Follow Up: “Day of Action” for Watada

Lt. Ehren Watada – the Fort Lewis, Wash. serviceman who refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds that the war is illegal – is being court marshalled today. If you have time to get involved in a local protest, or even a moment to discuss the issue with a friend, please do so. The Capital Times reports today on Madison students braving brutal weather to show support:

Five students braved sub-zero weather this morning to display a banner with pictures of war resisters during rush hour on the overpass across Campus Drive.

“Today is the date of Watada’s court martial. We wanted to show soldiers who resist that they have our support, and others who are thinking about resisting that they will have our support,” said Chris Dols, a senior at the UW who is from New Haven, Conn. “I agree with Ehren Watada that this is an illegal war, and that it is right to refuse to carry out illegal orders. The U.S. was not acting in defense. This was an aggressive war based on lies.”

Background link: My previous post about how Lt. Watada had his legal defense stripped from him.


2 Responses to “Follow Up: “Day of Action” for Watada”

  1. 1 Avi February 7, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Had an interesting conversation in class today regarding this. I was surprised by the number of people who were not very sympathetic to Watada. However, hear their case: As civil citizens we have the right to question the actions our government takes–even to protest. However, when a person makes the CHOICE to COMMIT to serving their country, they willingly put themselves in the hand’s of the country’s leaders. While it is important to stand up for what you believe in, acting out when you are bound by action and contract can be more than problematic. I don’t think people are “tricked” into joining the armed forces, and it would DEFINATELY be a different situation if there was a draft—but people aren’t and there isn’t. Therefore, I am left questioning Watada similar to the students in my class. If he doesn’t believe in the war the country is fighting, why did he sign up to fight for his country?

  2. 2 dailytransit February 7, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    I see these students’ point, but I’m pretty sure Watada joined up prior to the US’s engagement in the war. I also understand the argument about servicemen needing to follow the orders of their leaders, but in this case Bush’s judgement is seriously in question – the reasons given to go to war were based on false intelligence, and there’s no logic in the idea that “if we fight them there they won’t come here.”

    When it comes down to it, I think Watada thought critically about the situation and decided that the war is immoral – obviously, I agree. His decision was based on not wanting to be party to unjust violence. Soldiers need to be humans, too, and not just carry out orders.

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