Foreign Policy Blogs

Body of War (2008)

This movie is sad and, at times, hard to watch.
It is about Tomas Young, a soldier who signed up for the US Army immediately following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Only five days into his deployment in Iraq, Young took a shot in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. He has become one of the most vocal opponents to the war in Iraq.
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The parts hardest to witness is how Young deals with the day-to-day issues facing him: changing his clothes, inserting catheters into his penis, and taking an enormous amount of medications to deal with the myriad physical ailments caused by his paralysis.
The film shows Young appearing at anti-war rallies and talk shows, including 60 Minutes. He talks about his own experience but also tries to show that Iraq was not the real threat to the United States and that the whole runup to the war in Iraq was based on lies.
He had been gung-ho to fight in Afghanistan and was dismayed when he was sent to Iraq.
There are clips of many senators and representatives (mostly from October 2002) speaking out against and for the war.


West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd is shown prominently throughout the movie, railing against then-President George W. Bush’s rush to war in Iraq. Byrd calls himself and the other 22 senators who voted against the war as the “Immortal 23.”
Regardless of how the audience feels about the politics of the war in Iraq, this film shows the undeniable truth of war’s true cost.
“Body of War” is available to rent.
Murphy can be reached at: [email protected]



Sean Patrick Murphy

Sean Patrick Murphy is a graduate of Bennington College, where he majored in politics and Latin American literature. He has worked for Current History magazine, Physicians for Human Rights, and Citizens for Global Solutions (formerly the World Federalist Association). He lives outside Philadelphia.

Areas of Focus:
Cinematography; Independent Films; Documentary;