Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swine Flu Kills The Torture Memos By Lori Price

Citizens For Legitimate Government is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose and resist US imperialism, corpora-terrorism, and the New World Order.

Flu Kills The Torture Memos By Lori Price,
26 April 2009

In a 'Holy convenience, Batman!' moment, a 'unique' flu virus (one likely concocted in US Army labs) overtakes media coverage of revelations that the highest levels of the US government instructed the CIA (and private contractors) to torture terror suspects.

Scientists said the virus combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before. “We are very, very concerned,” World Health Organization spokesman Thomas Abraham said. “We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human,” he said. “It’s all hands on deck at the moment.”

Guess where the first swine flu outbreak occurred? That's right, Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1976. Also likely created in a US Army lab. Thirteen soldiers died, leading the US government to force a questionable vaccine on the population -- backed by a legal liability escape clause mandated by and for the pharma-terrorists. Next, people started dying not from the flu -- but from the *vaccine.*

Every major media outlet has reported the fact that US/UK bioterrorists have been manipulating the avian flu virus in university and Army labs. This new flu strain, one that 'no one has ever seen,' contains avian flu. Now, how does *that* happen?

CLG has been covering flu 'oddities' for eight years. See: Flu 'Oddities' and Flu 'Oddities' News Archives.


U.S. denies producing biological weapons from bird flu samples --Media: U.S. denies Indonesia's allegation on bird flu virus 17 Mar 2008 The United States has flatly denied allegations it was producing biological weapons from bird flu samples sent by Indonesia to the World Health Organization, the English daily The Jakarta Post reported Monday. Michael H. Anderson, counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, [has issued the denial]. However, Indonesian senior biodefense researcher Isro Samihardjo said the U.S. could use bird flu virus samples from Indonesia to develop weapons at the Los Alamos Laboratory. Isro was speaking at a meeting about Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari's newly released book here Saturday. In her book "It's Time for the World to Change, Divine Hands behind Bird Flu," Siti writes of her suspicions about a conspiracy between the U.S. and the WHO.

Experts identify genes for bird flu replication 09 Jul 2008 Scientists have identified around 100 genes that the H5N1 bird flu virus needs in a host in order to replicate, and this finding may help in the hunt for ways to block foment its proliferation.

Army: 3 vials of virus samples missing from Maryland facility 22 Apr 2009 Missing vials of a potentially dangerous virus have prompted an Army investigation into the disappearance from a lab in Maryland. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command agents have been visiting Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, to investigate the disappearance of the vials. The vials contained samples of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis... In 97 percent of cases, humans with the virus suffer flu-like symptoms, but it can be deadly in about 1 out of 100 cases, according to Caree Vander Linden, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Scientists isolate genes that made 1918 flu lethal 29 Dec 2008 By mixing and matching a contemporary flu virus with the "Spanish flu" -- a virus that killed between 20 and 50 million people 90 years ago in history's most devastating outbreak of infectious disease -- researchers have identified a set of three genes that helped underpin the extraordinary virulence of the 1918 virus. Writing today (Dec. 29) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison virologists Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Tokiko Watanabe identifies genes that gave the 1918 virus the capacity to reproduce in lung tissue, a hallmark of the pathogen that claimed more lives than all the battles of World War I combined.

Venture capital firm set to reap rewards on swine flu 24 Apr 2009 The swine flu outbreak is likely to benefit one of the most prolific and successful venture capital firms in the United States: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Thomson Reuters Private Equity Week reported on Friday. Shares of the two public companies in the firm's portfolio of eight Pandemic and Bio Defense companies -- BioCryst Pharmaceuticals and Novavax -- jumped Friday on news that the swine flu killed a reported 60 people in Mexico and has infected people in the United States. The World Health Organization said the [unique] virus appears to be susceptible to Roche's flu drug Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, but not to older flu drugs such as amantadine.

Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu --Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing. 31 Oct 2005 The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world. Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)'s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.

Deadly new flu strain erupts in Mexico, U.S. 24 Apr 2009 A strain of flu never seen before has killed up to 60 people in Mexico and also appeared in the United States, where eight people were infected but recovered, health officials said on Friday. Mexico's government said at least 20 people have died of the flu and it may also be responsible for 40 other deaths. The WHO said the virus appears to be susceptible to Roche AG's flu drug Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, but not to older flu drugs such as amantadine. [Lucky Rumsfeld!]

Swine Flu May Be Named Event of International Concern 25 Apr 2009 The World Health Organization is set to declare the deadly swine flu virus outbreak in Mexico and the U.S. a global concern, potentially prompting travel advisories, said a person familiar with the matter. An emergency committee of the WHO in Geneva will declare the outbreak "a public health event of international concern" in a teleconference that began at 4 p.m. today, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting is confidential.

WHO chief says swine flu has pandemic potential 25 Apr 2009 --WHO emergency committee to advise on changing alert level --All countries urged to be vigilant for unusual cases --Premature to issue travel advisories, WHO head says --Too soon to switch to production of new flu vaccine

WHO worries Mexico flu deaths could mark pandemic 25 Apr 2009 Mexico closed its schools across its capital Friday after at least 16 otherwise healthy people died and more than 900 others fell ill from what could be a new strain of swine flu. The World Health Organization worried that it could mark the start of a flu pandemic.

Outbreak in Mexico, U.S. tied to new swine flu --Source of unique virus a mystery; CDC expects more cases 24 Apr 2009 The unique strain of swine flu found in seven people in California and Texas has been connected to the deadly flu that has broken out in Mexico, killing as many as 61 people. The strain has never been seen before and is raising fears of a possible pandemic across North America. The World Health Organization said the virus that killed at least 12 of the victims in Mexico had the same genetic structure as an outbreak discovered in California. [See: Flu 'Oddities'.]

Navy Experimenting With Flu at Mexican Border --Mexico Shuts Schools Amid Deadly Flu Outbreak 25 Apr 2009 Mexican officials, scrambling to control a swine flu outbreak that has killed at least 16 people and possibly dozens more in recent weeks... The unusual strain this year was noticed, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of respiratory diseases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only because the agency was trying out a new diagnostic test at a Navy laboratory and doing more testing than usual through a new Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project along the Mexican border. [See: The U.S.-Mexico Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project: Establishing Bi-national Border Surveillance (]

Possible Swine Flu Outbreak At NYC Prep School --Department of Health Officials Testing 75 Students At St. Francis Preparatory School In Queens 24 Apr 2009 New York City health officials say that about 75 students at a Queens high school have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms and testing is under way to rule out the strain of swine flu that has killed dozens in Mexico. The Health Department's Dr. Don Weiss said Friday that a team of agency doctors and investigators were dispatched to the private St. Francis Preparatory School the previous day after students reported fever, sore throat, cough, aches and pains.

Mexico flu deaths raise fears of global epidemic --Unique virus connected to cases in Calif. and Texas; source still a mystery 24 Apr 2009 Mexico shut down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital Friday in hopes of containing a swine flu outbreak that authorities say killed at least 20 people -- and perhaps dozens more. World health authorities worried openly that the strange new virus could become a global epidemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said tests show some of the Mexico victims died from the same new strain of swine flu that sickened eight people in Texas and California. Of the 14 samples tested from Mexico, seven were matches, said the CDC's acting director Dr. Richard Besser.

'Laboratory testing showed that the virus does not match any known flu strains.' In California and Texas, 5 New Swine Flu Cases 24 Apr 2009 Government scientists have identified five more people who have been infected with swine flu, apparently confirming suspicions that the unusual strain of the respiratory infection is spreading from person to person, federal health officials said yesterday. Three new cases were found in California and two in Texas, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to seven, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said... Genetic analysis of the virus indicates it is highly unusual: It is a hybrid that resulted from a [Fort Detrick?] combination of four different viruses.'

Troops Could Be Sent to Border --Under $350M plan, National Guard would be aimed at drug war 24 Apr 2009 The Pentagon and Homeland Security Department are developing contingency plans to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border under a $350 million initiative that would expand the U.S. military's role in [fomenting] the drug war, according to Obama administration officials.

In 2002, Military Agency Warned Against 'Torture' --Extreme Duress Could Yield Unreliable Information, It Said 24 Apr 2009 The military agency that provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as "torture" in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce "unreliable information." "The unintended consequence of a U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel," says the document, an unsigned two-page attachment to a memo by the military's Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. Parts of the attachment, obtained in full by The Washington Post, were quoted in a Senate report on harsh interrogation released this week. [Oops! Looks like the PentaPost will have to stop calling torture 'enhanced interrogation techniques' because the Pentagon itself calls torture torture. --LRP]

Memo From the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency 24 Apr 2009

Cheney Requests Release of 2 CIA Reports on Interrogations 25 Apr 2009 Former vice president [sic] Richard B. Cheney is asking for the release of two CIA reports in his bid to marshal evidence that coercive interrogation tactics such as waterboarding helped thwart terrorist plots, according to documents released yesterday by the National Archives and Records Administration.

UK High Court demands U.S. torture documents 22 Apr 2009 The chief justice of the British High Court on Wednesday gave the British government one week to obtain the U.S. release of classified information about the alleged torture of a British resident [Binyam Mohamed] who'd been detained at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The court indicated that it would issue its own order if the government doesn't respond or justify why continued secrecy is warranted.


New swine flu feared to be weaponized strain

New swine flu feared to be weaponized strain

publication date: Apr 25, 2009
Download Print
Remember that Rumsfeld is THE major shareholder in Tamiflu

April 25-26, 2009 -- SPECIAL BULLETIN. New swine flu feared to be weaponized strain

According to two mainstream media journalists, one in Mexico City and the other in Jakarta, who spoke to WMR on background, they are convinced that the current outbreak of a new strain of swine flu in Mexico and some parts of the United States is the result of the introduction of a human-engineered pathogen that could result in a widespread global pandemic, with potentially catastrophic consequences for domestic and international travel and commerce.

The journalists have been told by top officials of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) about the grave dangers posed by the new and deadly swine flu strain, known as A-H1N1. The flu, never before seen by scientists, has already killed up to 68 people in Mexico and has forced the cancellation of public events, including sports matches and concerts, and the closure of schools, libraries, and museums. Eight cases have been reported in Texas and California and one Texas family is already under a quarantine. Doctors are examining several students at a Queens high school in New York who displayed symptoms similar to those experienced by swine flu patients in Mexico.

Our Mexico City source said a top scientist for the United Nations, who has examined the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, as well as HIV/AIDS victims, concluded that H1N1 possesses certain transmission "vectors" that suggest that new flu strain has been genetically-manufactured as a military biological warfare weapon. The UN expert believes that Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and the current A-H1N1 swine flu virus are biological warfare agents.

Past swine flu outbreaks have been spread from pigs to humans, who then passed the flu on to other humans. However, with A-H1N1, there have been no reported infections of pigs. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), A-H1N1 has gene segments from North American swine, bird and human flu strains and a segment from Eurasian swine flu. Costa Rica, Brazil, and Peru have issued alerts to check all incoming passengers from Mexico at border crossings, airports, and seaports for symptoms of the swine flu.

WHO is convening an emergency session of its top medical experts in Geneva and is set to declare H1N1 a "public health event of international concern." It is reported that WHO will recommend travel restrictions to and from areas where the flu has been reported, including Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí and Oaxaca.

Our Jakarta source said WHO officials are afraid that the presence of gene segments from dreaded H5N1 bird flu in the A-H1N1 swine flu strain could mean that the new swine flu strain was engineered to "jump species." WMR has been informed that the CDC and U.S. Army dug up the body of an Inuit woman who died in 1918 in Brevig Mission, Alaska from an outbreak of Spanish flu. The influenza pandemic that year killed up to 100 million people worldwide in an 18-month period. Brevig Mission saw 72 of its 80 residents die within five days, the worst case recorded anywhere in the world. WMR has been told the genetic material recovered by the U.S. government from the corpse of the Inuit woman provided the basis for the development of the H5N1, or bird (avian), flu strain at the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the point of origin for the Ames strain of anthrax used in the 2001 bio-war attacks against the U.S. Congress and the media.

The fear in Asia is that if the A-H1N1 pandemic spreads to the United States, travel to and from the country will be all but shut down.

The following are the symptoms associated with A-H1N1:

  • cough
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle and joint pain

The drugs Tamiflu and Relenza are seen as the most effective against A-H1N1.

Remember that Rumsfeld is THE major shareholder in Tamiflu

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Destabilization of Pakistan: Finding Clarity in the Baluchistan Conundrum

The Destabilization of Pakistan: Finding Clarity in the Baluchistan Conundrum

Global Research, April 24, 2009
Axis of Logic - 2009-04-23

StumbleUpon Submit

As in all of his analyses of the battle for Pakistan, Talha Mujaddidi provides a rare look into the internal struggle of the Pakistan people and the interference in their domestic affairs by the United States, India and other foreign elements. For those who are unfamiliar with the terms, places and names in this report, Talha provides a glossary at the end of the article. It is especially important that we learn and understand what is happening in Pakistan as Washington is opening up a new front in this country in their "war on terror". - Les Blough, Axis of Logic Editor

(Source: PNAC)

April 23, 2009

Excerpt: "The problem for US is that BLA alone is not able to break away Baluchistan from Pakistan. Of the 5% population of Baluchistan they don’t even have support of 10% Balochi population. The Pakistan Army and ISI are resisting the assault in national and strategic interests of Pakistan. The Great Game of Brzezinski will surely continue in Baluchistan and rest of Pakistan, the people of Pakistan are ready to counter this great game now we need leadership and some courage. It will take some time to achieve courage and leadership but it will come eventually. Street revolutions are easy to carry out the hard part is the mental revolution. That is what is required right now to challenge the US global hegemony."

Baluchistan is strategically located East of Iran and to the South of Afghanistan. It has a port at Gwadar that was built by China. Gwadar lies at the opening of Strait of Hormuz. Baluchistan has huge quantities of natural gas, and unexplored oil reserves. More importantly US wants to control the port of Gwadar, and eventually start their dream oil pipeline from Central Asia, through Afghanistan into Baluchistan and Gwadar. Baluchistan is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of area and it covers almost 48% of Pakistan’s area. But its population accounts for only 5% of the total population of Pakistan. Ethnically Baluchistan is divided into Balochs, and Pathans, followed by other small minorities. The state capital is Quetta, (recently termed as nerve center of Taliban by US Generals).

Like all histories in South Asia, or Middle East, the history of Baluchistan is long, complex, and would require a long article to cover all the details. So a brief synopsis is sufficient to get us rolling before we come to the point.

"Baluchistan has the worst human rights record out of all the provinces of Pakistan."
Baluchistan like, Afghanistan and Tribal Areas of Pakistan is a tribal society. Many different Sardars (tribal chiefs), rule their respective tribes, often with serious disregard for human rights. Development wise, Baluchistan is the most backward province in Pakistan. There may be some weight in the argument that the federal government in Pakistan has neglected the development of Baluchistan, but equal responsibility lies with the Sardars of Baluchistan who enjoy immense power in their tribes. They are unwilling to come into the main stream society, have monopoly over the laws and regulations of the state, while they themselves sit in provincial and national parliaments, yet they don’t work for the development of their own people.

Baluchistan has the worst human rights record out of all the provinces of Pakistan. Every time horrific human rights atrocities are committed in Baluchistan tribal chiefs defend the abuses by claiming them to be part of their tribal cultural norms. Since the independence of Pakistan, most of the tribes have accepted Pakistan as their homeland and have tried to come into the mainstream Pakistani society. But Bugti and Marri tribal leaders have always been a source of trouble for Pakistan. Currently Brahamdagh Bugti (grandson of former Bugti tribe leader and former chief minister of Baluchistan, Nawab Akbar Bugti5 is the leader of a runaway terrorist group, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA)4 operating out of Kandhar, Afghanistan. Before Brahamdagh, Balach Marri, son of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, was leader of BLA, and he was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

Covert Operations against Pakistan

A new dirty game of geo-politics has already started in Baluchistan, Pakistan. To understand the recent wave of violence in Baluchistan we must understand the vested interests in Baluchistan. The root cause of violence in Baluchistan is not internal poverty or lack of development but the covert operations of foreign intelligence agencies. Internal issues might act as catalysts to inflame the situation but the root cause is foreign interference in internal affairs of Baluchistan. The main group responsible for violence in Baluchistan is the BLA4. Chief of the BLA Brahamdagh Bugti, in his recent interview with Pakistani news channel AAJ TVm declared that he will attack and kill non Baloch population of Baluchistan. In other words he threatened killing of innocent Pakistani civilians on ethnic lines. This is just taking words out of Col Ralph Peter’s plan for balkanization of Pakistan, along the lines of Yugoslavia (June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces Journal). Bugti also asked for support of India and other powers to help him break away Pakistan’s Baluchistan. (For related news read two of my older articles on Axis of Logic, Playing with Fire in Pakistan, - and Now or Never. Pakistan must change its policy in war on terror).

According to Global Research scholar, Michel Chossudovsky:

“In the current geopolitical context, the separatist movement is in the process of being hijacked by foreign powers. British intelligence is allegedly providing covert support to Baluchistan separatists (which from the outset have been repressed by Pakistan's military). In June 2006, Pakistan's Senate Committee on Defense accused British intelligence of "abetting the insurgency in the province bordering Iran" [Baluchistan]..(Press Trust of India, 9 August 2006). Ten British MPs were involved in a closed door session of the Senate Committee on Defense regarding the alleged support of Britain's Secret Service to Baloch separatists (Ibid). Also of relevance are reports of CIA and Mossad support to Baloch rebels in Iran and Southern Afghanistan."

In a 2006 research article on Baluchistan which was published in Pak Tribune in 2006, Farzana Shah, a current affairs analyst for BrassTacks, a think tank based in Islamabad, highlighted the role which is being played by a British think tank against Baluchistan. Shah writes,

“In this regard the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) United Kingdom arranged a seminar on Baluchistan province of Pakistan in collaboration with the so-called Baluchistan Rights Movement on 27th June 2006 in the House of Commons, London. It was highly disappointing as it was abashedly a one-sided cheap propaganda rather than discussing the real situation. By a mere look at the panel of the participants of the seminar one could easily figure out that it consisted of only anti-Pakistan elements and some self-styled activists advocating terrorism in the province. There were no representatives from government of Pakistan or even from the elected provincial government of Baluchistan in the seminar. It is just unfortunate that the Foreign Policy Centre which is expected to present fair suggestions to the British government to engage a country of their concern for important issues, indulged in such a blatant one-sided propaganda against Pakistan through the said seminar.”

Shah also points out in the article how a Government of Baluchistan is setup in exile in Jerusalem, Israel. She gives the details in her article.

Two Indian assets: Brahamdagh Bugti & Balach Marri (R). Marri died in an ambush in 2007 while crossing from Afghanistan to Pakistan after meeting his sponsors there.

The question is, what is the role of US, Afghanistan, India, and Iran in Baluchistan quagmire and what is at stake for these countries?


"Afghanistan’s soil has been used again and again to cause trouble inside Pakistan."
Afghanistan was the only country that did not welcome Pakistan in 1947 at the time of our independence. The only time when there was no trouble inside Pakistan from Afghanistan was during the time of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Taliban being Pukhtoon cleaned Afghanistan of Indian and Iranian assets (both India and Iran supports Northern Alliance, which is in government right now in Afghanistan). Afghanistan’s soil has been used again and again to cause trouble inside Pakistan. Currently BLA is operating from Kandahar, Afghanistan. BLA enjoys support from Indian RAW in terms of finances, logistics, and weapons. Recent report of Foreign Affairs, by Christine Fair of RAND Corporation gives us the inside.

“Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar, Afghanistan (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan. Kabul has encouraged India to engage in provocative activities such as using the Border Roads Organization to build sensitive parts of the Ring Road and use the Indo-Tibetan police force for security. It is also building schools on a sensitive part of the border in Kunar--across from Bajaur (Pakistan’s Tribal Area where Pakistan Army had to carry out a major operation to eliminate TTP6 militants).

"Kabul's motivations for encouraging these activities are as obvious as India's interest in engaging in them. Even if by some act of miraculous diplomacy the territorial issues were to be resolved, Pakistan would remain an insecure state. Given the realities of the subcontinent (e.g., India's rise and its more effective foreign relations with all of Pakistan's near and far neighbors), these fears are bound to grow, not lessen. This suggests that without some means of compelling Pakistan to abandon its reliance upon militancy, it will become ever more interested in using it -- and the militants will likely continue to proliferate beyond Pakistan's control.”


Iran historically has enjoyed good relations with its neighbors including Pakistan during the time of Shah of Iran, but since then their relationship with Pakistan and Arab world has deteriorated. Strategically, Iran would like to maintain balance of power tipped in its favor in the region, this means the Pakistan’s strategic interests should be undermined, as they are at the moment. Taliban, Iran’s nemesis in Afghanistan is no longer in power, India, Iran’s ally and Pakistan’s arch enemy is enjoying a strong foothold in Afghanistan at the moment. Iran is also afraid of Jandullah’s covert operations against Iran, from Baluchistan. According to an April 2007 report by Brian Rossand and Christopher Isham of ABC News, the United States governmenthad been secretly encouraging and advising the Jandullah in its attacks.

Jandullah is a terrorist group that was created by CIA, and is responsible for terrorist activities inside Iran. Iran has spent a lot of money developing its Chabahar port, which is just 100 miles from Gwadar port of Pakistan. Gwadar port was built by China. Iran does not want Gwadar to become prominent and Chabahar to be sidelined, especially since Iran is isolated in the world at the moment. Iran has huge reserves of gas and it would like India to gain access to these reserves since India is its ally and Iran-India friendship will grow if India can gain access to Iranian gas reserves. Iran would also like trade with India to increase in future.

TAPI: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India

IPI: Iran, Pakistan, India

"India also believes that an independent Baluchistan will likely become a proxy of Iran, India and Afghanistan."

India is Pakistan arch enemy, first of all India has never accepted Pakistan as an independent sovereign nation. India was directly responsible for breakup of East Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh. India and Pakistan have fought three wars with each other. India is at the moment chief regional ally of US, and NATO. India believes that Pakistan is at the brink of break up and India must focus on building its relationship with Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan, and capture oil and gas reserves from Central Asia and Iran, through Afghanistan and Pakistan. India also believes that an independent Baluchistan will likely become a proxy of Iran, India and Afghanistan. Capt (r) Bharat Verma of Indian Defense Review, writes,

“That New Delhi is its own enemy became obvious, when it permitted the creation of a pure Islamic State on its borders. This nation-state contradicts every democratic and multi-cultural value dear to India. Therefore, if New Delhi has not slept a wink since the creation of Pakistan, it has no one except itself to blame! Many conveniently propose the myth that a stable Pakistan is in India’s interest. This is a false proposition. The truth is that Pakistan is bad news for the Indian Union since 1947-stable or otherwise. With Pakistan on the brink of collapse due to massive internal as well as international contradictions, it is matter of time before it ceases to exist. Multiple benefits will accrue to the Union of India on such demise.”

Verma Continues ...

“If ever the national interests are defined with clarity and prioritized, the foremost threat to the Union (and for centuries before) materialized on the western periphery, continuously. To defend this key threat to the Union, New Delhi should extend its influence through export of both, soft and hard power towards Central Asia from where invasions have been mounted over centuries. Cessation of Pakistan as a state facilitates furtherance of this pivotal national objective.

“The self-destructive path that Islamabad chose will either splinter the state into many parts or it will wither away-a case of natural progression to its logical conclusion. In either case Baluchistan will achieve independence. For New Delhi this opens a window of opportunity to ensure that the Gwadar port does not fall into the hands of the Chinese. In this, there is synergy between the political objectives of the Americans and the Indians. Our existing goodwill in Baluchistan requires intelligent leveraging.”

India does not have natural gas reserves, and it desperately needs gas from Iran. But US is against Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline. If IPI project comes through than the stability and security of Iran, Pakistan and India will be in the interest of these respective countries. US would not like this, since it takes away an important leverage from a superpower, that of playing one nation against another. US have proposed the idea of Independent Baluchistan, which India does not mind at all. India has gained strong foot hold inside Afghanistan. A road link connects Iranian port of Chabahar to Afghanistan. India has built a ring-road inside Afghanistan linking Iran to Afghanistan. With back channel diplomacy going on between Iran and US, India and Iran both would like NATO and US supplies to go through Chabahar, Iran rather than Karachi, Pakistan. India strongly believes that Independent Baluchistan is inevitable and is casting all its bets on this deal.

Road link from Iran into Afghanistan
(see checkered line, lower left arrow)

Washington's interest in Baluchistan

"It is imperative the Baluchistan, an energy rich province must not come under control of China."
According to a study titled “Baloch Nationalism and the energy politics of energy resources: the changing context of separatism in Pakistan”, by Robert G.Wirsing, of Strategic Studies Institute, a think tank of U.S army, it is imperative the Baluchistan, an energy rich province must not come under control of China. China built Gwadar port, and would like to expand more trade and energy routes through Pakistan via Baluchistan.

To begin with China is interested in a gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan’s into Western China. This is something that is not acceptable to US. China could station some of its naval ships at Gwadar in future should the need arise to provide security to its cargo; this is again something that is not acceptable to US. On the list of US agenda is to secure the Indian Ocean and its strategic routes, and Gwadar right at the mouth of Strait of Hormuz is one of those routes. As mentioned before US is using Baluchistan as a base to carry out covert operations against Iran using Jandullah. After 9/11 US is also using an airfield of Pakistan Air force in Baluchistan for its operations in war on terror.

The U.S. is looking into taking direct control of Gwadar, possibly by capturing Gwadar port, so that they can make a land route through Baluchistan into Southern Afghanistan, this will give them an alternate supply route for their troops. Baluchistan must be under US control so that gas pipelines from Central Asia can pump gas through Afghanistan into coast of Baluchistan. The US believes that Balkanization of Pakistan and setup of independent Baluchistan will dismantle the hope of resurgent Pakistan in the near future, paving the way for a dominant Iran taking control of Middle East while India will be able to take control of South Asia including Afghanistan. Brzezinski believes that Iran not Arab world is the natural ally of US in the Middle East. The current US government is using the foreign policy ideals of Brzezinski, which calls for using Islamic militant and Iran against China and Russia.


"The solution of Baluchistan lies with a strong government in Islamabad that is a nationalist government and not a puppet of IMF/WB/CIA."

Current Pakistani government is not able to safeguard Pakistan’s national interests. When Zardari3 became president he authorized release of many BLA terrorist who were held up by security forces in detention. BLA has gotten ample time to regroup and re-arm during the last few months. It is very interesting that the current Chief Minister of Baluchistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani before becoming CM, said in an interview, "We will not go for any type of compromise," says Nawab Raisani. "We want total autonomy."

According to author of bestselling book, ‘The Way of the World’, Ron Suskind, Raisani is on the payroll of top western intelligence agencies. Given the level of US penetration in Pakistan’s domestic politics it is no surprise.

The solution of Baluchistan lies with a strong government in Islamabad that is a nationalist government and not a puppet of IMF/WB/CIA. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that BLA does not represent the aggrieved Baloch people. BLA is a terrorist outfit and it must be dealt with accordingly. We need to get rid of this government that is working nothing like a democracy. Key decisions are taken by either Zardari or his important Washington approved advisors. We need a new setup of nationalist that are willing to stand up to US and make independent policy decision in the best interest of Pakistan. To counter the growing influence of India, Iran and US in Baluchistan it is a must that old contracts with China be renewed and new development projects must be initiated with Chinese help. The local population of Baluchistan must be given more shares in jobs and resources. This is only achievable if we have patriots in the provincial government of Baluchistan, not scoundrels who are abusing patriotism for their personal greed.

The problem for US is that BLA alone is not able to break away Baluchistan from Pakistan. Of the 5% population of Baluchistan they don’t even have support of 10% Balochi population. The Pakistan Army and ISI are resisting the assault in national and strategic interests of Pakistan. The Great Game of Brzezinski will surely continue in Baluchistan and rest of Pakistan, the people of Pakistan are ready to counter this great game now we need leadership and some courage. It will take some time to achieve courage and leadership but it will come eventually. Street revolutions are easy to carry out the hard part is the mental revolution. That is what is required right now to challenge the US global hegemony.

Glossary of Terms and people mentioned

1. Pervaiz Musharraf is former dictator-turned- president of Pakistan. He was forced out of office due to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and his loss of support by his former sponsor, the U.S. government.

2. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is the ruling political party under President Zardari.

3. Asif Ali Zardari is the current president of Pakistan. He is the former husband of Benazir Bhutto and came into power on her coat tails after she was assassinated. He is also the son of veteran politician Mr. Hakim Ali Zardari. Mr. Zardari is commonly known in Pakistan as "Mr. Ten Percent" due to his well-known cuts on various government deals.

4. BLA is Baloch Liberation Army, officially declared a terrorist outfit by Pakistan, US and UK. Is responsible for various terrorist activities in Pakistan that includes killing civilians, security forces, and blowing up natural gas pipelines.

5. Nawab Akbar Bugti was former head of the Bugti tribe of balochistan, also 13th governor of Baluchistan and the 5th Chief Minister of the province. He and his family favored creation of Pakistan. Bugti was killed on Aug 26th 2006 in a military operation when he was surrounded in a remote hill in Baluchistan.

6. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is the main anti-government party in Pakistan at the moment. Because the TTP bears the name "Taliban" the western media often confuses them with the Taliban in Afghanistan. This is a grave mistake. The Afgan Taliban rejects the TTP. The TTP views the ANP to be pro-US and part of the pro-US Pakistan government. The TTP is a group based on Takfiri ideology (a Muslim who believes that all other Muslims, even orthodox Muslims are not true Muslims. They view all others as collaborators with the West. All Muslim scholars are unanimous in declaring Takfiris ‘heretics of Islam

Maps taken from Strategic Studies Institute Report on Baluchistan.

Talha Mujaddidi is a writer/analyst, living in Pakistan and a columnist for Axis of Logic.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Matthis Chiroux: Confessions of a War Resister

Yesterday was a great victory for me, the entire peace movement and for troops and civilians all over the world. I faced the military for my refusal to deploy to Iraq, and I walked away a free man with a general discharge from the Army’s Individual Ready Reserve.

This does not affect my discharge from Active Duty Service, however, which is the term of enlistment from which my G.I. Bill does derive. My benefits are mine, and I will use them to attain education, as all people have the right to do and should not have to fight in any armies to realize.

The hearing was attended by my three JAG attorneys, my civilian representation, James Branham, Prof. Marjorie Cohn, the President of the National Lawyers Guild, and my mother Patricia, both of whom testified on my behalf. The hearing was also attended by Mike McPherson, Executive Director of Veterans for Peace, Bill Ramsey, of St. Louis Instead of War, and Alexandra, by beloved.

My eyes were glued to the board the whole time. I looked those officers in the eyes, and I could see the humanity in each of them. I don’t know if they agreed with me, but there was humanity, and their hearts and minds were open.

The prosecution, or literally ‘government,’ opened by reading a list of when they sent me the call-up, when I contacted them in Feb. 2008 and asked for a delay to finish a semester of school I had just paid $4,500 for. They tracked when they issued me several delay orders until the final orders were issued for June 15th. They tracked when they sent me several failure to appear notices and when they finally initiated the discharge process against me.

After this, they showed the youtube video of my refusal to deploy after Winter Soldier on the Hill. They followed it by a portion of my speech from Fathers Day, the day I was supposed to report, and then a Democracy Now interview I did the day after.

They questioned a young Captain about the paperwork process, and then they called me to testify.

I thought I’d be more nervous than I was, but I very much felt relieved. You know, there’s all kinds of nifty ways to communicate now-a-days, and maybe call me old fashioned, but there’s nothing like looking someone in the eyes and telling them what’s in your soul. And I bared it for them.

I told them I believe that the war is illegal, and that as a Soldier, I thought it was my responsibility to resist it. I told them I was originally planning on deploying, despite my belief that the war is illegal, but that after I was exposed to Winter Soldier, Iraq and Afghanistan, I found clarity, and I found courage.

We later submitted the Winter Soldier book, as well the IVAW-produced Warrior Writers book to the record as exhibits that I believe can be referenced by future IRR boards, at least in the Army, which would take place in the same building as my hearing did.

When asked why I thought the war was unconstitutional, I pulled from my back pocket my Constitution. I opened it and told them I’d read from Article 6, Paragraph 2, the Supremacy Clause. The ‘government’ objected immediately, insisting the document was irrelevant.

After much deliberation, the lead council of the board, a civilian lawyer, shut down debate and said the board wouldn’t hear the constitution, and that questioning should continue.

So I said fine, I can just quote it, and I quoted, “this Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

I said when we violated the U.N. Charter to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, when we systematically defy the international laws of war to wage occupation, we violate U.S. Law and the Constitution, and that it is every Soldiers’ responsibility to resists the crimes of our Government for which we are ultimately responsible.

I focused upon the eyes of each board member as I spoke. I told them I was there because they needed to know that we are not cowards, and we are not traitors, we are people who are dedicated to doing what’s right beyond any measure.

Startlingly, they stared back at me with no disgust in their eyes. They heard me, and they considered what I said, and they did not threaten, nor did they smile. They listened, and I beared my soul with no fear of persecution. And I felt so relieved, as every word rolled off my tongue. I felt a world of weight lifted from me. I suddenly felt the solidarity of millions there in the room with me.

And not just from now, or from the people demonstrating outside the hearing, but since the beginning of organized warfare. Military resistence has been heralded for millennia by the premier scholars, poets, philosophers, scientists and spiritual leaders of humanity.

I thought of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian citizen who refused to fight in Hitler’s army. His head was removed after every chance was given him by the authorities to accept some duty, even if without a weapon.

I thought of those brave G.I.’s in Vietnam who stood against the system, who worked to prevent the victimization of their brothers and sisters by resisting the continued genocide. Many went to jail. One was shot and killed while trying to escape.

I thought of my brothers and sisters in IVAW. Those who realize the humanity in us all deserves to be respected beyond what the military trained us to think. We are sacred; we are beautiful. We are not killers, we are women and men of dignity and justice.

The ‘government’ tried to rattle me by asking if I’d have objected to simply taking photos, and I told him any act to support an illegal war, from the front lines to a state-side base, was a violation of the Oath of Enlistment.

I took my leave of the witness chair feeling satisfied that everything I had come to say and do had been done, and then Marjorie Cohn walked in!

Prof. Cohn gave the most thorough, detailed, understandable and spot-on breakdown of the illegalities of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan I’ve ever heard. She focused on the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremburg Tribunals, U.S. Federal and Constitutional law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

She spoke with elegance and grace about some very hard subjects, and when the ‘government’ asked if she thought every Soldier in the Army who had deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or supported the occupations from the states were a party to war crimes, she answered honestly.

Marjorie will always be a hero to me, as well Kathleen Gilberd of the NLG, who has provided me priceless council and support since the earliest stages of my resistance.

After we broke for lunch, my mother was given a chance to testify, during which she nearly broke my “military bearing” when she recounted the last thing I said to her in July of 2002 before I got out of the car to catch a ride to basic training: “I have to go be a grown-up now.” I had no real idea what I was being led in to.

My mother told them how much she loves me and that I am a man of honor. She said I am kind and principled, and that I take everything I do very seriously. She told them I am not selfish, nor am I vain. She said that I had sacrificed much to be there and that she was ever so proud of me.

My mother has always been my hero for reasons only she and I could ever understand. I love you, Mama.

The closing arguments were laid out. The ‘government’ accused me of trying simply to get attention for myself so that I could launch a career in politics. They said I didn’t care about the law, that I just wanted to get out of doing my duty, and that they should give me a dishonorable discharge as a result.

My lead JAG attorney told a story of his father, a retired sergeant major. He said he was shocked to learn one day that his father supported Mohammad Ali’s decision to refuse deployment to Vietnam, despite the fact that he had done two tours himself.

His father told him that he disagreed with Ali’s decision but had respect for any man who would stand up for what he believed in and be held accountable by his own will. His father told him this is what it means to be honorable. “Sgt. Chiroux is an honorable man,” said John Adams. “He could have stayed home. He’s here. He’s a man of honor. He deserves an honorable discharge.”

With this, we were sent off for the board to deliberate. Upon our return I stood as the decision was read.

The Army found me guilty of misconduct for refusing to deploy to Iraq, but recommended I only be discharged from the reserves with a general discharge under honorable conditions.

I left the building with the biggest smile I’ve had for years. I feel truly vindicated, in more ways than one. My ass is mine, and so is my soul. I’m not guilty of misconduct, but that board is human and bound to make mistakes. Perhaps it’s a decision than can be overturned in time. But they got the overall principle right. My refusal was not an act that falls outside of honorable conditions.

Which brings me to Winter Soldier, St. Louis, which occurred later that afternoon. I’ve been hesitant for years to talk about certain details of my military service, and my life prior to the military. The time finally came that I felt I could share, and IVAW was there, and so was the town of St. Louis.

On the afternoon of April 21st, 2009, I, Matthis Chiroux, did confess to a number of secrets that I had not made broadly known to the public before this date, but I brought forward at Winter Soldier (of which video will follow as soon as it’s processed).

I confessed to having been physically abused by my father from a young age until 13 and emotionally abused until well after. I confessed to having had extensive problems with the authorities in Alabama beginning after I smoked my first joint at age 16.

I told the world that before I graduated high school, I had been incarcerated for nearly six months over several periods of time in juvenile prison, correctional boot camp and a state-run drug rehabilitation facility for minors. My crime: The possession of one eighth of a GRAM of marijuana and a pipe in the middle of the woods, or as they put it, private property.

I confessed that upon graduating high-school, I was kicked out of my house and did move into a tent in the woods near the center of town, and that shortly after, I did sell a small amount of psychedelic mushrooms I had gathered from a cow field to a few friends and to my step-brother for food money. My step brother returned home to be caught by my father under the influence and did inform him that I was the source.

As a result, I was brought into the courthouse, specifically before my probation officer, where I first met Sgt. Whitetree, the man who would put me in the Army. I was threatened with serious prosecution, though the state had no physical evidence against me. I was told I could be looking at 10 to 20 years in “big boy pound you in the ass prison,” as Sgt. Whitetree put it, or I could enlist for a term in the Army.

While I believed I could beat the charges, I saw myself as a young man with very few options by design. I agreed to enlist, but I spent the weekend in jail anyway.

It almost felt like home sweet home at that point. I’d been on that same block so many times before, and this time, I was staring into a system that I at least thought could surely be no worse than where I was coming from. I was mistaken.

Before I was released from custody Monday morning, the Judge presiding in Lee County, Judge Richard Lane, willfully back-dated my release from probation 30 days so that I could proceed directly to the recruiting station and sign my butt into the Army.

After signing initial papers and attaining waivers for my juvenile marijuana conviction, and before heading to MEPS for the first time, Sgt. Whitetree bought me a system flushing drink so that I would not test positive for marijuana on my initial drug test to get into the Army. At every step it was made totally clear to me that should I choose not to enlist in the military, I would face charges stemming from the incident with my step-brother.

What happened to me was illegal, and I am not alone. I am living proof we do not have an all-volunteer Army, and I’ve met countless throughout my time in the military that could tell similar to identical tales. And if not forced by the police, then because they saw themselves on a destructive path and were in fact seeking a way out similar to me. Or those who really just wanted to go to college, which should be a basic human right for all anyway. Or those with mouths to feed other than their own. Or those who just never knew any other way. Or those who were lied to and told they would serve freedom and justice.

War is not a natural state for man. We are propelled to war and destructiveness in all forms by forces which seem beyond our control; that reach into our lives and move us to some drastic end. That is why in a truly just society, war would not exist. But when the sacrifice of war becomes less than the sacrifice of life, we must look at ourselves and ask, “what have we created?”

I confessed, I was tortured by the Army, as are we all. We are beaten down, we are brutalized and dehumanized in all forms, physically, emotionally and sexually. We are taught that human life is cheap, and that all things burn if you get them hot enough. We are taught where and how to stab bayonets into people, we are taught to kill from great distances using bullets and bombs, we are taught that napalm sticks to kids.

We were taught that people from the middle east were Haji’s, Sand Niggers and Rag Heads, and that terrorists were going to kill our families if we didn’t go kill them and theirs first. We were taught that civilians could never understand and should never be trusted. We were taught the “Army family” was all we had.

We were taught that woman were objects, and were to be treated like objects, and though we had cute little classes about sexual harassment and racial sensitivity, the practice of male chauvinism and exploitation of women was rampant, especially in Japan and the Philippines, which I believe to be indicative of racism in the military toward non-whites.

I confessed that while I was stationed overseas four and a half years, I saw rampant prostitution on and around military bases. I confessed that my conscience is not clean of this disgusting act. Twice in Japan, I solicited prostitutes with fellow members of my unit. These were acts not only meant to make us feel powerful as men and Americans, they were to bond us together as a unit that works together, plays together, eats together and even ‘fucks’ together.

I’m happy to say on both these occasions my conscience got the better of me and I could not produce an erection. For fifty dollars each time, I was supposed to have sex with those women, and instead I asked them to rub my back for the half- hour while I listened to my comrades on the other side of hanging sheets defile the miracle of life.

I’ll never forget on the second occasion the piercing, painful and sustained scream of one women being taken on by my comrade whose name I will not share. After ferocious laughter erupted from his throat, he said in a very matter of fact kind of way, “she doesn’t like it up the ass!”

I remember laughing because I couldn’t believe what was going on. I knew something was wrong, but it’s like I didn’t know I was supposed to care. As long as it wasn’t me doing it or receiving it, I felt free to giggle away. These were prostitutes, I was taught, and they were there to service us as men, even if it was just to rub my back because I couldn’t ‘get it up,’ which is a fact I did not share with my comrades out of shame. Little did I know it was evidence to be proud of, that even when my mind forgot what is right and wrong, my body did not, or not in Japan, anyway.

The first of the two prostitutes I did have sex with was in the Philippines. This act has haunted my conscience for years. It continues to haunt me even now. Even though I have publically confessed it and asked for the forgiveness of all who I treated like objects, including my those former girlfriends of mine who I was unfaithful to in all of these acts.

After weeks of working in the Joint Information Bureau with American and Philippine military personal in Puerto Princesa, the officers of the operation decided they wanted to reward us for a job well done. I was told to put on civilian clothes and meet in front of our building immediately following work.

At the time we had orders not to leave the base unless under armed guard by Philippine Soldiers as there were rebel forces in the area likely to target American forces if given the opportunity. So we were met by a squad of armed Soldiers with a military vehicle which we rode in off base to a local disco.

Upon arrival, the armed soldiers took up post in front of the door, and I was given beer and invited to display my dancing moves to my comrades and the women present in the club. When one came up to me and started dancing, I thought nothing too fishy of it. A Philippine officer came over and put his hand on my shoulder. He asked me if I thought the girl was pretty, and I said yes and continued dancing.

This officer, after a few more minutes of observing, whistled to a woman behind the bar and pointed at the girls me and the other Americans were dancing with. He made the international sign for money and he pointed toward the vehicle. It was then that I knew, I had just been purchased a human being.

Our armed escort drove me, two other enlisted guys and the officers to a collection of one-room bungalows that was the hotel. Each troop retired to a bungalow with a woman, and soon, the sounds of men having their way with women filled the damp night air.

I sat in my bungalow with a young girl, who couldn’t speak a word of English, which is strange for people from the Philippines, which makes me believe this young girl was a victim of human trafficking. She was obviously frightened that I would push myself on her in some violent way, which made me feel sick and uneasy.

To ease my churning stomach and scared heart and her as well, I began teaching the girl English. I thought her to say “how are you,” and “I am 18.” I taught her to say “Love” and “I have to pee,” when she did so in a bucket in the back of the room. I then kissed her, because I wanted to, and she kissed me back.

I left the room, when I heard my comrades talking outside under the palm trees in dark. They were drinking from a bottle of whisky and talking about the sex they just had with “their” women. And they were talking with the officers, who had also had their way with several women. When they asked me what I had done, I told them I taught the girl to speak a little English, and that I’d watched her pee in a bucket and kissed her, but that was about it.

They laughed and told me I was a nice boy, but that they hadn’t paid for the woman so that I could teach her English. They said if I didn’t go back inside and “be a man” with that girl, they’d be offended. In one moment, I felt every ounce of not only my manhood questioned, but also my main mission of “fostering positive relations with Philippine counterparts.”

I went back inside the bungalow, and I had sex with a person who I treated like an object. But I did it, and will forever feel violated for it. I had unprotected sex with a woman who’s only purpose in being with me was money that she may not have even been receiving. I broke her heart, and I broke my own. I sold out on my manhood that night.

When it was done I wanted to hug her, but I could tell she wanted to lie nowhere close to me. She didn’t love me, she didn’t want to be with me. We had defiled a beautiful act of creation and intimacy without ever having taken any responsibility for ourselves. I felt as though I had raped her. I felt as though I had raped myself.

But we did it, and it was what it was. We didn’t stand near to each other after that, though she sat with me in the front seat of the van as we took the women back to the disco. I vaguely remember someone in the car commenting that they’d never “pissed in a whore’s ass before,” before a very angry woman started screaming in Tagalog. I was so ashamed. I couldn’t hold her hand. I could barely hold the contents of my own stomach. I knew I had done wrong, and it killed every relationship I had from that point forward.

I couldn’t come to grips with myself as a man after that. I couldn’t feel like a sacred thing, anymore. We’re all miracles; burning, walking miracles, but we cover ourselves in thick robes of guilt, isolation and despair, and we forget to see the spiritual wholeness and actualization of a human being as sacred, as it is, as we are. And if we did, we wouldn’t do things like I did, we wouldn’t do things like we do, and like what’s still being done by our good boys and girls in untenable situations.

But this followed me, and I took it to Germany where one evening while I was out in Frankfurt with a Major and a former Provost Marshal (like the chief of the military police), I found myself in a legal, medically-approved brothel where I did have sex with a Columbian girl. Almost immediately after we started, however, I snapped out of what felt like a haze and told her I really wanted to leave and that I’d pay her the money anyway. I knew I didn’t want to be there. I realized I was just trying to impress some Major who turned out was actually trying to hit on me, though I was a little slow on the uptake at the time.

I apologize from the bottom of my heart to the women I’ve hurt as a result of my sexual dehumanization. This includes every one of my girlfriends while in the Army, all of whom I cheated on when they got too close to my heart, and I broke many of their hearts in doing so. This includes my girlfriend, my love, Alexandra, who has stood so bravely and non-judgmentally by me during these revelations. My apology includes my mother and my sister, both of whom I know will be hurt by this information that I refuse to conceal anymore. This includes every woman who reads this horrible testament to the truth of sexuality in the U.S. military. This includes every woman who has ever been sexually preyed upon by U.S. troops in countries all over the planet. This includes every woman, every where, those who hate me and those who love me. Those who will never know my story. I’m sorry for the wrong I have done to womankind. I am not the careless, heartless, thoughtless and highly-trained boy I once was. My heart weeps everyday for the wrong I have done in this world.

Since I left the Army in August of 2007, I have struggled severely with Depression, probably due to post-traumatic stress. In fact, the night before I returned from Germany to Brooklyn not really knowing what I was going to do, I confessed to my then girlfriend that I was having suicidal feelings. I confessed to her that I had an image of myself blowing the back of my skull out with a .45 that I could not get out of my head. This would become somewhat of a recurring image to me, as I struggled to get my feet under me in Brooklyn.

Even with my freedom, I was struggling, and I didn’t know why. I wondered why I didn’t want to talk to people or get to know anyone at my school. I couldn’t figure out why no matter how much weed I smoked, or other shit I dabbled in, I couldn’t find peace of mind. I was on the road to being a student, which is all I thought about, all those years in the military, and yet I was crashing in on myself, and that damn .45 kept going off in my mouth!

And then I got my call-up orders for Iraq, and I disappeared into my room for days and days upon end. I felt so trapped. So cornered, and I had nowhere to turn. I had no family in New York, one of my only friend was struggling with PTSD herself from two deployments in Iraq, and all she could talk about was wanting to go back. I felt doomed, and I broke into pieces. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to suicide, and my greatest fear to this day is that I will die by my own hand.

But then I found IVAW, and slowly started peeling off my blankets of guilt and isolation. And with every blanket I shed, I found the strength to shed a few more and a few more. And now I stand before the world today, a free man, free of the military, free of his secrets, free to be whoever I choose to be.

And I choose to be a good man. I choose to be one who sees all women and men as created equal, and as equally miraculous in this universe of ordered chaos and deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through all means which have been withheld from us. I feel great remorse for the wrong that I have done but will WORK to make right those things I HAVE made wrong.

I felt like a coward for years in the military because I knew what we were doing was wrong, but I simply couldn’t find the legs to stand against it. Conformity was valued above all else, and though for years the quote above my desk read, “Whoso wouldst be a man must be a non-conformist,” those words never really took root before this past year.

I will not conform to war crimes. I will not confirm to sexism, racism and homophobia. I will not conform to injustice nor ignorance. I will not be silenced by fear. I will share my life, for better or for worse, like an open book, for people are not meant to live in shame. We are meant to live proud and free as individuals of principle and courage. But even people of principle and courage are wrong sometimes, and when we can realize it, apologize if necessary, and confess that which we are ashamed of, we can know peace, both in our hearts and in our world.

I’m sorry for the wrong I have done and forgive the wrong that has been done me. I will learn from my mistakes and live as a man of conscience. I will love without limit and share all I have with those who need and may not even know it. I will be humble until the end of my days and thankful for all that I have, including a woman who loves me despite all of these things and who IS the love of my life and has set me free more than she’ll ever understand. And she was at my hearing, and she was my cornerstone. I love you Alexandra like I’ve never before been capable of feeling.

But I will struggle. I will struggle until all my brothers and sisters all over the world are free from militarization and imperialism. I will struggle to see the end of Racism, Sexism, Homophobia and the commodification of the human body in all forms. I will struggle to see that our planet is left to our Grandchildren in FAR better shape than it was left to us. I will struggle to free the world of economic inequality. I will struggle to prevent any more war resisters from being jailed by the military and for the freedom of those who are currently incarcerated. I’m looking at you, Robin Long (among MANY others)!!! You’re still a hero of conscience and we can’t wait for your return to freedom!!!

The battle is won, but the war is FAR from over. Please continue to struggle to end our illegal occupations and horrible practices all over the world, from Iraq to Japan to the Philippines! The U.S. military must be brought home in its entirety and reformed into a force for purely national defense and not murder, rape, torture and war!

We are not bad people. We are not war criminals. We are the victims of lies, brutality, dehumanization and exploitation. We know the true war criminals by their hoards of bloody money and oil barrels overflowing with the tears of Iraqis, Afghans and servicemembers world-wide who have had their lives stripped from them by these criminal occupations and policies.

And that is why I’m releasing the remainder of my legal defense fund, I believe around $2,000, as well I’m turning over the remainder of the money I’ve collected from my website, just over four hundred dollars which represents nearly half of the money which has been donated to me through my paypal since I started it last summer, to Iraq Veterans Against the War.

IVAW represents the voices of conscience for an entire generation of Americans, and really our entire society. We, the Winter Soldiers of the War on Terror, who will speak our truths, no matter what the personal cost, and stand our ground no matter what adversity we may face, and reflect openly and honestly upon ourselves, we represent hope for this nation.

In South Africa after Apartheid fell, truth and reconciliation commissions were set up to investigate crimes committed by both Apartheid forces and rebel forces. To bring about witnesses to reveal crimes which they participated in or knew about, the commission had to grant amnesty to a large number of people who testified to things not greatly different than we do.

And we risk everything to come forward and are asking for NOTHING but an ear to hear us, and the means to carry on, and the willingness to know the truths of our government’s policies. And it lays so many of us so very low, as we struggle in a society that would rather shut our real histories, us, who we are, out, for a lie, one big murderous soul-sucking lie.

Well we’re done taking it, we’re done being victims, and we are organizing a victory, for truth, for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, for our nation in distress, for the people of the world who we have treated like dispensable objects for too long! For the troops, who languish and grow further away from us while our nation worries about paying rent! For the veterans, who are sleeping homeless on the streets and stuck with the image of a gun in their mouth, or with the sounds of screaming babies. For the women, who are first and most being made the victims of these policies and occupations, and for the female Soldiers in Iraq, don’t ever forget that THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!! And for the Muslim people in the United States who have languished in this climate of racism and hate. We are sorry! Your liberation is most important to us!

IVAW represents hope for all these people, and it represented hope for me, when I needed it most, and it continues to represent so much hope to me. We are going to end this war and we need the support right now folks, more than ever, and we need your energy as we move into Spring and Summer.

We are strong, and we are determined. We acknowledge there are still illegal occupations being waged, and human rights violations occurring at the hands of Americans world wide, and we pledge to bear witness to the truth and nature of our experiences to bring about change from the front lines of the real struggle, right here at home.

May we stir now with the coming Spring and blossom hope for all the world to see. Hope in acknowledging we’ve done and are doing wrong, taking responsibility for ourselves by halting the wrong from occurring and seeking the forgiveness and to offer healing to those we know we’ve hurt.

Onward with the struggle, forever!

Matthis Chiroux