Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tomas Young's Letter To War Criminals Bush and Cheney

Tomas Young joined the Army two days after September 11, 2001 and was shot and paralyzed after serving only five days in Iraq in 2004. He was the subject of the powerful 2007 documentary Body of War – with a soundtrack that included Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine and Bruce Springsteen – and since then, his health has worsened and he is currently under hospice care. On the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Young wrote a personal, heartbreaking letter to war criminals George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It was originally posted on; Young has given us permission to reprint it here.

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Young was shot above the collarbone and paralyzed from the chest down just 5 days into his deployment in 2004, as chronicled in the award - winning 2007 documentary Body of War - then suffered a pulmonary embolism and a brain injury in 2008. Last November, after years of abdominal pain, doctors removed his colon.

After months of taking 20 pills a day and ingesting food thru a tube, Young plans to end his life this month by removing the tube.

But Young isn't going quietly.

On the 10th anniversay of the Iraq War last month he published a scathing open letter to George Bush and Dick Cheney.

"The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history," wrote Young, adding, "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.  'My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come,' he warns.

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.

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, a close friend of Young's, was one of many who found themselves moved by Young's words. "I think that letter is the most effective piece of anti-war literature written in 50 years," says Morello.

Adds Morello, "It's a damning indictment. He's a soldier who is calling the former president a war criminal. That's news ! And accurate."

Young's full letter:

Tomas Young, Dying Iraq War Veteran, Writes Last Letter to Bush and Cheney

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