Support for Ehren Watada
by Jim Matsuoka
The Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress supports the effort of Lt. Ehren Watada
The NCRR believes that his act of conscience and courage reminds us that being a good soldier and citizen requires more than just blindly following orders.
As Japanese Americans, we know too well the consequences of violations of international law and human rights as witnessed by our incarceration during World War II in American prison camps.
The NCRR believes that patriotism takes on many forms as we saw in the actions of those Japanese Americans who protested injustice in the camps, as well as those who risked their lives in battle.
The NCRR supports the courageous stand of Lt. Watada in his opposition to this cruel and horrific war in Iraq. The carnage that is taking place is not in keeping with the America that we know that used to receive the acclaim of the world for coming to the aid of the weak and oppressed. That America believed in the rule of law and of habeas corpus. It reviled those who would torture and thought as unacceptable, the use of preemptive strikes as a valid form of foreign policy.
That America gave us national heroes from Lincoln to John F. Kennedy, peacemakers like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez, who were admired universally by people of all races and religions, for they brought forward the best of what was in the hear of America and it’s aspirations.
Lt. Ehren Watada stands for that America which we are in danger of losing. He has staked his honor and future to warn us in this dire hour. His actions remind us again that patriotism can come in many different forms. We as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will inherit the legacy of this country and we need to stand up now with him for the America that we want.