2013-03-21 02:23:38 UTC
Iraq War vet pens 'last letter' to Bush and Cheney
By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News
Senior Media Reporter
An Iraq War veteran who joined the U.S. Army two days after 9/11 has
written a powerful open letter to former President George W. Bush and
ex-Vice President Dick Cheney accusing them of war crimes, "plunder"
and "the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—
whose future you stole."
Tomas Young, who was shot and paralyzed during an insurgent attack in
Sadr City in 2004, five days into his first deployment, penned the
letter from his Kansas City, Mo., home, where he's under hospice care.
"I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr.
Cheney," Young wrote in the letter published on Truthdig.com. "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."
The 33-year-old, who was the subject of Phil Donahue's 2007
documentary "Body of War," continued:
"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."
Young believes he was injured fighting the wrong war:
"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."
"When Tomas Young saw President Bush on television speaking from the
ruins of the Twin Towers, his life changed," his bio on the "Body of
War" website reads. "As his basic training began at Ft. Hood, he
assumed that he would be shipped off to Afghanistan where the
terrorist camps were based, routing out Al Qaeda and Taliban warriors.
But soon, Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq."
In an interview with Truthdig.com, Young—who suffered an anoxic brain
injury in 2008—said he had been contemplating "conventional" suicide,
but decided to go on hospice care, "stop feeding and fade away."
"This way, instead of committing the conventional suicide and I am out
of the picture, people have a way to stop by or call and say their
goodbyes," Young said. "I felt this was a fairer way to treat people
than to just go out with a note."