Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, April 21, 2003

Canadian soldiers are pretty disappointed at not being a part of the liberation and disarming of Iraq.

"It was hard, very disappointing," said Lieut. Tim Portello, 31. "I felt a little bit ashamed to watch my British and American brothers having a hard go and doing the deed.

"A lot of us who have been in the military a few years have good friends in the British and American armies who we trained with. It will be hard to look them in the eye now and know that we weren't there with them."

Many of the Canadians were expecting to be linked with the same U.S. 101st Airborne Division troops who fought alongside members of the Princess Particia's Canadian Light Infantry in Afghanistan last year.

Sgt.-Maj. Carl Deroche, 40, said the experience was "very frustrating."

"We let the side down - that's the feeling we get," said Deroche, who has served five overseas tours during more than 23 years in the army, including the first Gulf War when his unit was attached to British forces.

"We see eye-to-eye. We've broken bread together. We've trained together."

Some soldiers suspect they may end up keeping the peace in Iraq instead.

Portello and Deroche say that would only be worse.

"That would almost be like a kick in the pants, really, to go there now that it's all relatively safe and tidied up - now that someone else has done the dirty work," said Portello, a 10-year veteran from Guelph, Ont.

Added Deroche: "I would go where I was asked to go, but I would feel like we missed the show, we missed our chance."

< email | 4/21/2003 12:35:00 PM | link

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