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Hundreds gather at Fort Lewis gates for Lt. Ehren Watada Nat’l Day of Action
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name (jeff [at] paterson.net)
Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
FORT LEWIS, WA (June 27, 2006) – Outside the gates of Fort Lewis, Washington today, hundreds rallied to support U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada – the first commissioned officer to resist the illegal war and occupation of Iraq.
1-rally3.jpg
Supporters lined the Interstate 5 overpasses at the fort gate’s, leafleted the cars of soldiers entering the post, and held a rally at Exit 119. Two hundred people huddled around a megaphone under “Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada” banners to hear from Lt. Watada’s mother Carolyn, father Robert, and step-mother Rosa who all came from Hawaii to show their support. Other speakers included military family members, veterans, and local students who recently led the ten-day community blockage of departing Stryker urban combat vehicles shipping out to Iraq.

On June 22, Lt. Watada, attached to this same Stryker Brigade, fulfilled his pledge to resist by refusing to board an airplane bound for Iraq. Lt. Watada has given up his career and now faces a prison sentence for doing “the right thing” in the face of an illegal and immoral war and occupation. What will we now do to do the same?
§Lt. Watada supporters line interstate overpass outside of Fort Lewis
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Lt. Watada supporters line interstate overpass outside of Fort Lewis
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Leafleting soldiers entering Ft. Lewis about the National Day of Action for Lt. Watada
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Lt. Watada supporters line interstate overpass outside of Fort Lewis
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Army unit returning for training passes "Support Lt. Watada" banner
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§"Lt. Watada - A Profile in Courage"
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Leafleting soldiers entering Ft. Lewis
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Lt. Watada supporters line interstate overpass outside of Fort Lewis
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Anti-Watada protesters sum up US policy by flying "Kill 'Em All" and Iraqi national flags
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Military families speak out for Lt. Watada outside Ft. Lewis
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Lt. Watada's mother Carolyn speaking to the rally, w/ step-mother Rosa and father Robert.
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Earth flag
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Interstate vigil
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§"This Veterans Supports Lt. Watada"
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§"Students Support Lt. Watada"
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Interstate vigil
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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§Hundreds rally for Lt. Watada at Ft. Lewis gates
by Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 9:57 AM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Frank
Friday Jun 30th, 2006 9:34 AM
Your viewpoint of the military operation in Iraq as being illegal is just an opinion. Taking a stance by refusing a deployment order IS illegal and I hope they prosecute you to the fullest extent allowed by the UCMJ. Instead of leading your soldiers in Iraq and possibly keeping them alive you would rather hide behind banners that give you a false sense of justification for your cowardly disposition. I can imagine your Japanese ancestors are weeping at your lack of intestinal fortitude.

You are a poor excuse for an Army officer and I regret that our US military gave you a commission. There is a reason you are the first officer to refuse a deployment order...and it's not an honorable reason.
by Jeff Paterson (jeff [at] paterson.net)
Friday Jun 30th, 2006 11:28 AM
It’s actually pretty hard to make an argument that the war and occupation is legal based on available evidence.

The war and occupation of Iraq is clearly “illegal” based on U.S. national and international law. Primarily, that the U.S. attack on Iraq was and is a war of aggression, prosecuted in violation of international treaties, and constitutes a crime against the peace. The war in Iraq violates the Charter of the United Nations, which prohibits the use of force. There are only two exceptions to that prohibition: self-defense and approval by the Security Council. A pre-emptive or preventive war is not allowed under the Charter.

Additionally, the U.S. has indeed committed numerous specific war crimes in the commission of the war and occupation, many of which are widely known and documented. It should also be noted that even the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court had to step in yesterday to note that the U.S. has been holding hundreds of prisoners at Guantanamo in violation of the Geneva Conventions for the last three years.

So, for honest observers the world over, the question is not really “Is the war illegal?” The question is, “Does it matter?” As in, “Does it matter that our government claims unlimited powers, and places itself beyond the law, in order to wage endless war?” At least for one U.S. Army Lieutenant, the answer is “yes,” it does matter. Now what is our answer?

For background on U.S. law regarding the case of Lt. Ehren Watada:
http://www.thankyoult.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25
by William Scott,Gunter
Saturday Jul 1st, 2006 8:37 PM
Thankfully in our American society (for the time being anyway) everyone has the right to his or her own opinion. After all the speeches,saberattling, lives lost(both combatant & non-combatant), lives shattered beyond all repair,property damage and lost, and all the pain and suffering that is going on now ,and for years to come; just what has America accomplished in Iraq? Yes, Sadam is a brutal man willing to torture and kill his own people without any due process. And yes, Iraq is a middle eastern country where that sort of thing is rather common as well,along with other middle eastern countries. BUT I JUST CANNOT FIND ANYTHING IN OUR CONSITUTION, LAWS, OR EVEN TREATIES THAT ALLOWS THE UNITED STATES TO INVADE AND OCCUPY ANOTHER COUNTRY WITH NO PROOF THAT THIS COUNTRY WAS A REAL AND PRESENT DANGER TO AMERICA!!! No weapon's of mass destruction were ever found. The 911 commission said several times that Iraq had no real ties to Al-Quieda. No Al-Quieda training camps(at least not then)either. But there is the third richest oil fields in the world there. Nawww, that surely has nothing to with anything. Somewhere ,somebody HAS to stand up to the system and say ,NO,I'M MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!! THIS HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR!!! For better or for worse, even if that means that person(s) will be smeared as a coward or a traitor. Back in 1996 there was a Army enlisted man that REFUSED to wear the colors of the United Nations(patches & beret), and serve underneath a foriegn Commanding Officer. He was Court Martialed, discharged, and given a BAD CONDUCT DISCHARGE for following ARMY REGUALTIONS, & OBEYING HIS CONTRACT WITH THE ARMY !!! May the LORD JESUS CHRIST shine forth his love and favors upon both Lt. Watada & his family, with both the LORD FATHER'S & HOLY SPIRIT'S blessing!
by William Scott,Gunter
Saturday Jul 1st, 2006 8:38 PM
Thankfully in our American society (for the time being anyway) everyone has the right to his or her own opinion. After all the speeches,saberattling, lives lost(both combatant & non-combatant), lives shattered beyond all repair,property damage and lost, and all the pain and suffering that is going on now ,and for years to come; just what has America accomplished in Iraq? Yes, Sadam is a brutal man willing to torture and kill his own people without any due process. And yes, Iraq is a middle eastern country where that sort of thing is rather common as well,along with other middle eastern countries. BUT I JUST CANNOT FIND ANYTHING IN OUR CONSITUTION, LAWS, OR EVEN TREATIES THAT ALLOWS THE UNITED STATES TO INVADE AND OCCUPY ANOTHER COUNTRY WITH NO PROOF THAT THIS COUNTRY WAS A REAL AND PRESENT DANGER TO AMERICA!!! No weapon's of mass destruction were ever found. The 911 commission said several times that Iraq had no real ties to Al-Quieda. No Al-Quieda training camps(at least not then)either. But there is the third richest oil fields in the world there. Nawww, that surely has nothing to with anything. Somewhere ,somebody HAS to stand up to the system and say ,NO,I'M MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!! THIS HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR!!! For better or for worse, even if that means that person(s) will be smeared as a coward or a traitor. Back in 1996 there was a Army enlisted man that REFUSED to wear the colors of the United Nations(patches & beret), and serve underneath a foriegn Commanding Officer. He was Court Martialed, discharged, and given a BAD CONDUCT DISCHARGE for following ARMY REGUALTIONS, & OBEYING HIS CONTRACT WITH THE ARMY !!! May the LORD JESUS CHRIST shine forth his love and favors upon both Lt. Watada & his family, with both the LORD FATHER'S & HOLY SPIRIT'S blessing!
by Lance Ciepiela (lanceciepiela [at] aol.com)
Wednesday Jul 5th, 2006 2:01 PM
Members of our Armed Forces take an oath to defend, protect, and uphold our Constitution, making them duty bound to disobey an unalwful order to wage an illegal and immoral war of aggression against the innocent nation and people of Iraq, who never, ever, posed any threat, whatsoever, to the American people! George W. Bush sent our troops on an untruthful, unlawful mission to destroy Iraq, based on false pretenses, deliberate lies, deliberate deceptions, fabricated intell, and by so doing, has willfully deceived Congress and the American people, thereby despically committing treason, fraud, and High Crimes and Misdemeanors against our nation! THANK YOU LT WATADA! THANK YOU LT WATADA! America THANKS LT WATADA!
by Rez Dog
Wednesday Jul 5th, 2006 2:48 PM
I salute you, LT Watada, for your honor and courage.
by Sierra Pyron
Wednesday Jul 5th, 2006 6:38 PM
To "Frank" who bashed Lt. Ehren Watada,

I'm sorry that you are blinded by your own OPINIONS that you cannot see anything else. We who support Lt. Watada do so with our eyes wide open & clear. We have all been lied to by the Bush administration not only about this war, but so many other things. Everything has to have its beginning. Hopefully, by standing up against what he belives is wrong, Lt. Watada will have started something HUGE. This war has no reason behind it. Can anyone tell me why we are there? Can you HONESTLY tell me ONE good reason that is & has been the ONLY reason we are there? No! Because we have been told many things & none of them are true. WMDs? Nope.....Uuuuhhhh....Bin Laden? NOPE! Restore Iraq? NOPE!!!!!!! Check out what it looks like right now. We caught Sadam. That is GREAT! But that was not why we went there. That could have been a smaller scale operation. That is NOT why we are there. It is time to start an exit plan. I know that we can't just "BRING THEM HOME" without a plan. But the plan has to start somewhere. I truly believe that it has started with Lt. Ehren Watada.
Thank you!
by Safia Soliman (safabd3 [at] yahoo.co.uk)
Thursday Jul 6th, 2006 4:23 AM
God Bless all good people who stand up for what is right - and at least speak out against that which is inherently wrong or evil. The Vietnam Veterans were/are among the most honourable of the good. Lt. Watada may just be the one to reintroduce the courage needed to actually DO what is right. We should follow his lead for the sake of humanity.
by Safia Soliman (safabd3 [at] yahoo.co.uk)
Thursday Jul 6th, 2006 4:52 AM
May we all be as sane, conscientious and brave as you all have been and still are. May we all also follow your lead, for the sake of humanity. THANK YOU.
by CPT Jay Gentile
Thursday Jul 6th, 2006 8:12 AM
I fail to see how this is construed as a illegal war, both houses voted on passing action to go to war against a harsh dictator with the potential for producing WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and having the knowledge, will and skill to produce WMD's. I fail to see how this war is an illegal action, I participated in this war for 14 months and we bringing peace and stability as well as keeping the terrorists on their soil and not ours.

Did everyone forget about Sept 11th? or the previous attacks on the USS Cole, Kenya, London etc... Under President Clinton we had the ability to act against Osama Bin Laden and he refused action. The Sudan Goverment were going to hand deliver him to us. This may or may not have prevented other terrorists attacks but it would have helped out.I will also point out that both Democrats, Republicans, and the UN were given the same information prior to going to war with Saddam Hussein.

I would like to say I believe in everyone's right to protest, however as a soldier of the U.S. Army who has served in Iraq, it is disheartining to see people line up outside the Gates of FT. Lewis and protest us. If you say you support the troops then you have to support the war you cannot do one or the other. All your protests will not change our resolve to fight over there and win in fact it strengthens it.

Lastly 1LT Watada's actions are not keeping of an army officer who swore an oath to protect this Nation. He should heed the words of Rudyard Kipling "It is not a reason why, but to do or die". We do not get to choose the orders we will follow, we have to hope our civillian elected leaders have the best interest in mind for the Greater Good and we execute off that intent.

Thanks,
CPT Jay Gentile
by Terry Harder
Thursday Jul 6th, 2006 6:18 PM
CPT Jay Gentile

It's funny how those that protest this war make general statements and never site real law. They seem to forget we elected representatives to vote and take action for us. President Clinton is the one who initated the call to remove Saddam and the UN gave Saddam an ultimatum. Saddam already invaded Kuwait, was pushed back, continued on his mission to destabilize the region and was paying suicide bombers. But aside from all of that let's say they are right for arguments sake.

Lt Watada abandonded his men, a cowardly act by anyones measure. He is using them to avoid going to battle and they can't see what a weasel he is. Current and former military know you train for months before you deploy. When one of your leaders refuses orders to deploy, it is not bravery, it is an act of the utmost selfishness. It means he does not care about his men or their safety which he has the responsiblity to insure and that he swore an oath to do his best to protect. His Ancestors would be ashamed of his lack of honor.
by Shane Vincent
Friday Jul 7th, 2006 6:45 AM
The Congress shall have the power
....
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:

So when did congress either
1. Declare war
or
2. Issue a letter or marque or reprisal

If congress did not do those, then troops should not be deployed in combat.

Simple enough, of course it only matters if the constitution is more than a "god damned piece of paper".

But then again you really didn't care about what the consitution said did you.
by Shane Vincent
Friday Jul 7th, 2006 7:01 AM
Congress did not declare war, they may have authorized funds, but they did not declare war.

In fact a resolution for war was declared to be anachronistic by Henry Hyde (R-Il) when it was proposed.

From http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html

"Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677";"

Congress did not explictly declare war in that resolution, and therefore did not follow the constitutional requirements that require it to do so.

While the president can act in EXIGENT circumstances (say that missles have been launched) to protect an IMMENINT threat, that threat has been shown to not exist in RE: the iraq war.

That is the crux of the this is an illegal war argument, while I wish that people would make the correct argument (as I see it) rather than argue some amibigious argument that this is illegal because "Bush lied" or some such drivel.

Whether Bush or someone else misrepresented things is irrelevant, what matters is whether the constitutional processes are followed.
by CPT Gentile
Friday Jul 7th, 2006 10:07 AM
I agree people need to make the right argument and understand what constitues legal and illegal. However in 1LT Watada's case he does not have the right to question his superior officers when it comes to the orders he recieved. Some exception's to that rule would be the following.

1. Given an order to kill innocent people (Women, Children, non combatants etc...)

Failure to follow orders from a National Security perspective breaks down our entire system. Every soldier in the military is entitled to their own perspective on things however, when push comes to shove you need to follow the orders of your superior officers regardless of your personal feelings on the matter.

The actions of 1LT Watada will be used by the insurgencyand other terrorist organizations in their propganda machines to help fuel the resistance. This may sound good to those who oppose the war, but to someone like me who has fought and buried his soldiers in Iraq it is a bad thing it means more soldiers being killed.

I have no qualm with those who protest in fact; it is the reason I fight overseas and do what I do; I do have a problem with an Officer or soldier who took his college money, joined the military at a time of War (knowing the Nation was at war) and then decides to dishonor those who have fought and died in the war by going on TV and saying he feels it is illegal. That to me is the biggest act of cowardice of all. Imagine if every leader in the military choose which orders they were going to follow. What kind of kind of military or Nation would we have? I assure you it would not be a kind of nation where Free Speech and the values we hold dear would be excepted.

No one likes War however, I believe history will show and does show all major events are centered around wars. Only time will tell if the right descion was made, one thing does hold true we need to see this War through to the end. International/ Domestic terrorism is the single greatest threat we face in our nation and in the world today. It is because of the men and women who swore an Oath to the Constitution of the United States to defend the people and the country against all enemies foreign and Domestic that truly makes us free.

1LT Watada dishonor's all of us (Civilian and Military) and does not deserve the attention he is receiving.
by 1LT Walker
Friday Jul 7th, 2006 1:57 PM
I find it interesting that LT. Watada refuses to fight this so called "illegal war" in Iraq, but said he would be willing to go to Afganistan. Regardless of our reasons for going to war in Iraq, the end result has been the same as it is in Afghanistan: we liberated a country from a corrupt, dangerous government. We went into Afghanistan with the purpose of liberating that country from the Taliban, who were known to support and encourage terrorist training, and were in essence a terrorist government. Nobody has a problem with that. However, when we go to Iraq, take down a government we believe to be producing WMD's, and remember Saddam's actions did nothing to suggest anything to the contrary, i.e, kicking out weapon's inspectors, it is suddenly an illegal war. LT. Watada's opposition to the war in Iraq but not to the war in Afghanistan is ludicrous. If it were discovered that some of the 9/11 terrorists were trained in Iraq and supported by the government there, would that have been grounds enough to have a legal war there? And enough of the "we went there for the oil" argument. How much oil do we import from Iraq? Where are all the benefits to us for invading for oil? Don't be ridiculous. We didn't do it for the oil. We did it to free the people of Iraq from a corrupt and dangerous government, just as we did the people of Afghanistan from the Taliban. LT. Watada's actions are indeed unbecoming and disrespectful.
by Christopher Siess
Friday Jul 7th, 2006 4:40 PM
1LT Walker - So many false statements. Where to begin?

1st you try to ignore the Bush Regime's reason for War by your "Regardless of our reasons for going to war in Iraq," and then you go on to make this obvious false claim "we liberated a country from a corrupt, dangerous government.". Afghanistan is not a Democracy. It is controlled by Warlords. Some who are in the pay of the Bush Regime. Many make their money from the opium trade (like Karzai’s brother), which was mostly eradicated by the Taliban. Iraq is also not a Democracy. It is brutally occupied by a foreign Army and is in a state of Civil War. Further if the Armed Forces of the United States are for the purpose of overthrowing “corrupt and dangerous governments”, why does the Bush Regime give aid, assistance and cover for despotic Regimes? Why did the same players like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Pearle give aid and intell to Saddam? Why did these same players provide Saddam with the precursors to Anthrax?

2nd We did not go into Afghanistan to liberate. It was revenge, pure and simple.

3rd Saddam did not kick out the inspectors. Your Glorious Leader in effect did. The inspectors left because of the coming attack from the Bush Regime.

4th The Bush Regime did not believe Saddam had WMD. They made it up and lied to the World about it. All the antagonists are members of the Project For A New American Century. They planned this War way before being stealing Power.

5th Saddam not only suggested he did not have WMD he outright said he did not.

After the falsehoods you make up a fantasy "If it were discovered that some of the 9/11 terrorists were trained in Iraq and supported by the government there……”

You are right about the oil though. Kinda. It is also about making billions off this illegal immoral War. The Armed Forces are not fighting for me. They are fighting for the biggest self licking ice cream cone ever. It is called the Military Industrial Complex. You are not in the uniform of the United States Armed Forced. You're CI not GI. Corporate issue. Check the tag
on your Beret. It comes from China. Made with hands from your fellow Humans, while living under a “corrupt and dangerous government.”

Further if you really do want to over throw "a corrupt, dangerous government", you can start right here at home. I ask you and all other members of the Armed Forces to Mutiny in a non violent way. If in a non combat area stay in Quarters. If in a Combat Zone, carry out your daily duties, but every day demand of your immediate superior that the troops be withdrawn from Iraq. Mail a daily letter to your Rep. in Congress demanding withdrawal. Ask friends and family to do the same.
I mail one each week, even though my Reps and Senators are full fledged members of the Bush Regime.

Lt. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not a uniformed propagandist of the Bush Regime(which being aimed at a domestic audience is illegal). I hold Officers to a higher standard. You're not dumb. So how is it you can repeat the blatant lies of the Bush Regime? Everybody comes to the day that the lies one tells oneself, stops being in any way useful.

Fulfill your oath and protect this Great Nation from its domestic enemies. There is no greater danger to America and the World than the Bush Regime. Do the right thing Lieutenant. We will stand with you. A better world is possible. I want you to be part of it.
by Capt Robert Rainey, USAF
Friday Jul 7th, 2006 10:00 PM
Chris,

Wow, a little left and hostile aren’t we? If you apply your opening line “So many false statements. Where to begin?” to your own retort, you will find it is replete with errors and distortions. I find when an individual utilizes colored terminology like “the Bush Regime” you are guilty of the same spin you are attempting to criticize. I conversely find arguments based upon factual statements much more compelling; however, the average spoiled, uninformed and blissfully ignorant American will buy it because it’s much easier to swallow what your given rather than actual read and think for yourself.

Now, the truth;
1. Our country has a history of using our military to further the economic interests of our corporate elite and exploit the natural resources of other nations. ** I recommend reading “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, an enlightening book.
2. Saddam did have WMD, most was smuggled to Syria; most likely with the help of the French & Russians and a significant amount has been discovered since the troops went in (500+ weapons, see US House of Representatives report, dated 21 June 2006). However, I believe the administration should have conceded that a significant reason was to gain access to one of the last significant oil fields and deny access to the French, Germans, Russians and Chinese. Bolstered by the belief that the Saudi Fields are being depleted at an alarming rate.
3. We supplied and trained many of the warlord factions in Afghanistan (with the assistance of the Pakistani Intelligence Service) during the Soviet occupation as payback for Vietnam. Once these militants were free of the Soviets, we as the predominant non-Muslim nation were the obvious next target. Another blazing example of short-sightedness in our foreign policy and a lack of understanding of Islam.

I was once a die-hard republican, now I consider myself an independent because neither national party is genuinely interested in the common citizen or the soldier. I wonder where your (Chris’s) criticism was when Clinton balanced the national budget on the backs of America’s poor instead of responsibly restricting congressional pork-spending and forcing the military and the government to utilize funds more prudently.

The bottom line is we common people need to quit bull-shitting ourselves, finger-pointing and spreading propaganda spin which gets everyone’s emotions wound up and brains off. This is what the elites want; the common citizens divided and thus inconsequential. Elect honest, practical government officials who care about ordinary people and those who realize that we cannot expect other nations to deal with us altruistically as all nations seek their own ends. Chris this is the proper way to seek change, not by attacking the military’s command and control, you may need us for something one day!

Now as to Lt Watada:
A soldier’s duty of to his country and it’s democratically elected leaders. He/she does not retain the right to question public policy; he is a servant and his judgment of lawful or unlawful orders pertains to direct or general orders from his immediate chain of command. This is not to be misconstrued as a license to question public policy as it is being bastardized Lt. Watada. It is the duty of the private citizen to seek change via the election process, protests, etc when he finds it necessary. Lt Watada should face a court martial for his actions and be jailed then dishonorably discharged from the military.

Honest dialogue leads to real change.

Just my thoughts,

Robert Rainey, Capt, USAF
by Chris Siess
Saturday Jul 8th, 2006 1:39 PM
Thank you for your thoughts Captain.

Yes I'm hostile. I'm hostile to the lies that continue to kill and maim. Left? You bethca. I'm such a Liberal I even think you should have the same Liberties as I and any other. I also believe we were put here to help each other, not hurt each other.

Since the only 'fact" that you challenge me on is WMD I'll start there. They were not weapons. They were rounds. I'm surprised you don't know the difference Captain.
They were also highly degraded and of no use. The only danger was to the handlers. You may want to question what comes out of Sen. Santorum's mouth more often. They in no way represent the threat that was told to the American people. Syria? Just where does that info come from Captain?

Now to address your "Truths"(which you can see we agree on some)
1) I have also read "Confessions of An Economic Hit Man"(by John Perkins). Twice. I also agree that "Our country has a history of using our military to further the economic interests of our corporate elite and exploit the natural resources of other nations." You evidently find this acceptable, I do not.
I thought we Americans were supposed to be different? I would like to hear what your definition of being American is. And just where in the Oath that you took does it say you are to be used as killer when the Economic Hit men fail? I think that we and other Nations can live off the fruits of the Earth with out resorting to Cannibalism.

2)WMD see above. . I also agree the Bush Regime should tell the truth. However lying comes naturally to thieves and murderers.

3)Yes I'm fully aware of the support given to the Afghans. The same players in the Bush Regime were behind that too. I think payback was part of it. If we did not attack the Vietnamese and kill them there would of been no need for payback. Again I'm surprised you fail to see the cause and effect. You may also want to try to get to know some Muslims. Islam is peopled with others just like you and I.

I also am Independent (registered not just considered) for the very same reason you state, "neither national party is genuinely interested in the common citizen or the soldier."

I never supported or voted for Clinton. My biggest critique was that the Europeans should have been at the forefront of the Balkan crisis. They created it just as we have created so much death and destruction. I not a Democrat because they don't hold the same values as I. I'm a Liberal.

I also agree our National Treasure should be spent prudently. Except "our" Leaders are the Reps of the Corporate Elite and consider the Treasure their own. Again it is the nature of thieves and murderers.

I also agree we need to elect honest Reps. If we only had an election system that was honest. Except that it is run by the Corporate Elite too. This will not cause me not to vote. On the contrary, it makes me want to work with others to get out the vote. As I have done on numerous elections. Maybe an overwhelming vote will derail the efforts at stealing it.

I will also continue to use facts mixed with emotion. I can't help myself. I'm a sentient Human Being.
I will continue to protest.
I will continue to leaflet.
I will continue to speak out.
I will continue to fight against the creeds of "Might makes Right" and “Two Wrongs Make a Right".
I will continue to support dissension in the ranks.

You know by your own admission War is A Racket (quote Gen Smedley Butler USMC). Since you by your own words are not an “average spoiled, uninformed and blissfully ignorant American” why do you support the continued racket of death and destruction? There is a better way. It starts with you and I.

Need the military Captain Rainey? Yes indeed we do. Now more than ever. Hence my support for Lt. Watada. He is following his Oath. Every Uniformed Member of the Armed Services has a duty not to follow illegal orders. Our Leaders are not democratcally elected. They are installed by the Corporate elite. The same Corporate elite that has sent the flower of American youth to die for their own economic interests time and time again. Just what does "Support the Troops" mean to you?

The continued existence of the Bush Regime threatens us all. How about joining us Captain? How about helping secure a brighter future for you, I and all the children of America? How about helping us in the quest for a Democracy right here at home, where we have Reps who adhere to the Constitution and have the Citizens interests at heart and not the Corporate elite's purse? How about helping us stop the endless Wars? The village you save could be your own.

Peace.
PS – I’ll return the favor of a book suggestion. If you have not read it – “The Best Democracy Money Can By” by Greg Palast is the definitive one on the stolen election of 2000. If not that I suggest “Barry and The Boys” by Daniel Hopsicker. It reveals just how depraved the roots of the Bush Regime are. The book “Powder Burns” by Celerino Castilla and Dave Harmon is a must read too. A quick visit to Mr. Castilla’s site should clue any in on what he has to tell first hand.
http://www.powderburns.org/
by Capt R
Saturday Jul 8th, 2006 10:10 PM
Chris,

I appreciate the passion in your arguments, but do not assume I support the current elected leaders because I choose not to violate my oath as an officer.

(1) I do not condone the use of military force for private business interests.

(2) On the remaining wmd, the lower value weapons, “rounds” (degraded) were left precisely because they were of no real tactical value. I have no proof of the Syrian and likely Iranian connection, but my own research and discussions with colleagues in SOF lead me to believe that was what occurred and I consider their opinion reliable.

Obviously, you are intelligent, but either you do not understand Islam or you’re naïve. I have studied the Koran, manuals of Islamic sacred law and commentaries and it is pretty clear that Islam is neither tolerant nor peaceful. In fact, the teachings of the Islam dictate that all must convert to Islam, pay a holy “tax” and live as a subjugate or be killed. Not a whole lot of self determination there and so much for “there shall be no compulsion in religion”. The point is that the Islamic world, if they follow the dictates of their chosen religion/political system, are compelled into conflict with non-Muslims and thus would seek means to topple secular nations in the interest of reestablishing a global caliphate.

(3) The Soviets were not involved in Vietnam for altruistic reasons, but to harass our military and the comment was directed at them. Obviously, if we had not made the mistake of entering Vietnam at the behest of the French there would be no causal relationship.

It pains me greatly that I have friends in harms way right now. I wish we lived in a world where we spent $0 on the military and shifted those dollars to health care, education and to providing a better life for everyone. However, just as surely as there are peaceful people such as yourself all around the world honestly working for a better life; (assume someone other than you’re favorite “regime”) there are others (assume for a second that someone other the “Bush Regime” might be nefarious) who seek money, power and their own totalitarian regimes and they have funding, weapons and the will to lie, steal and kill to achieve their means. I laud your peaceful efforts, but while you are protesting, speaking and authoring leaflets, I am holding a rifle and watching your back. I pass no judgment and have no agenda save the purpose of sustaining the land where you can freely live, think, speak and worship or not worship. This is why soldiers should stay out of politics; “those holding the guns shouldn’t call the shots, but those holding the pen”.

I am interested in learning more as I still believe in our great Nation. But as long as we humans exist, there will be conflict because we are innately selfish beings

The marriage of peace lovers and trigger pullers may indeed prove awkward but I’m always open to new ideas or material. Please recommend where I might learn more about what you do.

Capt R
by everyday joe
Sunday Jul 9th, 2006 6:30 AM
Well, I was on msnbc.com reading the news, and I saw a banner on the podium in front of Watada I followed here.

Let me first say I am neither a protester to date, nor have I served in the armed forces.

Protesters, I hate to say this, but people have protested everything possible to the point it is almost a social event nowadays from my perspective, and protesting has all but lost any real power or meaning. As I sit and watch protesters on the news and in print, I am interested, so you have acheived that goal of getting my attention, but people get out signs and protest about such things as cutting a real old tree down constantly to the point where the "OMG, people are taking to the streets in protest !!" was lost years ago. Everytime anything happens, people bust out the signs and protest....if a family of ducks is going to be reloacted to make way for a drinking fountain, people with signs show up...you have to pick your battles. Protesting everything under the sun makes protesting look somewhat silly to a lot of people like myself, and it takes away from the power protesting could have on really important issues.

This war, it is something worthy of protesting for sure if you feel it is wrong, but this guy Watada is not worth protesting for....this is my opinion of course. He joined the military, this means he is duty bound to follow orders. If you don't want to kill people when needed, or go places and do things you may not agree with or want to do, then don't join....simple as that. I am very glad we now have a choice to join or not. I would be up in Canada personally if we had no choice, but that's just me.

Bottom line, if he refuses to go, and he gets away with it, it sets precedent for every single person serving in the military to walk away if they want to for whatever reason as long as they say it is because the war is illegal....you can't let one person do it and not another. Some may say "that's great, I hope they all leave", but even though I am with you on the whole war in Iraq is BS and even though I find it mind boggling that one man, GW, can do so much damage to our country in such a short time, you have to think logically and realistically, and the truth is we can't walk away now. Leaving now will only make the mess Bush made worse.

Watada should face "normal" charges for sure, and no jacked up "let's make an example of him" type of stuff, but in no way should he not be charged.

On a related side note...maybe this wouldn't apply to most liberals, but I feel like ranting because I also do feel some passion towards what's going on. The majority of Americans supported a war with Iraq in the beginning...I did not, and the majority of Americans voted the retard back into office....I didn't, so there you go....the people spoke.

NOW after a few years of dead bodies people decide to educate themselves?? NOW they think Bush sucks AFTER they voted him back in? NOW they realize he is a billionaire who looks after his billionaire friends? All that tells me is the little catch phrases and see through propoganda during the elections works on the masses, and they vote with no clue, and no education on anything.

For the protesters, I am with you on the war issue, but pick your battles. Not this guy, protest the war itself. If anyone sits there thinking we went in for no reason other than "liberate these people", all I can do is feel a bit sad for you. This is obviously something the government says, and the 100 IQ and under club believes. We ain't helping nobody if there isn't something in it for us. You don't become the worlds only super power by "liberating" and "helping" everyone else at your own loss.

Capt, you are an awesome writer, and I enjoyed reading the things you wrote from a very intelligent military perspective...it's all about money and power in the end.
by average joe
Sunday Jul 9th, 2006 10:11 AM
I hope I wasn't to harsh about protesting, and you understand what I meant. To protest everything takes away from those issues that are off absolute importance. I do believe in protesting, I think it's just overused is all, and it loses the impact it should have.

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." -
-- Abraham Lincoln
by Diane Conroy (diana_conroy [at] hotmail.com)
Monday Jul 10th, 2006 1:22 AM
we should be done now

with wars


Thank you, Lt., from America


by a wife, daughter, sister
Wednesday Sep 6th, 2006 9:43 AM
Unfortunately all this refusal did was mean some other soldier, husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother had to go in his place. Some officer his soldiers weren't as familiar or comfortable with had to go lead men that were not his/her own. His men were left abandoned and unsure on the way to a dangerous and deadly place. He knew when he joined we were in a war. He knew when he became an officer he would lead men into this war. He trained, waiting, and suddenly when he was to deploy he protested. The time to be against war is before you join. People were counting on him. As a leader, as a friend, as a brother in arms. He let them down. He ignored his oath.
by toekutr
Thursday Oct 5th, 2006 6:35 PM
"if you want peace prepare for war" -Vegetius

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