Thursday, June 15, 2006

Heroic Soldier

In case you needed more reasons to oppose the current war in Iraq, a brave Army officer out of Fort Lewis in Washington has just given us another. Ehren Watada of Hawaii, a First Lieutenant in the United States Army has made headlines recently claiming that he can no longer support the war because he feels that it is an illegal war of occupation. Watada has stated that he feels "that we have been lied to and betrayed by this administration." However, despite his courage in coming out publicly against the war, conservatives, as expected, have flipped out and have called for his head. Many of Watada's critics have been throwing around terms such as "court martial," "dissenter," and "deserter" to try and humiliate and scare Watada (and those who support him) into rethinking his decision to not deploy to Iraq with his brigade.

Its understandable why conservatives would lash out against a strong individual such as Watada - they're embarrassed! This war has been a joke since the beginning and its supporters are grasping for anything to rally around. One of the main arguments against Watada is that he chose to join the military and now he must live with the consequences of his actions. However, this conscious decision to join the Army does not weaken the importance of Watada's actions but instead makes them even more convincing. Lt. Watada was not just a kid who jumped into a foolish decision right away. After careful deliberation Watada felt that it was his duty as an American to help out in the war on terror. However, the fact that such a patriotic young American now opposes this war leads me to believe that there are many compelling reasons for his views. And, since Watada is an officer and on the "inside," he is clearly more informed about the war than the average civilian. Like his decision to become an officer in the Army, Watada has again made another careful and well-thought decision not to support the war in Iraq.

Critics have also complained that Lt. Watada is disobeying orders and that, as an officer, this is completely unacceptable. However, although it appears that Watada is disobeying direct orders, he is in fact living up to his duty as an officer of the United States Army. Watada stated that "It is the duty, the obligation of every soldier, and specifically the officers, to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order - including the order to go to war." Lt. Watada has therefore fulfilled his duty as an officer by evaluating the military's involvement in Iraq and voicing his concern over its legality.

Furthermore, Watada's decision not to deploy with his brigade is not unfair to his fellow soldiers as many claim. Watada's actions are in fact very supportive of those soldiers already serving in Iraq. By refusing to deploy Lt. Watada is taking a very symbolic action to help end this war, an action that would bring troops home and out of harms way. Lt. Watada should be applauded by those wishing to come home soon to their families and friends.

I sincerely hope that Lt. Ehren Watada will go down in history with other great Americans like Fred Korematsu and Rosa Parks who defied orders and laws in order to fight the injustices of their times. Again, critics will point to the fact that, unlike Parks and Korematsu, Watada is a military man who is never suppose to disobey orders. However, this is what makes Ehren Watada's actions so significant and heroic. Though the war in Iraq has brought criticism from many (retired) military officials, including six generals, Lt. Watada is the only one with balls enough to voice his opposition while still active in the service. We salute you lieutenant!

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Blogger OG said...

nice post. the fact that he is active military personel and more informed about the war than your average civilian lends even greater credibility to the anti-war cause. i hope he continues to garner support, because he certainly deserves it.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Big O said...

true that og. i second that shit. personally i see that this man truly understands what it is to be a soldier, to represent and, more importantly, to DEFEND a country as opposed to terrorizing other people. it takes a true soldier and a strong-willed person to overcome the temptations of blind love and dedication. unlike most officers of the law and soldiers who wrongly keep their mouths shut out of "love", watada shows his respect for this country and his army is much greater by criticizing to make them better. bottomline is that if he didn't give a fuck, he wouldn't say shit.

11:40 PM  
Blogger hello tomato said...

big ups to watada for standing up to the biggest liars in american history.

this war IS a joke. and we need to reform our education system. so many people in our country are still DUMB enough to support it. frightening.

3:45 PM  

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