Monday, the 10th of November 2014, Tomas Young, an American Iraq war veteran, died at the age of 34 years. The death of Young Tomas is the death of a soldier and strongly committed anti-war activist who joined the army to risk his life for the people of the United States and then tried to prevent as many young Americans as possible to not follow him.
Back then, at the age of 22 Tomas Young decided to join the US army right after 9/11 paralysed the nation of America. He was inspired by Bush’s speech and joined the army three days later. He wanted to fight back the terrorists and bring justice to the attacked and shocked people of the United States. 2003, Young was send to Iraq to fight a, in his view, “unjust war”. After only six days in Iraq Tomas Young was shot by a sniper and he became paralysed. When he came back to America, paralysed, he experienced a development, a change. A change which transformed the young patriotic American, joining the army for defending his nation into one of the most engaged contemporary anti-war activists in America. His transformation led him to a new mission: “Preventing as many Americans as possible from joining the army” What did happened? What led to such a tremendous transformation?
In March 2013, Young gave an interview and presented a letter he wrote to former president Bush and his vice-president Cheney, the two persons, responsible for the invasion in Iraq in 2003. This letter is a remarkable and emotionally touching reckoning of the unjust war in Iraq. Young blames the duo Bush and Cheney for murder, not just of the Iraqi victims but also of the numerous dead and injured Americans, that fought this unjust war, which had nothing to do with the terroristic attacks of 9/11. Young feels betrayed and manipulated by the Bush administration.
“hundreds of human beings […] including myself were sacrificed by you (Mr. Bush) for little more than the greed of oil companies […] and your insane visions of empire”
For Young the fact, that he suffered a serious injury and that he was going to die soon was not his biggest trouble. What really brought him down was the belief that the war in Iraq never was about fighting the terrorists and bringing justice to America after 9/11, but served other interests. Interests for which he would never join a war, interests of wealth and greed.
George W. Bush exploited the grief, horror, mourning and fear among the American people after the attacks of 9/11 highly efficiently to mobilise for his “war on terror”. As we can see in Young’s case Bush’s disgusting strategy worked out. Many young Americans joined the army with beliefs and motives, which never were accomplished, since the war they fought was not what they joined for in the first place.
Young’s complete letter can be accessed here: http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318