Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Matthis Chiroux

War Resister: Matthis Chiroux

Matthis ChirouxIVAW members Matthis Chiroux and Kris Goldsmith have been pounding the pavement in Washington DC, with the help of IVAW's DC chapter, to get members of Congress to support Matthis in his refusal to deploy to Iraq. Matthis was honorably discharged from the Army in 2007 after five years of service, but he received orders in February 2008 to return to active duty from the IRR for deployment to Iraq.

On Sunday, June 15th, the day he was due to report for active duty, Matthis stood with his father and supporters in DC and reaffirmed that he is refusing his orders on the grounds that the Iraq war is illegal and unconstitutional.

How you can help:

Find out more about Matthis Chiroux.

The above is from Iraq Veterans Against the War. As we did yesterday, we'll post the video of Mathiss speaking on Sunday.

It's really strange the silence that greeted the above. I was not going to link to Fox "News" in the snapshot but I will here -- they repost AFP's story. As Kat noted last night, it was one of the few things you could find covering Matthis. How does that happen? Today Amy Goodman tries to play catch up. She had all the time in the world yesterday but had nothing to say on Matthis. Today, she again starts an interview without knowing the basics. Prensa Latina notes Matthis and we'll quote the last sentence: " In fiscal 2007 that ended last September 30 4,698 US soldiers has deserted nearly 2,500 more than in 2006, according to those figures."

For any who do not benefit from streaming (either due to computer or hearing issues), here is what Matthis Chiroux is stating in the video.

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux: Good afternoon. We gather here this Father's Day on a very somber note. The American occupation of Iraq -- an illegal, immoral war which is ripping this nation apart as well causing an immeasurable harm to the Iraqi people and the people of the world alike. We gather in the remembrance of the sacrifice of many whose fathers weep on this joyous day for they know their own flesh and blood has been torn and siphoned from them for what we collectively hope will be this last blunder of American military might. We gather here and hope that our fathers will forgive us for the wrongs we have perpetrated on our bodies, hearts and minds alike in this cruel decade of disaster which stems from the very city in which we stand.
This father's day, we gather here to calm the vicious and vengeful alike. The first day I came to Washington, D.C. was less than one month before I shipped out to basic training. I was so moved by this country and its history that it reinvigorated my belief in the righteousness of what I was doing: Joining the army not only in search of personal progress but to participate in the efforts to bring justice to the individuals responsible for 9-11.
I remember standing at the base of the Washington Monument and watching the fireworks explode in the sky that Fourth of July and wondering how it was that we could have come under attack on American soil and believing firmly that I would be participatingin dealing justice for September 11th.
I remember standing before the Lincoln Memorial and feeling the presence of not just the former president and emancipator but of Martin Luther King and his dream for a brighter and more united future for the children of this nation.
That young me could not have known where he'd be standing almost six years later and what he would be saying this Father's Day. I am Sgt. Matthis Chiroux and tonight at midnight I may face further action from the army for refusing to reactive to participate in the Iraq occupation.
This fact hangs heavy on my heart as I look back at my five years of service in uniform. But I understand that what I am doing is in keeping with the values I shared with my friends-in-arms while we wondered if things could really get any worse?
Today I stand in resistance to the occupation of Iraq because I believe in our nation, its military and her people. I resist because I swore an oath to this nation that I would not allow it to fall into decay when I may be serving on the side of right. And my country is in decay and in these times of crisis Thomas Paine once said, "The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will flee from service to our country."
I stand here today as a Winter Soldier. To serve our nation, its military and its people in this dark time of confusion and corruption.
I stand here to make it known that my duty as a soldier is first to the higher ideals and guiding principles of this country which our leaders have failed to uphold.
I stand here today in defense of the US Constitution which has known no greater enemy, foreign or domestic, than those highest in this land who are sworn to be governed by its word.
I stand here today in defense of those who have been stripped of their voices in this occupation for the warriors of this nation have been silenced to the people who need to start listening.
We are here to honor the memory of our fathers who more than two centuries ago brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, as Abraham Lincoln once noted.
We are here to honor the struggle of our fathers and their fathers and their fathers before them to build this nation and bring it together -- through slavery and poverty, to sexism and racism, through materialism and imperialism. They built this nation and struggled to keep it alive as we've blundered and learned and blundered again. We owe it to our fathers to stand for this nation now when a dark cloud has descended upon it in the form of an administration who is stealing the lives of us all to wage an illegal war -- conceived in lies and birthed [born] of manipulation.
As a soldier I was told it was not my place to question the orders of those appointed above me. I had that lie trained into me from my first day of basic training to my last day of active duty. But I have learned the truth, the truth that the occupation of Iraq is inherently illegal and that it is my duty as a soldier to refuse illegal orders to reactivate and deploy in support of it.
I have learned that in these times of crisis one must look deep into their own values to know the path that they must walk. I have learned that feeling and thinking and speaking and acting and keeping with courage and honesty in preservation of a righteous cause is blessed and may give a person strength to utter truths that may calm the vicious and the vengeful alike.
I believe that this nation and this military may come to know the same truth: That the rule of law has been forsaken and we must return to it or be doomed to continue disaster. I believe in the goodness of the American people and I believe that justice is not dead because we as a people believe that it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government in our names. We know this truth to be self-evident that our nation can unite to oppose an illegal occupation which is killing and scarring and shattering the lives of our youth and the Iraqi people.
On this Fathers Day, know, America, that your children need you. We need you to care for us and to care for our country which we will inherit when you are finished with her. We need you to end this occupation of Iraq which has destroyed a country and scattered its people to the wind like ashes in the tempest -- a tempest that has engulfed the nation of Iraq and scrubbed any sign of peace and prosperity from the surface of a civilization older than even history itself.
Fathers, we need you to care for your children and the children of Iraq for they know not why you fight and carry no fault in the conflict.
Fathers, your sons and daughters need you now to embrace peace for though we were attacked, we have dealt in retaliation that same suffering one-thousand times over to a people who never wronged us. The nation will know little healing until first we stem off the flow of blood and human life for justice and healing will never be done by a blade or a bullet or a bomb or a torture cell.
By continuing to participate in the unjust occupation of Iraq, we, as service members, are contributing to that flow of human life and we cannot now -- nor could we ever -- call the Iraqi people an enemy in the fight against the use of terror. But terror is all we now know. We are terrified of the prospect that we have been lied to. We are terrified by the idea that we have killed for nothing. We are terrified to break the silence. We are terrified to do what we know is right.
But never again will I allow terror to silence me. Nor will I allow it to govern my actions. I refuse terror as a tactic for uniting a people around an unjust cause. I refuse to allow terror to motivate me to do violence on my fellow man especially those who never wronged me in the first place. I refuse to be terrified to stand in defense of my Constitution. And I refuse to be terrified of doing so in great adversity.
As a resister to the Iraq Occupation, I refuse to be terrified by what may come for I know those who stand against me are in terror of the truth. But I will speak my truth, and I will stand by it firmly and forever will my soul know peace. Thank you.

Fox "News" got a link for covering Matthis. In the same spirit we'll note this from Corey Glass which the conservative Canadian paper The National Post runs today:

I have been in Toronto since August, 2006. In my time here, I have been self-sufficient and I have made many friends. I have built a life here.
Last week I was in Ottawa, when the House of Commons passed a motion saying that the Canadian government should make it possible for conscientious objectors to get permanent residence in Canada. The motion also said that all deportation proceedings against us should be stopped.
But I may be deported anyway. On May 21, I was told that my last chance to stay in Canada had failed, and I must leave by June 12 (since extended to July 10). I know that if I return to the U. S. I will face imprisonment and possibly a criminal record.
I don't think it is fair that I should be returned to the U. S. to face unjust punishment for doing what I felt morally obligated to do. I am hoping that Canada, which stayed out of the Iraq War for reasons similar to my own, will reverse the deportation order and let me stay, as parliament has urged.
There are several dozen other war resisters like me in Canada now. They all deserve to stay here and get on with their lives.

That's an excerpt and we noted it in this snapshot (from the BBC) earlier.

Meanwhile, because Liars like Amy Goodman won't tell you the truth and because Mike Gravel is too out of it to know the truth, Jake Tapper's "The Obama Dissection" (ABC News):

Some political observers pointed out that Obama in April of this year cosponsored a bill that would have designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The "Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007," which Obama cosponsored on April 24, 2007, states clearly that:
"The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 186; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism)."

So when idiots made themselves stupid attacking Hillary and creating this myth around Barack grasp that the Iran issue was a huge swindle. Not only did Barack skip out on the vote that took place (and then want to finger-point at Hillary) but he proposed worse -- binding -- in April. Loony Zunes and Jar-Jar Blinks and all the other liars out there lying to canonize Saint Bambi lied to you over and over.

And Mike Gravel is really NUTS if he wants to chat with Amy Goodman and say a vote for Ralph Nader is wasted. Uh, Mike, you failed in your run for the Democratic Party's nomination this year and in your run for the Libertarian nomination. And when you were shut out by the networks (Hillary isn't the networks, you paranoid and deluded man) -- in the first case, your argument was you were electable if you were given media access. And yet you want to take your crazy ass on Democracy Now! today and tell people that Ralph can't win? Obviously McGovern's not the only one who needed to exit the public stage. It shows real lunacy for someone who was a third-party prospect mere months ago to now attack another independent candidate with the false assertion that voting for an independent candidate is a wasted vote.

For more Barack reality, you can see SourceWatch's "Barack Obama: U.S. presidential election, 2008/Senate attendance, missed votes" which Cedric's "Bambi attacks" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BARACK ATTACKS AGAIN!" humorous joint-post yesterday works in.

Lauren notes Team Nader's "Will Obama Let Big Corporations Buy the Democratic Convention?":

For most thoughtful observers, John McCain's pretensions to independence from corporate power dissolved in the face of his initial decision to stock his campaign from stem to stern with lobbyists.
Yet Obama's pledge to refuse special interest money and his ability to raise vast amounts from small contributors have led many to overlook the fact that his seed money of several million dollars came from Wall Street.
But Obama is now head of the Democratic Party, and the Democrats convention in Denver is inviting corporate donors to become "sponsors" of the convention, promising executives a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to rub shoulders with Democratic senators, members of Congress, and governors. According to The New York Times of June 7, donors who give $1 million or more are given access to all hospitality suites and private events, providing what one public interest group called, "special access to federal elected officials [and] national party leaders."
Perhaps fearing that some corporate officials might be as dense as the proverbial piano player at the whorehouse who claimed not to know what was going on upstairs, a brochure from the host committee proclaims that "this is a rare opportunity to play a leadership role in a substantive discussion on timely issues affecting your industry with . . . elected officials and members of the media."
We of the Nader Campaign invite Obama to throw open the doors of the convention, tip over the tables, and drive the money changers from the temple. We invite him to toss out the corporations and invite in the people, proclaiming a new Democratic Party, one in which the people will be the masters, and the corporations our servants.
And if nothing of the sort happens, we invite fellow progressives to come to the appropriate conclusion.

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