Tomas Young Says He's Not Angry at George W. Bush
A month after penning a scathing open letter condemning the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, anti-war activist Tomas Young is making yet another powerful statement. On HuffPost Live on Thursday, the paralyzed Iraq War veteran says he harbors no personal resentment against George W. Bush and believes the former president was “manipulated” by others in his Cabinet ahead of the U.S.-led action.
“I’m not angry at George Bush because he seems like a relatively good guy,” Young said. “I think he was manipulated by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, and from what I hear he is divorced from them.”
He added that he believes Bush later “realized that [Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz] bamboozled him, and he wanted to be liked and this wasn’t his nature.”
Young’s powerful letter, which was first published on Truthdig on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, went viral and has since been translated into multiple languages. It stated in part:
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.
Asked if he would like to see his letter in Bush’s presidential library, which was dedicated Thursday morning, Young responded: “I think it’d be a great thing for it to be in the library but I doubt they’ll put it in there because it reflects the truth that they don’t want to tell.”
Young’s health has significantly deteriorated since 2008, when he suffered a pulmonary embolism. He has publicly stated his intentions to end his life rather than continue his suffering.
— Posted by Tracy Bloom.