Welcome to the Toeg Effect Plus. This is your host, Toeg. Today we take a look at the financial, social and political burden of the current American foreign policy. Today we sum up the cost effect of this policy since 9/11. Today, we discuss:

WHAT COST THIS WAR ON TERROR?

The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September, 2001, changed the US foreign policy substantially and irreversibly. According to President Bush, the US suddenly faced a new and much more menacing foe than it had faced in its history. Even during the great conflicts of the 20th Century, including the first and second world wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War the US was never attacked as frighteningly as it was on September 11, 2001. In a matter of two hours, nearly 3,000 people, mainly Americans, lay beneath the rubble at the World Trade Center and inside the Pentagon.

While the origins of the attacks themselves are still hotly debated in intellectual circles and think tanks around the globe, the results of the attacks are unmistakable. Immediately following the attacks from that fateful day, the US reformulated its foreign policy, shaping it around this new and powerful enemy, terrorism. Surprisingly enough, while nearly every hijacker aboard those fateful planes that day were from Saudi Arabia, the US decided to name other countries as the leading sponsor of this growing menace. President Bush promptly pointed his finger to the new axis of evil, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran. He stated emphatically that the US had entered into a new war, a war on terror.

Within a month the US invaded Afghanistan, ostensibly to rid the country of the ruling faction, the Taliban, as well as to remove all terrorist training camps as well as to capture and put on trial the supposed mastermind of the events of September 11, 2001, Osama Bin Laden. Within a year after those events, the US stepped up its bellicose rhetoric towards another member of this axis of evil, Iraq. Claiming that their President Saddam Hussein was involved with terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, had mass quantities of weapons of mass destruction, was in the process of obtaining nuclear weapons grade material and was an immediate threat to the United States and its allies, the US formed a quickly assembled coalition of some 30-odd countries, most of them small islands and tiny nations. The US, and the few allies who remain with the US, have been confronting terrorism head on since the events on 9/11. This report will discuss the effectual ramifications of that confrontation and their cost in monetary, social and human terms.

THE INCREASE OF TERRORIST ACTS WORLDWIDE

According to the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the number of terrorist incidents worldwide in 1999 amounted to a total of 25. The following year, 2000, it rose to 48, but in 2001 the number was reduced back to a total of 25. Therefore, that was no significant change in the overall terrorist levels between 1999 and 2001. Furthermore, most of the increase in 2000 occurred in Asia and the Middle East, but had subsided by the end of the year 2001. In fact, most of these terrorist incidents occurred over protests by people either for or against abortion.

Even the following year, 2002, did not show a significant change in the number of terrorist incidents. Only 23 recorded incidents occurred that year, even though the US had already entered into the first of its two major Middle Eastern conflicts. But by the end of 2003, according to the Washington Post article dated April 27, 2005, terrorist incidents had increased to 175. That’s more than a 760% increase over the previous year. Thus, while the Bush administration claimed it had entered Iraq to ultimately reduce terrorism around the world, we can see that after less than one year in Iraq, and two years in Afghanistan, worldwide terrorism had risen by over 700%.

By the end of 2004 that figure had more than tripled to 655. Again we see that Bush’s so-called War on Terrorism was producing the exact opposite effect. With a 374% increase from the previous year, Bush’s oft-touted war was sending the world farther and farther into the chasm of guerilla warfare and underground, subversive interventions. This horrific trend would continue to worsen. By the end of 2005, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide rose to a mind-numbing figure of 11,111 according to a Washington Post article dated April 29, 2006. This represents an overall increase of 1,700% over 2004. Clearly the great majority of these attacks were occurring in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two countries the US invaded illegally and without agreement from the UN or any other major international institution. According to official sources, the year 2006 ended with nearly 15,000 terrorist attacks worldwide, an increase of over 25% from the year before.

To recap then in 1999 there were 25 terrorist incidents worldwide. By the end of 2006 the number had risen to nearly 15,000. Bush’s supposed war on terror was and is having the exact opposite effect from the stated goals he has been touting for the past six years. Clearly Bush’s war on terrorism has benefited terrorists more than any other singular group. Without Bush’s illegal intervention into Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of terrorist incidents would have more than likely hovered around the 25 or so, the number of incidents that occurred in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

In conclusion, Bush’s War on Terror has increased terrorism around the world by 60,000% since the year 2002.

But wait, there’s more.

THE RISING COST OF THE WAR ON TERROR

The rise in terrorism around the globe is but one part in Bush’s War on Terrorism. There is also the monetary cost of such an endeavor. The US military budget rose from $289 billion in 1998 to $643.9 billion in fiscal year 2008. This is an increase of 122.8% over the span of eleven years. Clearly the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have received the bulk of this money. In fact, just the Iraqi conflict by itself had cost US taxpayers over $510 billion and is expected to top $700 billion by the end of 2008.

And this does not include the cost of running Homeland Security. Between 2001 and 2005, the Department of Homeland Security’s budget nearly doubled from $56 billion in 2001 to $99.5 billion in 2005. But as evidenced by the devastating destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, one of the chief components of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, was completely inept at handling such a crisis. Millions of dollars of foreign aid sat rotting for months while lawlessness, looting, burglary and murder went rampant through the streets of New Orleans and elsewhere. The recent tornado that devastated the town of Greensburg, Kansas, found that much of the state’s National Guard were actually serving overseas along with most of the heavy equipment that will be needed to rebuild the town. When Kansas turned to its neighboring states, the response was the same. No one had any spare equipment to send to Kansas to help the state in this time of need. Their men and equipment were likewise sent to Iraq to help with the fight.

In recent articles from the mass media the amount of money required to bring New Orleans and the surrounding parishes and neighboring states could easily top $200 billion. And that sum is merely what is required to bring the area back to what it was before the events of late August, 2005. At that time, New Orleans had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation with rundown ghettos being more of the norm than the exception. Today the area better resembles an old war zone with devastated houses, vast areas littered with debris and homelessness rampant on nearly every street corner. As disaster after disaster amasses across the US, the realization that our first line of defense is not there. This well-regulated militia with tactical equipment, adequate sheltering and sufficient provisions, which could normally be summoned at a moment’s notice to relieve the strain of Mother Nature’s fury, is no longer available. These men, women and services are now in Iraq or Afghanistan fighting Bush’s war on terror.

Another aspect to consider about the US deficit is the vast holdings of this debt by foreign nations. According to a US Treasury report dated April 23, 2007, the three largest holders of US Treasury Securities are Japan, with over $600 billion; China; with over $400 billion and the United Kingdom over $100 billion. Should these countries decide to divest themselves of the US dollar, the Bush government would not have enough gold or other currency to pay them all. An act of this magnitude would surely cripple the US economy for decades to come.

While the Bush administration has consistently reduced federal spending on education, welfare, medical costs, and infrastructure, it has increased just as consistently military costs, and tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans. The result is a current budget deficit that hovers very close to the debt ceiling of $9 trillion. In his six years in office, President Bush has increased the debt ceiling of the United States five times. The debt ceiling is the upper limit of spending allowed by the government. Bush had had to do so in order to finance his war on terror, because nearly every other area of the economy has seen their spending cut in those same years. In fiscal year 2007 Congress will be obligated to raise the debt ceiling once again. The current fiscal debt now stands a just a few tens of billions of dollars shy of the current debt ceiling and it is safe to assume that the new budget, while continuing to suppress such programs for education, health and welfare of the nation, will need to increase in order to continue to fight Bush’s war on terror.

There are over 120,000 American civilians working in Iraq alone. These people are there for the most part to perform tasks and duties normally doled out to the soldiers already fighting there. These tasks include the washing of laundry, where Halliburton charges $100 for every load of wash; mundane clerical work such as data entry and filing. Across Iraq over a hundred thousand American civilians are performing tasks normally apportioned to the military, and they are doing so at the American taxpayer’s expense.

In conclusion, Bush’s war on terror, and his insistence on the privatization of the same, has forced the US to record levels of debt, increasing its debt ceiling five times in the six years of his presidency. Much of this debt is foreign owned, and should just a few nation balk at further debt extension, nations like China, Japan, Great Britain, and others, the US economy would crumble under the massive weight of having to pay back their holdings. The US dollar, already slated to fall a great deal this year, would plummet to depths not seen since the Deutschmark crashed in the 1920s. Americans are responsible for 80% of the debt incurred by individuals worldwide. Should the dollar collapse, there will be no safety net for these people who would see all their assets vanish literally overnight. The US and its great military would be left without a viable source of income and would be forced to abandon all hegemonic hopes of world empire it enjoys today.

THE HUMAN COST OF THE WAR ON TERROR

But by far, the greatest tragedy of Bush’s so-called war on terror is its human cost. When the World Trade Center fell, the Pentagon buckled and flight 93 crashed, a total of less than 3,000 people died. While we should all lament the loss of a single soul under any such circumstances, the death toll from the two conflicts now far outweigh this sum in every aspect. When the Lancet study came out in October of 2006 the world was shocked at its findings. Over 650,000 had died in Iraq alone as a result of the US-led invasion in 2003. While many dispute these numbers, no one has come up with a better, or more scientific, study to disprove its facts.

The number of Afghani dead now approaches 50,000. The number of Coalition forces who died don’ sound as bad in comparison, less than 4,000, but again one soul lost is to be lamented. Though the tragic events on September 11, 2001, saw the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, the US reaction to this sad event was unwarranted and unnecessary. Everyday in Iraq dozens if not hundreds of people lose their lives. Over 90% of these are innocent people, mainly women and children, whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

With sectarian violence raging in Iraq and a resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, there will surely be much more blood-letting before the US pulls out of both countries for good. But the effect of Bush’s war on terror has permeated worldwide, causing attacks on nearly every continent on Earth. From London’s infamous July 7, 2005, to the attempted attack on Fort Dix earlier this month, there is a steady and growing amount of attacks occurring that focuses their attention on attacking the very same war on terror. The growing tide of people around the globe against Bush’s wars indicates that these attacks will simply continue to rise until the US is out of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In conclusion, Bush’s war on terror has cost the lives of nearly ¾ of a million people, has increased hatred for all things American, and has caused an escalation of violence around the world.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line of Bush’s war on terror has been to promote the very thing he claims to be against. Terrorist attacks have increased over a thousand fold since his declaration. His war has altered US priorities tremendously. The monies normally given to education, welfare, infrastructure and social services such as health care, disaster relief and aid to minorities, are now going directly to fund the illegal interventions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, bush’s fantasy has caused the deaths of over 700,000 people in both countries with no end in site. If these trends continue, Bush’s war on terror will top one million dead by the end of 2009. Even if one combines all of the terrorist attacks worldwide since 1968, they would still not approach one seventh of the total dead since 9/11.

Clearly Bush’s war has done nothing to stop terrorism around the world. In fact, it has increased it. His war has resulted in the greatest US deficit ever with the potential ramification of a total collapse of the dollar. His war has killed more people since its inception than all those killed by terrorists since 1968. In other words, Bush has done exactly the opposite of what his stated plans had promised. His war on terror is not just a miserable failure, but a costly and deadly one, one that someday may in fact bring down the entire US economy. All this in the name of War on Terror.

For the Toeg Effect Plus, this is toeg.

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Comment by toeg on November 22, 2008 at 11:00am
Actually Ken,

There was no problem before the 20th Century. The following site is a jewish owned site which discusses all the various aspects of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including its origin.

http://www.cactus48.com/OriginMSW.pdf

"Before the 20th century, most Jews in Palestine belonged to old Yishuv, or community, that had
settled more for religious than for political reasons. There was little if any conflict between them
and the Arab population. Tensions began after the first Zionist settlers arrived in the
1880's...when [they] purchased land from absentee Arab owners, leading to dispossession of the
peasants who had cultivated it." Don Peretz, "The Arab-Israeli Dispute."

"[During the Middle Ages,] North Africa and the Arab Middle East became places of refuge and
a haven for the persecuted Jews of Spain and elsewhere...In the Holy Land...they lived together
in [relative] harmony, a harmony only disrupted when the Zionists began to claim that Palestine
was the 'rightful' possession of the 'Jewish people' to the exclusion of its Moslem and Christian
inhabitants." Sami Hadawi, "Bitter Harvest."

If you look at history over the past few centuries, the area in question was not a separate country, but part of the Ottoman Empire. None of the countries that now make up the Middle East even existed back then. What's more, everyone lived in relative harmony and peace. Jews, Christians, Muslims and Mennonites lived peacefully together for centuries. This is common knowledge all over the world. The history taught in every country I've ever researched paints the Near East and the Middle East as very calm, docile areas with very little violence and virtually no racial tensions to speak of. The only country that never discusses this part of history is the US.

And the concept that "they" are bringing something to the US is not true either. Nowhere in the US are Arabs and Jews battling on the streets. I know of no "Al Quaeda" groups fighting IDF forces in Pittsburgh, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, or anywhere else in the US. There is absolutely no American ties to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Regardless of who dominates whom there, the US will still have the same foreign polcy and the same domestic policy. The US does not benefit one iota from that conflict. In fact, the only people directly affected by that conflict are the two parties involved in that conflict. There are other countries out there that support one side or the other, some supporting both sides, but none of them will be adversely affected by any outcome in the conflict. In fact, the only adverse effect to anyone outside of that conflict is when Israel illegally bombs or invades another country.
Comment by ken on November 22, 2008 at 10:28am
iknow what isreal is and have never been blind to their way of thinking that the arabs enjoy playing the same game is what i see as the problem in the world right now thejews and the arabs have always done it in the middle east and africa and now their bringing it to this country it needs to stop
Comment by toeg on November 21, 2008 at 3:10am
Ken,

The "world's police force" myth only exists in the US. I have lived in other countries around the world. Their version of this myth is that America has become a big bully around the world and uses some phoney pretext like, "the world's policeman," to pursue their dreams of hegemony. No one anywhere else in the world looks at the US as the world's policeman. Only the US makes that claim.

Israel may be smart and emotional, but you're right about one thing, they indeed will need US support forever because their own economy couldn't exist without the billions of dollars of free money us taxpayers send to them every year. Israel is also committing ethnic cleansing. Again, the rest of the world has known this for a long time, however the US MSM will not present these facts at all. I grew up believing that Israel was a nearly completely defenseless country that was constantly being shelled and attacked by "evil arabs who want to destroy Israel."

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Israel is the fourth best equipped military force in the world, not the last. Israel kills Palestinians on a daily basis. Israel builds and supports illegal communities in the West Bank and then carves exclusive roadways that only serves those communities going to and from Israel. Even though we in the US never hear about all of this that doesn't mean it can't be true. If you actually looked at the facts, and not the emotional, teary-eyed canned news reports meant only for Americans, you'd see what the situation really is over there. I have found that most Americans DO NOT want to see the facts. They only want to keep their hatred for all arabs and love for all jews, and they could care less what the real situation is.

I hope you're not one of those Americans. I hope that you could have enough of an open mind to accept the fact that at least SOME of the information our media tells us might be wrong. If not, then you probably haven't even read this far. What I find with most Americans I meet is the fact that they find absolutely no wrong with whatever Israel does. And what's worse, if you criticize Israel at all, then you are a low-life scum terrorist lover. Here is a site that has such statistics. Their statistics are backed by real news stories published in real newspapers in the US and elsewhere. I STRONGLY urge you to check any and all of their facts. Don't just believe some guy on the internet, get the facts. Then, and only then, can you arrive at an intelligent conclusion to the events which happen there.

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

If you really want to know how each side is suffering, that site will give you more information than you'll ever think possible.
Comment by ken on November 21, 2008 at 2:43am
we are by default the worlds police force maybe were just too young and brash to get the job done right but this the u.s.a. we will get better , isreal is a very smart and very emotional country that will always need americas help
Comment by toeg on November 20, 2008 at 5:30am
Ken,

I wouldn't say that all of them are looking for peace. The US started two illegal wars and has perpetuated them ever since. Also, the US has quite openly sought to bring Iran into the mix by threatening to use military force anywhere in Iran that the US deems is necessary. Not only does the current administration threaten to begin yet another illegal war, but former administrations have never been too bashful to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations and often on ridiculous reasons. Here is a compilation of 163 interventions by the US military since 1801.

http://www.adbusters.org/files/media/flash/hope_and_memory/timeline.swf

Another nation that attacks their neighbors continuously is Israel. To date Israel has attacked Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and is currently aiding the Turks in Eastern Turkey in their fight against the PKK Kurds of Northern Iraq. Of course, at the same time Israel is aiding the Turkish military, they are also helping the PKK fight against this very same military.
Comment by ken on November 20, 2008 at 4:43am
toeg i was simply saying that we live in ever smaller world and that iraq is right next door the world is your neighbor and they are all looking for peace
Comment by toeg on November 20, 2008 at 3:29am
Ken

Your message is a bit hard to understand. I agree that the attacks on the World Trade Center happened. In fact, I acknowledge that fact at the very beginning of my article. I don't think you live next door because I know my neighbors and you are not one of them. You can't blow up my garage because I don't have one. Your rambling become very incoherent after that and I can't make heads nor tails out of your comment about 100,000 people next door being gassed.
Comment by ken on November 20, 2008 at 3:05am
? the attacks on the world trade towers[both of them] were real did happen but thats ok i live right next door to you and im going to blow up your garage as far as the wars are concerned and the money spent your neighbors on the other side of you needed some help so stop worrying about those new golf clubs and start worrying about the 100,000 people that were gassed right next door to you

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