When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their "advisers" like Wolfowitz and Pearle and Rumsfeld decided to concoct a series of lies to "permit" them to illegally invade Iraq, many Americans believed them and were patriotically ready to serve. Many who served in Iraq came back bitter and disillusioned. Some were wounded physically and mentally. Some tried to re-gain their life and move on. Some vets struggled against the weight of their mental and physical ailments for years. Some committed suicide. Some lived with thier agony and regret and anger.
An Iraq War military veteran who is dying in a hospice in Kansas City from wounds he suffered in Iraq, has had to deal with his anger, and he wrote a "last letter" to Bush and Cheney. He is terminally ill, but his letter shows the strength he still possesses to act on his anger and frustration. Here is part of that letter to Bush and Cheney from Iraqi veteran Tomas Young...
"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 of thousands of young Americans -- my fellow veterans -- whose future you stole."
"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 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."
"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 shieks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire."
Even if Bush and Cheney read this letter, do they have the sensitivity, empathy, and moral foundation to feel it as deeply as it is intended? I doubt it. Both Bush, and his family's long profitable connection to Saudi Arabia, and Cheney, and his long profitable connection to Halliburton, have continually shown an insensitivity to real human conditions and circumstances. Greed rules with Bush and Cheney. They sit in comfort, while Mr. Young lies dying in a hospice. When Bush was in the military reserves during the Vietnam War and was saving Texas from the Vietcong air force, he went AWOL for months and months with no penalty. When Cheney was called in the military draft, he chose to get immunity and exemption.
Yet Bush and Cheney saw fit to lie boldly to Americans, send troops to an illegal war in Iraq, and take their bundle and retire. Bush and Cheney should be standing in the dock in a courtroom.