1LT Watada is receiving his Court Martial. You may have read about this Officer that had issue with serving in Iraq with his unit. 1st Lt. Ehren Watada was scheduled to make his first deployment to Iraq this month. His refusal to accompany the Stryker brigade troops puts him at risk of court martial and years of prison time.
I wondered if there were any parallels or related flip flops of alliegance in History. Well not exactly the same in every respect, but having similarities in betraying the trust of fellow soldiers is the Story of one Benedict Arnold.
Benedict Arnold was a hero for the American cause in the revolutionary war until he was disillusioned with the American Government. Seemed he felt disenfranchised with our Continental Congress and decided to help the other side. The difference for Benedict was the personal gain sought by his actions whereas 1LT Watada is merely seeking to avoid following orders he swore to uphold. 1LT Watada left his unit to deploy without him for personal beliefs – he was willing to pick his fight (Afghanistan) on his terms and maintains that he is not afraid to carry arms. When I read the following summation of Benedict Arnold’s actions, I am struck by the similarities.
Checking the Internet I found this passage describing the cause of Benedict Arnold's change of alliegance -
In the end, Benedict Arnold's "moral failure lay not in his disenchantment with the American cause" for many other officers returned to civilian life disgusted with the decline in republican virtue and angry over their failure to win a guaranteed pension from Congress. Nor did his infamy stem from his transfer of allegiance to the British side, for other Patriots chose to become Loyalists, sometimes out of principle but just as often for personal gain. Arnold's perfidy lay in the abuse of his position of authority and trust: he would betray West Point and its garrison "and if necessary the entire American war effort" to secure his own success. His treason was not that of a principled man but that of a selfish one, and he never lived that down. Hated in America as a consort of "Beelzebub ... the Devil," Arnold was treated with coldness and even contempt in Britain. He died as he lived, a man without a country.
REPRINTED FROM James A. Henretta, Elliot Brownlee, David Brody, Susan Ware, and Marilynn Johnson, America's History, Third Edition, Worth Publishers Inc., 1997 Copyright: Worth Publishers Inc.
1LT Wataba’s objections to serving the terms of his contract with his country are based upon his personal objections. He feels that his observation of principles allows him to exit the force that he volunteered to join in 2003 – a force at war with Iraq at the time. He trained soldiers going to Iraq – that was ok. He prepared unit equipment for Iraq – that was ok. When he was assigned to go himself – his treason began – he has reported being treated with coldness and contempt by his peers and soldiers. Little wonder he is not embraced by today’s patriots that serve in Iraq.