'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
"It is my duty as a commissioned officer in the United States army to speak out against grave injustices. My moral and legal obligation is to the constitution. Not to those who issue unlawful orders....
Theirs not to make reply,"I stand before you today because it is my job to serve and protect American soldiers and innocent Iraqis who have no voice. It is my conclusion that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong, but also a breach of American law," Ehren Watada, June 7, 2006
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Lt. Watada is an officer who dared make reply, who dared ask why. He refused --not to do and die, for he is willing to serve in Afghanistan where he could possibly face death-- but to be party to war crimes. He dared to research the Iraq war. He refused to turn a blind eye to the false pretenses. He concluded that it would be a violation of his oath to protect the Constitution to carry out the illegality that is the war in Iraq. He dared to think rather than blindly follow orders.
Since when does an officer speak up to declare that a war is illegal?
Suppose more officers spoke up? Suppose the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff questioned the political ideologues?
Suppose then Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell had questioned? Who has brought dishonor to our country, Lt. Watada who spoke the truth or General Powell who went before the UN with evidence known to have been concocted?
Suppose more officers cared about where they were being sent and what they were being ordered to do...and refused? The well-oiled gears of the military-industrial complex would begin to work less smoothly...some parts might even grind to a halt.
Some wars might be stopped before they start...
Whatever the outcome of Lt.Watada's trial, he has set a truly historic precedent. With only his words for weapons, he has dealt a blow to the age-old alliance of corrupt governments and military might.
He is willing to pay the price.
He is a man of honor and valor.
Oh, and by the way, what's the Senate's excuse? (And tell me again why I bothered to vote?)
On Monday, the Senate was scheduled to begin the first major floor debate on a resolution disapproving of the president’s war plans in Iraq. But after hours of wrangling, the assembled body of 96 legislators failed to reach agreement on the terms of the debate on Sen. John Warner’s (VA) and Carl Levin’s (MI) bill. Now Senate action may be delayed. The House has scheduled a debate for next week. From the FCNL, see http://www.fcnl.org/iraq
Verses from "The Charge of the Light Brigade," by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1864.