The Iraq War began 10 years ago this week and in a letter posted on Truthdig addressed to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Tomas Young, a veteran of the war, attacks the then President of the United States and his Vice-President.
Morello said "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 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."
He continued, "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. 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."
Morello is currently on tour with Bruce Springsteen and his E-Street Band. "He undervalues the impact he could continue to have, but we don't have to live in his body," says Morello. "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 just try to respect his wishes. He's a great person and a great friend and it's a tragic story."
The guitarist is no stranger to activism and co-founded Axis of Justice, a political movement aimed at bringing together musician and fans to fight for social justice with System of a Down vocalist, Serj Tankian, and has been joined by Maynard James Keenan, Flea, and a host of other artists.