Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/11/2013 (10 months 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 (10 months 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... 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, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... 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