Woah, here's something we haven't seen
in the US media:
American Army soldiers are deserting and fleeing to Canada rather than fight in Iraq, rekindling memories of the thousands of draft-dodgers who flooded north to avoid service in Vietnam.
An estimated 5,500 men and women have deserted since the invasion of Iraq, reflecting Washington's growing problems with troop morale [...]
The Pentagon says that the level of desertion is no higher than usual and denies that it is having difficulty persuading troops to fight. The flight to Canada is, however, an embarrassment for the military, which is suffering from a recruiting shortfall for the National Guard and the Army Reserves.
The deaths of 18 American soldiers in a suicide bomb attack in Mosul, northern Iraq, last month, was a further blow to morale. Soon after, the number of American soldiers killed since President Bush declared that large-scale combat operations were at an end passed the 1,000 mark.
Lt Col Joe Richard, a Pentagon spokesman, said that the US government wanted the deserters to be returned from Canada. "If you don't want to fight, don't join," he said.
"The men in Canada have an obligation to fulfil their military contracts and do their duty. If and when they return to this country, they will be prosecuted."
Boy, those parallels with Vietnam just keep coming, huh?