Here is an excerpt from the article by Charles Burress in the Chronicle today.
And being Japanese American, Watada has touched a sensitive nerve among Japanese Americans who recall how military sacrifice was seen as proof of their loyalty during the ordeals of World War II.
"It's scraped the scab off an old wound that has never healed," Japanese American Citizens League member Andy Noguchi said in a column last week in the Nichi Bei Times, a Japanese American paper based in San Francisco that has featured extensive coverage and commentary on the case.
World War II saw the upheaval and internment of Japanese Americans, the sacrifice of Japanese American soldiers who suffered extraordinarily high casualties and the ostracism of the internees who refused to fight in the U.S. military.
Bob Watada (Lt. Watada's father) sees a big difference between World War II and Iraq.
"There's a lot of people who don't know what's going on in Iraq," the father said in an interview. "There's no doubt about it. It's illegal. It violates the Constitution. ... The president lied, outright lied to the people, and to Congress, about why we're in Iraq."
Lt. Watada argues he is obliged -- under precedents established in the Nuremberg war-crimes trials -- to refuse illegal orders, in this case to support what he sees as an illegal invasion. Watada, who could not be reached for comment, has said he would be willing to serve in Afghanistan.
He refused to depart with his unit, the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, when it left Fort Lewis on June 22. The Army charged him with "missing movement" for his refusal to go to Iraq and accused him of contempt toward officials and of conduct unbecoming an officer because of his public comments, such as allegedly criticizing the war as morally wrong and accusing President Bush of lying.
The Army also cited his alleged comment, "I was shocked and at the same time ashamed that Bush had planned to invade Iraq before the 9/11 attacks. How could I wear this horrible uniform now knowing we invaded a country for a lie?"
The Army is now reviewing the recommendation for a court-martial.