3/20/2013 1:56am, #1
Anyone thinking enlisting should read this
On the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, a dying veteran writes something that anyone who is thinking of enlisting in the US armed forces should read, before they throw away their lives for the ultimate Bullshido, US foreign policy: decided by Chicken Hawks and Neo-Con asswipes who fire or get rid of any military brass who doubt their vision of conquest. Before any rah rah types get too pissed be sure you know who Thomas White and Eric Shinseki are and what Bush Co did to them (and dozens of top brass who thought Rummy was wrong). Be sure to know the truth because I've had it to here with rah rah "patriotic" bullshit and if that's all the feedback I get then I'll conclude I'm dealing with fascists.
Hopefully they may be some intelligent or moral response.
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. - Tomas Young"Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
3/20/2013 9:16am, #2
Yes, each member of our all-volunteer armed forces may end up maimed or dead. As such, it is important that they realize this before they make a commitment to follow the orders which may lead to their untimely demise.
And, yes, our government does a whole lot of things that, in hindsight, are mistakes or just outright stupidity.
These realities are not new to this country (see also Ron Kovic). So, while I grieve for our fallen and wounded soldiers, I have little sympathy for Mr. Young, who is attempting to levy posthumous blame for what was, ultimately, his own decision.
Yes, Pat, in a strange, twisted way I'm agreeing with you. If you don't want to face the possibility that you might be permanently injured or killed for politics that you don't believe in, DON'T ENLIST.
3/20/2013 12:48pm, #3
3/20/2013 1:54pm, #4
First, I have great sympathy for Mr. Young, as I have great sympathy for my friends who served and suffered death or PTSD or disease from Vietnam. They were LIED to, that some young men and women in America believe their government and in patriotic faith serve and suffer for their county is admirable. That they were suckered by asshole liars is very sad and makes me angry. And I can't sit back and say, your fault.
Hmm, while I know well that many of the wars are bullshit (Shores of Tripoli we back the bad guy, Vietnam we backed the bad guy etc etc), I do think that some wars can be seen as justified. I do believe that there was a Golden Age when it made some sense to enlist, such as WWII. If the veterans think that the wars are bullshit, how can you serve?"Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
3/20/2013 2:24pm, #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
I appreciate this man's service and extreme sacrifice. All volunteers should be extremely careful of this path. His points are extremely similar to points made by previous writers and I don't find them very convincing. His position does give powerful insight into how important our choice of leadership is and maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism. As a voter (who has never faced the danger this man has an am well aware of it) I focus more on gulf war 1 as a decision point then the Iraq invasion following 911. I also look at our long term alliances with questionable countries such as Saudi Arabia as a potential risk factor. We invaded Iraq, withdrew, projected force to maintain terms of an armistice for years. To call our war "preemptive" looks past the unstable situation we were in, or maybe we could have done that for years, i am honestly not sure. Going forward we should look at successfully leaving conflicts, dissolving alliances with countries where an American are denied basic rights when try visit, and keeping our nose out of as many places as possible.
3/20/2013 2:41pm, #6
Is this that "thing" that's been going around on TV news channels that I refuse to watch because they're not fucking news, so I only heard about it because someone noticed I had an ACU backpack and brought it up?
Here's the response:
All. Volunteer. Military.
There you go, problem already solved.
3/20/2013 2:44pm, #7
3/20/2013 2:59pm, #8
You're missing the point because you're coming from the generation that saw a draft.
Every single one of the servicemen and women that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan had a choice not to join, not to serve, and not to risk their lives at the behest of the government.
Now, if your point is that the government doesn't represent the will of the people, that's a separate conversation.
3/20/2013 8:46pm, #9
When I read that letter, I see small words from a broken, bitter man. While I agree that his case certainly a great example of why the VA desperately needs reformed (Or whatever it is one does when there is more cancer than healthy flesh), I somehow find myself doubting his authority to speak on the legality of invading Iraq.
It's an all volunteer military. Your military career is what you make of it. Sometimes you get dealt a **** hand."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
3/20/2013 8:53pm, #10
Some of us are patriots and care; I don't care who is President, if I get the call I will do as I am told. If I survive, there will be plenty of time to reflect on the insane politics that led us to war in the first place.