We have become mesmerized by bad behaviour. Michael den Tandt writes that honour is is short supply these days:
Honour is AWOL, missing without leave, in the case of the famous Toronto radio host now accused of serially assaulting at least nine women. Jian Ghomeshi has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime. The allegations against him have not been tested in court. But setting aside the outcome of the police investigation, it is clear from multiple accounts that Ghomeshi ran CBC Radio’s flagship culture show, Q, as his private, undisputed fiefdom. Medieval, you might say.
Honour was in short supply last week in Ottawa. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau turfed two MPs from his caucus over allegations of “serious personal misconduct.”
As far as I have been able to tell, Trudeau went to some lengths to avoid identifying the alleged victims, or indeed the way in which they had been victimized. New Democrats promptly leaked the fact that the allegations concerned sexual harassment of female NDP MPs – and then unloaded on the Liberal leader for making the matter public. The New Democrat deputy leader, Megan Leslie, suggested Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House that a better solution would have been to deal with it all in-house, in other words secretly.
Den Tandt suggests that, on this Remembrance Day we look to our veterans who have always adhered to a Canadian tradition:
In Afghanistan it was embodied in the Canadian Forces’ “3-d” approach to conflict – defence, diplomacy and development. This was always more than sloganeering. Even the sergeants in the Canadian Forces – especially the sergeants, in my experience – sought to embody strength with compassion. This is not to portray them as delicate do-gooders, but simply to acknowledge that they were very aware they had a purpose over and above that of killing the enemy.
Long before Afghanistan, in Rwanda, or the Medak Pocket in Croatia, the CF ethos lived in a willingness to do the perilous and hard work well, even when the country was uninterested. In Haiti, in 2010, after the earthquake, I remember sitting quietly in the dark, listening to Canadian soldiers speak to one another of the horrors they’d seen that day. There were strength, competence and decency to make any Canadian’s heart swell with pride.
The history of war is the history of folly. But, in the midst of folly, human beings can still be guided by their better angels.