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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

Ferguson in flames as policeman who shot, killed teenager found not guilty Watch

Image of Police claimed they came under heavy automatic weapon fire. Some buildings were left to burn because of the danger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People have responded to violence - with violence. After Police Officer Darren Wilson was been cleared of all charges in the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in August. His surrounding community of Ferguson, Missouri has responded with widespread ... continue reading


Priest in Ferguson reports deep mistrust between groups fueling tension Watch

Image of Police in Ferguson move detain a protester.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Catholic priest assigned to Ferguson, MO, spoke with Vatican Radio about the "festering" mistrust between the populace and police. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican Radio shared an interview with Fr. Arthur Cavitt, a parish priest who was asked about the ... continue reading


Guliani/ Dyson Debate: Racism is Sin. Legitimate Social Analysis and Questions are Not Watch

Image of Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Georgetown Sociology Professor and media commentator Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

By Keith A. Fournier

I do not believe that the comments of the former Mayor of New York revealed racism or what the Professor of Sociology called "white supremacy". Rather, he raised matters concerning sociological statistics which need to be considered as we all seek to further the ... continue reading


Binge drinking: Only 10 percent of those who 'drink too much' are alcoholic Watch

Image of Women who have eight or more drinks per week and men who have 15 or more are considered heavy drinkers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The information would appear to encourage even more irresponsible behavior over the holidays . but a recent study says that only a small percentage of adults who "drink too much" are clinically alcoholic. The other 90 percent just, well, drink too much. LOS ... continue reading


Walmart, priding itself in war against hunger, has employees dependent on food banks Watch

Image of A day of protests against Walmart have been planned for the upcoming Black Friday.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Having a job in the United States is a guarantee of food on the table - unless of course, you are a Walmart employee. Cashiers at the world's biggest retailer earn $8.48 an hour, which is above the minimum wage - but not enough to feed the average family. LOS ... continue reading


Another example of Imperialism! Why Obama fired Hagel Watch

Image of Secretary of Defense Chuch Hagel, often voiced frustration with Obama's administration and foreign policies and was never really admitted into the president's inner circle.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has announced that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has resigned from his cabinet post, partially in response to the growing number of military conflicts and global crisis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hagel, the only Republican on ... continue reading


In the fight against liberal revisionism, Texas strikes major blow Watch

Image of The Texas Board of Education has voted to approve textbooks which they claim will fight back against a growing liberal school system.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas has approved controversial new history textbooks which have been criticized by academics as more full of politics than true history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than 5 million public school students will use the new textbooks in fall of 2015, after ... continue reading


OUTRAGE - Middle school principal suspended over active shooter drill Watch

Image of Active shooter drills are becoming more common on school campuses, but they're also controversial.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A school district in Florida has acted responsibly in suspending a middle school principal who staged an "active shooter drill" on her school campus which terrified children into believing that their lives were in danger. Similar drills have come into vogue across the ... continue reading


The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... 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, Revelation 14:14-19
14 Now in my vision I saw a white cloud and, sitting ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:10, 11-12, 13
10 Say among the nations, 'Yahweh is king.' The world ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:5-11
5 When some were talking about the Temple, remarking ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr whose feast day ... 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