Monday, February 05, 2007

Lt. Watada: Presente!

Today is Monday, 5 February 2007.

The question before the court martial should be: If one believes sincerely that a war is illegal and immoral, should not one be affirmed in refusing to take part in that war, even if, nay, especially if, one is a commissioned officer of the United States Army?

Another question should be: Is it not historical fact that the principles of the Nuremberg Trial (with legal force under American law and international law) establish that one is not obligated to follow orders, simply because they are orders, if one in good conscience believes the orders are illegal and immoral?

When it is convenient to our rulers, we are told that such is the case, and scapegoats are consigned to military prisons for murdering civilians.

But, that is just the isolated case.

When someone raises such questions regarding an entire war waged by cowards pretending to be President and Vice President of the United States of America … the situation becomes “Befehl ist Befehl”, “Orders are orders”, as the Nazis liked to say, and one must obey.

Today, in a courtroom at Fort Lewis, Washington, began the court martial of First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada. He is charged with refusing to deploy to Iraq, and faces 1 to 4 years in a military gulag. (He must be made an example of, of course, as the first commissioned officer to, on 22 June 2006, refuse deployment.)

Lt. Watada believes, in all good conscience, so far as I can discern, that the order to deploy in this illegal war is an unlawful order, and must therefore be refused.

Even were one to grant that Lt. Watada is mistaken, which I most emphatically do not, must we not honour the fact he believes the war to be illegal, honour the fact that he refuses in good conscience to obey what he believes to be an illegal honour, and give thanks that he takes such a stand?

Considerations of law and conscience are, of course, only so much garbage to the Bush-Cheney Junta. All that matters is obedience to their mad appetites for conquest.

Lt. Watada is not on trial.

The citizens of the USA are on trial.

Let all those who “support” this war with their mouths enlist, or “surge” into Iraq by any means necessary, and fight and die, or, by their absence, admit they are cowards who delight in the deaths of others whom they force to die for a cause of mad greed.

Why did I title this column, “Lt. Watada: Presente!”?

During the Spanish Civil War, when the Loyalists (i.e., the Anti-Fascists), honoured those who had fallen in combat, it was their custom to assemble in formation, and the names of the dead would be read, and there would be a silence after each name, and then one of their living comrades would shout out, “Presente!”. “Present.”

We suspect the end to the story of Lt. Watada. They’ll lock him up. You won’t do the time; I won’t either.

Lt. Watada will do the time, being present for all of us.
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2 Comments:

Anonymous NET said...

HH said -

". . .war waged by cowards pretending to be President and Vice President of the United States of America . . ."

Cowards - maybe. Pretend - no, all too real.

9:17 AM  
Blogger HH said...

My apologies, NET.

I meant "pretending" in the sense of a pretender to a throne, a false claimant.

When the Five Corrupt Justices stole the 2000 election by using one of the oldest tricks in the book, stopping counting when your candidate is leading, and Shrub W. Bush accepted the gift, he became a usurper.

In power, yes, but legitimate: Never!

3:37 PM  

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