On The Tenth Anniversary of Illegal Invasion of Iraq; A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

18 civilians including two Reuters Cameramen Killed following the instruction "Light em up ".

18 civilians including two Reuters Cameramen Killed following the instruction “Light em up “.

To:       George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on       the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War       veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines       who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of       thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose       wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one       of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004       in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice       care.

I write this       letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of       children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who       have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many       thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this       letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for       what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and       on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average,       a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi       dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on       behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who       will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

English: Official photograph portrait of forme...

You may evade justice but       in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and,       finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young       Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
I write this letter, my last       letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you       grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation       and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my       own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my       fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with       hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you       are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are       each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder,       including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow       veterans—whose future you stole.

Your positions of       authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public       relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the       hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after       you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL       from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were       established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our       nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be       sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put       out the garbage.

I       joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because       our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had       killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to       Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not       pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not       join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical       weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically       called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army       to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s       oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3       trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war.       Pre-emptive war is illegal

Collage of images taken by U.S. military in Ir...

under international law. And as a soldier in       Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War       is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the       balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal       pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use       of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant       force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and       economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who       started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

I would not be writing       this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those       forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I       would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent       death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries       were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I       would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life       ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human       beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for       little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the       oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

AT4 fired in combat in Iraq

AT4 fired in combat in Iraq (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have, like many other       disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care       provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled       veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no       interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used.       We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much       pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin?       Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I       believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of       your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is       upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I       hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you       have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that       before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the       strength of character to stand before the American public and the world,       and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.


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