by James Buchanan
A recent news article reports “Matthis Chiroux is the kind of young American US military recruiters love. ‘I was from a poor, white family from the south, and I did badly in school,’ the now 24-year-old told AFP. ‘I was ‘filet mignon’ for recruiters. They started phoning me when I was in 10th grade,’ or around 16 years old, he added. Chiroux joined the US army straight out of high school nearly six years ago, and worked his way up from private to sergeant. He served in Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, and the Philippines and was due to be deployed next month in Iraq. On Thursday, he refused to go, saying he considers Iraq 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,’ Chiroux said in the sun-filled rotunda of a congressional building in Washington. ‘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…’ ”
While a majority of Americans oppose the war in Iraq, there is considerable confusion regarding what to do with soldiers like Chiroux, who are simply stating what most of us already know and believe in our hearts. The military of course wants to crush him like a bug –maybe a few years in Leavenworth and a dishonorable discharge. The increasingly deranged George W. Bush considers such conscientious soldiers “traitors” merely for pointing out the obvious.
While these reactions are to be expected from Bush and the Pentagon, some ordinary Americans, who should know better, are saying that soldiers like Chiroux have signed their lives away as soon as they joined the military and they have no right to object to being sent on an illegal mission in an illegal war.
The truth is we shouldn’t even be in Iraq. It never posed a threat to us. We were lied into that war. Bush, Cheney and the neocons should be in jail if justice were to prevail. What part of “Illegal War” do some people not understand?
If we are in Iraq illegally then:
- We don’t have the right to set up checkpoints and shoot people who don’t stop.
We did not have the right to execute Iraqi politicians including Saddam Hussein and
We don’t have the right to do anything there from stealing their oil to shooting Iraqi nationals who don’t want us there.
The US Constitution says that any high official who commits high crimes or misdemeanors “shall be impeached.” The Consitution doesn’t say “may be impeached depending on how spineless Congress is at the moment.” Both Bush and Cheney should have been impeached years ago and the longer this is put off, the more US soldiers die unnecessarily.
Our current occupation of Iraq is just as illegal as the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Our Congress has failed in its duty to impeach Bush and Cheney, which is what should be done to solve this. I can’t blame individual soldiers if they refuse to go to Iraq. Once there, they will be put in a position where they will have to shoot people, whom we have no right to shoot. The longer Congress fails to do its duty by failing to impeach the Bush regime, the more decent young men like Chiroux will pay because Senators and Congressmen were too lazy, apathetic or cowardly to do their jobs.