The Associated Press is reporting that the families of the victims of the recent massacre by an American soldier were given $50,000 for each family member that was lost and $11,000 for each that was wounded.
How much is your brother worth?
Not the pothead one with the lazy eye that dropped out of high school after he knocked up the cafeteria lady with the 5 o’clock shadow that started at 2 o’clock? Not that brother…
The other brother, the good one.
The one who would have met and married an amazing woman. They’d have created beautiful children: bright, happy, healthy. Eventually, your brother and his family would have…maybe traveled the world with Doctors Without Borders providing care and hope to poor families in third world countries. After years of service, they would have returned to the US in time for their oldest child to attend…let’s say Harvard University.
One by one, your brother would have sent his children out into the world fully equipped with all of the love, faith and education they needed to be well-balanced productive adults. Your brother would have done his job well. And you would have been there through it all. Front and center, ringside seat.
What’s that worth? Even if he had only lived 50 years that’s $1,000 per year, $83 per month, $2.70 dollars a day…in exchange for the good brother. (Let’s throw in the cockeyed brother for free)
Which family member’s loss would you endure for $2.70 a day?
Listen, I don’t wanna get all preachy and what not. It’s not that the money isn’t a right and good gesture particularly in an area of the world where most household incomes are just $300 a year. I mean these folks are now almost set for life. Almost.
It’s just that I don’t want the money to buy out our outrage that we’re still in this never-ending fight for oil. I want us to remain uneasy about that. I want us to be in a constant state of discomfort, like a bad case of cramps that no amount of Motrin will resolve no matter how many you take so you lay in a crumpled ball on the floor in a fetal position unable to move but it still doesn’t help and even though it’s clear you don’t feel well the demands don’t stop – Mommy, where is the…Honey, did you make the…Auntie can you take me to the…until you SNAP and set the house on fire and watch all your troubles go up in flames…
Wait…what was I talking about?
Oh, yeah…Because this constant state of war will not be without consequence to our children and our future generations. And by “our” I mean all over the world not just Americans. We will be leaving the world to those children as well as our own. It’s easy for us to lose sight of that. We have the luxury of experiencing war, for the most part, from the couch with a cold drink and yummy snacks secure in the knowledge that no Afghan solider has ready access to our borders, let alone our homes.
For the most part, our wars are fought on their soil.
When it gets messy, we pay to clean it up. Despite how the world feels about Americans, our money is still good money. But let’s be clear on what that blood money is buying us. There is a smoldering anger that is stoked each time those dollars are spent, a constant reminder of the true cost of their new, so-called easier life.
It’s very important that we, as a nation, demand that our government establish the facts of this massacre quickly and publicly prosecute all wrongdoing. Eventually, the relief and novelty of that money will wear off and those families will be looking for a bigger payout. We’d better be ready because nothing, my friends, nothing pays a higher dividend than sweet, sweet justice.