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Stephen Harper's deadly toys

Photo from Stephen Harper Facebook page

It's finally happened.


Our warlike Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and his equally pugnacious sidekick Peter MacKay, have finally declared why they want to wear their six-guns in public.


Now, they had dropped hints already.


Getting rid of the long gun registry was one such hint. ("Ya know pardner, for a minute there, I thought that was an illegal crutch under your trenchcoat – thank God it's just a rifle.")


Then there was Bill S-10, Stephen Harper's response to the international ban on cluster bombs – which cleverly said that we should never use cluster bombs – well, actually, we could use them anytime we wanted as long as we had a nanny along with us (like the giant, heavily-armed nanny south of the border).


And what about those militaristic TV ads during the London Olympics, fighting the war of 1812 all over again?


In retrospect, it's quite clear that those hard fightin’ ads were some sort of hint – in code – for what Canada's Head Sheriff had in mind.


But now, the cat is really out of the bag.


On March 3, the federal government revealed why it wants to have new fighter jets – the biggest, baddest six-guns of ‘em all.


In a letter sent out to multinational arms manufacturers, telling them why Canada needs a whole bunch of new fighter jets, Stephen Harper and his posse laid it out, in plain English: they want to be ready to shoot anybody, anytime, anywhere.


The letter lays out six possible shooting and killing scenarios, or as the government chooses to call them, "mission vignettes".  Odd. Miriam-Webster calls a vignette a "short descriptive literary sketch".


These six short descriptive literary sketches are designed to "provide additional information on the types of missions and tasks the Canadian fighter may be required to complete", says the letter.


So let’s have a look.


The first "vignette" involves jets zooming around along the Canadian and American borders, including the Arctic, ready to shoot… Seals? Beluga whales? Mining company drilling crews from Norway?




It's those nasty Russians again, left over from those fabulous Cold War Hollywood movies. But now they’re armed, apparently, with new Sukhoi fighters, and a long-range bomber, and a new stealth fighter (being developed somewhere under a big rock).


And they don’t care what happens – ‘cause they’re the Red Peril!


So Stephen Harper and Peter McKay want to ges some new six-guns kinds to fight the Cold War all over again.


Who would've thunk it.  Those guys must just love those old Hollywood movies.


Meanwhile, the Russian economy is sort of on the skids.


But I digress.


So what's the Harper-McKay second "vignette"?


This involves an attack, on Canadian soil, against a "major international event". 


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