Sunday, January 07, 2007

Don't think, just keep killin'.

This is Lt. Ehren Watada of the 3rd Brigade of the US Army.

He joined the military back in 2003, because he bought the whole "Saddam Hussein has WMDs and links to al Qaeda" story that the US government was peddling, even though these days Dubya's boys can't seem to spit it out fast enough that, "Hey, we never said Saddam had anything to do with 9/11."

Riiiiiiiiiiiight. If you launch a "War on Terror" in direct response to 9/11, which was carried out by al Qaeda, and then include Iraq in this "War," and then you start speaking of Saddam as "terrorist," you are implying a link between him and al Qaeda and, hence, 9/11 (even though a little bit of digging can easily net you the fact that Osama bin Laden considered Saddam Hussein an infidel and would've liked nothing more than to put a bullet through Saddam's brain, but that's neither here nor there after Saddam got a little "rope massage" a couple of weeks ago).

Now, whether or not Lt. Watada bought the story or not — and he claims that he did, along with a lot of other people — the US-led war on Iraq, no matter what way you slice it, is patently illegal under international law. (You remember international laws, right? The ones that countries say they're going to uphold? Well, Dubya's crew must have thought the one about "don't attack other countries unless it's in self-defence" was "quaint," much like the Geneva Conventions about prisoners of war, and decided to kindly disregard it.) And now Lt. Watada is refusing to be redeployed to Iraq.

Do you condemn him or not? Perhaps an analogy would help.

Let's say there was this new diet being pushed by some guru in which the advertisements said, "All these people who have tried my diet have stopped eating mangos, and all these people lost thirty pounds in six months." You happen to really like mangos, though, and you know that they're generally pretty good for you, unless you happen to be deathly allergic to them.

Consider the above quote, made by the diet guru. Would you say s/he is trying to imply that mangos prevent people from losing weight? It would be easy to make that leap of logic, even though it appears nowhere in the statement. But hey, you're a bit on the tubby side of things, so you're willing to give it a shot: out go the mangos, the mango juice, and your secret family recipe for something called "steak and mango pie." Needless to say, local mango farmers are pretty pissed off, because they've had scientific evidence, gathered since 1991-ish, that says mangos are actually part of a healthy diet.

MangoMania™ sweeps the nation. People burn mango-processing plants to the ground, the mayor of Beloit, Wisconsin declares "Anti-Mango Week" in the city, and old re-runs of Saturday Night Live containing Chris Kattan's "Mango" character abruptly stop being aired; in fact, soon after this "War on Mangos" was declared, you were one of the first to burn a mango tree in effigy. And yet... people still pack on the pounds, more than ever.

Finally, after nearly four years of being mango-free, you decide that it's time for you to read the research and come to your own conclusions about this juicy, ellipsoidal fruit. You realize that it's not mangos that are making people fat, it's the pork rinds and the Double Big Macs and the deep-fried-everything. Hell, even a lot of higher-ups who started the anti-mango movement are now coming out and saying that the diet guru faked his facts. So you vow to go back on the mangos.

"But no!" the obese mob shouts. "Mangos are the enemy! We must stay the course and wipe them out, once and for all!" In the face of all the pro-mango evidence, though, does the mob's argument hold any water anymore? Or are they just crazy idiots who have been brainwashed so thoroughly that they're beyond all reason?

In conclusion, in my opinion, Lt. Watada is justified in refusing to go back to fight this illegal, unjust war. He's a thinking, rational person who has come to realize that he was incorrect in his initial judgment, and should be allowed to once again eat mangos — i.e., not break international law to help continue a conflict which was based on lies (or, even if you're being generous, a "breakdown in intelligence-gathering;" but really, does it matter? It was wrong, the whole war is wrong, and it's immoral to continue the damn thing).

1 comment:

Eve said...

As much as I don't like it, desertion is desertion. Then again, I don't know anything about this story except that he joined the army and then refused to fight.

If he's such a reasonable guy, why did he sign up in the first place?