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Fox - Desertion Rate For Iraq Lowest Of Any War & War Protesting Officer Could Be Used As Pawn Of The Left Wing

Reported by Donna - June 7, 2006

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith he did a segment on Lt. Ehren Watada, who may be the first officer to refuse to go to war in Iraq. Though Studio B kept posting a banner that said U.S. Army Officer Refuses To Go Back To Iraq, they made it clear in their story that the officer had never been to Iraq before.

In addition to having an unnamed National Guard Lieutenant saying that Watada is going to be used as a pawn by the far left, Fox reporter, Dan Springer, stated that the desertion rate of 8,000 for the war in Iraq was the lowest rate ever in any war. Upon checking out statistics for the war in Vietnam I found that between 1 and 1.6 million soldiers served in Vietnam and around 5,000 had been deserters. Source. Which states: Only about 5,000 men assigned to Vietnam deserted and just 249 of those deserted while in Vietnam. I do not know what source Fox News was using.

Here is my transcript between Shepard Smith and Dan Springer.

Shepard Smith: He says the war In Iraq is immoral an he refuses to fight in it. A U.S. Army Lieutenant saying that when his fellow soldiers head back to Iraq, or head to Iraq, he will not be among them. The Fort Louis officer says, quoting here, "I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to watch families torn apart while the president tells us to stay the course." End of quote. Well, now the next move belongs to the U.S. Army.

Smith then introduces reportere Dan Springer in Tacoma, Washington, where as Smith says, "this is going down."

Dan Springer: And Shep, that next move might very well be a court martial and jail for a man believed to be the first officer to refuse to fight in Iraq. His name is 1st Lieutenant Ehren Watada. (He) signed up for officer candidate school after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now, he says, he can help his fellow soldiers more by protesting the war instead of fighting alongside them.

His artillary unit is attached to the Stryker (sp) Brigade which will ship out to Iraq any day now from Washington state. Watada has never been in combat. His first assignment was a year in Korea. Here's his video statement just released by anti war groups.


Lt. Ehren Watada: The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of Iraqis is not only a terrible moral injustice but it is a contradictiion to the armys own law of manned warfare. My participation would make me party to war crimes.

Dan Springer: We got a far different reaction from military families, as you might imagine. A mother of a marine we spoke with called Lt. Watada a coward and an army National Guard Lieutenant, who served a year in Iraq says Watada is going to be used as a pawn by the far left to the detrimate of his unit and others in uniform.

Video of unidentified male (I assume it was the unnamed National Guard Lieutenant he spoke about in prior sentence):

He won't be there when his men are in combat and...uh.....he'll have no honor if he doesn't have any feelings of guilt whatsoever.

Dan Springer: Now 8,000 enlisted soliders have deserted since the Iraq War began but those numbers have actually been in decline since the beginning of the war. (Comment: Maybe because the same soldiers are serving 3 tours?) And the desertion rate is the lowest for this war than any other war.

Comments: I don't know what sources Springer used for his claim that the desertion rate is the lowest for this war than any other war, but I imagine that in wars before this century our paper trail isn't very good. I'm sure there are estimates, just not actual figures.

As far as Lt. Watada goes, I found it patronizing that they would say he would be used as a pawn by left wing groups. I'm sure Lt. Watada is a unique person unto himself who took careful and thoughtful insight into making his decision.

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