Paralyzed Iraq War Veteran Tomas Young Has Died – Here’s His Final Letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 11.18.25 AMLast March, I came across a letter written to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a paralyzed and dying Iraq war vet named Tomas Young. It touched me to such an extent, that I highlighted it on Liberty Blitzkrieg at the time. He died on Monday, the day before Veterans Day. If you really want to honor our nation’s soldiers, you should read the following and share it.

RIP Tomas Young.

Full letter below, from Counterpunch.

My Last Words to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

by 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

What’s so impressive about this letter, beyond the incredible emotion and pain behind it, is the fact that Mr. Young was so prescient about so many issues. He highlighted the debacle that became the Veterans Administration scandal before it broke, and he also pointed to the dangerous power vacuum created in Baghdad before the emergence of ISIS. We lost a special soul on Monday.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 11.41.38 AM

Another related post I would strongly suggest reading is: “Stop Thanking Me for My Service” – Former U.S. Army Ranger Blasts American Foreign Policy and The Corporate State.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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23 Comments

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  1. Excellent !

  2. Yes very good, also needed mentioning is that 911 was a set-up via the Government to instigate war in the middle east, that must be the hard and tragic part for a soldier to swallow

  3. You must more than anything you do going forward in your life, send this to ever newspaper in the world for re-print!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  4. poory guy… but why is it that people start using their brains only when their life comes to an end ?
    this is not the first nor the last one dying for lies, money, whatever…you name it…
    but people are stupid, as they seem still believe what other people tell them… or elect them to “govern” them, even if you know shit about the person you elect… a nice smile, kissing babies, this season a republican, next season a democrat,… WTF ???
    STOP GIVING POWER TO PROPLE YOU DONT KNOW !!!

    and of course stop play their “games” … like war, elections, whatever…
    because when you give your powers away,… *here you have to switch on your brain !*… and don’t use your fucking phone for thinking… it doesn’t makes you “smarter” … even if they tell you so in the ads 😉

    (but i know this words are useless,… as stupid as you are … life will go on, and people will do the same stupid shit like the ones before….)

    this civilization is done…. maybe the next race of naked monkeys will do better… but i doubt that ! it looks more like you always get what you deserve !

    sorry to bother you with my opinion,… now you can go on living your shitty life, eat your shitty fastfood, and work your ass off for others, to buy shit you don’t need 😉

    have a nice day !

  5. I quit voting period. Its either abortion, gay agenda, and swindle or war and swindle. Get right with Jesus. This guy knows Jesus is truth now.

    John 3:16

    • Michael Krieger

      I’m not right with Jesus, guess I’m damned. Oh well, maybe I have a chance next lifetime.

    • I’m not right with Jesus, guess I’m damned. Oh well, maybe I have a chance next lifetime.

      It’s a joke NOW, your laughter from this moment will torture you in the AFTERLIFE!

    • Michael Krieger

      I don’t know much, but I know this with 100% certainty. I know as much as you do about the afterlife, which is absolutely nothing.

    • you my friend are an arrogant little fool.

    • Michael Krieger

      Who’s the bigger fool, me or the fool who’s wasting time on a fool’s website?

    • But people who believe in Jesus—and this is NOT Bush, etc—believe human life has a gravity and seriousness that means that we have no right to sacrifice others for our ambitions. It is bitterly ironic that, on the one hand, you have liars who claim to believe in Jesus for what they can get out of using it deceitfully, to disarm people from believing their own eyes, yet the moral opposition is so blithely contemptuous of the real Jesus. I will never understand that.

      In our society, “nothing’s sacred”. But when nothing is sacred, neither are the lives of others. Don’t you see that?

  6. He volunteered for service. He was not drafted. As a Soldier, you don’t get to decide if the war is worth it. We all sacrificed something. Tragic story especially considering it in the context of the VA scandal.

    • You do when the orders ask you to commit crimes. Ehren Watada set the right example:

      “Watada refused to deploy for his unit’s assigned rotation to Operation Iraqi Freedom,[2][3] saying he believed the war to be illegal and that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, it would make him party to war crimes.” — wikipedia

    • they started the modern volunteer army in about 1971. i know . i was in the green machine when it started . they got rid of the draft. so we see now , as we look back , that plans were being made for the future. volunteer chumps are easier to control and order around than men and women who are drafted and don’t really want to be there. that is how it is . 9/11 happened but the planning for that probably went on for decades. etc etc etc the british were at one time used as the world power. but then came our turn . until we break this yoke of the money powers , we shall always be slaves and puppets on strings.

  7. every politician beating the drums of war should be forced to be on the battlefront and do the actual fighting, as long as that doesn’t happen nothing will ever change

  8. The real problem here is that those targeted by this most sincere letter are sociopaths, as defined in “Snakes In Suits” “Without Conscience” and “The Mask of Sanity.” Being without empathy nor conscience means such a letter will have no effect on them. As long as the majority of folks don’t identify such people, they will remain defenseless in mind, body and soul.
    That said, sincere thanks for publishing this commentary, as that soldier certainly deserved to be heard, no matter what folks opinions.

    • Don’t forget to mention the thousands of idiots who go fighting, because they like the “game” of killing and think “wow… this is better than a pc game. AND i get payed for it”… To go to war you need stupid ones like them 😉

  9. A True Hero. Tells it like it is.

  10. There will be no justice till all this scum like Bushes, Cheneys, Obamas and others are put behind the bars forever

  11. This letter was sent to Bush/ et al, at the end of 2013! This is not new, and it has bee going around for months. It is almost two years now. Duh

  12. Its a war of propaganda out there, even the history or should I say war on history. Just read a small book The War Racket by a WWI Capt sayin the only way to stop wars is those that start them-send their own next of kin in first. He addresses the VAST profits that were made in WWI.
    The Nameless War is a goodun too. The author, an MP, friend of the then PM banged up for over four years during WWII under Reg. 18B WITHOUT CHARGE for surprise, surprise anti-Semitism for addressing who is behind all major wars.

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