Lieutenant refuses to go to war in Iraq

@Sawsen (794)
United States
January 4, 2007 1:05am CST
"First Lt. Ehran Watada is the first commissioned officer in the U.S to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. He announced last June his decision not to deploy on the grounds that the war is illegal...If convicted he faces up to six years" (yahoo news) I think that is a courageous act, not going to war. I agree with him that the war in Iraq is illegal, and it shouldn't have happened to begin with. He said matter of fact that there is no ties to al-qaida in Iraq. Shouldn't that be enough to stop the war. Now there is more terrorism in the world, and less peace. What bothers me most is that President Bush is pretending like everything is fine and dandy. We'll it's not, how many of you agree with this Lt, that the war in Iraq is illegal?
8 people like this
47 responses
@Signal20 (2281)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I saw the headline on yahoo, but haven't read it yet. But, from what you said, regardless of whether or not the war is legal/illegal, right/wrong, whatever, he shouldn't of joined the military then-period. I was in the Army National Guard, went through basic in the mid 90's. I was old enough to know that if you join the regular army, you will get deployed out wherever they send you, war or just a disturbance somewhere and that's that. I was so amazed at all the young kids there that were crying and upset they were being sent to Bosnia or Korea or wherever. They all joined because they wanted the college money, not to serve the country. How can you join the military and not think you're going to end up in a war or war torn country? If you don't agree with it, then you don't join. Doesn't matter if you agree with the war or not, it's not your decision/opinion to make and the president of the US doesn't care, that's the way the military works. Sounds to me(from what you wrote) that he doesn't want to go and do his time that he signed up for and agreed to do, and is turning it all around to be an "illegal war" controversy. Sorry, but I think if he doesn't do his time, he should do his time in Leavenworth. It's also a slap in the face to all the other soldiers that have gone over (my brother did 3 tours there & he didn't agree with it either).
4 people like this
• United States
4 Jan 07
I agree ... it is a huge disgrace to not go when other soliders are putting in their time. When one VOLUNTARILY agrees to join the military they also know that there is a very real chance that they will end up going to war, whether they agree with the war or not. His right to choose ended when he joined the military. I don't think that his "illegal" war stance will make a bit of difference and he will be spending some time in Leavenworth.
2 people like this
@forfein (2507)
4 Jan 07
MAJOR PLUS (+) FOR YOU ON THIS!!! I joined he Army in 1971, when we had the Irish Troubles! It had escalated from throwing bottles at the Army to actual Killings just as I joined! Obviously we watched this on the News all the time during training, as it goes from worse to worse! I eventually did three tours there, did I want to go? Of course not! No one wants to increase their chance of getting shot! But I went! You join the Army to be a Soldier! Soldiers FIGHT that is what they are trained for! No one I know in the Army wanted to go to War, but those that had to, had to!
@DavidReedy (2411)
• United States
4 Jan 07
The war is illegal. It's a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention. The war was completely unfounded. We never even finished with the Al Quaida in Afghanistan. It seems like Americans have forgotten all about that war. Hats off to Lt. Ehran Watada. I support all of our troops, I only hope they would come home soon--but how can they, with a country in turmoil while we're there, bound to break out into outright civil war as soon as we leave... What a effd up mess we caused.
• India
4 Jan 07
First Lt. Ehran Watada should be saluted for a courageous act in defying a autocratic and barbaric regime's illegal call of invading foreign lands on filmsy grounds.
2 people like this
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I was going to start a thread about this today, but you beat me to it. I'm a military spouse of almost 19 years, I've been through 3 different Presidents/Commander in Chiefs. You will hear so many come out and say that this Lt. has no right to do what he is doing, or that any troop that speaks out against the war is a coward and they volunteered to enlist. However, what most do not ever consider is that no man or woman joins the rank of our military and ever considers that their Commander in Chief will ever abuse his power and privilege to engage our military in conflict and war. They expect the congress, the Senate, and the American people to protect them against misuse and abuse of power. Unfortunately, that is not what has happened. So, what you see today because the Commander in Chief, the Congress, the Senate, and the American people have failed our troops and allowed an unjust war based on lies to unfold, is many of them are speaking up and speaking out. This war was fought on a made up premise, there were no terrorists in Iraq till now. The poor strategies that have been implemented there and the unrealistic goals set have first created a haven for terrorist groups to seep into the country and use the momentum to first gain power. So, who do we blame? The troops and and low ranking officers, who have had little control or power in making decisions there? Or, do we blame and hold their Commander in Chief accountable for the whole fiasco? I commend this Lt. and you can be sure that he will pave the way for more and more to do the same.
@Sawsen (794)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I agree with you as well, and I hope that other officers and military men will stand up and do what they believe in right. This war was made up on a false premise, and many people have yet to realize it. I think that this Lt. is also being punished not for his action of not wanting to go to war, but also for his beliefs and morals, which restrict him from going to war. I wish that more people would open up their eyes and see the truth, because the more bloodshed there is, the less peace we will have.
@wavelander (1528)
• Portugal
5 Jan 07
well, every war should be illegal! It's legal to invade a country? To throw bombs and kill civilians? and i'm not talking only the US. All other countries at war are responsable too! Make love not war! Make lots of seeeeeeeeex! I think it's more interesting!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 07
i think in him not doing this others might start doin it and it is for only six years for something that isnt right and we have no part in
1 person likes this
@Equinoxx (187)
• Ireland
4 Jan 07
This is perhaps the first strong volley fired by a fellow compatriot against the so-called American interests in making this world a safer place.
1 person likes this
@Julia1970 (410)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I do not agree with the Lt. about this. When he signed up he agreed to go where he was sent and to do what he was told. I am sorry if this upsets you but Ihope they throw the book at him. The military can't pick choose what they want to do or go only where they want to go. They are our first line of defense and I want my line of defense to be rock solid not full of holes because people don't feel like doing their duty.
@WebMann (4732)
• Canada
4 Jan 07
Standing up for what you believe in can be a tough choice. I applaud this person with my whole being. I would protect my country and family against any threat on my turf so don't bother trying unless you want to get your butt kicked. Fighting a battle that goes against what you believe is wrong but so many die every day doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. Fighting for your country because you are required to doesn't make it right does it? There will be many more doing the same thing in the future. They just need to know they are not alone in how they feel.
@telulas (459)
• Indonesia
4 Jan 07
not to go to war for iraqi, but in our world, stop war
1 person likes this
@j_thomas (958)
• India
4 Jan 07
I agree with Lt.Ehran.I don't know Whether he has right to say "no" for postings.But on humaritarian grounds his Refusal is correct.
1 person likes this
• India
4 Jan 07
it is truely a great descision such type of examples needs to be set up against amarica
• India
4 Jan 07
great job did the officer do. he took a great step
1 person likes this
@rayzaq (44)
• Indonesia
4 Jan 07
Yes,I'm agree with you.the war is illegal.at the past UN not sport these war.only one terorist in these worl.he is BUSH.
1 person likes this
@mirage108 (3403)
• United States
5 Jan 07
well that LT is disobeying a direct order from the commander and chief. weather the war is right or wrong the LT is definatly wrong. The WAR might be wrong now but when we went congress authorized it and that makes it Legal. since with WMD were not found we just cant pull out there would be more havoc, so we just cant pull out.
@gifana (4834)
• Portugal
5 Jan 07
Excellent point of view.
@trinale (1479)
• United States
5 Jan 07
"I, [name], having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of [whatever] do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." 1Lt Watada held up his right hand and took that oath. Note the key phrase "I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion." Those of us who have served in the U.S. military see it for what it is. 1Lt Watada is a coward who's afraid to deploy. I wish the penalty could be stiffer and he had to serve 20 years in prison for dereliction of duty.
@mrioca (137)
• Romania
4 Jan 07
Soldiers tell why they dont want to go to Iraq: President George W. Bush's announcement on Tuesday to increase troops in Iraq did not prevent Hawaii soldier Lt. Ehren Watada from speaking out at a packed public forum. Watada faces a court-martial next month. Watada will leave Hawaii to return to Fort Lewis, Wash., for his military trial. Supporters waging their own campaign against the war in Iraq flocked to the Church of the Crossroads on Tuesday night to hear him speak. The 28-year-old Hawaii-born Army officer became known across the country after he became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq.Join the discussion on Watada's refusal to deploy to Iraq. Watada said he believes the war is illegal. He told the packed house that he realized it only after he signed up for the Army. "I fell for it," Watada said. "I believed in our leaders and like many other Americans, I asked 'What could I do for my country?'" While in training, he said he realized that the soldiers "were used and defrauded manipulated." Watada said he was in turmoil about what to do. "I looked at the consequences for both. To challenge the system was to stand up against insurmountable odds," he said. "I felt I had no choice." Watada said that he is willing to pay the price for his decision, and he wishes others would stand up with him. "I hated to leave my troops, but something had to be done to stop this insanity," he said. Watada is charged with missing a troop movement and for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The artillery officer is the first objector since 1965 to be prosecuted by the military. He faces a maximum of six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Reporters were not allowed to ask Watada what he thought of the president's plan to increase troops in Iraq.
@forfein (2507)
4 Jan 07
You join the Army to FIGHT That is what Soldier do! You cannot pick and choose the war you want to fight! Soldiers are SUPPOSED to do what they are told!
@ajay22 (300)
• India
4 Jan 07
I think Iraq is haunting americans now, after walking in bush have no clue how to come out. A recent report says that american casulaity in the iraq war has excceded that in 9/11. legal or illegal the question is what next ?
@starr4all (2865)
4 Jan 07
Everybody is spouting how it's wrong and that the US should leave. I think we may need to pull some soldiers out but not all. The country isn't stable enough yet for a total withdrawel.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
4 Jan 07
I don't think it's relevant whether or not you think the war is illegal or not. I think he signed up for a job and has to do it. I think if he doesn't, he's a traitor. Can you imagine how the military would be if they decided "Ok, I don't feel like going overseas today", I think I'll stay home. Military men are trained to follow orders, plain and simple. I don't see that there's a debate.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
4 Jan 07
They are trained to follow orders. However, their Commander in Chief, our President, is the one that gives the order. If their Commander in Chief abuses his power and rights to order our military into conflict and wars, they, our military, have to be protected against that. Who do you say should protect our military from being misused? This is why many trues are having a hard time going deploying, re-enlisting, etc. If the war is illegal, and their Commander in Chief, who gives the order to the military made these illegal premises for war, then we as the American population cannot expect our military to feel good and right about following unjust orders--plain and simple. They do not sign up to be misused illegally.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
4 Jan 07
The lietenant signed the paper. It might be an illegal war, but he volunteered for the job. He should do the right thing per his agreement and fight the war. I remember signing up for the military there was no notation indicating if the war is in my mind unjust I donot have to go. I do believe it was an error on the Bush Administration to enter in the war, and want it over but disagree with the LT.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
4 Jan 07
My question to you is, who protects the troops from misuse and abuse? When you signed up, did you ever even believe a President/Commander in Chief was capable or able to abuse his power and misuse you? I'm sure it never crossed your mind, it generally doesn't.