Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hillier on Grim Milestones and Nichola Goddard

On CTV's Canada AM this week, Canada's former Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hiller made a very good point about the 'grim milestone' themes so beloved in our standard media, as the 100th death of a Canadian soldier during the Afghanistan Mission is reported. He was asked to explain, by the somewhat inane reporter, the meaning of the new grim milestone number of 100.

Truthfully, for the soldiers, their families, those that are engaged, that 100 number is meaningless. The number one is what's most important. Each family has lost one, a husband, a son, a father, a brother, or in the case of Nichola Goddard, a wife, a daughter, and that's what's important to them; the number 100 has become truly a media focus, and really doesn't reflect what the soldiers, the families themselves, experience and think about. They deal with losing a family member.

I don't seem to be able to link directly to the video but it is worth trying to find as the idiotic reporter, no doubt a total Obama fan, then asks Hillier whether we should not simply implement NDP policy and surrender.
But Hillier's statement took me back to a major surprise on my drive home on the weekend listening to The Sunday Edition on the CBC. Michael Enright reliably began by observing the grim milestons, even using those words, so predictably, and then began an interview with the parents of Nichola Goddard, mentioned specifically by Hillier.
This is a lovely piece of work, and Enright does the things he does well (there are some) in the interview. And the contrast between the near-pacifism of Goddard's parents and her strengths is lovely.
I do what I do so you can do what you do.

What do you think I am - a princess?

The podcast of the whole show is here. The segment is the last 20+ minutes of a roughly three-hour radio show, but an apparently shorter podcast. It really is worth hearing.

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