Tuesday, January 09, 2007

L.A. Times Inappropriately Sympathetic With An Army Deserter

Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a disloyal U.S. soldier who is trying to desert, should receive the full penalties of the law for failing to agree to service in Iraq. And it is inappropriate for the Los Angeles Times to show him sympathy with articles and editorials.

We have hundreds of thousands of soldiers, Marines, Navy, Air Force and special forces who have courageously fought in what is a difficult, protracted war. More than 3,000 of them have died in it, thousands more have been wounded. All of them volunteered for the service, as did Watada. But only Watada and a very few others have refused to go.

There should only be one penalty in wartime for a wilful failure to perform one's duty, and that is death by firing squad. The Army is being nice to Watada in asking only for a six-year term.

Also, reporters who taperecorded Watada's disloyal remarks should appear in court to testify, as requested by Army prosecutors. This is not a case of protecting one's sources, since Watada spoke publicly and was recorded publicly.

If the L.A. Times and other newspapers wish to retain the loyalty of their own readers, then they must support the laws of the land. A Times editorially wrongfully entitled "Military Injustice" admits that, "It makes sense for the Army to prosecute (Watada) for refusing orders to deploy to Iraq," but then objects to government procedures that will prove Watada is refusing to go.

There is no substitute in these hard times for loyalty to the nation. When a soldier voluntarily signs up for duty, he must go. It is necessary to tell that to Teresa Watanabe, the Times reporter who has written entirely too sympathetically about this disgraceful officer.

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