In Washington, D.C., a Vet Refuses Iraq Service

Late last week a U.S. Army soldier stood in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building and announced during a press conference that he's now refusing orders for deployment to Iraq. Sergeant Matthis Chiroux, who served as a military photojournalist, gave his statement soon after a number of anti-war veterans testified before Congress -- the first time such veterans have done so. AFP gave this account of the hearing:

Former army sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith told the landmark hearing of "lawless murders, looting and the abuse of countless Iraqis." He spoke of the psychologically fragile men and women who return from Iraq to find little help or treatment offered from official circles. Goldsmith said he had "self-medicated" for several months to treat the wounds of the war...Another soldier told AFP he had to boost his medication to treat anxiety and social agoraphobia -- two of many lingering mental wounds he carries since his deployments in Iraq -- before testifying. A group of veterans in the packed hearing room gazed blankly as their comrades' testimonies shattered the official version that the U.S. effort in Iraq is succeeding. Almost to a man, the testifiers denounced serious flaws in the chain of command in Iraq.

As for Sgt. Chiroux, he said his position as a military journalist gave exposed him to countless disturbing stories he was afraid to publish for fear of retribution by the Army. He arrived in Washington, D.C. with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), which coordinated the testimonies before Congress. Below is a video of Chiroux's speech, where he also said he will remain in the U.S. despite the great number of war resistors who move to Canada.

In Washington, D.C., a Vet Refuses Iraq Service | News