US army officer refuses Iraq tour

A US army officer who is refusing to fight in Iraq has said serving there would make him party to war crimes.

    Ehren Watada was to be deployed to Iraq later this month

    Supporters of First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, 28, say he is the first commissioned US army officer to publicly refuse to go to Iraq, while t

    he Pentagon says he is among a number of officers and enlisted personnel who have applied for conscientious objector status.

    Watada said: "The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people is not only a terrible moral injustice but a contradiction of the army's own law of land warfare.

    "My participation would make me party to war crimes."

    Watada was speaking at a news conference on Wednesday in the US town of Tacoma.

    He had been scheduled to be deployed to Iraq for his first tour later this month.

    Watada said his moral and legal obligations were to the US constitution and "not those who would issue unlawful orders".

    In recent weeks, soldiers have been accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha, raising concern's about the US army's behaviour in Iraq.

    Paul Boyce, an army spokesman at the Pentagon, said Watada's case was being reviewed, adding it "is not the first case, nor is his case particularly unique".

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.