Dying US veteran flays Bush, Cheney

2013-03-20 12:10
Former president George W Bush and his former vice president Dick Cheney. (File, AFP)

Former president George W Bush and his former vice president Dick Cheney. (File, AFP)

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Cape Town – A dying US veteran and critic of the Iraq war has penned what he called his "last letter" to former president George W Bush and his former vice president Dick Cheney urging the pair "to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness" for the war.

The letter was first published on truthdig.com.

Tomas Young, who joined the US army two days after the 11 September 2001 attacks when he was 22 years old, was paralysed after he was injured in an ambush in 2004 in Iraq. "My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care," he says in the letter.

In the scathing letter Young, bemoans the loss of life as a consequence of the "senseless" war citing deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians and the deaths of troops on the battlefield and through suicide.

"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," he says to the ex-leaders whom he also accused of cowardice.

Sacrificed for oil

"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."

Young goes on to say that the casualties of the war in Iraq were sacrificed "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".

The young veteran said he would not have written the letter had he been injured in Afghanistan fighting "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."

At least 116 000 Iraqi civilians and more than 4 800 coalition troops have died in Iraq between the outbreak of war in 2003 and the US withdrawal in 2011, researchers have estimated.
 
- News24
Read more on:    dick cheney  |  george w bush  |  iraq  |  us  |  war
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