Lieutenant Ehren Watada on Democracy Now

January 23, 2007

Lieutenant Ehren Watada is a dude with some guts. He's defied the last institution you'd ever want to piss off: the US military. He's done the thing they probably fear most of their troops: he's refused to go to Iraq. After he received his Iraq assignment, Watada tried to prepare himself as best as he could --by studying the history of the country and learning about why the US invaded (whoops, should I say "liberated"?). What he learned shocked and disturbed him. Finding the war immoral and illegal, he felt it was actually his duty to refuse the order. He talks to Amy Goodman about it --you can hear his interview here. Watada now faces up to six years in prison, pending a court martial in a few weeks. In an environment that emphasizes blind obedience, conformity, and clicking one's heels to the talking points of the day ("win the war on terror! Saddam Hussein is best friends with Osama Bin Laden! WMD!") the amount of courage it would take to speak out against the military is difficult for me to imagine. I know how much my heart pounds and my voice gets shaky just going to ask my boss for a raise (the thing I've done that annoys my boss the most). Going in to say, "um, actually i think I WON'T be going to Iraq" --it seems like a lot of people would literally prefer facing death on the front lines than do that. There's a Watada support site here and for the other point of view, a detractor site here.




This guy is totally my hero.
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Watada is simply a coward and deserves to be executed. It's one thing to tuck your tail between your legs in shame and run away but for a soldier to try and justify such actions the way Watarda did is just inexcusable. A soldier does what he's told, it doesn't matter if you're running head first into certain death or firebombing an elementary school, you do it without question. He makes me sick to my stomach.
I live in the washington area, His court proceedings are a big deal here. The community is divided on this issue. This reminds me of Mahammad Ali when He refused to go to Vietnam. It was an uphill battle, but it can be won.
He should not only be charged with missing a movement and conduct unbecoming of an officer, but he should be charged with mutiny, which is punishable by death during a time of war. I think this little pussy should not only die, but it should be done after his maxed out 6 year stint in Levenworth..... BITCH
I don't understand people like Terry and Jeff. I can understand if one disagrees with Lt. Watada and considers him a coward (even though I don't), but calling for him to be executed is way out of line. I'm sick and tired of people like this being willing to kill someone over not being a super-duper brave manly he-man man's man. And Terry, Watada justifies his actions by saying he believes the war is wrong. The fact you believe a soldier should be a mindless, merciless killing machine who will do whatever his commanding officers tell him to do, no matter how injust, is one of the most awful things I've heard anyone say in a long time. And Watada isn't a coward anyway. He's said he'd gladly go to Afghanistan, just not to Iraq, because he consider the war there to be pointless and wrong.