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Old 03-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Truthdig - The Last Letter

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

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.

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.
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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sorry i cant help myself, lol....

bush and cheney will burn, forever...and i dont normally believe that kinda stuff
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Every single American citizen should read this. Hell, every single person in the world should probably read this.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Every single American citizen should read this. Hell, every single person in the world should probably read this.
Ditto, Unfortunately George and Dick won't
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why only Bush and cheney?

Unlike Obama, Bush and Cheney actually went to Congress for approval. Remember under our Constitution, Presidents don't fight until Congress tells them to.

A majority of Senate Democrats, a large number of House Democrats, leaders from both houses, supported the Invasion. They had months to debate, and months to examine everything put forth by the Bush White House. There were no surprises, there were no lies.

I want to say fully, I was against the war, I think it was a mistake, I did not want us over there, and I voted for Kerry (barf!!!) in 2004 because of Iraq.

That said, it's lazy to pin point this only on Bush/Cheney.

An independent bipartisan commission found that neither Cheney nor Bush lied. Perhaps they were overzealous, but they did not lie.

That doesn't mean they were not to blame. They were. But the errors were made in intelligence. And further errors compounded by Bush and Cheney relying on such evidence without demanding more proof. That said, the report concluded they did not lie. Incompetent, perhaps.

The commission (Silberman-Robb report) even concluded that no pressure was placed on intelligence analysts to come up with a conclusion. it was just a major fuck up on intelligence. And then a major fucked up reliance on this bad intelligence.

That's not to take away from this soldier's plight. He has every right to be angry. But I'd thought I'd clear up some misconceptions. Iraq was a complete fuck up. Should have never happened. Bush and Cheney are definitely too blame. So are the CIA, all of the analysts, and all of the Congresspeople (democrats and republicans) who saw the same exact stuff Bush/Cheney did, and still voted for the War.

This started before Bush. Bill Clinton in 1998 was talking about Saddam's program of WMD. in 1998. Let's not pretend this started with George Bush. Clinton's CIA determined the same thing, years before Bush took office.

Watch this.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This looks an awful lot like politics.... strangely. I'd tend to leave it as long as it doesn't get nasty. Snowolf may not agree. Wait for it.....
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I was just stricken by the pain and truth of that soldier's point of view. He did it. He saw his friends die. He is dying. Don't try to justify. To make it right. It was not. Take it just as what it is... the true point of view of a soldier that did it.

I do wonder why in this time and age, in US, people still joins the military, knowing that they will end up in a corporate war.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIRKRIDER View Post
I was just stricken by the pain and truth of that soldier's point of view. He did it. He saw his friends die. He is dying. Don't try to justify. To make it right. It was not. Take it just as what it is... the true point of view of a soldier that did it.

I do wonder why in this time and age, in US, people still joins the military, knowing that they will end up in a corporate war.
Corporate war indeed. Anyone see this week's CNN piece on the links between the Iraq debacle and major oil companies? Here is the link in case anyone is interested:

Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil - CNN.com

The galling thing is the number of policymakers that have now made public statements that the war was fought over oil access. It involves many of the same players Snowolf discusses in his post, and it is disgusting. This soldier is yet another service-member that lost their life so that American corporate interests could come out on top.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It is very difficult for young people to get the information that they really need to make a truly informed decision.
We need ti give those young souls internet access then? Maybe a history book?

I hear you Wolf...but there's no justification for ignorance 10 years into this "movie"
I believe that wars, and today's wars especially, are not fought for control or oil access..we already had access to that oil. Wars are fought for war sake. The weapon war business IS the most lucrative one, oil is needed just to move the "war" around....but the best product is the weapon itself. Think about it. You produce it, you use it, it destroys itself and the target, and you have to build another better and more expensive weapon. Not to mention that you EVEN get to rebuild the target! No bid needed. No oversight, no nothing. It's the perfect business model.
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