Forget nothing, learn something

 The recent "folie" to mark the 250th anniversary
of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham makes
a joke of the motto on Quebec licence
plates: Je me souviens --I remember.

Clearly, not well. The collective memory

of Quebec's history, in this instance,

is selective and disturbingly distorted.

A few noisy separatists first managed

to get the cancellation of a re-enactment

planned to commemorate the epic battle

in which the British defeated the French

in 1759.

Now, a new event includes the reading of

the FLQ manifesto, as part of a 24-hour

reading marathon supposedly to celebrate

the poetry and literary works of Quebec artists,

and historical figures.

The added insult is in how the same

sovereigntists --outraged by the re-enactment

of one historical event --are now

defending the inclusion of the FLQ

manifesto as part of their history.

The manifesto, written by the kidnappers

of British trade commissioner James Cross,

was first read on Radio-Canada television

as one of the kidnappers' conditions.

"There is nothing dishonourable in

looking history straight in the eye,

" former PQ premier Bernard Landry

told newspaper Le Devoir.

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe

screamed "censorship" in reference

to any objections about

the manifesto being read.

How rich coming from the leader who

demanded the cancellation of

the historical reenactment.

That event would have seen

2,500 history buffs --not politicians

or federalists -- travel to Quebec City

to stage what PQ leader Pauline Marois

called the "profoundly tragic" events of 1759.

The separatist agenda has once again

rewritten history, with the battle of the Plains

taking on mythic qualities.

Quebec flourished after the so-called

conquest, as the strength of their language

and culture attests to, to this day.

Battlefield Quebec, a documentary airing

on Sunday's anniversary on History Television,

concludes "France lost the battle

but Quebecers won the war."

To suggest the French would still control

Quebec to this day had Louis-Joseph de

Montcalm triumphed over British General

James Wolfe, is sheer fantasy.

The British would have either subsequently

won later, or the U. S. would have

absorbed Quebec.

If the sovereigntists want to know

what life under American rule looks like,

they should visit Louisiana.

Historians travel far and wide to participate

in reenactments of important battles

that take place all the time,

throughout the western world.

Even children who play cowboy games

get it: Battles have winners and losers.

Just because the British lost the Battle

of Hastings in 1066 doesn't stop them

from commemorating it every year as part

of their proud history.

So why is the loss of the French in Quebec

any different, or any more tragic than

the murder of a Quebec cabinet minister

at the hands of the FLQ?

The separatists are correct in saying

the October Crisis is a part of their

history (a dark chapter indeed) and should

never be forgotten.

Seldom does politics lead to murder

in Canada.

But remembering it on the 250th anniversary

of the historic battle on the Plains

is inappropriate and out of context.

Further, inviting Jacques Lanctot,

co-author of the manifesto, to come

and read the turgid prose amounts

to celebrating and glorifying the racist text.

Thankfully Lanctot refused but the hypocrisy

is no less astounding.

The FLQ terrorists kidnapped and killed

Quebec Cabinet Minister Pierre Laporte.

They committed murder.

The manifesto is an offensive diatribe

that incites violence and calls upon

the use of "every means, including arms

and dynamite, to rid ourselves of

these economic and political bosses,

who are prepared to use every sort of

sordid tactic to better screw us."

Quebecers saw it for what it was at the time,

and rejected it.

There's even less of an audience

for that type of extremism today.

The commemoration of the definitive

battle on the Plains was hijacked

by a separatist agenda

from the beginning.

But, the raucous protest has backfired.

A younger generation of Quebecers

has been given a history lesson in

the radical terrorist movement

of the FLQ. And, the rest of the country

has been reminded of the immaturity

that still exists among

certain insecure separatists in Quebec.

After 250 years, one would have hoped

they would finally grow up and

realize Quebec is no oppressed society.

Link here

             J-L K.
Procurement Consultant
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