Feb 9, 2007

Watada, Resistor.

I know that I've been posting up a bunch of YouTube videos today, but this one is awesome. It's a 2-part short film that documents the moment when Iraq War resister, 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, calls 3 Japanese American men who were involved in similar controversies during WWII: two were no-no boys (refusing to serve because they didn't believe that they should have to serve the nation when the nation had interned their people) and one was a WWII veteran. The film has a few significant highlights for me, but you should check it out for yourself. I think that Lt. Watada is incredibly articulate about why he is resisting, and I think that hearing the old-timers speak of then and now is really something else.

*** The old-timers talk about how the Japanese American Citizen's League (JACL), which had a very controversial stance on the no-no boys during WWII (claiming that they should be tried for sedition, rather than just draft resistance), is not necessarily changing their tune this time around either. Watada mentions that they have been supportive of him, but haven't come out against the war (nor has the ACLU). I think it's quite courageous for him to be critical of his supporters in this way, and makes me feel that he is doing this out of true conviction, and not as a stunt.

*** Watada speaks very eloquently about the duty to speak up against this illegal war. I think that we can all get something out of what he's saying here - and it's just remarkable that he's so poised about it, given his age. It's not easy to take such a fierce stand.

See it for yourself:

Part I:

Part II:

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