This has really hit home.  I cannot write, today, anything more open and honest than this letter is.  It is beautiful and sad, but there is no hate.  War has its price psychologically.  On every level, with every participant.  We are all participants.  Wars are still happening across the globe.  It is not hard to understand that some wars are necessary, and some are not.  But whatever else they do – they do a great deal of damage to all involved.  And they cost an extraordinary amount of money.  If the world disappears in 50 years – who gives a shit about how rich you ultimately became?  It is hilarious how this place works.




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.

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 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.

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.

— Tomas Young


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3 responses to “

  1. Bless this man for his personal courage and integrity. My politics and persuasion do not necessarily agree with his interpretation of events but he has the right and the courage to say what is in his heart, a right and honorable heart indeed.

  2. Dear Sir:
    According to the Iraq War that former President Bush’s son was wrong because he was not loyal to American Constitution since he has betrayed with American Constitution and the American people. However, according to President Barack Obama that he is the best one because he has loved peacefully more than the invasion war and here are:
    Bright Quang, he did not wear any glasses when he is seeing the plays of the American wars games because Bright Quang, he is a Vietnamese American citizen, speaks the truth and hurt people’s feelings, and so the right of him realizes to his nation’s the United States fairly.
    First of all, former President Bush’s son seemed not understand about the story saying, “A bad beginning makes a good ending.” Former President Bush’s was the demagogy because the American Constitution has entirety prohibited to everyone who was untruthful in order to trample our American Constitution down , which was the same as the Bush’s son. In fact, our American Constitution has prohibited to tell lies. Eventually,

    Since former President Bush’s son has been campaigned for Iraq War, he was communicating the Iraq government had been created the chemical weapons; and therefore, he wished to attach to Iraq Nation. However, after his ambitions were done, many American scientists have come to Iraq, but they did not fight out any chemical weapons. If the American men was deceitful thing, these Americans should be punished by the American Courts because those were not loyal to our American Constitution.
    Second, Iraq government has privately sovereignty, which is the same as our American sovereignty without one violated our sovereignty, but why did we violate to others sovereignty?

    Third, According to President Barack Obama that he is the best, because he seems not want to our American economic should be bankrupting again. As we understand that former President Bush’s son has been taken venturesome for invasion war, he had ever considered to our American people taxes; and then, he has made our nation’s bankrupted for few of the years. Moreover, the body of former President Bush’s son did not like any wars because the Vietnam War was taken place for more years since he was escaped his duty and responsibility. Since he has come to power, he has campaigned for invasion wars. He did not understand about the unhappiness of our American soldiers because their families were separated each others by the invasion war. Beside that his daughter was drunken by alcohol and opium.

    In conclusion, the peaceful way of Iraq war now, President Obama is the best of solution way because the Iraq government has not reunited in order to build its nation. Its groups were dividing to each others, it has never respectful to each others; and therefore, President Obama has the right plan. if President Obama is the same as former President Bush’s son, President Obama will be miserable of his duty and responsibly because our American economics will be bankrupted again and the unemployed Americans will be increasing, so the chasm of between the rich and the poor will be far distance; and then, President Obama can not fill down this chasm.

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