The Face of War They Don’t Want Us to See


Posted by Bob Lord

Those who follow my posts know the high regard I have for Chris Hedges. His post today, The Crucifixion of Thomas Young, is incredible, even for Hedges. I'm often moved by what I read, but rarely to tears, as I was by this one. There's no way to summarize it and do it any justice, but here's a sample, where he comments on the impending death of an Iraq War veteran whose body is so ravaged that he's made the decision to allow himself to die:

Young will die for our sins. He will die for a war that should never have been fought. He will die for the lies of politicians. He will die for war profiteers. He will die for the careers of generals. He will die for a cheerleader press. He will die for a complacent public that made war possible. He bore all this upon his body. He was crucified. And there are hundreds of thousands of other crucified bodies like his in Baghdad and Kandahar and Peshawar and Walter Reed medical center. Mangled bodies and corpses, broken dreams, unending grief, betrayal, corporate profit, these are the true products of war. Tomas Young is the face of war they do not want you to see. 

Please take the time to read the entire piece.


  1. But Hedges’ purpose was to make people aware of the ravages of war, not to opine, one way or the other, about the wisdom of Young’s decision. Even if you assume, as you have, that Young’s decision to allow himself to die is misguided, it doesn’t detract from the point Hedges is making (quite powerfully, in my mind).

  2. This story is gut wrenching but not for the reasons outlined by Hedges. The story is premised on ignorance as they relate to disability rights and end of life issues. Young is not terminally ill. VSED is a way of ending one’s life promoted by Compassion and Choices and is not the panacea they suggest it is. Hedges at no point discusses what is blatantly obvious to me: regardless of Young’s many health related complications people with similar conditions lead productive lives. Has Young been met others in the disability rights community? Just because he is paralyzed is not reason enough to end one’s life, particularly in such a potentially painful way. And I write this as one who was paralyzed over 35 yers ago.