Lt. Ehren Watada: Principled Protest

I thought I’d go ahead and post Friday’s piece today. Tomorrow HB and the Unreliable Narrator and I will go to the desert and see friends. I probably won’t be posting til I get back, some time on Monday. (And I’m not 100% sure about the post timer-thingy, so I won’t try to set it.) And Monday will be back to the usual fluffy, rambling bloviation you’ve come to expect from this blog.

So, last but not least in a week of posts about the Iraq War: Lt. Ehren Watada. I’ve been following his case since February of 2007. Currently, this officer who refused to deploy to Iraq War because of its illegality under domestic and international law has been waiting for a decision about his court martial since November, 2007.

He’s spoken about his situation and his beliefs here, in a radio interview.

And this is from a September, 2006 speech he gave.


I appreciate his critique, and the subtlety of his position given the contradiction of being a soldier whose job it is ultimately to kill, and the struggle to find a principled means to kill, if necessary, as a last resort in the name of honorable self-defense and national defense.

Watada’s stand isn’t without precedence. A mentor, friend, and fellow filmmaker made this documentary, about soldiers who refused to fight during Vietnam:

Something to think about as McCain claims he’s for “100 years in Iraq,” we try to elect a president who’ll get us out, and people within the military examine their duty to deploy in light of what we must all recognize now–there were never any weapons of mass destruction.

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