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Re: P.RE Trudeau's War Service

Here is some text from the book "Trudeau and Our Times. Volume 1: The Magnificent Obsession." Written by Stephen Clarkson & Christina McCall in 1990.

"...he could not escape getting personally involved in the intense racial conflicts over military service that were obsessing French-speaking Quebeckers, most of whom saw the war as another British conflict that was none of their affair. Rather then bow to his English side and enlist, Pierre did the bare legal minimum by enrolling in the Canadian Officers Training Corps at the university, a ploy many middle-class Canadians used to avoid combat overseas.

"At a COTC summer training camp, he staged a scene that expressed his ambivalent attitude towards war, authority, and his racial duality. Charles Lussier, a fellow cadet who was Trudeau's comtemporary at law school and later a distinguished public servent remembered 'One day a cadet captain marched us over to a depot where we were to move some shells. The officer in charge was English and gave instructions entirerly in that language, and even though all eight of us were French-Canadians.... we just naturally obeyed. Well, seven of us did. Not Pierre. He didn't budge. When the cadet captain asked what was wrong he responded in his flawless French, 'I didn't understand a word he said.' The cadet captain explained this to the officer and the later repeated the order in faltering French. Pierre stood by quietly while the officer stumbled through the instructions and then said in his impeccable English, 'Good, now I understand you. Remeber that here in Canada we are entitled to be commanded in two languages.'" Only then did Trudea go to work leaving his confrees both pround and nervous. 'After all' Lussier summed up, 'the country was at war and we were soldiers in a military camp, and there he was, defying the orders of an officer in the defense of language rights!'"

"Arguements for and against the participation in the war raged throughout it's duration in Quebec. Camillien Houde, the mayor of Montreal whose campaigns Charlie Trudeau (Pierre's father) had supported financially, was incarcerated for urging his compatriots not to register for enlistment. Two years later, when Mackenzie King held his famous referendum on conscription, English Canada voted overwhelmingly for it and French Canada voted overwhelmingly against. an outcome that furthur exacerbated racial tensions. Trudeau himself espoused the anti-conscrption cause, attending marches and meetings, publically aligning himself with his generation of French-Canadians."

Trudeau went on and backed the campaign of Jean Drapeau, a young anti-conscription candidate who fought a by-election against a soldier, Major-General Leo LaFleche who was put forth by the Liberals. Ina speech made in support of Drapeau he remarked;

"There is currently a government who wants to invoke conscription and a people who will never accpet it... If we are not a democracy, we should start a revolution without delay... They are asking our people to commit suicide. Citizens of Quebec, don't stand around blubbering. Long live the flag of liberty!"

In short, the guy was not enthusiastic about fighting for his country. He took the easy way out. All part of his arrogant, sumg, socialist, anti-British attitude. His language was quite nationalistic is his younger days. He had very little interest in the military. Too pacifist, mabye that's why he didn't enlist. He had always hated explaining that people people and would usually comment when pressed about it that, "I scarcely paid attention to the news." He was even kicked out of the COTC, but I can't remember why.

He is truely one political leader that I really loathe.