Service, not loyalty, is issue for officer
Re “Loyal to Country or Conscience?” Oct. 16
The headline on the article about Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada is confusing. I think it presents a false choice. Watada refuses to be deployed to Iraq. He sees President Bush’s invasion as illegal and immoral. I agree with him. So do many of his fellow Americans. Watada is loyal both to his country and to his conscience.
Watada is a coward. We do not have a draft. Watada volunteered for the military. And as quoted in the article: “Army spokesman Col. Dan Baggio said political questions over a war’s legitimacy were ‘not the kind of decisions lieutenants and captains make.’ ” He said soldiers had a moral obligation to refuse illegal orders in the field -- to shoot prisoners of war or innocent civilians, for instance -- but they could not pick and choose where to deploy.”
Watada has every right to state his political views and stand up for what he believes. But he volunteered to serve, and serve he must.
If he doesn’t get the seven years in jail, it will be a slap in the face to every person who has ever served in the military or died in military service.
Serving your country and your heart is certainly possible, and I believe that is what Watada is doing by refusing deployment to Iraq. He is willing to deploy to Afghanistan, which after all is where some of the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 were trained.
If there were more men like him, then our so-called leaders might find it harder to reshape the world to their liking. Sign me up for Watada’s defense fund.