Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lt. Ehren Watada, Getting Kerried Away

February 8, 2007

Yesterday, sitting in the Ft. Lewis, Washington Court Room, I’m sure with a smug grin on his face, Ehren Watada, betrayer of his men, hero of the moonbat left and second generation protester listened as the presiding judge declared a mistrial in his Court-Martial for refusing to deploy with his unit and conduct unbecoming an officer.

I stated my own views before when I posted No Lieutenant, You’re a Coward! To date, he has not changed my opinion of him, other than to start making me believe his enlistment might have been a lie designed for just this action. Strictly my opinion, mind you, as I’m sure there would never be any admission if I were correct. Otherwise, his perfidious conduct is very reminiscent of another opportunistic Lieutenant from many years ago, John ‘F’in Kerry (who it has been said, served in Viet Nam).

Reviewing the history and timeline of this sad episode, I discovered that he enlisted while the invasion of Iraq was unfolding. In an October 5, 2006 interview with Staff Reporter Rosette Royale, of Real Change News, a decidedly left and anti-war source, Ms. Royale says, “Back in March of 2003, when Ehren Watada attempted to join the Army, he was told that, due to a medical condition, he was unfit for military service. After paying out of pocket for a breathing test, military physicians, upon reviewing the results, cleared him of any disqualifying condition. Given the green light, he applied for, and was accepted into, the Officers’ Candidate’s School. The soon-to-be 1st Lt. Watada had achieved a lifelong dream.”

But the glow of achievement went dim two years later, when Watada, 27, was informed he was being deployed to Iraq. The announcement sent him scrambling to learn whatever he could about U.S. military involvement there. After devouring information put out by international law experts, independent journalists, non-governmental organizations, Iraqi civilians, and returning U.S. soldiers alike, he formed a conclusion: the Iraq War was illegal and immoral.”

Hard to find fault in what Ms. Royale wrote, that is, until I sought some other words of Watada’s.

First, I have a problem with it being “a lifelong dream.” In a June 8, 2006 article, Like Father, Like Son, in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, we see that Ehren’s father, Bob Watada, was opposed to Viet Nam and avoided serving there, in spite of the fact that he comes from a family of ten with seven brothers who served in the Military, one making the ultimate sacrifice in Korea. Said Bob Watada, "He told me that he was very proud of his uncle. He was willing to die for his country as his uncle had. He knew the risk.”

By October, Watada’s father was saying, “Ehren is doing this as a matter of conscience. We are proud of the position our son has taken,” adding, “The moment he made his decision, it was like the weight of the world had come off his shoulders, He felt good about his decision, even today. Even ten years from now he knows he did the right thing, even if he has to be punished.”

His mother, Carolyn Ho, whom I believe also opposed the Viet Nam war said her son's decision, is "an act of patriotism, and act of conscience. ... It is a message that blindly following an order is an option. It is a statement that voices of the people must supersede the voices of the politicians."

Seems we’ve heard much of that before, back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Watada, in the October, 2006 interview said, “…maybe I didn’t believe that going to invade a sovereign country was fully justified, but I felt that there was no reason to believe our leaders would betray our trust. Maybe it’s a little naïve, but at that time, I think it was hard to conceive that someone would lead us into something as horrible as war and deceive us for the reasons for going into that war.” He also said, “I had my doubts about what was going on over there but, for the most part, I was ready to go,” adding, “… we have been misled into this war under false pretenses and were manipulating intelligence through a policy established long before 9/11 and the 2003 invasion, in order to have the public back this war and have Congress authorize force. I realized that what we were doing in Iraq at the present time, and the whole war itself, was illegal under international law. And not only that, but national law. At that time, I felt like I finally saw the truth. I felt a certain sense of shame of committing these acts and wearing the uniform.”

I see that as quite a bit to digest and form an opinion on in a short amount of time.

Sounding much like John ‘F’in Kerry (who served in Viet Nam, you know) he went on to say, “I could not stand to watch all these soldiers coming back suffering from wounds, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, being away from their families, and also the families of these dead and wounded soldiers. And also the innocent Iraqis who were being slaughtered over there, through collateral damage, or intentionally. And I felt all of this was the result of our own government deceiving us. I felt that millions of Americans out there were so helpless, and that there was nothing we could do to stop this war, nothing we could do to hold our government accountable. And because we couldn’t, our government thought it was okay to continue to commit wrongful acts that violated our most basic principles outlined in the Constitution.”

He calls himself a leader of men,” in an August 14, 2006 speech before the Veterans for Peace National Convention. Would a true ‘leader’ accuse men under his charge of “slaughter,” and “intentionally?”

This same ‘leader’ then adds, “The American soldier must rise above the socialization that tells them authority should always be obeyed without question. Rank should be respected but never blindly followed. Awareness of the history of atrocities and destruction committed in the name of America – either through direct military intervention or by proxy war - is crucial. They must realize that this is a war not out of self-defense but by choice, for profit and imperialistic domination. WMD, ties to Al Qaeda, and ties to 9/11 never existed and never will. The soldier must know that our narrowly and questionably elected officials intentionally manipulated the evidence presented to Congress, the public, and the world to make the case for war. They must know that neither Congress nor this administration has the authority to violate the prohibition against pre-emptive war - an American law that still stands today. This same administration uses us for rampant violations of time-tested laws banning torture and degradation of prisoners of war. Though the American soldier wants to do right, the illegitimacy of the occupation itself, the policies of this administration, and rules of engagement of desperate field commanders will ultimately force them to be party to war crimes.”

Where could Watada have learned this typical anti-war leftist Socialist rhetoric in such a short time as he describes? By his admission, he “..devour[ed] information put out by international law experts, independent journalists, non-governmental organizations, Iraqi civilians, and returning U.S. soldiers alike, [and] formed a conclusion: the Iraq War was illegal and immoral.” One piece of information he “devoured,” James Bamford's Pretext for War, another decidedly anti-war and leftist publication.

He goes on to say, “I speak with you about a radical idea. It is one born from the very concept of the American soldier (or service member). It became instrumental in ending the Vietnam War - but it has been long since forgotten. The idea is this: that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it” Additionally, he also says, “If soldiers realized this war is contrary to what the Constitution extols - if they stood up and threw their weapons down - no President could ever initiate a war of choice again.”

Is he encouraging MUTINY? Does he encourage soldiers, facing the enemy they are today, to just “throw down their weapons?” In the face of an enemy that beheads innocent civilians, fights from Mosques, uses IED’s and runs when confronted, he would expect our soldiers to “throw down their weapons?”

This from someone who also says, “… going to Iraq, jumping over the cliff with the rest of the lemming is not in the best service of my country…” In another ‘Kerryesque’ moment, Watada compares soldiers that believe in the cause, obey their orders, place themselves in harm’s way, while he makes speeches against them, spills their blood fighting for our freedom as well as that of the Iraqis, lemmings?”

Watada also claims, “…my oath was to the Constitution of the United States. It doesn’t say in the oath for an officer that you follow the orders of the President and those appointed over you.”

Really? Should each officer and enlisted just do as they sees fit, any time they desire? By the very constitution he claims he “swore to uphold,” the president is the “Commander in Chief” of the Military. Does his claim also apply to those men who had the distinct dishonor of having served directly under him?

I also wonder if he ever actually read the Constitution he so adamantly claims to swore an oath to defend? From Article II, Section 2 of our Constitution under Presidential powers, we see, “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

How does one claim to hold our Constitution so dear, yet violate what it clearly states? As an Officer, he issued orders to those under him, fully expecting them to be followed as he stated, not as the enlisted felt like. Yet, he sees no need to follow the order of his own Superiors?

Ehren Watada is no ‘leader of men.’ He is no ‘hero.’ He’s just another cheap leftist posing in a uniform he disgraces.

In taking his “principled stand,” and “willing to accept punishment,” I also find it odd that he chooses as his attorney, Honolulu’s Eric Seitz, a veteran attorney whose defense of war resisters dates back to the Vietnam era trying his best, and succeeding, in getting around the UCMJ to defend resisters.

Watada’s parents may be proud of him. He appears to be a chip off the old block. I still feel that his enlistment was so he could pull just this act and become another John ‘F’in Kerry, using a junior officer rank to oppose the very foundation of our Military and undermine troop morale, the same troops he swore to care for while in his charge and who he abandoned for this cheap stunt. If he were my son, we would be heading out back behind the woodshed.


UPDATE: Watada has been recharged with no date set for the retrial. Army’s Iraq War Objector Charged Again February 23, 2007


u∃∃l!∃ said...

The oath I took said that I would follow the orders of the President and those appointed under him.

It is hard to have any respect for someone who refused to deploy.

I don't think Kerry has anything to do with one.

LewWaters said...

Coboble, enlisted and officer take slightly different oaths. The Officers oath does not include the part of following orders of the President.

The relation to Kerry is in regards to comments made that appear to be degrading the troops, calling them "lemmings," "innocent Iraqis being slaughters, some intemtionally," encouraging them to throw down their weapons and disobey orders.

As a Lieutenant, he issued orders. I'm sure he expected them to be followed, explicitly. Yet, he encourages others to follow his lead and decide for themselves.

The more he speaks out the more he sounds like a reincarnation of Kerry's stance in 1971 and the more I feel he had this view when he enlisted.

Anonymous said...

Lew, your long exhausting postings really are tough on us ADD types.

LewWaters said...

Not a problem, canuck. Just read a little at a time ;-)

Anonymous said...

I suppose Lew, but I will have to stop for lunch sometime.

u∃∃l!∃ said...

I am actually ADD (for real, I am not just making it up).

Kerry was more credible than this Lt is, in that he didn't first refuse to go, and was not anti-war for the sake of his own defense, after refusing to follow orders (or at least not that I know of).

I wonder if my own view, related to this Lt, is somewhat based on having been in the Military.
You would agree that I am somewhat left leaning, right?
Yet I am certainly not with the Left where this Lt. is concerned. I am completely in favor of finding him guilty of desertion (although I am not for the death penalty, because I don't think we need to kill people for being cowards).
So perhaps it is my having served in the Military, which gives me the perspective I have on this particular case.

We can not shut down anti-war crowds. That is their right, and it is a right that they need to have. I don't know the right answer to the dilemma of the morale of the individual soldier versus the need for people to be able to protest when they don't believe their government has made the right choice.
I only wish that the truth would take precedence over politics and media profit, so people could at least base their actions on real facts. Way too many facts are reported in a skewed manner, for anyone to easily obtain the truth.