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More flappin' flags

Of all the arguments being used in the half-staff flag debate, this is the one that I understand the least (emphasis mine):
My biggest concern with lowering the flag for soldiers killed in Afstan is that it creates a perception of inequality among soldiers killed in this mission and soldiers killed in other missions. Aside from special cases, it is unfair to the memories of our fallen heroes and their families to distinguish the deaths in this way.
Unfair? Really? This is all about conistency and fairness? This is such a bogus argument that I don't know where to start.

We lower the flags for a Member of Parliament or an appointed (!) Senator, but not for someone who volunteers to put his or her life on the line and then pays the price, because we didn't do it in the past every time?

How far back does one measure this "consistency" to form a useful measure? Let's apply the same argument to healthcare - the federal government used to contribute 25% of the healthcare costs to the provinces - is Harper going to pony up that amount of cash now for historical consistency? Or, since for much of the history of Canada we didn't actually have socialized health care, so maybe we should just scrap the whole damned thing? (Okay, this one might be on the table.)

There is a story from these here parts that Edward Cornwallis used to pay 50 pounds for the scalps of the local native populations. Isn't it historically inconsistent to no longer continue this "tradition" with the Mi'kmaq?

Of course, the same person that posted this messy rationalization revealed their partisan stripes in this little unjustified snipe:

Today, in Sinai, Egypt, Canadian soldiers (multinational soldiers, infact) came underattack by two suicide bombers. *IF* this attack had killed a Canadian soldier and IF* the Liberals had won the past election, I guarantee you they would not have lowered the flag to half mast to honour the death.
*IF* this argument wasn't specious and *IF* its author not blinded by partisan politics I guarantee that I would have saved fifteen minutes by not having to write this.

Can we at least talk sensibly about this issue? Please?

Serving your country in the Canadian forces is a dangerous job... you can die many ways... helicopter crashes at home, traffic accidents abroad, and yes, in combat.

The point is, who decides that soldiers who die in combat in Afghanistan are worth more recognition than soldiers who die serving their country in other roles in different places?

And for that matter, why are soldiers killed in Afghanistan serving their country more valuably than police officers or firefighters killed serving at home?

Rememberance day has worked for what? 50, 60 years? On Rememberance day the flag is lowered for ALL soldiers, equally and respectfully.

When the flag is always at half mast people will eventually forget why and stop caring. Rememberance day is exactly that, the day to remember. Having it done once a year makes it stand out so EVERYBODY notices.

...who decides...
Unfortunately, it is the Prime Minister who decides.

For whatever reason, we rank the ways and means of a persons death and have decided that those that die after serving in the Senate require a flag honour and those that die saving babies from fires don't. Those that die in combat inhabit a mysterious intermediate world between these two extremes.

As much as I hate to say it, I'm on the governments side on this one. Lowering the flag at the homebase or for that matter, the hometown if they wish to, is about the limit of what's appropriate for this.Pete's right, do it too much and it becomes public breast- beating and gets ignored after awhile. I suspect that many of those who are clamouring for all the flags to be lowered are of the same mindset as those who leave teddy bears at accident scenes. Not wishing to grieve so much as to be seen to be grieving. On the other hand I'm pretty annoyed by the media ban on coverage of returning bodies. As a former Armed Forces member I think that if our nation wants to send our military to war then all of us, from that weaselly Prime minister to any child old enough to ask questions about it had better be willing to look at the consequences of their actions. Harper is scared of us doing this and we need to ask him why.

I'm honoured you spent 15 minutes contemplating my article and defended your poorly articulated opinion by playing the partisan card. Thanks for plugging my blog

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