Can you spot the rock star?
Poor Martin Kaste must have so overloaded on the Prince Superbowl halftime show that it clouded his thinking this morning - or perhaps he secretly wants to work as a reporter for E! or Entertainment Tonight. Here's how Kaste presents the court martial case of U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada, the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the Iraq War and occupation:
"Last year when the order to deploy to Iraq came down, he refused to go. This has given him rock star status among war protesters....he politely accepts the crowds adoration." Kaste describes Watada as being "in some ways...a hero straight out of central casting...besides being bright and well spoken, he dresses and looks like the cover of GQ, but there are those who are not so taken with him..."
Guess what Kaste? some people actually give a crap about the direction this country is going and sincerely admire the courage of someone like Lt. Watada. We don't care whether he dresses well or looks like he's "straight out of central casting." I realize that some people are so devoid of integrity and core values that they assume that others must be motivated by the same vapid, superficial qualities that inspire them. Watada is not a "rock star" to those who oppose the Iraq War, he is a man who has put his life and career on the line to stand up for what he believes. Perhaps this is what has earned him the respect of another "rock star," Desmond Tutu.
In fact, Watada's case raises crucial issues that cut right to the heart of whether our nation will survive as a democratic republic or will continue its decent into a militarism where laws, rights, and principles are regularly disregarded in the name of "security."
NPR could do us all a favor and assign the coverage of this story to someone who would give it the serious consideration it deserves - perhaps Nina Totenberg, who's been doing a decent job covering the Libby trial, could recommend someone.