On September 11th, 2001, just under 3,000 Americans were killed in horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
As a result, a decision was made to go to war against Afghanistan (and eventually, Iraq). Wars that have cost the US tax-payers nearly a trillion dollars thus far, killed over five thousand US soldiers, and slaughtered over a hundred thousand Iraqi and Afghan civilians.
A trillion dollars, and an estimated two trillion more to cover the rest of the post-war and ongoing costs, according to economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes. Nearly two 9/11’s worth again of soldier fatalities, and over thirty-three 9/11’s worth of innocent civilians killed – and all because, on September 11th, 2001, almost 3,000 people were killed.
Yet did you know that there are an estimated forty-five thousand premature deaths in the United States each year because of poor healthcare provision? That, on that estimate, because of extortionate costs and profit-motivated private insurers, in the eight years since nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11, 360,000 Americans died because they couldn’t afford basic healthcare?
There is no denying that 9/11 was a tragedy, but how come we have torn the world apart, murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people in retaliation, pissed away a trillion dollars, and created a whole new generation of America-hating terrorists because of the outrage of 19 lunatics killing 3,000 people one crazy day in September, and yet the systematic killing over 45,000 people a year is a crime that it has taken so long to get around to fixing?
Worse – how can we justify the ludicrous waste of resources and life that the war on terror has proven to be, and yet claim that universal healthcare coverage that could save the lives of fifteen 9/11’s worth of people a year is too expensive a proposition?
As a dual UK/US citizen who has sat from the pleasantly NHS-covered shores of Great Britain and watched America faff about so uselessly to come up with a viable healthcare plan for so long, the priorities of Washington politicians truly sicken me.
30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
A couple of billion dollars more pissed away into the wind.
Expand the war into Pakistan.
Rattle sabres at Iran.
Because the 3,000 people who died on live TV will always take precedence over the 45,000 faceless, nameless annual casualties on America’s unnecessary and immoral war on itself.