Score one small victory for truth and justice. First Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq because he believed it was an illegal war, has won his three-year legal battle with the Army and has been allowed to resign without court martial under the designation "other than honorable conditions."
On June 6, 2006, Lt. Watada announced his intentions to deliberately refuse to participate in his unit's upcoming deployment to Iraq. Lt. Watada stated that he was "whole-heartedly opposed to the continued war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership." Amen.
According to the Hawaii Star Bulletin:
Watada, an artillery officer, had requested to be assigned to Afghanistan instead of Iraq and even offered to resign from the Army. Both requests were denied.
Initially, Watada was charged with missing the 2nd Infantry Division's 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team's deployment on June 22, 2006, considered by the Army as the most serious charge, and conduct unbecoming an officer.
Watada participated in anti-war rallies here and on the mainland and held numerous interviews denouncing Bush. Two of those activities were the basis of the charges of conduct unbecoming an officer. Conviction on all counts would have meant six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.
Realizing they could not defeat him in court (or the court of public opinion), the Army allowed him to leave. Hopefully, this signals a change in attitude in the military now that the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal has slithered out of Washington; a change that means we do not punish those soldiers who refuse to engage in illegal wars or wars entered into under wholly false pretenses.
If we were truly a country honoring justice, Lt. Watada would be receiving a commendation for his bravery under the hostile conditions created by The Bush Crime Family. What is more patriotic than standing up for the principles the Army espouses? Truth, honor, duty . . . and service. Refusing to kill innocent civilians in an illegal war is the utmost in ethical conduct.
Naturally, the Neo-cons hate this soldier, calling him a coward and a traitor. Don't ever be fooled by the "support the troops" claptrap spewed forth by Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, or any of the other chicken-hawks in the media (or members of The Bush Crime Family).
Raisin Brain only supported them to the extent they were macho backdrops for his "kill-all-the-Muslims" pro-war speeches. In fact, he threw them into the meat grinder without proper body armor, training, food supplies, or battle plan. When the Bush wars grew increasingly bloody and the death toll rose, W encouraged the enemy to "bring 'em on" and hit our troops even harder. These same soldier/victims were then refused treatment when they were finally discharged -- physically maimed, psychologically devastated, and forever suffering from PTSD. Way to go, you compassionate conservatives!
Bush was such a cold-hearted monster; certainly no friend to our brave men and women who volunteered to serve this country. So it comes as little surprise that Michelle Malkin called Lt. Watada a "deserter" and the freaks at the right-wing blog spots were calling for his indefinite detention as an enemy combatant, or worse, his execution as a traitor. All because he refused to go kill Muslims for Bush/Cheney/Corporatism.
One soldier said "enough." Imagine if more followed suit? What would happen if the Corporatists threw a war . . . and nobody came?