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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.
2 months ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
Meanwhile, George Bush has a non-alcoholic beer on the veranda.
@JesseSinaiko @RVN SF VET @robertjalberts @tomricks He told Stanton to get rid of him. With the 1862 elections safely in the bag, McClellan's pernicious influence could be dispensed with.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a controversial move sure to send shockwaves throughout the Corps, President Obama announced today that Commandant of the Marine Corps General Jim Amos will soon be replaced by General James Mattis.
Amos indicated his plans to resign early — having served only two years out of the four-year term as Commandant — saying that “he’s getting too old for this shit.”
“I’m just sick of dealing with these savages in the press and in Congress. They keep asking me questions about snipers pissing on people, nazi flags, and other crap,” said Amos. “I figure Jim [Mattis] will certainly know how to handle them.”
Not one to mince words, General Mattis is known for controversial quotes — once telling a reporter that it was “fun to shoot some people,” and that his Marines should always “have a plan to kill everyone they meet.”
Mattis, who announced his plans for retirement months ago, is being recalled for the position as top commander at a time when the Marine Corps transitions from combat to peace.
“This transition stuff is all a bunch of crap,” said Mattis, after returning from a 30 mile ruck run with an 80-pound pack. ”Our Corps will always be killing people. Even in peace time, I’ll find someone for our boys to kill out there. Yeah, I’m talking to you Iran.”
When reached for further comment on his promotion, Mattis was glad that he would be staying in uniform.
Read more: http://www.duffelblog.com/2012/08/general-james-mattis-announced-as-next-commandant-of-marine-corps/#ixzz2J5S8RFTZ Follow us: @theduffelblog on Twitter | duffelblog on Facebook
You must be a very unhappy person. I was extremely unhappy when war criminals Bush and Cheney wielded the levers of power and set in motion events that:
1. Killed 7,000 of our best people for not a freaking thing.
2. Dragged the good name and reputation of our nation and that of our flag through the mud.
They didn't exactly make us the City on the Hill.
But you seem to be a lot more unhappy than I was.
But you have no cause to be unhappy about President Obama - not to the degree you seem to profess.
Too bad you feel that way. The president is the only person in the country who even appears able to act presidential.
Not only that, I recall from reading the 'Playboy' interview with GC Scott, he blasted Karl Malden for his interpretation of Bradley. He said it was weak.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/12/05/was_1970_s_patton_really_the_first_of_the_entire_godfather_series_of_movies
Edmund H. North shares screenwriting credit for the Patton movie. He also wrote "Sink The Bismarck". If you buy the deluxe 2 disk Patton, there is a lot of interview material. Coppula says that he was called in to work with some editors on advanced editing techniques. The film they were using was from 'Patton' which is the first he knew of it going into production. The bigs also thought that his giant flag and speech were nutty. I read elsewhere that GC Scott didn't like the idea of the speech at all. It would use up all his creative energy for the part to do the speech; it was filmed last.
Good on you, Tom. FOX news doesn't "handle the truth" very well.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/27/ricks_mocks_fox_which_cuts_and_runs
PNAC has gone away? Oh well, mission accomplished! Israel's strategic needs met and the USA's dumped.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/26/tk
There's nothing new under the Sun Tzu.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/01/national_cost_imposing_strategies_maybe_there_really_is_nothing_new_under_the_sun
"Mitt Romney should be doing a walk of shame today, after reversing most of his irresponsible, hawkish foreign policy statements from the last year just to have a hot night with undecided female voters in the final debate. How does he live with himself?" - Joan Walsh
6 months, 4 weeks ago on 'You'll never eat lunch in this town again!' | By Other Means
Yeah! If you take an apple to eat, what do you do with the apple core when you are done?
I loved the original Star Trek - grew up with it. My favorite episode is "Balance of Terror". The Romulans make a non-coded transmission and you can see onto their bridge? Please. And you have to lie quietly (just like a fleet sub from WWII) because of a 'motion sensor"? In a vacuum? What the heck?
Still very well done dramatically.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/24/aircraft_carriers_in_space
It has been a while since I read it, but Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" seems to deal farly realistically with some of these issues. Ship to ship combat involves one warhead fired at the enemy from 500,000 km away for instance. The only way you knew you had a hit was the enemy no longer appeared on your sensors.
When the ships were under acceleration, everyone had to pretty much stay in their special couches or a rib might come poking through your skin. Things like that added verisimilitude. Pretty clever.
Our culture is a big problem for them. To "train" their guys up to our standards, they would have to at some level adopt some of our cultural norms. Those would include the concepts of personal accountability, team work and integrity. Nah, with them, it's all "Inshallah'. As God wills. Perfect excuse fo be useless.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/02/green_on_blue_and_red_all_over
We don't ground troops/giant infrastructure to keep Afghanistan from becoming a terror base again.
We don't need a 'renewed partnership'. We need to GTF out of Afghanistan.
For Reagan, ensuring that the "laws be faithfully executed" was a minor blip.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/21/was_john_f_kennedy_the_flat_out_absolute_worst_us_president_of_the_20th_century
It was much more in debt too. Reagan tripled the national debt in just 8 years.
No, the guy was a bum and that is how he should be remembered.
I recall in their debates that Reagan excoriated Carter for running $50 Billion dollar deficits and once he was in office he ran $300 billion dollar deficits just about every year.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/21/was_john_f_kennedy_the_flat_out_absolute_worst_us_president_of_the_20th_century