Matthis Chiroux Refusal to Deploy to Iraq: "The War is Illegal"

June 15, 2008 update: Chiroux refuses deployment

Matthis Chiroux has demonstrated a principled and courageous stand by refusing to deploy to Iraq with the Army of the USA. Here's a story about him from Courage to Resist:
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Sgt Matthis Chiroux declares Iraq recall resistance

"This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate... I refuse to participate in the occupation of Iraq."

Courage to Resist. May 15, 2008

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux served in the Army until being honorably discharged from active duty last summer after over four years in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Philippines. Today he publicly announced that he is refusing orders to be recalled from the Army's Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR) to deploy to Iraq. Matthis took this courageous stand in the Cannon House Office Building Rotunda after fellow members of Iraq Veterans Against the War testified before the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Video of Sgt. Matthis Chiroux's May 15, 2008 statement

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux. May 15, 2008

Good afternoon. My name is Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, and I served in the Army as a Photojournalist until being honorably discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Philippines. As an Army journalist whose job it was to collect and filter servicemember's stories, I heard many stomach-churning testimonies of the horrors and crimes taking place in Iraq. For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes, but never again will I allow fear to silence me. Never again will I fail to stand.

In February, I received a letter from the Army ordering my return to active duty, for the purpose of mobilization for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Thanks in great part to the truths of war being fearlessly spoken by my fellow IVAW members, I stand before you today with the strength, clarity and resolve to declare to the military and the world that this Soldier will not be deploying to Iraq.

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 [an] 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.

To donate to Iraq Veterans Against the War Legal Fund to support Matthis, use their online donation form and select “Legal Fund” under special projects. If you would like to send a message of support to Sgt Matthis Chiroux, email

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