What's Pablo Paredes Up To Now?
Many of you will remember the saga of erstwhile Petty Officer Pablo Paredes, who missed movement of his ship, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), as a way of protesting our occupation of Iraq (and ended up missing out on some imperialistic tsunami-relief efforts). He ended up being administratively separated (General, Under Honorable Conditions) after being convicted at court-martial. We last saw him desperately trying to stay in the news in any way possible.
Well, he's back -- in Vermont, of all places, speaking at an anti-war rally. You can read the article yourself; I just wanted to point out the factual errors the reporter made in the three paragraphs that cover Paredes:
"Sapp and Pablo Paredes, a former junior Navy officer [He was a "Petty Officer", which is a not an "officer" in the sense commonly accepted] who refused to board an Iraq-bound ship in December 2004, were among the activists who spoke during a 90-minute rally that followed a march from City Hall to the wide, snow-covered lawn in front of the capitol...
"...Paredes, 24, of San Diego, made national news in December 2004 when he was arrested [he wasn't arrested right away, even though he had hoped to be] after failing to board a ship transporting Marines to Iraq. He was convicted last year but honorably discharged [General Under Honorable is not the same thing as an Honorable Discharge] from the military. He told the crowd of his efforts in "counter-recruiting," trying to persuade people not to join the military.
"Paraphrasing physicist Albert Einstein, Paredes said, "Wars will stop as soon as people stop fighting in them." [I suppose that it's a paraphrase -- couldn't find anything like in this list of Einstein quotes, and a Google search of the phrase was unhelpful, but I suppose "paraphrase" could mean "follows the general ideas held by that person".]
Three short paragraphs -- three questionable statements and an unknown quote. Not bad.
I was interested, though, to read about the other speaker, SSGT Andrew Sapp. He has a web page which indicates that he and his family are committed opponents of the war -- and he actually fulfilled his contractually-obligated service, as opposed to Paredes. Therefore, I can't complain that his home page implies that he spent 18 months "in Iraq" when the rest of his site indicates that he actually spent no more than 9 months there (he was away from his job for 18 months with pre-deployment training and 3 months in Kuwait, which, despite Saddam Hussein's best efforts in 1990, isn't actually part of Iraq).