US Officer refuses orders to go to Iraq

#2
letthecatoutofthebag said:
Just found ths thread on ARRSE www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/...95#1069901 about a US Soldier who refused to follow an order to deploy to Iraq, claiming the war is illegal.

A RAF Officer was court martialled about a year and a half ago in similar circumstances. I think he was dismissed from the service. No matter what you say about the initial actions in Iraq (i.e. the actions to overthrow Saddam and the Ba'ath Party) the US and UK are currently in Iraq at the inviation of the Iraq Government and as such the current war is therefore legal - this was the crux of the case against the RAF Officer.

If this US Officer had concerns about the war, he should have resigned long ago and not waited for an order to proceed to Iraq. I think his actions are disgraceful and an insult to those currently fighting in Iraq. I hope he is court martialled and duly punsihed
Well you got this one totally wrong.

RM
 
#3
letthecatoutofthebag said:
Just found ths thread on ARRSE
A RAF Officer was court martialled about a year and a half ago in similar circumstances. I think he was dismissed from the service. No matter what you say about the initial actions in Iraq (i.e. the actions to overthrow Saddam and the Ba'ath Party) the US and UK are currently in Iraq at the inviation of the Iraq Government and as such the current war is therefore legal - this was the crux of the case against the RAF Officer.
As I recall he was CMd for some variant of Wilful Dis, since he'd failed to turn up for pre-deployment courses.

If this US Officer had concerns about the war, he should have resigned long ago and not waited for an order to proceed to Iraq.
The whole issue about how to respond to what one perceives as an illegal order is fraught with difficulty. Things like shoot that man in the back of the head and push him in that pit is pretty clear cut, but participation in an oeration where very experienced and well paid legal minds can't reach a conclusion means that someone refusing to carry out the order takes a huge risk. If he was claiming to be a contientious objector then I'd agree with you, but service in one theatre of many strikes me as different.

He can probably find legal people to argue his case, and it'll probably be pretty compelling; equally as compelling is the legal case that can be made about it being legal.

However I'd agree that it should result in a Court Martial, that way the issues can be dealt with in a reasonable manner.
 
#4
letthecatoutofthebag said:
[quote="Bergen]Well you got this one totally wrong.

RM
Care to expand?[/quote]

Yes..I will. I didn't mean to be quite so abrupt but I read your original message on the run. There is a lot more to this officer's story than is immediately obvious. I will try and post a more balanced observation later today.

Regards

RM
 
#5
letthecatoutofthebag said:
Just found ths thread on ARRSE http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=57195.html about a US Soldier who refused to follow an order to deploy to Iraq, claiming the war is illegal.

A RAF Officer was court martialled about a year and a half ago in similar circumstances. I think he was dismissed from the service. No matter what you say about the initial actions in Iraq (i.e. the actions to overthrow Saddam and the Ba'ath Party) the US and UK are currently in Iraq at the inviation of the Iraq Government and as such the current war is therefore legal - this was the crux of the case against the RAF Officer.

If this US Officer had concerns about the war, he should have resigned long ago and not waited for an order to proceed to Iraq. I think his actions are disgraceful and an insult to those currently fighting in Iraq. I hope he is court martialled and duly punsihed


A few facts;

The officer that you are referring to is Lieutenant Ehren Watada - Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

He has consistantly claimed that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. The UN, most of the world and many in the USA agree with him on this.

He told the US Army that he considered the invasion was illegal under the UN Charter, The Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg Principles and that he had a legal and moral obligation to refuse to participate.

He explained that he was not a Conscientious Objector and offered to resign his commission or to serve in Afghanistan. The US army refused to accept his resignation or to let him serve in Afghanistan.

In June 2006 he refused to mobilise to Iraq. He has been charged with:-

1. Conduct unbecoming on officer
2. Refusing to deploy
3. Contempt towards officials - specifically GW Bush

He has asked to be court-martialled and his trial is set for February 5th 2007.

This case has as much to do with GW Bush's personal interpretation of the US Constitution than a simple refusal by an officer to participate in an illegal war.

These are the simple facts and I am not sure whether you were serious in your statement that this war is now legal because the USA and UK are now in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraq government. That's a little like saying that the German occupation of Norway became legal immediately that Quisling became head of the Norwegian government. We can argue that one all day but your argument becomes doubly redundant when you consider that Prime Minister Maliki has twice requested that US and UK occupation forces leave Iraq.

RM
 
#8
letthecatoutofthebag said:
Bergen said:
whether you were serious in your statement that this war is now legal because the USA and UK are now in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraq government.

I am fairly serious as this was part of the prosecution case at the CM of the RAF Officer. Not too long after the CM I spoke with a RN Cdr Barrister who explained the case in these relatively simple terms.

The case of Norway is a bit disingenuous. Iraq - and its current government - are recognised by the UN and other nations as a democratic country and its government is therefore legal and the US/UK forces there are (technically at leasy) at its request. The Quisiling government in Norway never received such recognition - other than by Germany and its allies - and therefore remained illegal and the Nazi occupation forces remained illegal.

Yes its a technical point, but its a point that proved the RAF Officer guilty (incidently he had already done tours in Iraq and had been, I beieve, there in 2003 as part of the initial invasion).

All of our troops are obliged to carry out legal orders. If he or she is convinved that an order is illegal then he is duty bound to disobey that order. Making a show of refusing to go to Iraq in the way this Officer did is mere theatrics. If he was not happy with the war in Iraq that was being fought in his name and by his comrades he should have resigned his commission long ago. By waiting until his unit was ordered to go he let down is oppos - this is reprehensible.
Watanada received an order that he considered illegal and refused it; he obviously did not consider that the illegal invasion had been carried out in his name, in the same way that the great majority of the UK and US voting populations do not consider that the invasion was carried out in their names.

I remain puzzled by your insistance that the government of Iraq is legal and that coalition forces are there at the request of this government. If Prime Minister Maliki's government is legal and is recognised why have the US and the UK governments refused to comply with his request to remove their occupation forces from his country??

RM
 

Vesper

Lantern Swinger
#10
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient: Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC [Retired]


Full version can be found here http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Regards, :neutral:

~Vesper
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
#11
Vesper said:
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.


Full version can be found here http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Regards, :neutral:

~Vesper
It would appear nothing has changed, my Dad told me something very similar when he left the Royal Marines after 22 years, on the day I told him I was joining the Navy, I expect I will soon be telling my son something similar!
 
#12
#14
This case is getting strangerer and strangerer. The Presiding Judge at the Court Martial refused to accept a defence based on the illegality of the Iraq War, deeming it irrelevant.

This confounded most lawyers and constitutional scholars but of course the Pentagon and the Administration simply couldn't afford to allow this defence to proceed and were stuck in a quandary.

The Presiding Judge managed to back himself into a corner with his own legal shennanigans and was eventually forced to declare a mistrial last week.

Although the US Army has now stated that it will set a date for a new trial it seems almost certain that Lieutenant Watada will not be tried and will therefore not be found guilty of any offence because such a trial would be illegal due to Double Jeopardy.

It seems likely that this result was engineered by the US Army as the only way to avoid the trial and continuing public scrutiny of the full facts of the case.

RM
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#15
If the US Army were to remand him in custody in Guantanemo Bay until the retrail, I'm sure he'll change his plea by the time he re-appears in court... :twisted:
 
#16
sgtpepperband said:
If the US Army were to remand him in custody in Guantanemo Bay until the retrail, I'm sure he'll change his plea by the time he re-appears in court... :twisted:
He's a US Citizen and therefore detention at Guantanamo Bay is a complete no-no. Of course if he changed his nationality to Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian, German et al then he could be tortured until the cows come home and I am sure you would be correct in supposing that he would change his plea to whatever the men in hoods deemed appropriate.

:evil: :twisted: :evil:


RM
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
J The Quarterdeck 8
M History 3
redshank The Corps 10

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top