Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The War Crimes of Our Political Leaders

Recently I wrote a brief post directing readers to a story written by Chris Hedges. Hedges' piece, entitled The Crucifixion of Tomas Young, conveyed the very sad story, one that has probably been lived out many times, of a young man, paralyzed in Iraq in 2004, who has made the decision to die by refusing to take nourishment. His is an age-old tale of a naive but well-intentioned response to the patriotic call to war by a government adept at cynically manipulating its populace for its own immoral purposes (think access to oil as an example) and then ultimately washing its hands of the consequences of that manipulation.

Of course, war criminals like George Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair continue on their self-promoting way, enveloped by and insulated within a bubble of self-righteous hypocrisy that few dare to puncture.

Yesterday, The Huffington Post wrote about Tomas Young and his impending death. One of his legacies will be this letter, addressed to Bush and Cheney, indicting them for the great evil they have committed. I am reproducing only a small part below, but I hope everyone will take the time to read the entire missive:

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.

It is, without question a letter that all political leaders need to read and consider before they so blithely and heedlessly consign another generation of young people to disfigurement and death. And that includes Messieurs Chretien and Harper, under whose watches 158 young Canadians lost their lives in Afghanistan.


  1. On Bush’s Picture it should say Mission Accomplished.

  2. I would say that Tomas Young puts these guys to shame, Owen, except that they seem incapable of feeling any.

  3. there are lies, dam lies and what you write, hope you sleep alright.