Tag Archives: heroes

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.

 

 

tomasyoung

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

3 Comments

Filed under blogs

Heroes – Blog No. 26

heroesHeroes are not heroes for no reason.  They are that kind of person.  They are heroic.  Heroes in stories often die.  Sometimes, they have to.  That is the way of heroism.  Since you, too, have to die at some point in the future, why not a die a hero?  It is an honourable death.  It takes some doing to get your actions registered as heroic.  That means it is not a walk in the park being a hero.  It is a very serious calling and those that decide to become heroes in life – or death – should be acknowledged with our gratitude.  A hero has focus, vision, to see a mission through and deliver reached goals with maximum efficiency.

There are many heroes walking the face of the Earth.  Theirs’ is a legacy that speaks for itself.  When you save something or put your life on the line for a cause in which you believe and you do so with a fierce passion for what you represent, you begin to understand what heroes did historically – what they still do – and why they do it.  A hero is a person who helps others, a person that understands loyalty.  That is why their value.  They are resourceful, enterprising.  They are very good at what they do.  Heroes are still required and it is just as well that they do exist.  This world has not been saved yet.

It is time to stop avenging the deaths of former ‘heroes’.  There are too many men chasing each other around brandishing death because of dead heroes.  What is the point of that?  You do not teach your son that he must kill his neighbour because the boy’s grandfather killed yours.  That is stupid thinking.  The business of vendettas is a big business, understandably, there is a firm principle behind an eye for an eye, but there are ways to do the things you must do to balance the scales of justice without compromising your soul.  It is important to know this.

Leave a comment

Filed under blogs

Famine – Blog No. 53

The-world-should-come-together-and-help-Children-are-sufferingIt is unacceptable that there are starving people on this planet.  It is totally unacceptable that children on this planet are starving.  For a brain to develop and a body to thrive, grow strong, it needs sustenance.  Both brain and body.  When you starve children you are not just causing them hunger pains that they cannot understand but must endure, or depriving them of a childhood – for what fun can it be starving slowly to your death? – you are preventing a child the opportunity to develop its brain so that it will be a thinker in this world.  We need as many thinkers as we can get.  Each sadness in a deprived childhood is counted, measured.  These things cannot be forgotten.  They cannot be ignored.  I wish to liberate every child on this planet.  That it should be a private goal is perhaps of no consequence to anyone, but it should be.  In this day and age – as educated as we are – we should all want the same thing.  I understand there are many un-free adults, too, and these do not go unnoticed, however – the children should be our immediate concern because they are our future.  Until the children are out of chains – mentally, physically, spiritually – this world is arrested; silenced by its own demise.  We cannot just sit and watch the world go to shit.  We have to do something about the state of affairs on this planet we all call home.  Earth.  We are each able to do something to make the world better.  We just need to THINK right.  When you are determined to find solutions to the world’s problems, you will find them.  The more people that contribute to the collective in terms of positive, forward-thinking – the better off this world’s future is going to be.  We should all care about what the future is going to look like – even if you do not have children you should care.  We all possess the power of independent thinking and we can choose to think about what we like.  There is no government that can make you think one way or another.  There is no man who can force you to have his thoughts.  You have to think for yourself.  Do not accept things in this world that you do not like.  Think about what you like and what you do not like.  Concentrate on changing those things you don’t like – first in your own life and then in your community.  Do not accept that as one person you cannot make a difference.  You can.  You just have to want to try.

If you can vote – vote.  Being lazy in a democracy is a disgrace.  If you can make sandwiches for the homeless people then make them – do you know how grateful a homeless person is to receive anything at all?  Imagine for one minute that it was you that was sleeping on a dirty piece of cardboard on the sidewalk?  Where is your self-esteem when you must sleep on the pavement?  It is not in a good place.  When your self-esteem is not in a good place, your thinking is not as big as it should be.  Can you imagine having no fixed place to live – drifting up and down side streets and holing up in doorways?  Your world becomes very small.  You forget to dream.  This world cannot do without dreams, or dreamers.  The dreams of the pure mind are dreams worth harvesting for the future.  Pure thought comes best in children that have not been abused, exploited or starved.  How can we stop the bureaucracy and corruption that keeps food from people that need it?  There is enough food on Earth to feed everybody – it just needs to be spread around a bit better.  It’s time the aid agencies actually took accountability and changed the way their industry works.  You cannot stand by and watch corruption steal maize meal from its population.  You protest against conditions as they are.  Who better to say something than someone right inside the situation itself?  I cannot understand how people can turn a blind eye.  In your next incarnation you could be the one starving.  Think about it.  The sooner we end suffering the sooner we will stop suffering, ourselves.  We are a reflection of our environment, we are what is going on around us.  How can you pretend not to see that?

ZANU PF needs to stop harrassing the people trying to provide aid to the Zimbabweans.  Can those people forget their idiotic politics for one minute and concentrate on themselves as humans?  They are not Mugabe’s people.  They never were.  It is time the Zimbabweans were liberated.  Please spare them a thought in your everyday.  They are a beautiful, long-suffering people.  They need the world’s help.  The governments cannot be bothered to offer anything more than lip-service to a Zimbabwe in strife and although this lip-service does help open the world’s eyes, it needs action to back up the words.  The Zimbabweans need supervision during their July elections.  It is simple.  Why can the international community not put together an army of overseers and send them to Zimbabwe to watch who the people really want in power?  Mugabe is so scared of the real result he cheats every time.  He stuffs the ballot boxes and claims victory and everyone knows – again – that the man is lying.  They are so used to their leader lying that they cannot even believe their reality any longer.  Mugabe is morally bankrupt and he is responsible for a genocide.  Did the world forget that?  I think you would be tired of your government being in power for 30 years – can you even imagine it?  The man is old and his mind is fried.  He is delusional at best and the country could do with a change.  They deserve a change.  It would be good to see a new political party starting, one that can inspire hope.  The MDC dog has been whipped by Zanu PF and it stands with its tail between its legs.  You cannot feel inspired by a party like that.  You need a party that can bring you what you want.  I think every Zimbabwean knows that they need change.  In this age of information sharing they see clearly where their future lies if they are forced to follow the same path they have been following for 30 years.  They must change their pace, adjust their thinking.  There is too much fear in Zimbabwe.  She is crumbling under her own load.  She needs to stand back and see herself for who she is.  She is Zimbabwe.  A mighty nation of warriors, heroes.  Their energy as a people is hard not to love the first time you experience it.  They are an incredibly special people.  Imagine that the minds of all those Africans were free to think about something other than their unfortunate circumstances?  The collective unconscious would swell with their contribution.  They have an extraordinary cultural heritage to share and that sharing is valuable sharing.  Their thoughts are like prayer flags in the wind.  They send good vibes out into the world.  We could do more to help them stand up for themselves.

3 Comments

Filed under blogs