Stephen Harper joins the WWI debate

‘I find the comments outrageous, inflammatory, unacceptable’


The Prime Minister is profoundly saddened.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has come out swinging against New Democrat Alexandre Boulerice for the Quebec MP’s 2007 blog post that praised communists who opposed the First World War and cast the conflict as “a purely capitalist war on the backs of the workers and peasants.”

“I find the comments outrageous, inflammatory, unacceptable,” Harper said in Calgary.

NDP Veterans Affairs critic Peter Stoffer was also unimpressed.

Mr. Boulerice posted a reply on Facebook this evening to explain himself.

The story as reported by Sun news is inaccurate. I can assure you that I have the utmost respect for all our veterans and never criticized the role of the Canadian military personnel in WWI, nor in any other war. And we can always analyse the context of every conflict.The men and women who serve in our forces are doing a dangerous job, under difficult circumstances and deserve our gratitude.

My priority, as an MP, is to make sure that we take care of our veterans and we treat them with the respect they deserve.

For any who have been offended, I apologize. Be assured it was never my intention to in any way criticize Canada’s veterans.


Stephen Harper joins the WWI debate

  1. I always thought that the basis of the war was a family spat among the European royalty, tied together by blood, marriage and some really dumb mutual support treaties.
    The troops were merely the pawns, as usual.

    • Ya, the whole thing was basically just a big joke. Nobody took such matters seriously at the time at all. The general population of the world was really just a bunch of idiots at the time.

      • Go ahead and defend a war that was basically fought to determine which noble class effetes got to control the Balkans, and in what way Africa should be divided between German and British imperial interests. I’ll go ahead and call it a great waste of life and a shame. We’ll agree to disagree. Nobody questions the role of Canadian soldiers in that war (except some really incompetent Sun translators, apparantly). They fought bravely and died horribly.

        Meanwhile, there’s the little matter of Canadian soldiers getting a reduction in pay in the middle of their current tour of Afghanistan. Stevie and Peter “all flight suit and no helmet” MacKay sure support the troops, alright.

  2. Oh Wherry, don/t forget to throw out some smarta$$ and childish remarks about the fact that PM Harper was sickened by the death of the young girl in Halifax—-or maybe you could find a way to criticize him for honouring Sheldon Kennedy.
    We expect the leader of the country to stand up for Canadians when they need our help and Harper did in all three instances.
    If you cannot acknowledge that he did the right thing then the least you can do is say nothing.
    There is constructive criticism and then there is just being a jerk.

    • So you care more about dead soldiers than the Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan right now, who pay this government nearly cut or the veterans who this government has continuously ignored and mistreated?

      I am, broadly, a supporter of the Harper government but the way they have treated our Canadian soldiers and veterans has stripped them of ANY credibility on this subject.

      • I am not sure what is the proper formula to compensate soldiers and veterans fron any war, but I do know that 65000 young Canadian men died in the First World War with almost no compensation—-that is 500 times more losses than in the war in Afghanistan.
        It/s okay to question the reason for a war 100 years after it happened—-old men have been sending young men to war for thousands of years—some are more justified than others.
        But when a comfortable socialist like Boulerice completely ignores the sacrifice those 65000 men and their families made for the comfortable life we now have, just so he can attempt to reinforce his anti-capitalist agenda, and then is rightly criticized by our PM, then that would be a good opportunity for a Harper Hater to say nothing.

        • Nonsense. Hating Harper is more important than life itself.

  3. A 2007 blog post???? The CRAP is sharpening its attack pencil for the forthcoming election, me thinks.

  4. Most people, including Harper don’t know the difference between WWI and WWII.

    WWI was a clash of monarchies/empires, and Slavs verses Gemanics,

    WWII was freedom verses fascism.

    • Harper knows but he also knows a lot of other people don’t.

  5. Historical analyses of WW1 are a lot like the ancient Eastern parable about a group of blind men describing an elephant. Each person’s description captures one specific element but, in doing so, fails to portray the beast in its totality.

    The war has, with varying degrees of accuracy, been described as an internecine feud among Europe’s royalty, a renewal of 19th c. Franco-Prussian hostilities, a domestic outbreak of overseas colonial disputes, etc. The Communist withdrawal from hostilities was probably more a pragmatic act of survival on the part of the new Bolshevik government than any manifestation of noble pacifism.

    As for Boulerice and Harper, they both ought to be equally ashamed for renewing the kind of mindless jingoism that prevailed through much of that tragic era and thereby desecrating the memory of thousands of Canadian casualties and millions of victims of “the war to end all wars”.

    • Nobody desecrated anybody’s memory. Anti-war sentiment does not equal disrespect for people who died in wars. There’s a difference between somebody, an unknown at the time, writing a blog post six years ago and the Prime Minister using it to play cheap, divisive politics now.

      • Boulerice’s facile analysis of WW1 is, arguably, ideological (Marxist) in its interpretation of history. Harper’s is, as often seems the case with him, self-serving patriotism (“the last refuge of a scoundrel” according to Samuel Johnson).

        To the extent that each is using the event as a platform for ideological or partisan purposes, neither deserves any accolades and, I submit, both should be ashamed.

        • I don’t know why you equate the two. In 2007 Boulerice, as a private citizen, wrote a blog post expressing a political opinion about WWI. I think most people recognize it was a war between empires and Canada joined it because we were part of the British empire. Most people know it resulted in massive slaughter. Leftists have always seen both soldiers and civilians as victims of wars between competing economic interests. It’s the way they see things.

          Harper and his party saw an opportunity to use this blog post for political purposes, so they twisted it to portray the man as some kind of traitor who attacked Canada and the soldiers who died.

          One person expressed a political opinion the way we are now. The PM and his Minister lied about it and used it to trash the person for political gain. Politicians do this kind of thing to score points but I find it cheap, especially for a PM.

          PS I agree with you that the leftist analysis is too simplistic. It’s like saying the Iraq war was ALL about oil. It was only partly about oil. But the people who opposed the Iraq war weren’t traitors the way the likes of the Harper Party would have portrayed them. Most Americans and Brits don’t think much of the war now but they don’t blame or disrespect the soldiers. They blame the war mongers and politicians.

          • Masters of government sponsored propoganda. The Nazis used the same tactics to the same effect.

  6. Just what we need – a debate about World War I. Hey, Harper, let’s talk about Conscription. There must be something on some NDP Quebecer’s old blog posts about that.

    • Honestly Diane you are beating a dead horse here. Let’s move onto the Spanish Flu that killed more men than WWI did…..many of them survivors of that war.

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