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Anti-Dickhead of the Week – Ehren Watada

Originally uploaded by dangunderman.

Considering Lt. Ehren Watada made his announcement on June 7, I’m feeling like I came a little late to this party. Lt. Watada has become the first commissioned officer to refuse to serve in Iraq because of his belief that the war is illegal and that his participation would make him party to war crimes.

It is perhaps because the Army has now charged him with contempt toward the president (among other charges) that the Lieutenant’s actions have made a slightly larger blip in the media. (So far, I’ve only seen coverage in The Nation. While I’m a fan of The Nation, when I read stories there that deserve more exposure, I fear they’ve been published in a lefty graveyard.) Lt. Watada faces up to seven years in prison for his refusal to serve.

Many of us have said from the beginning that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal. The argument of the war’s immorality is one that’s been easy for me to make. Since I’m no great shakes as an international policy lawyer, the legal argument has been a bigger challenge for my feeble mind. I’ve just got a vague notion that a pre-emptive war (i.e. a war of aggression) goes against everything the UN stands for.

What I like about this 28-year-old looker called Watada is that he makes a cogent argument against the war’s legality. (There’s some video on that link for those inclined.) He’s no hippie-conscientious-objector masquerading as an army officer. He just won’t fight an illegal, unjust war.

Well, right on, Watada. You get on with your bad, Hawaiian self.

Naturally, there’s a website advocating on his behalf as well. Because nothing’s legitimate until it’s got a website.

So I’ve got an Anti-Dickhead this week, but no Dickhead. I’m open to suggestions in the comments of this here posting. Thanks.

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