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Tom Morello Praises Dying Vet Tomas Young’s Letter Condemning George W. Bush + Dick Cheney

Tom Morello-Tomas Young
Christopher Polk / Mark Mainz, Getty Images

Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello is speaking out in support of dying war vet Tomas Young, who earlier this week penned an emotional and scathing letter condemning former President Bush and Vice-President Cheney and the role they played in starting and continuing the Iraq War.

Young, who was shot and paralyzed after serving only five days in Iraq in 2004, posted the missive at TruthDig.com and addressed it specifically to Bush and Cheney. In it, he stated, “The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history … On every level — moral, strategic, military and economic — Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.”

Morello praised Young for his statements addressing Bush and Cheney, telling Rolling Stone, “I think that letter is the most effective piece of anti-war literature written in 50 years. Over the last 48 hours, it’s already had a global impact. The responses I’ve had from around the planet are so moving and people are so touched — not just by this story, but his courage and speaking out [from] the singular perspective of someone who is dying because of this criminal of war. He’s a soldier who is calling the former president a war criminal. That’s news, and accurate.”

The guitarist added, “There’s nothing more courageous than a soldier who stands up against an unjust war, and in that regard, Tomas Young is not just a war hero — he’s a real peace hero.”

Young’s story first came to light in the 2007 documentary ‘Body of War,’ which chronicled the soldier’s life after returning home from Iraq. In his letter, he addressed the ineptitude and inadequacy of care given to disabled vets and the lack of interest from politicians to do anything about it. In 2008, Young suffered a pulmonary embolism and he’s currently in hospice planning to end his life in May.

Morello concludes of Young’s life decision, “He undervalues the impact he could continue to have, but we don’t have to live in his body. It’s easy for us to say, ‘You should live 50 more years and give speeches,’ but we don’t have to live in that body on a daily basis, so I try to respect his wishes. He’s a great person and a great friend and it’s a tragic story.”

To read Young’s full letter, check it out at TruthDig.com here.

Next: Tom Morello Salutes Bruce Springsteen at MusiCares Event

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