Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The costs of the war are far beyond estimation.

On this twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is worth a moment to pause and consider what those attacks have cost the United States as a nation. Today will be spent commemorating the lost heroes of the attacks and subsequent action required to bring the perpetrators to justice. What price have we paid and what remains due?

We'll Take it From Here captured the sentiment of the American people in the weeks following 9/11.

We'll Take it From Here captured the sentiment of the American people in the weeks following 9/11.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: 9/11, war on terror, Bush, Obama, cost


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 9/11 attacks traumatized our nation as the world watched the deaths of 2,996 human beings on television. It was immediately apparent the United States was at war, except the public did not know with precisely whom at that moment.

Within days it was apparent who the culprits were and where they were hiding. Flags and candles appeared in front of homes and as vigils were held for the dead, the United States mustered its military. The sketched image of a soldier taking the flag from a 9/11 ground zero firefighter was etched into our memory with the caption, "I'll take it from here."

The initial attacks in Afghanistan, just weeks later were incredible because of the differential in power between the two nations. The Taliban-run state of Afghanistan was sorely mismatched against the world's remaining super power. Trucks with machine guns mounted in the beds were no match for stealth bombers.

Venerable B-52's carpet bombed Taliban and al Qaeda positions and the United States put boots on the ground in support of the Northern Alliance, a loose confederation of tribal militias opposed to Taliban rule.
 
Over the following months, the Taliban was chased from Kabul and the countryside, over the border into Pakistan where they found safe haven with their al Qaeda allies. Later, that safe haven would be compromised by armed drone aircraft.

Subsequent to the apparently righteous wrath of the nation, smacked down on the Taliban and al Qaeda, the conflict expanded. Soon the term "mission creep" made its way into household lexicons as the nation found itself involved in Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and other places such as the Philippines, where we remain today.

Today, we are weary of war, embroiled in a worldwide war against terror that has cost us much more than those initial strikes in Afghanistan.

President Bush made the first swipe of the national credit card, albeit with broad approval from the American people. Yet, in true political fashion, the inch granted in Congress on September 14, 2011, became a mile.

By the end of Bush's tenure the nation was mired in global conflict. Meanwhile, new laws such as the Patriot Act gave sweeping police powers to the government to track and hunt terrorists. Without our knowledge the NSA mission was greatly expanded and well-funded. Meanwhile, we began to grumble at the airport as the TSA asked us to remove our shoes and the list of taboo items on airplanes grew.

In 2008, Obama was elected and although the war in Iraq was winding down, and Afghanistan is on a timetable set by his administration, a massive doubling-down on Bush's  policies continues to cost us ever more money, lives, and freedom.

The financial cost has been tremendous. Following the attacks, a mild recession that started in March of 2001 deepened. Unemployment climbed to 6 percent. This would be followed by a brief return of growth until the end of the Bush administration when the Great Recession would start.

President Bush asked for increased spending, a mere $20 billion for Afghanistan, and $13 billion for Homeland Security. A patriotic nation granted both. Then, as evidence of weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, and fears they could fall into terrorist hands gripped the administration, bush called for war in Iraq.

Although Saddam Hussein managed to ship his chemical arms to Syria, and out of reach of UN inspectors, he also played a shell game with those same inspectors making himself look yet more guilty of the accusations against him. Unwittingly, he became caught up in the War on Terror by being himself.

The subsequent war cost the nation $50 billion initially and by the end of Bush's term cost nearly $900 billion.

Obama then came into office and promptly increased spending for the War. Under Obama, the costs have accelerated and now stand at almost $2 trillion. This figure has simply been added to the national debt and will be paid by future generations, with interest. The final total, if the War on terror ended today, would be about $6 trillion with future interest added, according to Congressional calculations.

All this spending to pursue terrorists, both real and imagined, has the government in sequester mode, cutting spending to finance a behemoth war effort that could soon extend into Syria, if the current peace proposals do not pan out.

Ironically, the United States finds itself in position to side with the terrorists in the War on Terror in Syria. This is a sign of how twisted the conflict has become. War serves itself and the longer it lasts the more absurd it becomes.

Casualties of the War on Terror range into the millions with most in Iraq.

A total of 9,655 Americans have thus far died in the War in Terror including those killed on 9/11. Another 56,422 Americans walk among us as wounded.

Overseas, millions may be dead and wounded. At least 1.15 million have been tallied, and these are the ones we know about. There are probably many more uncounted. For some people, who live under the specter of winged predator drones and terrorist bombings, every day is 9/11.

Back in the U.S., 9/11 continues to take a toll. First responders and recovery workers suffer from ailments associated with sifting through the debris of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Domestically, Americans are paying taxes to feed a beast that was only recently revealed to exist. The National Security Organization (NSA) is collecting vast quantities on data on Americans and foreigners alike. The data collected from Americans arguably violates the 4th Amendment protection to which each citizen is entitled, however the collection proceeds with the blessing of a secret court and the Obama administration.

Today, the true costs of the war are genuinely inestimable.

Just as World War II brought consequences that still confront us today, so too will the War on Terror. This is the normal course of history. One can easily make the case that battles at places such as Thermopylae (480 BC) and Tours (732 AD) still resonate today. How much more then, will the War on Terror impact us in the future?

In addition to lost lives and financial costs, we know that we have lost an immeasurable degree of freedom. In these regards, the terrorists have won.

Outcomes in war cannot be easily predicted. High technology can defeat standing armies, but not religious extremism and deep-seated hatred. There are solutions to these problems but none that appear immediately practical and few politicians are willing to embrace concepts such as respect, love, and peace. Nor are our enemies.

Until that day comes then, the War on Terror will continue and the cost in lives, money, and freedom will rise. In that sense the 9/11 attacks have succeeded beyond al Qaeda's wildest expectations.


Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Obama grants clemency, 22 prison inmates to be released Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama granted clemency to 22 prisoners with drug-related charges, according to the announcement of the White House on Tuesday. Eight of them were initially sentenced with life imprisonment and expected to die behind bars, if not for the clemency granted. ... continue reading


Entire Alaskan town's population amazingly lives in a single housing unit Watch

Image of Inside the 14-story building rests a police station, school, post office and health clinic.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Whittier, Alaska, nearly everyone lives in a single building. The 14-story Begich Towers is the residence of almost all the 218 members of the town, including the police station, a school, an indoor playground, two convenience stores, a B&B, a laundromat and the ... continue reading


Where did April Fool's Day really come from? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christianity is one of the factors that led to the creation of the April 1, according to the most popular theory of the April Fools' Day. This is not a joke: according to the theory of the two calendars, most Christians wanted to celebrate the start of the New Year on ... continue reading


Extending the Lie: Ken Blackwell Asks, Which Black Lives Matter? Watch

Image of J. Kenneth Blackwell

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

Almost seven months after the fateful, fatal encounter between Michael Brown and former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, Attorney General Eric Holder officially announced a truth he had been holding close for months - that the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" mantra ... continue reading


Americans gassed up their cars and took to the roads in a big, big way last year Watch

Image of In December, record-breaking traffic volume was reported with drivers logging 251.4 billion miles. Indiana led the pack with the highest single-state increase at 10.5 percent for that month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an American trait to gas up the car and take a drive - anywhere, and that certainly proved to be true last year. According to the Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA, Americans drove 3.02 trillion miles last year, the second-highest level of vehicle ... continue reading


Is the U.S. under Invasion? In nine U.S. States, troops to 'operate undetected amongst civilian population' Watch

Image of Despite assurances that the training is to prepare troops for overseas missions, Army documents in the past have made clear that plans for martial law are in place for within the Continental United States, or CONUS.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The military exercise is both mysterious and just a little bit threatening. The controversial Jade Helm military exercise, scheduled to take part in nine U.S. states this summer will involve soldiers operating "undetected amongst civilian populations." The ... continue reading


OPEN BORDERS: Children without guardians continue to stream into the United States Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children without adult guardians, from the southern border that the United States shares with Mexico, continue to stream into the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, speaking to Congress last week, says that these child immigrants number in the ... continue reading


Bella's Gift: The Santorum Book that Keeps on Giving Watch

Image of The book, Bella's Gift, has shaken me. On more than one occasion, it has forced me to my knees in tears. That is because, in a candid, honest, profoundly spiritual way, this splendidly written book puts the reader in the presence of unconditional love. then, through its deep spiritual truths, it unleashes the dynamic power of amazing grace.

By Keith A Fournier

I was with Rick Santorum at the Awakening Conference in Orlando, Florida. Rick and Karen Santorum are personal friends. Their whole family is a source of inspiration to me. But most especially, that little Princess named Bella Santorum. She is the center, the ... continue reading


Play-doh Christianity and the Vanishing Cross

Image of Bell can have his happy-clappy, navel-centered religion and his wimpy god. He just can't call it Christianity, and he can't claim it's the Church.

By Jennifer Hartline

There is no Christianity without Christ, and no Christ without the cross. There was no need for the cross except for our Redemption, and no need for that except for our sin. To preach Christianity without preaching repentance from sin and taking up your cross is ... continue reading


McDonald's does the unthinkable - Big Mac Shop launches McFashion clothing line Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fast food conglomerate McDonald's had released its own fashion and lifestyle line, with the clothes full of Big Mac prints on them. The McFashion debuted on Tuesday in Sweden, in celebration of their most recent campaign, "I'm Lovin' It 24." Profit generated from the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 61:1-3, 6, 8-9
1 The spirit of Lord Yahweh is on me for Yahweh has ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:21-22, 25, 27
21 My hand will always be with him, my arm will make ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-21
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 1:5-8
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Paola
April 2: Francis was born at Paola, Italy and was educated at the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter