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Ehren Watada: Free at Last

How can illegal wars of aggression be prevented?

There is currently a broad debate on torture in policy circles, the public and to some degree in the courts. But torture is only one war crime, and it’s not the most severe. Yet there is virtually no effort to question or establish accountability for the most important war crime by the United States in Iraq: illegal pre-emptive war.

As Watada said, “I think the greatest crime that the leaders of a country could commit–the leadership of a country–would be to take their people, their country, into war, based upon false pretenses.”

In a statement that won him an additional charge from the Army, Watada told a Veterans for Peace convention, “To stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it.” Is such action disloyalty, or a much-needed addition to our system of checks and balances?

The Army vented its own frustration at its failure to convict Watada by insisting that his resignation was “under other than honorable conditions.”

Lt. Ehren Watada honorably sacrificed much and risked more “to make sure that all Americans live in a country where we have true democracy.” The Army should honor him as a military hero.

Read entire article in The Nation

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