Thursday 13 November 2014

My Last Words to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney


Tomas Young was an American soldier who was wounded in Iraq fighting for, supposedly, his country. This is a letter he wrote to Bush and Cheney some time ago.  So much of it could equally apply to the other "leaders" who rahter than "leading", actually "followed" the US President and his VP into an illegal war in the hopes of preferment with the West's most powerful men. 

Clearly I refer mainly to Tony Blair and his cabinet (including someone who hopes to play an important role in the life of Scotland...Jim Murphy). However the Spanish and Italian right wing prime ministers are also to blame.

The letter moved me. 

Mr Young was dying when he wrote it; dying from the injuries he sustained in that war. He died on Monday of this week, a day before Veterans' Day in the USA and Remembrance Day in the UK. 

The war criminal Blair soiled that Remembrance Day event in London by his attendance, taking a short time off from the moneymaking he has dedicated himself to since demitting office. 
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

RIP Mr Young.


  1. If every word of that letter was like a lash across my back for my support for the invasion of Iraq, I hope and pray by all that is holy that it destroys the miserable lives of the people who it was aimed at but somehow I doubt it.

    1. They won't read it, John, and if they do, they won't care.

      War makes billions. That's why we keep on having them.

      Cheney must have made a fortune out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

      We all know how well the Blair creature has done.

      But I agree with you. I hope they get their just rewards.

  2. A painful reminder of war, something too much used by the US and the UK. Time to get rid of the armaments industry which is slowly destroying the world. Too many governments connected one way or another with them. Been going on since before the first World War and continued ever since. I was hoping that the vote in September was to be the change we need in Scotland. I really do not care, and I say this sadly if another 2,000 men lose their jobs in Govan. They had a chance to start building something better than bl**dy frigates. Ferguson's Yard are doing okay with Ferries and Norway has a thriving Ship Building Industry building Oil supply ships and ferries.
    Too many young lives and you will notice none of them with names like Bush or Cheney or Blair end up going to fight, ended before they have begun. My cousin lost his Father not long after he was born and his Mother lost her Daughter as well. War, I am no fan.

    1. From childhood I have detested war.

      I could never understand why, at least in the sophisticated Western world, governments spent so much time and money killing and so comparatively little on healing and keeping alive.

      Of course then I found out how much money there is to be made in wars adn I realised that we were "led" by evil greedy spivs with a vested interest in continuing the war games, absolutely no care or concern at all about the death and destruction they caused ,and who used ceremonies like the Cenotaph to embarrass the rest of us into some sort of acceptance.

      Norway has a hundred or so yards.

      So could Scotland.

  3. Absolutely heart wrenching.

    1. Can't disagree with that.

      Brave man.

  4. Ordinary critizens, voters, taxpayers have been screwed for decades by the governments they voted for. They have never before been able to access the information behind the double-dealing, until the internet arrived, and blogs like yours.
    So, well done for publicising this letter, which would never have seen the light of day in the manipulated media, It is truely heart wrenching, and deserves the wider audience it will never receive.

    1. Yes, I still think that the political establishment has yet to understand the full force of what internet communications means for people empowerment.

      Of course they don't like it, which is probably why they seek to control it (all becasue of terrorists don't you know).

      The internet interferes with their little world of control.

      Very soon the ruling class will no longer want to be the ruling class, and that will be a good thing for all of us.