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Get Up, Stand Up

chiroux.jpgMatthis Chiroux has been in the army for almost six years, having worked his way up to sergeant. He’s done several foreign tours, including in Afghanistan, and he’s slated to go to Iraq next month. Except he’s not going because, as he explained to Congress last week, he believes we’re involved in an illegal war:

I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare to the military, my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq,…. My decision is based on my desire to no longer continue violating my core values to support an illegal and unconstitutional occupation… I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation.

His testimony followed that of several other Army and Marine folk who have already done Iraq tours and were there to tell Congress about the troubles this war has caused, from “lawless murders, looting and the abuse of countless Iraqis” to the breaking of soldiers upon their return, leading to anxiety and self-medication.

Chiroux isn’t technically AWOL yet, since he isn’t supposed to report again until June 15. But as of mid-July, he’ll be deemed a deserter, and he’s not planning to run off to Canada as others do, but intends to face whatever the Army throws his way. Good luck, buddy, ‘cause I suspect you’ll need it.

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Comments

Its a gross misconception that military members can go off to Canada anymore. After Vietnam, the Canadian government has made it much more difficult to get asylum. Lots of people have been sent back to military custody.

When I was in the service, lo these many, many years ago, they made us swear an oath to uphold the constitution. You had to actually and physically step forward and raise your hand and swear or affirm that you would hold that job sacred. Being the snotty, pissy, drug addled youngster I was, later I sneered at that process in front of this very scary, very tough sargeant. What he said was amazing and has stuck with me since then.

He said that the service was not quivering with fear that I wouldn't do what was expected of me and that they had their own tools to ensure my cooperation in their designs, but that when the shit hit the fan and I wanted to take the easy way out or I wanted to run, I would maybe remember what I swore to in front of witnesses and that I would do what was right. He was dead on, and so was Robert E Lee when he said "Duty is the most sublime of words."

It sounds like this kid is doing his what he swore to do.

Did I neglect to mention that Bush sucks?