By Geoffrey Cook
Alameda, California–Aug. 22–Second Lieutenant Ehren Wataba is the highest ranking Commissioned American Officer facing court martial for refusing orders for deployment to Iraq. As he is detained, his father Bob made a grueling tour on his sonâ€™s behalf over the North American Continent.
Ehren is half Japanese-American and half Chinese, and was raised on Hawaii.
Neither Bob nor Ehren Wataba are Muslims, but they show respect for the values of Islam in their statements to this paperâ€™s California reporter.
They represent the admirable pluralism that exists in this country.
Lt. Ehren is facing a possible seven year sentence under for refusing to kill Muslims. The elder Mr. Wataba read a speech prepared by his son. This will be part of a nationwide tour to publish his sonâ€˜s plight, and to gain support for his son.
Robert Wataba stated that U.S. Iraq veterans were starting to take a leap of faith. â€œThe change has to start with us! Stop this illegal war by refusing to fight!.â€ We do not hear reports on Ehren Wataba in the news. Do we? Curiously, Bob Wataba is a civil servant in the Hawaiian government. He thoroughly has his sonâ€™s support to bring the American troops home. As a core friend of Ehren stated, â€œI donâ€™t know what youâ€™re doing, but I know youâ€™re right!â€
Ehren entered the army in 2002 for patriotic reasons. He volunteered to go to Iraq, but quickly realized the President was lying: There were no WMDs.
He speaks about this epiphany with real fervor, â€œEverything he said was a lie! Alâ€™Qaida and the Iraqi nation had no a connection with each other… We were the aggressors against Iraq. We were the criminals!â€ 500,000 children have died! We have negated the principles of Geneva and Nuremberg. Our Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has approved twenty-four methods of torture in contradiction of the Geneva Conventions!
â€œMy son found himself not questioning orders, but merely following orders.â€
Now, over 100,000 Iraqis have died –with 5,000 killed in Falluja alone. His son perceived this, and he has done what he could about it. What we do not know in this country is 8-10.000 American soldiers have gone AWOL (Absent Without Leave).
As quoted in his sonâ€™s speech, Bob Wataba said â€œIf I cannot take the easy way out, Iâ€™ll spent seven years of my life for my beliefs.â€ Bob and Ehrenâ€™s Mother commented that â€œ…heâ€™s very strong, with no second thoughts!â€
Constituency is very important. â€œThe rights of Muslims are beginning violated.â€ Corporate America is having the American military steal the material wealth of Iraq, The bottom line is profit.
â€œWe have planted the seeds! What is happening in Iraq has to stop!â€