I'm sure some of you are wondering where I've been the past week or so. Then again, some of you may not have wondered about that.
Anyway, I've been following a time-honored American tradition, and moonlighting for most of the past week (literally moonlighting, since what I was doing was getting up early in the morning and doing a paper route for a guy who is scheduled to return from vacation today-- but the moon was full this week so there was plenty of light.) Since I still have a fulltime job that is my main priority, it meant that my time online went down to pretty much zero this past week.
And no, I don't have any complaints with what I get paid at work. I get paid better than I used to get paid for doing the same job with other employers in other states.
At the same time gas prices, health care prices, winter heating costs and housing prices have all been rising at double digit rates of increase over the past few years, the fact that bread has only gone up from 89 cents per loaf to 99 cents just doesn't seem to compensate for all those other increases. And having two ten year olds, I don't even want to think about what it will cost to get them braces and send them to college. Hence even those of us who may feel that we are being paid fairly have the same kind of economic angst that polls tell us is being felt fairly broadly around the country. So that's why I 'moonlighted' for a week.
Today I had a chance as I was doing the last day of the paper route to listen to the radio rebroadcast of 9/11.
It made me sad, not only for the events of that day, but to remember what we had then that we have lost.
On September 11, Americans were united. We (even liberal Democrats like myself) supported our President in whatever action he felt was necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice. Therefore, I supported then and still support the Afghan war, though I've felt that it has been badly mismanaged and not made enough of a priority. However, it is a fact that Afghanistan (along with bordering areas of Pakistan) is where al-Qaeda is based so we have to continue to go after them there.
On September 11, the world was united. It was not hard at all to assemble the necessary coalition to go into Afghanistan and get rid of the Taliban government. And included in our coalition were most of the various factions and local warlords in Afghanistan itself, as they did not like the Taliban or the job that the Taliban did in ruthlessly enforcing its version of Islamic law and its political will. The world was united with us and against Osama bin Laden. But since then, by invading a country that had nothing at all to do with 9/11, we have squandered all that good will away, to the extent that there are even those who consider us to be as dangerous as bin Laden.
On September 11, Americans were ready to sacrifice whatever they were asked to support the war effort. Yet, suddenly this war was not like other wars, they were told that unless they were among those who volunteered to go, they didn't have to sacrifice. Heck, the third of a trillion we have sunk into the Iraq war (which dwarfs the amount spent on the Afghan war) didn't even dent the plans for more massive tax cuts for the wealthy, so that future generations will have to pay.