Iraq war veteran Tom Young, 10 years after the invasion of Iraq, wrote a letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
I am writing this letter on the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq on behalf of my colleagues — Iraq war veterans. I am writing this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq. I am writing this letter on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans wounded in the war, and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, destroyed their lives. I am one of them, one of those who was then severely injured. I was paralyzed when we were ambushed by rebels in 2004 in Sadr City. I live in a hospice, and my life is coming to an end.
I am writing this letter on behalf of the men and women who have lost their spouses, on behalf of the children who lost their father or mother, on behalf of fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters, and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of veterans who have received a traumatic brain injury . I am writing on behalf of those veterans who have committed suicide, unable to live any longer with this pain and not passing to his distaste for what they witnessed that survived did in Iraq, and on behalf of those undergoing active duty soldiers and marines who kills himself, on average, one person a day. I am writing this letter on behalf of a million dead Iraqis and on behalf of countless Iraqi wounded. I am writing this letter on behalf of all of us — the human debris that has reserved your war — we are the ones whom the pain and sorrow will never leave us in the remaining days.
I write this letter, my last letter to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think if you can understand what a terrible human and moral damage caused your lies, your handling and your thirst for wealth and power. I am writing this letter because, before I die, I want to be clear: I do, and hundreds of thousands of my friends — veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions of people in Iraq and the Middle East are well aware of who you are and what you did. You can escape justice, but in our eyes you are both guilty of egregious war crimes, robberies and, eventually, murder, including the murder of thousands of young American veterans from whom you stole the future.
Your position in the government, the state of your multi-million dollar, your PR-consultants, your privileged position and your power can not hide the emptiness of your soul. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq … And this is after you, Mr. Cheney, deftly evaded conscription in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, voluntarily deserted his unit of the National Guard. You have shown themselves cowards and selfish decades ago. Yourself, then you are not eager to take risks for the sake of our people, but then sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to sacrifice themselves in a senseless war — so meaningless that perhaps even throw garbage does not require bo? Lshih mental effort than spent those Who came up with this war.
I became a soldier, two days after the Sept. 11 attacks. I became a soldier because our country was attacked. I wanted to take revenge on those who killed nearly 3,000 of my fellow citizens. But I became a soldier not to go to Iraq — a country that had nothing to do with the attack in September 2001 and did not represent a threat to its neighbors, especially — for the United States. I became a soldier, not in order to "liberate" the Iraqis or disable launchers mythical weapons of mass destruction, or to plant what you cynically called "democracy" in Baghdad and the Middle East. I became a soldier, not in order to restore Iraq to the rescue, as you have explained to us then, from the Iraqi oil. Instead, the war in Iraq has cost the United States more than three trillion dollars. And, of course, I became a soldier not to engage in preemptive war. Under international law, pre-emptive war is illegal. As a soldier in Iraq — now I understand — I helped you in your idiocy and your crimes. The war in Iraq — the biggest strategic mistake in the history of the United States. It destroyed the balance of power in the Middle East. In Baghdad, it was established corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government, entrenched in power, thanks to torture, "death squads" and terror. Iran has become the dominant power in the region. For us, this war was a failure on every level — moral, strategic, military and economic. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. And you have to answer for the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I was wounded in Afghanistan where I fought with those who stood behind the attacks of September eleventh. If I was wounded there and I would be just as unhappy because of physical injuries and expectations of imminent death, I have, at least, it would comfort myself that I made the decision and that I defended the country I love. Confined to bed, stuffed with painkillers and watching the fading of his own life, I would not be faced with the fact that hundreds of thousands of people, including children, including myself, were borne by you as a sacrifice for a little more than the greed of the oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia and your insane dreams of empire.
Like many disabled veterans, I had to have the hell of a lot of trouble because of inadequate and often inadequate medical care provided by the Office of Veterans Affairs. Like many other veterans with disabilities, I have come to the conclusion that you (perhaps all politicians) do not care about our mental and physical pain. We have been used. We are betrayed. And left us. You, Mr. Bush, we are so hard pretending to sound Christian. But is it a lie — not a sin? Is it murder — not a sin? Is not the sins of theft and selfish vanity? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you're doing, even for the most "inferior" from his brothers, you end up doing for themselves, for their souls.
My day of reckoning has come. Yours — will come. I hope that you will be brought to justice. But more than anything, and for your sake, I hope that you would get the courage to face the truth and realize that you've done to my life and the lives of many, many others. I hope that before you run your time on earth — is finished now my time — you'll find the strength to stand before the American people and the world, especially to the people of Iraq, and ask for forgiveness.