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Numbers. Everybody likes to remember numbers. 2 towers. 2 planes. One hundred and forty-seven (147) people died on the planes that hit the World Trade Centre’s Towers. Two thousand six hundred and five (2605) people died within the towers themselves, and two thousand nine hundred and seventy-six (2976) people died in all of the attacks combined, excluding the 19 hijackers. One figure I can give you from my head; because it never leaves my head. Since starting this campaign 9 years, 5 months, and 23 days ago we have lost 7977 dead.

Iraqi civilians…man did they ever pay for what they did not do. Iraqi civilian body count—118,671 dead. Weapons of mass destruction—ZERO.

Creating a picture of how many Afghans have been killed is far more difficult. Pasting together patchy sets of statistics gives, as a low estimate, civilian deaths exceeding 140,000. The high estimate? 1,100,000. And we call Stalin and Hitler evil for killing a million.

Just think that’s 14,000 to 110,000 per year. 4 to 300 a day. I don’t think that the Nazi ovens and gas chambers could keep up with the US. To put these figures in some context, it is worth recalling that 40,000 civilians were killed by the Nazi ‘Blitz’ on Britain during WWII.

These numbers don’t take into account those killed by Pakistan or Yemen. They also do not include those who died because they were orphaned, tortured, or were killed trying to flee as refugees. And finally, the suffering of millions of displaced persons from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere remains incalculable.

What has been counted here, even though tragically incomplete, is the illuminatingly and very clearly the reason US and NATO officials are reticent to go public and name a figure. To verbally admit the staggering human cost of the ‘War on Terror’ would mean admitting that ‘terrorism’ is a two-way street and that United States, and not goat herders, not militias, and not the Taliban drive the heaviest weapons.

Those in power would prefer not to count bodies. Callous, but not unsurprising. What is surprising is that this disinterest is echoed in the public spheres of the US. You can’t go onto facebook without seeing “our righteous indignation” wrapped in a flag. I mean after all, all those dead bodies I just mentioned, these were Muslims. They don’t deserve our compassion. I mean after all…look what they did to our pretty buildings. Let’s make a deal, you kill 3,000 of ours, and we will kill 1,000,000 of yours…and still counting.

And then lets argue. Democrats vs. Republicans. Argue about money. Argue about the stimulus. Argue about the deficit. Argue. Hate. Seethe with anger. Rip this country in two.

Total costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan allocated by Congress to date – which include funding through the end of the current fiscal year on September 30, 2012 – are $1.38 trillion, with $807.4 billion to Iraq and $570.9 billion to Afghanistan. I think that money could have been used to pay down the deficit. Build a school or two. Repair a road. Or put a few people through college. Perhaps even create some jobs.

America only has one jobs program really…pay poor people to kill dark people who have oil, minerals, or land.

The Cost of War

It is planned and calculated this official and public indifference. It explains the absence of any compassion for a child left without its mother, and for countries with slaughtered citizens. Because, if a holistic study on civilian casualties was completed, it might cause people to revaluate our continued genocide. But please, continue to carry on mourning the nearly 3,000 civilians killed on 9/11 and in whose name the ‘War on Terror’ is still waged.

While seeking revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself.

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