Hawaii: US army officer refuses to go to Iraq war

Bush and Iraq war, cartoon

From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Hawaii):

Army officer from Honolulu refuses to report for Iraq duty

Gregg Kakesako

A Honolulu man, who has tried twice to resign his Army commission as an officer because he believes he “cannot justify or support legally and morally” the war in Iraq, will refuse to deploy with his unit later this month.

1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a 2003 Hawaii Pacific University graduate, is one of 3,900 soldiers with the Army’s first Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Lewis in Washington state.

He is assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which will deploy to Mosul in northern Iraq later this month.

A Fort Lewis spokesman declined to comment.

Eric Seitz, a Honolulu attorney who specializes in military cases, said that Watada, 27, first tried to resign his commission in January.

In a letter to the Army, Watada wrote: “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.”

Some parallels here with British officer Malcolm Kendall-Smith.

More on Watada case here.

And here.

And here.

Update: here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

US woman soldier objects to Iraq war, and other news: here.

9 thoughts on “Hawaii: US army officer refuses to go to Iraq war

  1. Watada Mystified by Public Inaction
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon@earthlink.net redwoodsaurus
    Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:47 pm (PST)
    Saturday, January 13, 2007 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    Public Inaction Dismays Watada
    Officer faces court-martial for refusing Iraq deployment
    by Paul Nyhan

    Less than a month before his court-martial begins, Army 1st Lt.
    Ehren Watada turned to the public Friday, urging it to get involved in
    the discussion about the Iraq war.

    Seven months ago, Watada made headlines when he refused to
    deploy to Iraq with a Fort Lewis-based Stryker Brigade, saying the
    war was illegal. His decision drew the attention of the anti-war
    movement, and eventually charges for conduct unbecoming an
    officer and missing a troop movement.

    On Friday, Watada continued to talk, wondering about the lack of
    public outrage over the nearly four-year-old war.

    “Could it be that … many people don’t care about the illegality of
    this war?” Watada asked students and others who packed a hall at
    Seattle Central Community College. “It is my belief that the
    American people have relinquished their responsibility.”

    He also blamed elected officials.

    Watada, 28, said initial reasons offered to justify the Iraq war — the
    presence of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s purported ties
    to terrorists — turned out to be unsubstantiated.

    “We have all been deceived,” Watada told the audience. The
    “American people have the power to end this war.”

    Officials at Fort Lewis were unavailable for comment Friday.

    Watada compared the Iraqi engagement to the Vietnam War. “The
    arguments used against me are the same ones they used 30 years
    ago,” Watada said. “Vietnam is now Iraq.”

    Watada’s public stance and looming trial have spurred Seattle-area
    students and others to rally outside Fort Lewis and call for student
    walkouts Feb. 5, the day his court-martial is scheduled to begin.

    Even though the Democratically controlled Congress is questioning
    the war and President Bush’s plan to deploy more troops, Watada
    doesn’t expect the shift to play a role in his case. Watada could face
    up to six years in prison if found guilty of one count of missing a
    troop movement and four counts of disobeying an order.

    “No, I don’t think it will have any bearing on my case,” Watada
    said. “Knowing you will probably lose is no excuse not to take a
    course of action.”



  2. Why cant anyone see that maybe President Bush is simply doing his job? Doesnt anyone see that if we were to pull out now
    we would be the weakest nation of all. We would basically be open for attack, and if anyone realizes, we are not well like right about now. and Ya i understand that there are over 200,000 men and women over there but everyone seems to forget that they VOLUNTEERED for this war. There is no draft. People seem to forget that if we pull out now, they might bring the war here, to our homes. then we’ll really have something to complain about. Bush is simply doing his job, give the guy a break. This war will end, just like they all do. signed, a tired pedestrian


  3. Hi A Kid, maybe Bush IS doing his job … according to many historians and US voters, as the worst US President since independence.

    That Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was supposedly able to attack the USA, the official reason for the Iraq war, has been exposed as a lie even by the Bush administration itself. Which Iraqi would bring war to the USA now?

    The soldiers in Iraq did not volunteer especially for this war. They volunteered for the armed forces which is something else.

    And over 1,2 million dead Iraqi civilians ever since Bush invaded really is enough.


  4. Hi Hippo, you don’t explain your love for Bush. Probably as it is extremely hard to explain why anyone should love someone responsinle for the Iraq war, based on lies, with over a million dead and still counting. Well yeah, in Germany in the 1940s some people loved Hitler …


  5. Hi “the truth”, according to opinion polls, most people in the USA oppose the Iraq war. So, you would like over half of people in the USA (including President Obama according to his campaign speeches) to flee the country. Leaving a lot less than half of the people, the more stupid ones? That would mean disaster for the USA.


  6. Pingback: USA: woman soldier’s sexual nightmare in army in Iraq | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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