IVAW member refuses to deploy to Iraq

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, who served in the Army until being honorably discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Phillipines, today publicly announced his intention to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq.

He says

This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate as I will surely be a party to war crimes. Furthermore, deployment in support of illegal war violates all of my core values as a human being, but in keeping with those values, I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army if they so wish to pursue them. I refuse to participate in the occupation of Iraq.

Chiroux deserves our full support for his courageous and principled opposition to an illegal and unjust war.

Winter Soldier starts today

IVAW Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier testimony by Iraq Veterans Against the War starts today at 7pm EDT in D.C.

How to watch.

KPFA and WarComesHome will have streaming audio. Streaming video will be provided by IVAW using QuickTime. On-demand video will be via Flash. It will also be on satellite Free Speech TV on Mar 14-15 9am-9pm

Thursday, March 13
Streaming video only
7:00PM-9:00PM Winter Soldier and the legacy of GI Resistance

Friday, March 14 Satellite TV, internet video, internet audio, radio
9:00AM – 10:45AM Rules of Engagement: Part One
11:00AM – 12:30PM The Crisis in Veterans’ Heathcare
2:00PM – 3:30PM Corporate Pillaging and Military Contractors
4:00PM – 6:00PM Rules of Engagement: Part Two
7:00PM – 8:30PM Aims of the Global War on Terror: the Political, Legal, and Economic Context of Iraq and Afghanistan

Saturday, March 15 Satellite TV, internet video, internet audio, radio
9:00AM – 10:30AM Divide To Conquer: Gender and Sexuality in the Military
11:00AM – 1:00PM Racism and War: the Dehumanization of the Enemy: Part One
2:00PM – 3:30PM Racism and War: the Dehumanization of the Enemy: Part Two
4:00PM – 6PM Civilian Testimony: The Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan
7:00PM – 8:30PM The Cost of the War at Home

Sunday, March 16 Internet video, internet audio, radio
10:00AM – 1:00PM The Breakdown of the Military
2:00PM – 3:15PM The Future of GI Resistance

This looks like it has been superbly organized and should get serious mainstream media exposure.

Winter Soldier schedule

IVAW Winter Soldier
Iraq Veterans Against the War has the schedule for their upcoming Winter Soldier online now. The entire three day event from Mar 13-16 will be available live on the net via video or audio, and archived as well.

IVAW appears to be extremely well-organized, the schedule for Winter Soldier is comprehensive and well thought out. It should get major attention from mainstream media.

Winter Soldier video

IVAW Winter Soldier video
Iraq Veterans Against the War just released an eighteen minute video to build for their upcoming Winter Soldier testimony in D.C. March 13-16. This is powerful stuff, with testimonials from soldiers who were there. “I was lied to.”

In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

In 1971, a courageous group of veterans exposed the criminal nature of the Vietnam War in an event called Winter Soldier. Once again, we will demand that the voices of veterans are heard.

Winter Soldiers. Iraq Veterans Against the War

Winter Soldier

Iraq Veterans Against the War will hold Winter Soldiers in D.C. on March 13-16, 2008 to give testimony about atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and the military policies that led to them.

From their website.

Winter Soldiers, according to founding father Thomas Paine, are those who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours. With this spirit in mind, IVAW members are standing up to make their experiences available to all who are concerned about the direction of our country.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time America has needed its Winter Soldiers, in 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.

Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam.

Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into an increasingly bloody occupation. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming “a few bad apples” instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.

Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.

Like the Vietnam Veterans who came before them, whose opposition to the war signaled and triggered a major turning point in public sentiment against the war, Iraq Veterans Against the War will convince people the traditional left can’t hope to reach.

Stop the war. Support Winter Soldiers.