By Gene Rigelon
In a shameful attempt to revise history, the architects of the worse foreign policy in this country's history are demonstrating an inexplicable failure to grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of their lies and manipulation that led to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This year, on the 10th anniversary of the war, the draft-dodging chicken hawks George W. Bush ( I have nothing to apologize for), and Dick Cheney ( I'd do it all over again) not only seek to justify their actions but lavish high praise on all of those involved and falsely declare that the Iraqi people are better off today then in pre-invasion days.
The fact of the matter is that the situation in Iraq today, 10 years after the invasion and occupation, is in a state of perpetual crises according to Dahr Jamail, investigative reporter who has been reporting on the situation in Iraq since 2003. After recently returning from Iraq, he reports that people in Iraq are is just getting by because there is no security across large areas of the country as evidenced by suicide bombings in Bagdad and other areas of the country. He goes on to say that "its really hard to describe the amount of devastation."
On the domestic front, the devastation is equally troubling when one considers the 4,488 servicemen and women who died, the 32,000 returning veterans with serious physical wounds, and the untold thousands suffering from post traumatic distress disorder for the rest of their lives.
One stark example is Tomas Young, whose story is essential in understanding the terrible harm inflicted on this nation. Young is an Iraq veteran left paralyzed in 2004 just five days after he was deployed.. On returning home, he became an active member of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. His condition has deteriorated to the point that he can no longer feed himself and he has said he will stop his medicine and not use a feeding tube - a decision that will end his life.
In one of the last acts of his life, he has written a heart-rendering letter, "A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a Dying Veteran" which is a must read for all Americans who love their country and desire that this tragic fiasco will not happen again. It says in part:
"...I write this my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because 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 my fellow veterans along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with millions of more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you are - 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."
The entire text of this letter can be read at the Democracy Now website. As I said, despite your views on the war and its controversial tone, it is a must read. I urge you do so.
Gene Rigelon of Front Royal is coordinator of the Shenandoah Area Secular Humanists, sash.wash.org. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org