20/8/06:US ARMY OFFICER OPPOSE IRAQ INVASION(ST/FWD)
- From: uneoo@xxxxxxxxxx
- Date: 21 Aug 2006 01:56:16 +1100
THE US ARMY LIEUTENANT REFUSE TO JOIN
THE WAR OF INVASION AND IMPERIALIST DOMINATION
[AddedNote: The US Army Lieutenant Watada's refusal to participate in
the war in Iraq is consistent with non-violent opposition to an unjust
situation. Undoubtedly, the neo-con war monger press and right-wing
idiots will portray Lt. Watada as a coward who couldn't face danger in
Eventually, a person who make conscious decision and carried out
regardless of any consequence is far more brave than those who
"fall-in-the-line" and just "served duty" against their own
conscience. In this respect, I can just recite few words from Aung San
Suu Kyi's famous essay, "Freedom From Fear":
"The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an
intellectual conviction of the need for change in the attitudes and
values which shape the course of the nation ....
"...free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process
make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities ...
"... freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A
people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic
institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against
state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from
apathy and fear."
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Laureate, and political prisoner still,
further elaborate about the "fear" which all of us the ordinary folks
"... fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear
of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or
means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of
failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as
common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless,
insignificant or futile the small, dialy acts of courage which help to
preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity."
May we all overcome fear so that freedom in this world, especially
for the Iraqis, would flourish. -- Solidarity, U Ne Oo.
http://netipr.org/~uneoo/ (Burma HR Activity)
http://netipr.org/saorg/ (Refugee Rights Activity)
emails: uneoo@xxxxxxxxxx druneoo@xxxxxxxxxxx
POST: Dr U Ne Oo, 18 Shannon Place,Adelaide SA5000,AUSTRALIA
Friday, August 18, 2006 - 12:00 AM
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Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada has been charged.
IRAQ WAR BASHED AT HEARING FOR SOLDIER WHO WOULDN'T GO
By Hal Bernton Seattle Times staff reporter
FORT LEWIS The Iraq war came under attack Thursday in an unusual
place: a wood-paneled hearing room at this Army base that has sent
thousands of soldiers to the conflict.
Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's refusal to serve in Iraq triggered the
one-day legal proceeding that is a likely prelude to a
court-martial. Most of the hearing was consumed by defense testimony,
with three witnesses attacking the Bush administration's approach to
the war and asserting that an officer could justifiably refuse to
"There was no authorization from the U.N. Security Council ... and
that made it a crime against the peace," said Francis Boyle, a
University of Illinois professor of international law, who said the
Army's own field manual required such authorization for an offensive
Watada, 28, refused to deploy to Iraq with his Fort Lewis-based
Stryker unit June 22 and has made numerous statements denouncing the
war and the conduct of the Bush administration. In a nation
increasingly divided over the course of the war, Watada's actions have
been hailed as heroic by some and denounced by others as a disgrace to
the Army uniform.
In July, the Army charged the Honolulu man with missing his brigade's
movement to Iraq, twice speaking contemptuously of the president and
committing three acts unbecoming an officer. Watada could face seven
years in prison if found guilty of those charges at a court-martial.
At Thursday's hearing, the prosecuting officer introduced new evidence
against the lieutenant: a recording of Watada's speech Saturday at the
Veterans for Peace convention in Seattle, where he lashed out at the
administration for waging a war of choice "for profit and
imperialistic domination," and urged soldiers to lay down their arms
and refuse to fight.
"Resisting an authoritarian government at home is equally important to
fighting a foreign aggressor on the battlefield," Watada said.
Watada's attorney said such statements are free speech protected under
the U.S. Constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also
submitted a brief in support of Watada's right to speak.
Lt. Col. Mark Keith, the investigating officer who presided over
Thursday's Article 32 hearing, will make a recommendation about
whether to proceed with a court-martial.
In response to defense questions, Keith affirmed he was open to
considering arguments about the war's legality and allowed Boyle,
former United Nations Undersecretary Denis Halliday and retired
Col. Ann Wright to speak about the legality and conduct of the war.
Boyle, an outspoken critic of the administration policy in Iraq, went
into considerable detail about the rules for war as detailed in the
Army Field Manual. He accused the administration of using fraudulent
means to persuade Congress to authorize the war, twice-failing to get
U.N. Security Council authorization for the war and then allowing war
crimes to occur.
Keith listened, his finger on his chin.
In questioning, he appeared skeptical.
"I am struggling with the connection between what you have just
discussed ... and how that relates to Lt. Watada," Keith told Boyle at
one point during the professor's testimony.
The Army prosecutor, Capt. Dan Kuecker, said it was not up to the Army
to determine the legality of the war and noted that no U.S. court had
ruled it was illegal.
He objected to Boyle's testimony on the grounds that it lacked
relevance and included hearsay and speculation.
Though Keith could recommend a dismissal of all or some of the
charges, most Article 32 hearings lead to court-martial hearings,
according to Eric Seitz, a civilian attorney assisting in Watada's
Seitz said it is uncertain whether the defense witnesses who testified
Thursday would be able to testify during the court-martial. That would
depend on rulings during the trial.
But Seitz said that arguments about the legality and conduct of the
war were crucial to the defense and would need to be raised to gain
Watada a fair trial.
If there is a court-martial, Watada could choose to have the case
heard by a military judge or a panel of military-service members.
Information from The Associated Press is include in this report.
Copyright Â© 2006 The Seattle Times Company
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