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Lt. Watada Points The Way for the Anti-War Movement (Sadly)

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Lieutenant Ehren Watada's recent refusal to be deployed to Iraq because he believes the war is illegal and he would be participating in war crimes highlights the wrong-headedness of our anti-war movement. Watada's reasoning is the case against the war that our umbrella organization, United for Peace and Justice, ought to have been making to the American people from the git-go.

Karl Rove, himself, in searching for a slogan that would not dent the war effort could not have come up with a better one than Support Our Troops, that mantra that got imprinted on millions of those yellow ribbons. The objective, explained our peace activists, was to oppose the policy but support the troops. Adults, who ought to have known better, nodded their heads, agreeing that if nineteen and twenty-year-olds wanted to go off to an immoral, illegal and altogether horrifying assault on people who had never done any harm to us, then, it was okay with them. What were they thinking?

It is abundantly clear now, if it had not been from the beginning, that the best way to support the troops would have been to tell them not to go, pointing out their vulnerability to war crime charges as well as their responsibility to uphold the Constitution. Without boots on the ground no war could have been fought and no occupation would be possible.

This lieutenant from the fiftieth state deserves the support and gratitude of all who value integrity, decency, and the telling of truth to power.
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Author of Discovering America: A Political Journey and of a free booklet on Patriarchy; a feminist and political activist.

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