The following Minute in support of Lt. Ehren Watada's refusal to participate in the "illegal invasion and occupation" of Iraq was adopted by the Agate Passage Friends (Quaker) Meeting of Bainbridge Island, WA., on August 13, 2006.

 

 

We of Agate Passage Friends Meeting wish to extend our support for Lieutenant Ehren Watada for the courageous stand he has taken against the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Lt. Watada believes that the U.S.A.s preemptive war and the resulting occupation and violence in Iraq is illegal and finds participation in that war unacceptable for him and his conscience.

 

As Quakers we have a longstanding and deep commitment to support Conscientious Objectors (COs) who take a stand against participation in war when the forces within a culture call persons to use violence. We see Lt. Watada as a person of conscience who has sought to make a clear distinction between what is morally acceptable and what is morally unacceptable. 

 

Clearly Lt. Watada is a brave soldier.  He is not only willing to go to prison for his beliefs, he is also a man of deep conviction who is willing to fight and die under certain circumstances and equally unwilling under others.  Lt. Watada and others like him deserve not only our support but our deepest gratitude for opening hearts and minds to a new perspective on what it means to take a conscientious stand against violence.