Watada: Stop The Legal Squirming

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - February 14, 2007

Last week’s mistrial declared in the Lt. Ehren Watada case was not as detrimental as some may have believed.

First, if you’ve been living in the jungles of Borneo, Watada is in deep kim chee for admittedly failing to deploy with his troops to Iraq and for conduct unbecoming of an officer. As MidWeek went to press over the weekend, I don’t believe Watada will get an ecclesiastical white out for his actions via mistrial because he has not been convicted or exonerated of his charges. But if for some reason Watada walks, it would debilitate the United States military, resulting in tremendous upheaval within the ranks and threaten the nation’s safety and security.

I hear comments questioning the integrity and courage of Watada on a regular basis. One person I spoke with said he believes Watada is a coward because he is using every legal maneuver to ensure he mitigates or eliminates punishment for his admitted crimes. He said he would have retained some respect for him if Watada would have accepted the consequences of his actions and served his time.

I agree. His desire to squirm out of his responsibility not once, but twice diminishes his moral high ground and galvanizes public sentiment that he is simply trying to get of out his sworn duty.

Here is the bottom line on the war on terrorism. Those on the left, including most Democrats, simply do not comprehend what is at stake with Iraq. There cannot be any other explanation. I do not accept the notion that any American would purposefully, and with malice, do their utmost to harm or destroy our nation. I can only come to the conclusion that those on the left are more concerned with the theoretical rather than the practical. Unfortunately, during the times in which we live, this position places our country in a dangerous situation.

The Democrats and select Republicans who are calling for an immediate pull-out, a phased redeployment or a defined timetable for withdrawal are supporting a policy that will doom the Iraqi people to absolute unrest and oppression. The involvement of Iran and Syria will lead to a more profound battle for control of Iraq’s land and resources. Their ingratiation into the factional disputes within the borders would be a disaster.

Second, the failure to establish an Iraqi-controlled democracy, despite two free elections, would guaranatee defeat. The perception of American weakness would motivate and embolden our many enemies to follow through on their stated mission to destroy the “infidels.”

Have you seen the car bomb explosions on television newscasts? Instead of the story taking place in Baghdad, London or Israel, our streets will be targeted and the battle will be brought to our communities.

Make no mistake, failure in Iraq in not an option. The stakes and consequences are too severe. Our commitment is not only to the Iraqi people who have taken their first steps toward independence, but our success is directly tied to our national security. It is painful to hear our policy makers support a strategy that will ensure our demise.

The domino effect in the Middle East is in the balance. If we succeed in securing Iraq and democracy there flourishes, then a shining example can be offered to other nations to follow. If we fail, the entire region will destablilize, Iraq will be comandeered as a center of terrorism and Israel will surely be at its greatest risk in generations.

Are we prepared to deal with the aftermath of an Iraqi failure?

I can say this: If some politicians and the American people find our present situation in Iraq to be intolerable, I am not sure they will have the stomach to deal with a war on our own lands.

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