Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada For Refusing an Illegal War
U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, 28,reported to duty at 2:00 this morning and became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse orders to go to Iraq.
"It is my conclusion as an officer of the Armed Forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order," said Watada on June 7.
Watada is now restricted to the McChord Air Force Base and has been ordered to refrain from communication with non-military personnel.
Lt. Watada's mother, Carolyn Ho, who flew in from Honolulu, Hawaii to support her son, said today, "My son's decision to refrain from deploying to Iraq comes through much soul searching. It is an act of patriotism. It is a statement to all Americans, to men and women in uniform, that they need not remain silent out of fear, that that they have the power to turn the tide of history: to stop the destruction of a country and the killing of untold numbers of innocent men, women, and children. It is a message that states unequivocally that blindly following orders is no longer an option. My son, Lt. Watada's stance is clear. He will stay the course. I urge you to join him in this effort."
On June 27, a national day of action in support of Lt. Watada will take place in dozens of US cities, including: Ft. Lewis, WA; Tacoma, WA; Honolulu, HI; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH; Harrisburg, PA; San Francisco, CA; Oklahoma City, OK; Atlanta, GA; Corvallis, OR; Medford, OR; New York City, NY; and Pittsburgh, PA.