I never had to choose between fighting in an insane war or going absent without leave. Vietnam was winding down when I got into the Navy - and except for officers like John Kerry who served on Swift boats, the duty on ships wasn't all that hazardous. But I often wondered what I would have done if I had been forced into combat.
The truth is, I might very well have done what Ehren Watada did last year as a first lieutenant in the US Army.
At the center of the dispute between the judge and the defense is Watada’s intent when he did not deploy with his unit to Iraq. The defense has consistently tried to call into question the legality of the war, because Watada said the war is illegal and a command to fight in Iraq is also illegal. But the judge has said the argument over the legality of the war is not a matter that can be settled in military court.
Whether Bush's war is legal or not, it is unethical and a blight on our nation. I completely support Watada's refusal to fight. And to those out in right wing land who call him a coward, I say the coward is the chickenshit in the White House who went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard - and got to be president as a reward.
It's almost enough to make you wish for a military coup. But not quite.