Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Hangover

The killing of Osama bin Laden reminds me of an all night drinking bender, the kind one experiences during their college years before growing up and learning a little moderation. The kind of bender where it's 5:00am and you're still bouncing around like an idiot, looking for some cheap tequila to drink straight.

After all that drunken jubilation, one must fall asleep. While your bender felt fantastic during the night of, the morning... Errr, that's a little less fantastic. In fact, you feel like ass -- not a donkey, but like your actual buttocks. And just when you think nothing could make you feel worse, you look in your wallet and notice that, uh, there's a whole bunch of money missing because you, uh, kinda just, uh, drank it last night.

Determining the cost of the 9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is difficult. The "Cost of War" website -- which is liberal, I imagine, so figures may be skewed upwards -- places the total cost just under $1.2 trillion. Juggle that astronomical figure in your mind for a couple seconds. $1.2 TRILLION for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and our greatest victory during the 9/11 wars was accomplished on Sunday when we killed Osama bin Laden, after finding him in a country that we're not even at war with.

This is being heralded as some sort of triumph? We effectively placed bin Laden under house arrest for years, making him ineffectual, but then after we finally kill a has-been, useless sack of crap "leader" we're supposed to believe it's some sort of victory? This is what my $1.2 trillion in taxes paid for?

Meanwhile, the highest levels of American government discuss austerity measures we must go through to fix our ballooning debt -- which was around $8 trillion before 9/11, but has now climbed to $14 trillion. In the blame game, the Left points their finger at corporations, while the Right points at their finger at the poor. In the meantime, needed repairs to American infrastructure -- which I could have sworn that our current president promised to create jobs for repairs on that infrastructure -- haven't come through. Problems of improving America's public education still aren't close to being solved. American jobs are only slowly coming back, but not quick enough to blunt our government's steps towards austerity...

But, hey, we got'em! It only took us $1.2 trillion fighting wars in two countries he wasn't even in, but we got'em! And that just equivocates everything, doesn't it?

Now for Americans reading this, please don't misunderstand me: I think Osama bin Laden is a pile of crap who asked for it. I have reservations against outright killing somebody -- and I don't condone murder -- but if anybody had it coming, it was this jerk. Also, I can't imagine a police squad trying to walk into bin Laden's compound and saying "Uh, sir, you're like under arrest, and stuff" without getting their heads blown off. When bin Laden was found, there was a high probability he would need to be killed. I accept that.

But to wage outrageously expensive wars in two countries just to find this guy -- who wasn't in either of those countries! -- then still not know what a definitive exit strategy is for the 9/11 wars... Well, welcome to The Hangover. America got depressed, went on an all-night drinking marathon, had the best conclusion ever to that night, and now we're about to wake up and wonder what, exactly, did we just blow our rent money on?

Unfortunately, the instead of a headache, this hangover is evidenced by austerity and a stalled economy. It looks like bin Laden came close to achieving one of his goals against America -- to drive us into bankruptcy.

So to all the Senators and Representatives who either voted to goto war in Afghanistan and Iraq -- or stood by and let war policy run them over -- good going. Top notch work, no, really. It's all sooooooo enviable. But in the meantime, could you also ensure that college graduates like myself can find decent paying jobs where we can actually afford a house?

Perhaps you'll get to this after your hangover has passed and you've finally grown up -- but who knows when that will be.

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