The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Lt. Ehren Watada refuses the war in Iraq

Jul 10, 2006

Ehren K. Watada, first lieutenant U.S. Army, refused orders to deploy to Iraq on June 22. He is the first commissioned officer to take this stand publicly.

Watada stated, “I am wholeheartedly opposed to the continued war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership.” Such statements resulted in Watada being charged with expressing contempt against officials and conduct unbecoming an officer. He has also been charged with refusing to be deployed.

Watada is confined to base at Fort Lewis, Washington awaiting trial.

Watada’s mother stated that her son could not participate in a war so clearly wrong, and “to order his men to participate in a war of aggression multiplies his guilt a thousandfold. Implicit in his oath as an officer is the duty to disobey all unlawful orders.”

The troops will come home, as they should, when Bush and his commanders find themselves with an army that no longer cooperates in their dirty, thieving, murderous war.

Few soldiers so far have taken the public stance chosen by Lt. Watada. But there is a growing number whose actions make it clear they want nothing to do with this war. Just as the ranks of the Reserves and the National Guard are being depleted for the same reason.