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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 10:39 PM
Original message
Public Inaction Dismays Watada
from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:


Public inaction dismays Watada
Officer faces court-martial for refusing Iraq deployment

By PAUL NYHAN
P-I REPORTER

Less than a month before his court-martial begins, Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada turned to the public Friday, urging it to get involved in the discussion about the Iraq war.

Seven months ago, Watada made headlines when he refused to deploy to Iraq with a Fort Lewis-based Stryker Brigade, saying the war was illegal. His decision drew the attention of the anti-war movement, and eventually charges for conduct unbecoming an officer and missing a troop movement.

On Friday, Watada continued to talk, wondering about the lack of public outrage over the nearly four-year-old war.

"Could it be that ... many people don't care about the illegality of this war?" Watada asked students and others who packed a hall at Seattle Central Community College. "It is my belief that the American people have relinquished their responsibility."

He also blamed elected officials.

Watada, 28, said initial reasons offered to justify the Iraq war -- the presence of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq's purported ties to terrorists -- turned out to be unsubstantiated.

"We have all been deceived," Watada told the audience. The "American people have the power to end this war."

Officials at Fort Lewis were unavailable for comment Friday.

Watada compared the Iraqi engagement to the Vietnam War. "The arguments used against me are the same ones they used 30 years ago," Watada said. "Vietnam is now Iraq." ....(more)

The rest of the article is at: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/299599_watada13.htm...




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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. He's right. No one is looking into the illegality of the war, it's still off the
table. I doubt that discussion will ever see the light of day - no one wants to go there. It would mean admitting the US did something illegal. I really do feel for the guy though. He took a stand, and has got to feel abandoned. No petitions, no letter writing campaign, no protests, nothing but crickets - even to the OP. How sad. :cry:
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. well i'll kick it!
And i've signed a couple of petitions on his behalf. I've not written an LTTE on this Watada yet, but maybe tomorrow i'll work on one. Amy Goodman has been reporting on his predicament.

As far as abandonment, it's probably just as lonely as being a whistleblower... just ask Edmonds, Tice, et al.

oh, and R'ing too!

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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Found a couple of petition links
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Unbelievable. People are obsessed with their own lives.
Either too much Baywatch and COPS, or people are scared, or just living on the edge.

It's not new. I was just as distressed when the drug war was almost totally ignored by the public. At the time, I was certain it would cause a revolution. Nothing. Silence.

And now here we are, invading the world. Using our resources to kill and frighten. And virtually no protest. I admit I only hit the streets in 2003.

When I go about the town, I hear nothing. Shouldn't it be that all we're talking about is getting our country back on track?

What Watada is doing should be done by the entire military. The war would end over night.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Like to see a politician come to his public defense.
Edited on Sat Jan-13-07 11:57 PM by Tom Joad
where's John Kerry? He should be able to relate.
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personman Donating Member (959 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Sherrod Brown acted like he wanted to crawl under a bed...
when Amy Goodman asked him about it.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, we interviewed a man this week, Lieutenant Ehren Watada. Hes the first officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. Hes about to be court-martialed. What do you say to soldiers who are saying no, they think its immoral, they think its wrong to go to Iraq?

REP. SHERROD BROWN: I think you say that there are -- I dont know. I dont know what you say. I think that there are a lot of people in this country that have had it with this war. And I think the best thing I can say to him is we want to end this war as fast as we can.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think that there should be pressure on the military not to court-martial these men and women who are saying, just like many politicians, just like you have said, that the war is wrong?

REP. SHERROD BROWN: I dont know. I really dont know. I mean, Im not a military person. You know, the way military law works, I dont know. I dont know the answer to that. <pees>

OK, I might have added that last bit...
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Profile of a Coward.
Edited on Sun Jan-14-07 11:36 AM by Tom Joad
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personman Donating Member (959 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Unfortunately, I think that's the party line.
He just happened to be the one to get cornered on it. Maybe I'm wrong, hopefully I'm wrong...

No reason not to try and move the line a bit though. :)
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Lucky for him, no one except Amy would ever ask him such an
impolite question.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Brown...
There is ONE thing that I DO know...you were elected to govern. Do your job!
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freeplessinseattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R eom
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-14-07 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. I am SOOO disappointed
that there are not THOUSANDS of Americans who make it their business to be present each and every time this man steps up to a microphone.
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