Sunday, July 23, 2006


I know that it's not new news, but it's really starting to chaff me. Ehren Watada refuses to fight illegal war. Blah, blah, blah.... most stories make him out to be a hero, and it's seeing comments like this one from a KHNL 8 viewer feedback forum that have just gotten me steamed.
"I'm behind Lt. Ehren Watada 100%!I think it's wonderful that he's standing up for his rights!!" - Nicole
Were he a civilian, maybe. But he is an officer in the US Army. I'm pretty goddamned sure that he gave an oath similar to this:
"I, Ehren Watada, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or 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." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)
Emphasis added by me.
Something close to this, if not this exactly.

Watada, having "educated" himself about the current war, has deemed it illegal, and thus, he will not serve. He is making a stand by staying home. Some may see that as manly. I see it as being a bit selfish. He's hurting the unit and the men with whom he's trained. While it would seem that any officer can step into a position of leadership, and run that unit just as well, it doesn't happen like that. Especially when you've got an officer who shows as much promise as Watada did.

Hey, he does have a right to make a stand. But he's a member of the military... you've got to play differently. He was insubordinate to his superior officers. Now he's got the right to a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and seven years in prison.