My dear readers, I’m afraid there might be something seriously wrong with me. Because when I read this, I laughed. Like, really hard. And then I could. not. stop.
One cost of war: U.S. blowing up its own Humvees
The United States is spending millions of dollars to destroy U.S. equipment in Iraq and Syria — gear the U.S. gave the Iraqi military that was later captured by ISIS forces. The U.S has hit 41 Humvees since attacks began in August, according to data from United States Central Command.
No, that is not the funny part.
The U.S. is sending $30,000-bombs to eliminate these armored vehicles, which cost about a quarter of a million dollars each depending what it is equipped with, according to Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Not even mildly amusing. But bear with me.
The U.S. Defense Department confirmed the targets to CNN. “In some cases, we have seen instances of ISIL capturing and employing U.S.-made equipment,” said a spokesperson. “When we’ve seen these terrorists employing this equipment, we’ve sought to eliminate that threat.”
I am completely unqualified to comment on that statement, since I’m obviously no military strategist. I mean, I was one of those fools railing against invading Iraq in the first place, so what do I know. But then there’s this:
Once the U.S. destroys the equipment, it might have to re-supply the Iraqi military.
“If we want them [the Iraqi military] to be able to secure their own borders in the long run, we’re going to have to re-equip them,” said Harrison. “So we’ll be buying another Humvee and sending it back to the Iraqi military.”
Bwahahahaha! HAHAHAHA! OMG I just completely lost it! And no, I am not messing with you and excerpting something from The Onion. This is CNN.com, for crying out loud. (People in this bar are looking at me kinda funny. Whatever. They probably voted for Obama. Or worse.)
Well, we better get busy slashing food stamps, unemployment and veterans benefits, Medicare, education funding, and Social Security too while we’re at it, and hurry! The Iraqis need more quarter million dollar armored Humvees to replace what they’ve lost, so later we can destroy those too with our $30,000 bombs!
Hey, remember when war profiteering was considered despicable? Yeah me neither. At any rate, now it’s the American Way.
Don’t get me wrong here: there is absolutely nothing even remotely humorous about war, or about US foreign policy, which for all practical purposes amounts to exactly the same thing. I am an unapologetic pacifist because there is virtually always a better solution to any conflict than (more) violence and destruction. And when I say better solution, I mean better by every single meaningful metric, including financially (for taxpayers at least…), environmentally, and of course with respect to harm to innocent humans and other life forms on planet Earth. “Collateral damage” is as evil a concept as vicarious atonement. Everything about war is grotesque; it represents the ultimate failure of humanity as a species to grow up and get its act together.
But I just read the CNN article again. And I’m not proud of this, people, but it’s the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a loooong time. America’s Owners are either diabolical geniuses, or incompetent buffoons. And now that I think about it, very possibly both. They are so detached from the brutal realities of war and the struggles of their fellow citizens that this is just like one big video game for them. No wait, it’s not like that, that’s exactly what it is: they can watch the carnage unfold halfway around the world on one giant TV screen, and watch their stocks soar in value on another—in real time.
“So we’ll be buying another Humvee and sending it back to the Iraqi military.”
[A version of this post appeared at perrystreetpalace.]