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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

Hurricane Katrina: Ten Years Later Watch

Image of Hurricane Katrina tore communities apart.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hurricane Katrina left nearly 2,000 people dead and thousands more were homeless and wounded. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused America's most expensive natural disaster, with a repair bill of $150 billion. Entire roads were washed ... continue reading


PASTORPOCALYPSE - At least 400 church leaders to RESIGN Sunday after Ashley Madison accounts revealed Watch

Image of At least 400 pastors are expected to resign this Sunday.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This Sunday could be a distressing day for millions of churchgoers across the country. As many as 400 pastors, some of them leading megachurch congregations, may resign following the Ashley Madison leak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hypocrisy can be found in ... continue reading


Christian man beaten to death by Muslim refugees in Maine Watch

Image of Freddy Akoa, the victim of a savage beating by three men.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An assumed Christian man was found dead in his apartment with a bloody Bible near his head. The murder is believed to have been committed by three Muslim refugees who attended a party at the dead man's home in Portland, Maine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


'We're going to get through this together': WDBJ stands together the day after the tragic live-shooting of reporter and cameraman Watch

Image of Colleagues hug during the moment of silence for their fallen team members.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

WDBJ-TV station grieves the loss of Alison Parker and Adam Ward the morning after their on-air murders.  Los Angeles, California (Catholic Online) - Thursday morning was emotional, as WDBJ-TV anchor Kim McBroom joined hands with anchor Steve Grand, who came in ... continue reading


Colorado movie theater assassin James Holmes will never step outside of a prison - ever Watch

Image of Obsessed with killing people since he was a teenager, James Holmes said he studied neuroscience in part to fix his own

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes, now 27, walked into an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during a late-night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." He opened fire, killing 12 people and wounded 70. Holmes will never step outside a prison ever again - he was sentenced ... continue reading


Bizarre, twisted story trails behind Virginia TV reporter killer Vester Flanagan Watch

Image of Failed TV news anchor Vester Flanagan was notorious for his

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Stories have come forward regarding 41-year-old former TV news reporter Vester Flanagan, accused in the on-air shooting deaths of 24-year-old WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old camera operator Adam Ward. Flanagan, who committed suicide after the ... continue reading


Vatican did not consent to sponsor Palestinian flag initiative at United Nations Watch

Image of Only member states' flags are currently eligible to fly at U.N. headquarters.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems that certain parties leapt to conclusions too readily... The Vatican has requested that the Palestinian U.N. mission to remove all references to the Holy See from a draft resolution. The Palestinians have put forth a formal request to the U.N. General Assembly ... continue reading


Now legal for police to fly drones armed with weapons in North Dakota Watch

Image of Police drone illustrating abilities to release tear gas from above.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the last-minute push of pro-police lobbyists, it is now legal for the North Dakora law enforcers to fly drones equipped with "less than lethal" weapons such as tasers, pepper spray and tear gas. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - During a hearing in ... continue reading


Catholic hospital forced to bow down before ALCU, will perform sterilization - religious freedom dying in the name of convenience Watch

Image of A Catholic hospital in Redding, CA has been forced to agree to perform a sterilization procedure.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ALCU has succeeded in forcing a Catholic hospital to perform a sterilization procedure in what is certainly a direct affront to religious freedom. More importantly, the case could be a predictor of how the larger issue of religious freedom will play out across 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, First Thessalonians 4:1-8
1 Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:1-13
1 'Then the kingdom of Heaven will be like this: Ten ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 28th, 2015 Image

St. Augustine of Hippo
August 28: St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his ... 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