Thursday, July 05, 2012

For Cost of One Month of Iraq War, 'God Particle' Could Have Been U.S. Triumph

By MARC McDONALD

Note: on July 10, 2012, this article ran on Peoplesworld.org, which is a "daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker."

The discovery of the Higgs boson subatomic particle, announced this week, is one of the biggest triumphs in the history of science. The discovery was announced by scientists at the CERN, the research center in Switzerland that operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the massive particle accelerator that detected the Higgs boson.

Once upon a time, most big scientific breakthroughs like this were made in the U.S. But in an era of declining science budgets and fewer science degrees awarded, America is increasingly no longer the leader in cutting-edge science.

The Large Hadron Collider cost around $8 billion. Although that sounds like a steep price tag, it's important to keep this figure in perspective. After all, during the Iraq War, the U.S. was typically spending $8 billion every month in that disastrous and unnecessary conflict.

For that same $8 billion that we pissed away every month in the Iraq War, the U.S. could have built its own Large Hadron Collider. And the amazing Higgs boson scientific breakthrough could well have been a U.S., not a European, triumph.

It's also important to remember that, for their $8 billion, the Europeans will almost certainly be enjoying many other benefits in the years to come, via the LHC. Who knows what other major unforeseen scientific breakthroughs the LHC will make possible? (If you doubt this, consider that the World Wide Web itself was originally invented at CERN, as a means of sharing computer data, before it went on to conquer the world).

Yes, the $8 billion spent on the LHC will likely pay benefits to Europe for decades to come.

By contrast, what, exactly, did the U.S. get for spending $8 billion per month in Iraq? We didn't get anything in return, except to draw out that disastrous war yet another bloody month.

Even today, nearly a decade after George W. Bush ordered the invasion, Iraq remains a shambles. It is still one of the most dangerous and unstable nations on earth. And Iraq must be the only nation in world history where on a given day, car bombs can kill 100 people and the world's media outlets no longer consider such a tragedy front page news.

Indeed, Iraq remains a broken, bloodied state and a shattered society, abandoned by the West. Outside of the nation's large oil reserves, the U.S. simply doesn't care about Iraq, much less its people.

The Iraq War remains one of the great tragedies of human history, with hundreds of thousands (if not a million) needless deaths. And, of course, the fiscal cost was tremendous, as well, with the U.S. sinking well over $1 trillion into the quagmire.

And for the cost of only one month of the Iraq War, the U.S. could have enjoyed one of the great scientific triumphs of history.

But that's really the story of modern day America: a nation that has increasingly gutted budgets for essentials like science and education, while lavishing trillions of dollars for death, destruction, and greedy, pampered defense contractors.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of poor "investments," I'm still unclear as to what the American taxpayers got for the hundreds of billions of dollars Bush spent to bail out the crooks on Wall Street.
(Memo to the TeaBaggers, yes: it was Bush, not Obama, who bailed out these crooks).
Maybe one of these Republicans who constantly bitch and moan about "overpaid" teachers and firefighters could explain this one.

Suzan said...

Seems that having voted these psychopathic parasites in, we've actually voted to never have another scientific triumph or to even be a part of one without enrichment of private interests being the primary motivating factor.

Witness the abandonment of education, public health, infrastructure, and even of NASA and these type of space exploratory initiatives except for commercial enterprises.

We are just finding out how f*cked we are; and the recent fund-raiser in the Hamptons (covered exceptionally well by our MSM) probably was just there to let us know our place.

Legally arrested if we were even splashing in the public water around it.

Love ya,

S

NoWarForOil said...

BTW, speaking of poor investments, the trillions that the U.S. spent on the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could have been spent on a massive push to convert America to renewable energy.

We could have invested heavily in solar and wind power to the point where we never would need to import a barrel of oil ever again.

Germany has made a big solar/wind power push and not only have they cut their oil consumption needs, but the rise of this new industry has created over 400,000 good-paying jobs in Germany. That's one reason why Germany has a lower jobless rate than does the U.S.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Suzan, thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

re:
>>Seems that having voted these
>>psychopathic parasites in, we've
>>actually voted to never have
>>another scientific triumph

Yes, true. In fact, it's worse than that: these psychopathic parasites don't even believe in science in the first place. There are "Conservative" parties in nations around the world. What makes ours different is that ours don't even believe in science, be it Global Warming, stem cell research, or evolution. To these idiots, it's all a "Librul conspiracy."