The United States has spent $1,468,387,211,883 (and counting) since 9/11 for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of that 1.4 trillion dollars, over 800 billion has been spent in Iraq. It is estimated that the United States will spend between 4 and 6 trillion dollars when medical care for veterans and other auxiliary costs are factored in.
You cannot put a price tag on human life. Around 3,000 innocent men, women, and children were killed by extremists on 9/11. I’m reminded of their loss every time I have to take off my shoes when I go through airport security. No amount of monetary compensation could replace a lost mother, father, son, or daughter.
You know… Just for the heck of it, do you know what each family who lost a loved one on 9/11’s cut would be if we just decided NOT to go chasing fake weapons of mass destruction and wrote them each a check?
For those not used to seeing numbers that big, it’s about a half of a BILLION dollars per dead American.
I open with that to provide some context for the escalating civil war in Syria. As it stands, there aren’t many Americans getting killed in the internal conflict in a country far, far away. Of course, that could change if we decide that despite problems right in our backyard, we still are required to be the World Police.
Because you know… MURIKA!
Shockingly, the rest of the world isn’t really in a hurry to get involved in a CIVIL WAR. I understand that there are reports of chemical weapons being used but again – We rushed into Iraq to grab Saddam’s nukes, only to find out a decade and almost a trillion dollars later that whoops…
Britain, our BFF and closest ally, basically said no thanks to military intervention. Canada also will not be participating in any combat operations. Iran has gone as far to say that they would retaliate against us if our military got involved in Syria. The United Nations is basically begging America NOT to attack. Inspectors are still there, trying to figure out what exactly is happening. I do think it is funny that Obama is being told that Congress has to give permission for THIS military operation – Considering Congress has not declared war since World War II.
Cliff Notes: NOBODY except some Dicks in America thinks it’s a good idea to go messing with those assholes in Syria.
This part is for my “fiscally conservative” friends:
I’m just ballparking basic combat operations costs for sending a bunch of missiles and bombs into Syria, but let’s call the jumping point 300 billion dollars… Or roughly half of the FY2013 budget deficit –
– Or enough to give 3 million of our brightest young people a free college education
– Or enough to make sure that every sick child has access to whatever medical care they need
– Or enough to fund universal Pre-K so the next generation of Americans can compete on a global level
– Or enough to fix every crumbling road and bridge in the country
– Or enough to cancel the sequester several times over
– Or enough to improve social programs to help the poor, giving them an opportunity to not be dependent on government
… You get the point?
The next time I hear somebody say that they are furious that Obamacare “costs too much” and they want to defund it, I will not-so-politely point out to them that if they are that pissed off about kids with cancer getting health insurance, they better be a LOT more upset over “their tax dollars” going to blow up brown people halfway across the earth. Is that really the more attractive option than it going to a poor family dealing with a pre-existing health condition?
Where are our priorities?
–Sean Kemmerer is a freelance writer, administrator of Politics Without The Crazy Pills , and if this is the end of the world, he feels fine.