM

The article above gives a good explanation as to the reasons for not lowering the flag, also this is not an old tradition it was initially brought in for the 'Friendly Fire Incident' in Afghanistan, this is not to say that the soldiers who died for our Country are not deserving of this honour.

Also, the Provinces have jurisdiction over their choice to lower the flag or not, the flag is also lowered on the National Defense Building. The Peace Tower Flag above the Parliament buildings is traditionally lowered for all fallen soldiers on Remeberance Day Nov.11.

Pte Scott Braun Woodfield was killed in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan in Nov. 2005, the Liberal government who initiated this new tradition did not lower the flag for this soldier. I still don't know why or who made the decision.

Why wasn't anyone complaining about this injustice

As for the media being barred and thereby denying the public of what is a tragic time for the families, what is the problem?. Its a sad day in this Country when these Canadians whine about their rights to see the coffins of dead soldiers but while they were alive and serving their country they were largely ignored by these same Canadians and media.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 08:23 AM
I don't see the big deal about seeing flags over square-shaped boxes that happen to contain dead people.

As for the not flag lowering... WHO DOES THAT? lol. Even the grocery store in my city lowers the flag to half mast when something happens. But I guess if the death toll got high enough, the flag would be stuck at half-mast for weeks on end.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 08:54 AM
Harper truely doesn't want to be ruling this time next year, many of the people who actually voted for him in my family are already drawing comparisions to GWB and are regretting their decision to vote for this clown. Oh yeah, Martin was just as Pro-Am as Harper, he was just much better at hiding it, as I sensed he actually was more intelligent then this current "leader," we have to put up with...

Let's just hope that Ignatieff doesn't become the next Liberal leader, he'll be just like Tony Blair IMO.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 09:09 AM
Cpl. Matthew Dinning, Bombardier Myles Mansell, Lieut. William Turner, and Cpl. Randy Payne all should be honored in the same way our other killed soldiers have been, by lowering the flag!

If this decision to not lower the flag and not allow media to be around when fallen soldiers come home was a plot to keep the war out of the public eye, then it has greatly failed.
You can not watch the news right now at any time of the day with out hearing about this.

I’m sure if it was the Liberal Party who decided to make these changes the Conservative MPs would be roaring saying that the Liberals mistreat the military.

Lowering the flag on Parliament Hill for our fallen soldiers has been a long standing tradition.
Our fallen must be honored. Lower the flag, allow the country to morn along with the fallen’s families. What next? We stop wearing poppies on Remembrance Day?

Thanks for posting this on ATSNN FredT

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 09:20 AM
While I do believe that harper is right in his media blackout of the repatriation and coffins - it's only respectful to the dead- I still believe the flags should be lowered. The local legion hall does it, the schools do it...everywhere but parliament.

As to the commentary about Harper's political standing, well, I've seen more results from him on a number issues (like softwood) than I saw in the age of Mr. Dithers. He has increased military spending, which is nice to hear. The only three election promises I'm waiting on are the accountability act, the scrapping of the gun registry, and most importantly the ressurection of Airborne.


posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 09:31 AM
Then how come people weren't complaining before? How come, even some of the family of the fallen are publicly rebuking the P.M. for this decision? Hell, even the voice of the Conservatives are none too please by the action(Canwest).

Respect for the dead has nothing to do with this decision, anyone who believes this is naive. It's just an attempt to control public opinion, which I might add, hasn't wavered one iota since this war began.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 12:21 PM

Inconsistancies in the use of the Peace Tower Flag was the subject of debate involving the Legion and Veterans Assoc. Eventhough originally opposed, they came to accept the lowering of the flag after the incident in Afghanistan, but were upset over the fact it was not lowered for Pte.Scott Braun Woodfield.

Woodfield was killed in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan in Nov. 2005, in another thread I stated the same thing and earleir here. Is there anyone who can tell my why this wasn't done? I have searched but everything comes back only that the flag wasn't lowered. Does he not warrant the same honour as the other soldiers who were killed on duty.

The above article gives another example of selective use of the Peace Tower Flag.

Umbrax, this isn't a long standing tradition
only brought in 2002, Rememberance Day is the longstanding tradition of Canada to mourn all fallen solidiers. The flag was never lowered for casualties sustained by our military(peacekeeping if you will) during Bosnia, Golan Heights, etc. But thats another story I guess.

I myself have no problem with flying our Flag at half-staff for our fallen soldiers as I'm sure all Canadians don't, as long as it is done for all soldiers, and not on a selective basis.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 01:05 PM
With all the mayhem and unrest in the world. Along with all the petty bickering amongst media news freaks and so on. I invite people to ask a soldier what there take on this crap is. As for being someone in a complete Canadian military family I as well as my family members in Afganistan all agree that these arguments are insane.
We really don't understand with ever peice of media informing the Canadian population of these tradgeties when they happen in T.V, radio and newprint. How can anyone say "that's not enough we want to see the families tears and hurt in there faces" we for some sick reason just can't get enough. As for Harper I didn't vote for him and nor will I ever, but to say that he is wrong here is unimaginable. I for one would rather always be remebered (nov 11) with all the others who have died for this country. Than have the flag go up and down like a yo-yo and have people complete forget about the meaning the (peace tower) flag going to half mast.

Now bare in mind we are talking one flag (Peace Tower) all the other flags are still more than welcome to go half mast and they should. But that one is for everyone and no one should forget all that died for this country.

upset and confused

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 02:33 PM
to your post.

You simplified and clarified what some don't understand. The Peace Tower Flag is one flag and should be honoured for the symbolism it represents, not bantered around at whim.

Your words are held in high regard and respected by this poster

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 05:21 PM
oh canada we stand on guard for thee...only that does not apply to the dead soliders.we now half to remind our ungreatful pm that you need to take a course in honor and the people who protect canada.canada is no fool and we can see government shame from miles away.if you cannot commit to honor you have no place in the position you hold.why do we give these fools leadership why i ask?

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 06:16 PM

Originally posted by SpinDropSmile
With all the mayhem and unrest in the world. Along with all the petty bickering amongst media news freaks and so on. I invite people to ask a soldier what there take on this crap is.

Everyone has their own opinion but I've read plenty from soldiers and thier families.

How about the president of the Charlottetown Legion?
The president of the Charlottetown Legion Branch Number 1 says flags on federal government buildings should be lowered to half-mast whenever a solider dies, and not just on Nov. 11.
"It's just a sign of respect and appreciation for what they have done, and I certainly think [flags] should be lowered," says Doucette.

Or a fallen soldier's father?

A Nova Scotia man whose son was killed in Afghanistan says the federal government is making a mistake in not lowering the flag to mark military deaths.

Jim Davis's son, Paul, died when his armoured vehicle overturned outside Kandahar on March 2.

"I think they're trying to deflect the attention away from our soldiers that are killed in action," Davis said. "Well, our soldiers are falling. That flag should be at half-mast."

Nova Scotia Deputy Premier Ron Russell, a Second World War veteran

Nova Scotia Deputy Premier Ron Russell, a Second World War veteran, said Wednesday that Prime Minister Stephen Harper exercised “poor judgment” in deciding when he did to stop lowering the flag above the Peace Tower when Canadian soldiers are killed in action.

“I think he showed very poor judgment in timing,” Mr. Russell told reporters. “I think it's a very, very bad time to make that kind of a change.”

Military families criticize new media policy

Relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan are reacting with dismay to government changes in the way Canada's war dead are commemorated, changes the defence minister says were made without the input of military families.
"I feel that these soldiers deserve recognition that the flag should be at half-mast for each and every one of them,'' said Beerenfenger, whose husband was killed by a roadside bomb near Kabul in 2003.

'There is no more important VIP,' father says

"My question is simple,” Mr. Dinning said in the letter, read in Parliament by Liberal MP Paul Steckle.

“For all the support and respect you say publicly, why do you choose not to fly the flag on Parliament Hill at half-mast when one of our soldiers was killed?

“When I called your Heritage Minister's office this week to inquire why it wasn't lowered in the death of Private Robert Costall [who was killed in March in Afghanistan], I was told it is usually done for politicians and VIPs.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:24 AM

Originally posted by sardion2000
Respect for the dead has nothing to do with this decision, anyone who believes this is naive. It's just an attempt to control public opinion, which I might add, hasn't wavered one iota since this war began.

You and I are in complete agreement. In this case as in the US and sadly now Canada the motive is political spin pure and simple
I have no doubt that US and Canadian service men KIA or otherwise are returning home with the dignity that we owe them for thier sacrafice.

Does anybody know the Australian policy on this matter.

The half staff flag thing is a bit bothersome, but Im not sure they even do it Washington DC

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 08:18 PM
Thank-you Masqua, that was very kind of you
I was told a u2u reply wasn't necessary saying thank-you is.

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