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Where does “the sensible thing to do” spill over into insanity? An average of 6000 veterans killed themselves each year since 2008, almost twice as many as the number of casualties on Sept. 11, 2001, which triggered America’s longest war — total costs close to $6000 billion— with nothing to show for, absolutely nothing. Worse, it caused ex-Saddam Hussein (Sunnite) loyals to start Isis, and America’s old enemy, Shiite Iran, to become more powerful. It caused the largest fugitive crisis since WW2 with lasting destabilizing effects in the Middle East and Europe. Brexit may be called a consequence of this; for the Brits having their own say over the intake of fugitives and migrants proved to be the most important reason for becoming independent from the EU. They favor the UK because of the language, and can disappear there in relative anonymity... Anyway, to return to the costs of America’s longest war, for that money (the 6 trillion) the U.S. could have just bought all Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans. Particularly to Europeans, there is a link between America’s gun culture and the Gung-ho mentality of responding militarily to crises. Each time, it seems like the American people are sold the prospect of a justified intervention, worth the sacrifice, which is going to make the world safe for democracy, free the oppressed who then welcome American troops as liberators. With each war, Americans secretly hope for a WW2 Revisited, a sequel to ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (Bush Jr’s favorite movie). But there’s no gratitude, no flag waving, no cheering. No “earn this”. The Middle East may just as well be another planet.

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Identify how high-tech bypasses common sense to sell us a solution that frequently misses the point | country: Netherlands

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