Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is backing his good friend and speaking out against the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq last week, Tomas Young, an Iraq war veteran who was paralyzed five days into his service, wrote a letter about the war, which Rolling Stone picked up. Titled "The Last Letter," Young addressed his words to former president George W. Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney, writing "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."
Young continues, "My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness."
Young's letter gained further attention after Morello, a good friend of his, spoke in his support. "I think that letter is the most effective piece of anti-war literature written in 50 years," Morello said, Rolling Stone reports. "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 his story, but his courage of 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."
"There's nothing more courageous than a soldier who stands up against an unjust war," Morello added. "And in that regard, Tomas Young is not just a war hero – he's a real peace hero . . . It's a damning indictment of those who made the Iraq war – not for the safety and betterment of the United States, but for the enrichment of the Halliburton Board of Directors. What they did was not a mistake – it was a crime. As Tomas says in the article, it is a crime that is likely to go unpunished. The only thing they can do to redeem their souls is to beg for the forgiveness of the world. As Tomas Young lays dying in a hospice room in Kansas City, what is Dick Cheney doing tonight? He doesn't care."
For more, head over to Rolling Stone.