In discussing the recent friendly fire death of Pte. Mark Anthony Graham, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor's mind drifted back to a previous, 2002 incident where four Canadian soldiers died at the hands of an American pilot who was later fined for dereliction of duty.
O'Connor pondered the Canadian reaction to this earlier event:
''I was a bit surprised in the 2002 (incident) with the response. Some of it was latent anti-Americanism.
Really? The pilot, Major Harry Schmidt, was found guilty, wasn't he? In the words of Lt.-Gen. Bruce Carlson, who handed down the verdict, Schmidt "acted shamefully...exhibiting arrogance and a lack of flight discipline."
And, given that his punishment for the death of four Canucks was a written reprimand and a loss of $5,600 in pay, I think that 1) a wee bit of anger might have been justified, and 2) the response of Canadians' was, all told, pretty darn level-headed.
Why do people like Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor worry about us offending Americans when an American pilot has just killed one of our guys...again???