Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Tribute to Ehren K. Watada

Ehren K.Watada, an eloquent and exceedingly courageous young man refused to be deployed to the Iraq theatre of operations. In his defense he said, "The war in Iraq violates our democratic system of checks and balances.”…It usurps international treaties and conventions that by virtue of the Constitution become American law. The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people with only limited accountability is not only a terrible moral injustice, but a contradiction to the Army's own Law of Land Warfare. My participation would make me party to war crimes. My oath of office is to protect and defend America's laws and its people. By refusing unlawful orders for an illegal war, I fulfill that oath today."

Not surprisingly, a military judge at Fort Lewis, Washington ruled that the Army lieutenant cannot base his court-martial defense on the war's legality. If he had ruled otherwise, think of what a precedence this would set in bringing true democracy to this nation of heightened language, but very limited and circumspect moral principles.

It is so patently obvious that this war has been a disaster resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 U.S. soldiers, tens of thousands of American casualties and over one-half million Iraqi civilian dead. The evidence is insurmountable in supporting Mr. Watada’s claim that the war is illegal and the conduct of the war immoral. We now find ourselves at the brink of a possible and terribly calamitous wider war in the Middle East on account of a crazed, irrational and pathological presidency. Yet, the Congress remains silent regarding this central issue. The nation finds at its helm a war criminal whose actions have had a disastrous impact on our nation, yet this obvious reality is entirely circumvented. Eric Watada is forced to stand alone buoyed up by his remarkable moral courage.

The question here is will the Congress take upon itself its essential duty and obligation to serve this nation and its people, or will it continue to speak without action, endure without backbone and be a casual onlooker as this nation sinks into the abyss of a horrific moral crisis.

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