Tomas Young: November 30, 1979 – November 10, 2014
My Last Words to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
Editor’s Note: News came yesterday that Tomas Young, an Iraq war vet turned anti-war activist, had passed away in Seattle at the age of 34. Tomas enlisted in the Army just two days after the 9/11 attacks. Following his training at Ft. Hood, Texas he was deployed to Iraq and paralyzed after being shot through his spinal cord just five days into his first tour. Many CounterPunchers may remember Tomas from the excellent Body of War, a documentary film by Phil Donahue about Tomas’ struggles following his return from Iraq. Below is a letter Tomas wrote to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in June 2013. RIP Tomas Young. We promise to carry on your fight. – Joshua Frank
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.
This website exists for Historical Purposes based on documented facts of history, not on conspiracy theories!
Smedley Butler on Interventionism-- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
One of the most profound comments on war and defense ever made was written towards the end of WW-I by Randolph Bourne: "War is the health of the State." His observation turns conventional wisdom (that government - the State - exists to protect citizens) clean on its head; he is suggesting that in wartime, the State flourishes as in no other situation, extending its power and influence in sometimes irreversible ways and even commanding deep loyalty and obedience by those citizens.
The thought is that rather than striving always to avoid war, perhaps governments often seek war so as to increase their own popularity and/or power at home. That would certainly help explain why wars take place so very often.
1. "Defense"?Since the mid-1900s in the USA the government war function has been called the "Department of Defense" rather than that of "War." Perhaps the new name makes it more palatable - but let's check some history. Please now call to mind the most recent year in which America needed "defending" from an unprovoked attack by a foreign enemy:
Those years are the most obvious times when this country was apparently in peril, and the striking thing about the answers is that there is not a single case among them when there was a clear, unambiguous, unprovoked attack or threat of one. This therefore raises the question: why is a "Defense" function needed? Was Randolph Bourne right - are the Feds in the business of initiating war, rather than preventing it?
The most popular American war was WW-II - after it had been so deceptively started, by FDR. Everyone was deceived into thinking Japan had mounted a wicked, surprise attack and desire for revenge was almost universal; Hitler obliged FDR by declaring war on the US shortly afterwards and so the stage was set for the deadly drama that ended in Berlin and Nagasaki four years later. FDR, though he did not live to see it, achieved his evident ambition to place the USA in a world-dominating position, which it still retains; history (being always written by the victor) uses the savage murders of millions of Jews as its "justification" - even though in 1941 no large-scale death camps had even been built and even though FDR had turned back a shipload of Jewish refugees in 1939 when they applied for asylum in the USA.
Popular it may have been; but it was as devastating as all other wars, and wholly needless from Americans' point of view. Had FDR not aggravated Japan in July 1941 there would have been no Pearl Harbor; absent Pearl, the 80% of Americans opposed to intervention in Europe would have prevailed; absent US intervention or the prospect of it Britain would have had to reach an accommodation with Germany such as Hitler repeatedly sought; absent that Western Front Hitler would almost certainly have prevailed over the Soviet Union and a German-dominated peace, of sorts, would have been restored in Europe. That would have been dreadful, of course, but it's quite possible that Jews would have been allowed to emigrate (as they were actually, through 1940) rather than be murdered; and it's certain that the horrendous death toll of about 65 million human beings would never have been suffered.
So much for the so-called "good war" that took over 400,000 American lives. Some of the non-defensive American wars since 1900 are as follows:
In all these cases the Feds created an apparent "justification" for war which the population swallowed - at least for a while. Sometimes the government resorted to outright fraud to create that support, as in the case of Pearl Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin. Usually, support evaporated when the promises of easy victory failed to materialize and as the body bags came home.
Conclusion so far:
Q & A
Q: What makes you or your information different to other whistleblowers Kawaja? And why has no Mainstream Media picked up on all that you put out since 1991 but give coverage to numerous other whistleblowers in the last few years?
A: Great questions, thanks for writing. Most all whistleblowers like: Daniel Ellsberg, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Bill Binney, Russ Tice, and untold others (who are all American Heroes and I stand in line thanking them for their courage); they have mainly (to my knowledge) outed "general government corruption" (but yes, truly heinous crimes in my opinion which could lead to criminal prosecutions) whereas Peter Kawaja outed pre-meditated Criminal Activity of the US Congress and President equaling to and greater than the Nuremberg War Crimes. Not only killing your own citizens, your own military, but crimes against all humanity. As the Financial Times of London/ABC stated many years ago to Kawaja (tape recorded) when Kawaja asked why did ABC-Nightline/Ted Koppel not air the entire Gulf War Crimes, their answer "We do not wish to topple the entire US Government".
Even members of Seal Team Six have felt the betrayal of their own government (US CONGRESS) for writing a book and making it public without approval of CIA. And BTW - this is why 99.9% of ALL books written about Operation Desert Storm / Gulf War / Gulf War Syndrome, are a FRAUD as every author had to get their book "approved" by CIA, that includes Garth Nicolson and Alan Friedman. This is akin to asking the bank robber who shot the pregnant bank teller if it is okay to tell the police his name and you saw him do the shooting.
ALL these books have been "sanitized" and all carry the same (government approved) theme of the Riegle Report, another misinformation campaign (and crime).
WACO attorney Linda
Thompson said it back in 1997
Sat Aug 28, 2004 18:13
NEW DAY - SAME MISCREANTS LEADING YOU OFF THE SLIPPERY SLOPE
THE SADDEST CHAPTER OF
[excerpt from 8-page
........THIS INFORMATION WILL SHOCK, SURPRISE, AND SADDEN YOU,
A nationwide/worldwide panic is going to be created, of such magnitude, that it will threaten our very existence. This same government will then step in to offer a solution, they will have "an antidote" (VACCINE), BUT, only those who will accept the Medical ID (national id/CHIP) will be treated, all others will be considered a danger and threat to society, hunted down, and imprisoned or killed. Americans will welcome this solution, will turn-in their neighbors and friends in order to survive themselves. At the same time, this instrument WILL permanently, publicly SUSPEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THESE united STATES, to allow United Nations Rule (controlled by the shadow - Serpent People), a One World Government. AMERICA & THE WORLD WILL BE ENSLAVED.
They are preparing you for
what they already know and have planned. It is not by an accident of
nature, or terrorist attack, it is by purposeful planning, and it is HERE.
Penned in 1994 By: Peter Kawaja
NOW YEARS LATER:
Welcome to HOMELAND SECURITY - Perpetual Global War of Terror