Well, the anti-war crowd has just gotten their latest useful idiot.
Leftenant Ehren Watada serving with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division - Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Ft. Lewis has publically stated his refusal to deploy with his men to Iraq.
The reasons given have varied a bit over the last few days: the war is illegal; the war is a violation of American law; the war is a violation of international law; he has "reservations" about the war; he doesn't want to be responsible for the breaking up of soldiers families and the death of soldiers.
Couple of things notable here: Watada (voluntarily) joined the Army in June of 2003. The current phase of the Iraq war started in March of 2003 -- three months before Watada joined up. This means he joined knowing that there was a war going on.
Watada has refused conscientious objector status, because, he says, he doesn't object to war, just to this war.
I can't even get angry here. I'm just terribly disappointed and a bit disgusted.
First, Watada volunteered to join the Army, during a war. And he volunteered to be Infantry. Then he volunteered to be an Infantry Officer. All during war-time.
The anti-war crowd is trumpeting his 'bravery', 'courage' and 'honor'.
His men are still going to Iraq. Only, now they'll be deployed with an officer who has neither trained them, nor trained with them, nor knows their strengths and weaknesses.
There is no 'bravery' in exposing what would have been his command to additional unnecessary dangers.
Every combat leader worth his salt that I've known, or served under, thought of the men as his lads. They were his responsibility, and By God no one else was good enough to lead them.
Obviously Leftenant Watada doesn't feel that way, and I see no 'honor' in him dropping his responsibilities -- and his lads -- like a inconvenient used Kleenex.
Is there 'courage' to be found?
Of a sort.
Leftenant Watada volunteered for a whole bunch of things, and was granted the awesome responsibility of men's lives.
He turned his back on all of that. He will probably face a court-martial, and he will most probably be found Guilty.
He can take the punishment for what he has brought upon himself without whining, without snivelling and like the ideal he turned his back on.
This is the only 'courage' left to him.