Since September 11, 2001 many changes seem to slowly creep into the American way of life. While the world today is by and large the same place as it was in 2001, but somehow America seems very different. A friend of mine called me from India to tell me that a plane hit the WTC and I did not believe it until I turned the TV on, and then I saw the second plane hit the tower, and I cried. For days I was so sad and still am sad that WTC is gone, along wit thousands of lives. But now I continue to feel sad about thousands of lives lost since then in the name of fighting terror and war. I am also very sad that hundreds of billions are spent since then on the efforts without finding solutions to neither solving terror nor bringing those responsible to justice. I don’t believe we have neither found a solution to terror nor our ability to protect the citizens.
It has become a way of life to just listen to the news of how many more people die everyday in Iraq and many of them American or peacekeeping forces, while thousands of Iraqis die for no reason that man knows.
America spends money that is pushing the country in further deficits each month and doesn’t know how to cope with hurricanes in its own soil. So much for keeper of peace in the world and the place to go to in the world. I am not going to knock the country too much as I wish to live here and think it is still the nest place on earth to live (except my native town I guess). But I don’t want to be the only person to feel that way; I want everyone to feel that way that lives here. Especially the people of New Orleans after Katrina. Poor guys live in the most advanced country in the world, but can’t get food packets for days. I guess we ran out of them by dropping them (and killing people in the process) in Afghanistan or some other place.
Airports and travel
In the 1990s when you traveled to India, Brazil or other developing countries we had a lot of fuss about time it took to get through the lines of immigration and customs and the long lines at the check-in counters. And when you travel to these places some ten or fifteen years later (they are still developing countries), but somehow seem to put their resources (albeit meager) into infrastructure development. In many places I have been to including India, the wait time is shorter and many improvements into the travel systems. But look at what happened in America? Lines are longer, profiling of people when they come into the country, hours to get out of airports and long delays at every juncture in the name of homeland security.
Standard of life
I have to comment on at least one aspect of life that is dramatically different. Gas prices. It is hard to believe that in 1998 I paid 91 to 94 cents a gallon, and now 3 dollars. My car was full with less than 15 dollars of gas and now about 45 dollars. For goodness sake just think if we make 3 times the money now than in 1998. No way, at least not me. I also have to imagine that everything else has gone up in price are gas prices dictate a lot of other industries and they all hike the prices up. So I have to guess that the standard of living compared to 1998 is not too hot either.
Hurricane Katrina somehow seems to expose America’s inability to cope with internal disasters. Much has been written about the racial divide and the lateness in responding due to race. I am not sure president Bush thought of not helping the poor or minorities, but simply did not think it was an issue, which is a bigger problem. How can we not cope with natural disasters in America, while we profess to fix the global problems like terrorism and poverty and aids?
America has been so focused on international affairs and war in many places, along with fighting global terrorism, all of which are noble causes in American president’s mind and policy. How about the guys who live here, who need help? Simple things as security, simple living, clean water, and ones home has been cherished for generations in America. Hurricane Katrina should be a passing thing rather than a major national event in this country. Remember how quickly New York coped with the disaster of WTC and September 11th, and in my opinion Katrina should have been a simple natural disaster that America was able to handle without a fuss.
America is still a wonderfully resourceful place with a lot of promise for the future. Politics, bad judgment and not looking internally are the issue and not its ability to take care of its people. I think if our politics are directed at internal issues we will be just fine, and when we take care of ourselves, we tend to do the same with others.