Monday, January 08, 2007

Soldier who said no to war

The Washington Post published an article titles "A Mother Fights For A Soldier Who Said No To War" written by By Linton Weeks, Washington Post Staff Writer

It describes the actions of a mother of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. Seems 1LT Watada will be court-martialed on Feb. 5 at Fort Lewis. Lt Watada's mother is lobbying congress for the LT in some hope of getting the LT off the charges of missing movement with his unit to Iraq.

As the article explains, her actions are based on the fact that her son "based his decision on facts ... He studied the war in Iraq and decided it was illegal. "

As a result Lt Watada's mom is asking Congress to intercede and make the Army dismiss all charges.

Well - I understand the mother's desire to keep her son from serving prison time or having a bad mark on his record... but does she believe all soldiers should vote on what conflicts they feel compelled to serve in? LT Watada was a volunteer soldier, serving with other soldiers in the unit... does he think that they are now war criminals? LT Watada is quitting based opon opinion that the war is illegal... based upon what expert knowledge (legal opinion, international judgement, etc?)

LT Watada is ill suited to serve in the same Army I proudly served. When he made the decision to void his sworn contract to the Nation, he dishonored the unit he served, he certainly did not display the traits of a Military Commissioned Officer, and he should be prepared to accept the consequences. He has abandoned the soldiers that trained with him, rely upon his leadership. Presumably, some other American had to step in to take his place with short notice.

I can't label 1LT Wataba a Coward, for what he did took a lot of guts. But he violated the confidence of his unit, his soldiers, his country - all sworn in oath of office when he joined. I don't feel sorry for him at all... he should at least spend as much time behind bars as his soldiers will spend carrying his share of deployment burden as well as their own in theater.

As a retired soldier previously

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