Media personality and anti-war filmmaker Phil Donahue continued to speak out on the Iraq War this week, telling Current that former President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the media helped green-light an invasion that is still responsible for daily pain and suffering.
"These are the guys who can’t wait to prove they're tough and use other people's kids to make the case," Donahue said, reminding of Bush's infamous "bring them on" remark. "The more you examine this, the more you are just outraged by the hypocrisy, the rah-rah of the media."
(Watch the video above, via Current)
One reminder of the lasting agony of war is Tomas Young, a paralyzed Iraq veteran who, after a nine-year struggle with complications resulting from a gunshot wound that severed his spine in 2004, has announced that he will reject treatment and allow himself to die later this year. Young never intended to be in Iraq, joining the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks thinking he'd be deployed to Afghanistan, where the terrorists behind the plot had been harbored.
Young was the subject of Donahue's 2008 film "Body of War," back when his health allowed him to speak clearly against what he has criticized as an inexcusable and unjustifiable military engagement. But Young suffered a pulmonary embolism and an anoxic brain injury in 2008, which left his speech impaired and his arms largely unusable. His health has since continued to deteriorate.
"It's so sad. He wanted to live. He took every hit you could imagine," Donahue said, explaining the toll the wound continued to take on Young's body.
Young shares Donahue's outrage at Bush and Cheney over the decision to go to war in Iraq. He expressed it in an open letter to the two men for the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, accusing them 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."
Donahue urged anybody touched by Young's story to help bring visibility to the struggle of wounded veterans, noting that the Department of Veteran Affairs has come up short in helping some soldiers receive treatment and benefits.
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