Throw the book at Watada
re "Mistrial Called In Lieutenant's Court-Martial" (Washington Post, 2/8/07)
To the Editor:
Since eliminating the draft, American soldiers are all volunteers. Despite John Kerry’s opinion, they are certainly smart enough to understand what they are signing up for. That is even more true of officers, such as Lt. Ehren Watada.
Even during the draft, conscientious objectors were properly allowed to avoid service. But once a person chooses to be a soldier, his job is to obey orders in all but the most extreme cases where an order is clearly illegal.
A soldier can not claim that an entire war is illegal and expect to get away with it, and Lt. Watada deserves a substantial prison sentence for his refusal to deploy and his publicly criticizing the war. Watada’s actions remind me of a Monty Python sketch in which a soldier refuses to fight. The colonel asks the solder “Are you a pacifist?” and the soldier replied “No, Sir, I’m a coward.”
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