This morning, I get to endure raci… I mean, “Patriotic, God Fearing” Americans populating my Facebook timeline with their ill-formed opinions. Nothing makes me smile like an under-educated NASCAR fan proclaiming the ills of government. Ah, The Bible Belt, what would I do without you?
The saddest part about all of this is really just priorities. The cartoon above sums it up perfectly: Spending money killing brown people that never deserved to die? Easy decision. Go do it. Quickly. No discussions.
But if you should even bring up spending money saving lives, that’s a really big issue. “Obamacare is going to have DEATH PANELS and kill everyone. It’s a death squad! It’s a TRILLION DOLLAR DEATH SQUAD!”
So I just sit there thinking, “Are we fucking kidding?” That’s right idiots, we paid for your racist skeet-shoot in Afghanistan for 11 years. Now it’s time for sick people to get better. Then you hear them “a’squallerin”, “That Muslim is a Socialist and he’s going to make the government take my guns away. This is a liberty thing. I want liberty! I’m an American, damnit!”
Liberty? Alright, let’s do that. Let’s start by eliminating the Patriot Act. All of it. Wait, what’s that? You don’t want to eliminate the Patriot Act? But why? I mean, if we’re talking about liberties, let’s start hacking away. Oh, now you’re spewing more pseudo-racist patriotism? Right. Got it.
(SIDE NOTE: By the way, I’m watching the Fox News coverage of this right now, and they have referenced slavery no less than six times in 30 minutes. If there’s something old white men shouldn’t do, it’s compare things to slavery. Just throwing that out there. Don’t keep doing that.)
45,000 people died last year in the United States because they didn’t have access to healthcare. So while we’re out there spending trillions of dollars killing people in Afghanistan, we can’t afford to heal our own sick people. That’s insanity.
Bottom line: The right thing happened today. History will show this to be true. Healthcare is a great thing.
Ever since the Twin Towers fell, the United States has been at war. The costs of that decade of conflict have been unimaginably high: trillions of dollars spent, hundreds of thousands of lives lost. The numbers are almost too big to grasp, let alone quantify. The graphics below are our incomplete attempt to do so.
These figures are also a way of showing the radical transformation the U.S. military has undergone during the 9/11 era. Drones, once an afterthought in tactical plans, have become a central component, flying millions of hours in combat. Special operations forces have added tens of thousands to their ranks. Bomb-resistant armored vehicles, absent from the American arsenal in 2001, are now a primary means of battlefield transportation — even as Afghanistan’s militants find new ways to render them irrelevant.
A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks suggests that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.