Army Deserter Calls Iraq War Illegal

June 18th, 2008 | by Sqotty |

When I was in the Air Force back in the ’80s, deliberately missing an ordered troop movement was called “desertion.” Today it is called a “political statement.” One of the more recent adaptors of this tactic for failing to live up to a contractual obligation with the military is Matthis Chiroux, a former U.S. Army Sergeant, who failed to report for active duty in Iraq.

In his political statement made in Washington, Chiroux echoed the leftist mantra that Iraq is an “illegal and unconstitutional war”, using that as the basis for his desertion from the Army. Should the Army choose to Court Martial Chiroux, his defense will have an uphill battle that they are destined to lose, proving that this war is either illegal or unconstitutional, let alone both.

If the sole premise of Chiroux’s defense is arguing that this war is either “illegal” or “unconstitutional” due to a lack of a formal Declaration of War, then he has already lost his case, will (SHOULD!) get some prison time and a dishonorable discharge.

Whether or not one believes that this war is a just and righteous war to liberate a people from tyranny, or just a “war for oil” can be debated by reasonable people. But calling it an “illegal” or “unconstitutional” war because it lacks a formal Declaration from Congress is both disingenuous and factually incorrect.

A quick history quiz (think “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader”, but without the prizes and Jeff Foxworthy). What was the last war the U.S. fought in which a Declaration of War was issued? If you said World War 2, then you get a Gold Star.

How many wars has the U.S. fought in which a Declaration of War was not issued? If you said “A lot,” you would be on the right track. Let’s break it down a bit. How many wars without a declaration but with the consent of Congress? A Gold Star if you said 12. I don’t think many 5th graders would get that right, either.

What year was the first such war fought? 1798, which was a long time ago in our Nation’s history. It was the Quasi War, fought against France, and it ran through 1800.

What was the last undeclared war fought with the consent of Congress? That would be the current war in Iraq. Congress authorized this war in 2002. It is also interesting to note that regime change in Iraq, the ouster of Saddam Hussein, became part of U.S. Foreign Policy under President Clinton. I believe President Bush did a lot more than look at that policy and say “yep, sounds like a good idea to me.”

Here’s the next part. How many wars has the United States fought in which the President acted without prior authorization from Congress? I’ll give you a Gold Star if you are within 10. The answer is 125. That’s a bunch. The Korean War is the best known example in this category.

Based on these facts, there is no doubt that the outcome of any Courts Martial that may hear Chiroux’s case will find him guilty of, at the very least, being AWOL, if not the higher charge of Desertion. I hope he gets the latter, as that is what he has actually done.

I will say this, however. It is unfortunate that circumstances have brought about the activation of many soldiers on the Inactive Ready Reserve lists. In general these troops are rarely called back into service. If the Army is stretched so thin that it must resort to recalling some, many, or even all of these troops who have performed their duty, then it is time for Congress to expand the Army’s recruitment authorization and revitalize our Armed Forces for the good of the country, and NOT through the means of a draft, but through expanding the all-volunteer military, as it is a proven model that works best for America.

Under no circumstances should we go back to a Vietnam style military draft, especially during a time of war. There is nothing more detrimental to a soldier’s moral than being stuck in a foxhole with a guy who was involuntarily drafted and would rather be picking his nose at Harvard Law School.

For the record, and despite the assertions made by the hard-Left MoveOn crowd, calling up the Inactive Ready Reserve is not a “back-door” draft. When we sign up on the dotted line, we are all well aware that there is the potential that we could be called back into service at any time while we are on the IRR lists.

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