Army Officer Who Refused Iraq Duty Is Allowed to Resign

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by civ_king, Sep 27, 2009.

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Was it fair to Watada to be given a dishonorable discharge for this? (read below)

  1. Yes he deserved it

    46.9%
  2. No he didn't deserve it

    12.5%
  3. This sets a dangerous precedent

    28.1%
  4. Other (explain

    12.5%
  1. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    I am not sure why a ficticious figment of your imagination has any relevance to this matter.

    BTW, I was not all too enthusiastic about many of the things I did under the Bush adminstration either. I did them nonethless.
     
  2. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Well, since he didnt do that your point is simply in error.

    Nope. The 'I was just following orders' defense didnt work at Nuremberg, and it doesnt work today either.

    Soldiers in the US military spend a significant amount of time being trained on what is or is not a legitimate order. In fact, they are ordered to refuse an illegal order and report it to the next higher authority in command. Failure to do so is a violation or orders as well.

    I think the point is commiting a warcrime isnt 'taking a bullet' for your country, but in fact injuring your country by harming its integrity.
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    We're from different schools of thought, I guess - we're taught that your duty is to queen and country, so if you're told to do something that isn't technically legal, and to not do so would cause suffering and loss of life, then go on and do it! Once, a unit (including me) of my troop was sent in to Cyprus to sort out a terrorist plot at one of our bases there, which involved moving through neutral lands (technically a declaration of war). We went in and stopped a bomb going off in the mess hall, according to the intel people around - which I think was far preferable to having refused to go in. I suppose ultimatly I always worked in the sort of theatre where rules don't apply, while you make your living from them. Someone has to ;)

    I would disagree, but this won't get anywhere so I'd like to not argue it, if that's OK
     
  4. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    Just because something you do constitutes an act of war does not make it illegal.
     
  5. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    I think it does, doesn't it? I thought that a war needed the authority of the UN?
     
  6. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Nope. And trust me FP, I come from the old NCO School of 'get it done'. I understand what your talking about and think we are talking about different issues largely. I am talking about warcrimes like in the rape, pillage, rape, etc. line.
     
  7. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    That's a mite different, but we're not talking about that - AFAIK this man was complaining that it was an illegal war, like my 'invasion of cyprus'.
     
  8. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Right. But since he is just a soldier, he doesnt get to decide that now does he? Just like you didnt. You just had a job to do and did it. He didnt. Thats the difference.
     
  9. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Correct. I think he was wrong to do so; since if it's not wrong (as opposed to illegal) then I don't think you have the right to refuse to do it. In the same way, you can't get out of an operation because you might get hurt, or you'll miss your anniversary - just citing a law that the army has decided to break isn't enough. BTW, I think if the general gives an order, the general should take the blame for its implementation anyway, just as he would take the credit.
     
  10. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    The UN is not the arbitor of what is and is not legal for soveriengn states to engage in. It has opinions that carry weight only because of the number of nations that agree with it.
     
  11. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Americans crossing into Iraq and Afghanistan is far different than a Mexican sneaking into the states.
     
  12. Maxxie

    Maxxie Chieftain

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    Great to know a little more about your military career. I don't have to explain the basic stuff now. The issues of this case are and always were really beyond the scope of a military court martial. That actually IS why certain arguments were not allowed and why that resulted in the original case against Lt. Watada being thrown out.

    The Iraq war was a preemptive war and such a war must have certain justifications to be legitimate, and beyond which the waging of a preemptive war is illegitimate.

    Here is a decent summary of the requirements for a preemptive war:
    http://www.cdi.org/news/law/preemptive-war.cfm

    "The most widely accepted modern standard for anticipatory self-defense... consisted of two prongs. One was that the need to use force in anticipatory self-defense must first rise to the level of being a necessity, and one that is instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation. The other requirement was that the action taken must be proportionate to the threat and not be excessive."

    The case for invading Iraq was based on the idea that Saddam had and planned to use WMD against American forces and our allies. And that is of course a complete justification for a preemptive war. Unfortunately, that justification came apart in the years following and had come apart completely by the time Lt. Watada finished officer's school. That fact was basically being disregarded by command because of the momentum of the war itself.

    Lt. Watada understood the consequences but chose to uphold the law as he was trained to do. That the United States has not been punished for this yet is a different matter and has limited impact on the morality of Lt. Watada's act.

    Whether an officer's duty to uphold the law or the army's need to be right weighs more is a matter of opinion. I am fairly authoritarian and am predisposed to siding with the army but this case is clear. The decision reached was a compromise between the army needing to justify prosecuting Lt. Watada and its admission of its own poor case. History will vindicate Lt. Watada to some degree but that will only happen once it no longer matters to the army.
     
  13. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    What you just said makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is literally some of the most thinck BS I have ever heard.

    I may respond tommorrow, but for now I will just point out that as far as the US is concerned any war prosecuted with the consent of the President and Congress is legal as far as the US Army is concerned, and thus as far as Lt Wasada is concerned. Everything you just said above is a figment of your imagination.
     
  14. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    I disagree. Actually, it should have been a simple open and shut case from the beginning. The prosecution over-reached a bit, tried to get fancy in the initial action, and it cost them.

    I found out today that Watadas resignation was in lieu of a courts martial. What we call a 'chapter 10'.

    Actually, the initial case was thrown out was because of double jeopardy issues, not because of 'the larger question' of the legality of the war.

    Never was a part of the case from the militarys point of view. Watada disobeyed a lawful order and missed movement to Iraq. Thats all the government had to prove to win. The lost the original case because they over-reached that simple goal.

    Immaterial in Watada's case.

    Once again, the military doesnt get to decide that issue. Thats for congress and the president to decide.

    Rofl. No, I assure you, he wasnt trained to do what he did. No matter how you try to spin it.

    Not at all. Watada has received an 'other than honorable' discharge. Try thinking about the meaning of those words carefully.

    No, actually its a matter of military law.

    I think the vast majority would agree but not in the way you think.

    If you think this then your understanding of the situation is quite in error. The Army was moving to court martial Watada on additional charges, that this time would indeed stick and not be lost via a technical error. This is precisely why he chose resignation in lieu of courts martial. Otherwise, he would have ended up in Leavenworth in prison.

    I predicte no one will care or hardly remember who Watada was in as little as 5 years. His case will simply be another pebble in the river of the militarys history. As Iraq is winding down in what appears to be a solid victory for us, Watadas 'vindication' will never happen.
     
  15. Maxxie

    Maxxie Chieftain

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    Simply repeating the way you see things does not make it any more valid because you are not adding any new information.

    Anyway I'm not interested in these kinds of line-by-line games where a post is misinterpreted by being mangled bit by bit in its reprinting. Go find someone else to play with.
     
  16. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    Funny, that seems to be exactly what you're doing. MobBoss is right, all your information is completely irrelevant to the case, and in some places flat-out wrong. Whether or not the war itself is illegal by international standards doesn't matter. An illegal war does not constitute a war crime, except by the people who plan the war. Not the soldiers.

    Study Nuremberg, you'll find that guys like Speer and Goering were convicted of planning an aggressive - illegal - war, but anyone outside the top Nazi Party officials weren't. Watada is not legally responsible if he fights in an unjust war, he is legally responsible only if he commits crimes of war during the course of said war.

    While Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc., may be able to be charged if this is ruled an war of aggression - and I'm not arguing about that today - Lt. Watada cannot. He is, in fact, legally required to participate in said war, so long as his Commander-in-Chief orders him to do so and he does not commit any war crimes in the process. He broke the law by refusing, whether the war is illegal or not.
     
  17. Maxxie

    Maxxie Chieftain

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    I made a post, someone later reprinted it in full with a comment, and that sparked this new sequence. In that sequence I have gone from my statements outlining the reasons for my opinion (first post) to explaining some details of it (second post) and explaining the basis of it (third post). The previous one is the one you are replying to, and now of course this post describing the sequence. In each previous post I added information, in the second the article on Lt. Watada, in the third a decent article discussing the tenuous legal basis for former President Bush's preemptive war doctrine. The last post was more of a criticism of a common but extremely poor debate method used on this forum but that its common doesn't make it an honest way to make a point. The quality of discussion on this forum is terrible enough it doesn't need games to make it even worse.
     
  18. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    If you don't want people debating you point-for-point, then stop making points. I see nothing at all wrong with arguing in the fashion MobBoss is arguing in. I may not necessarily agree with him - actually, in this thread I do - but, at least here, he's arguing perfectly fine. You have an argument if he deliberately misinterprets what you're saying. When he just disagrees with you, or you haven't clarified what you meant properly then it's your fault, not his.
     
  19. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Actually, I have added in the fact that Watada got his resignation in lieu of another court martial, and also the fact that his service has been designated as 'other than honorable'.

    Simply viewing it the way you do most certainly doesnt make your own point anymore valid either. But you need to remember, I am a paralegal serving right here at Fort Lewis where all this just went down. Heck, I see Watada at the gym most days.

    /shrug. Typical reaction when you throw facts at an opponent who only has emotion as a response.

    Precisely correct and very, very well stated. /thread over. :goodjob:
     
  20. Maxxie

    Maxxie Chieftain

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    This is disappointing. MobBoss, don't mischaracterize me as emotional for the sake of defending your own purely emotionally based arguments. I'm going to mark you as ignored now since you've shown you are another of the unreasonable people who deny information in favor of gut feelings. As I said before in effort to prevent this kind of degenerated discussion: I prefer data to endless talk. Patroklos, I'm interested in talking with you more. And anyone else too while they're actually thinking.
     

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