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Speaking as one requires the listening of many

Disasters happen. They're not important. The only thing that is important for us as individuals, or as a country, is how we react to them. And the jury is still out on just how we will react to the disaster named Katrina. (Published, NBST editorial page, September 17,2005.)

December questions

I hate these wet, dark, rainy, December nights when the damp enshrouds the house and I am alone and so I turn my thoughts to the babe in the manger the warmth of hay, the smell of life and the look of love. (Published, NBST op ed, December 16,2004.)

One thing the candidates agree on - lying

Sadly, all political ads seem to lie to one degree or another - and there's no law against it - no "truth in advertising" applies. But there is a partial solution. (Not published yet - though written in mid-July, 2004.)

Divided we fall - and we sure are divided

How to have meaningful conversations about difficult topics - it's a skill we all need to hone. (Published on the S-T editorial pages July 11, 2004.)

Of moats and motes and looking deeply in the mirror

Imagination, hate and a failure to ask ourselves the really tough question - let alone answer it. (Published on the S-T editorial pages June 21, 2004.)

Do unto others . . .

Prisoner abuse, beheadings, and our naive and predicatable shock - it's war and its stupid, cruel and hateful. (Published on the S-T editorial pages May 13, 2004.)

Two books on war, religion and evil

War can be a lot uglier than you may think - and so can religion. That's the message from two new books which explore these topics and draw some shocking conclusions. Both play into the current environment of war talk mixed with religious talk from leaders as different as Osama bin Laden and George Bush. (Published on the S-T editorial pages April 10, 2003.)

How quickly we lost our way

Just a year ago we were united and the whole world was behind us. Now we are divided and the world is against us. How have we become our own worst enemy? Written February 11, 2003 and published on the editorial page of The Standard-Times February 18, 2003.

Sum of all our imaginings

Fear mongering, fiction, fact, and dealing with reality. written january 31, 2003. Was slated for publication, but got overtaken by changing events.

Beauty, anger, and seeing the beast within ourselves

Looking our anger in the face, here's what we see - published in the Standard-Times January 25, 2003.

SUVs, if you please, and much, much more

I sympathize with the SUV owners who feel burned by the new ads linking SUV's to terrorism through oil. At the same time, I applaud the ads.Published in the S-T January 12, 2003.

Smiling your way closer to peace ;-)

Published by the S-T January 4, 2003, this column explores the depth of meaning behind the word "peace." Peace is much more than the absence of war.

Holy season - unholy warriors

This column was.published on the S-T editorial pages December 8, 2002 under the headline: "If Only they would heed the words of holy books." In the narrow newspaper the text tended to run altogether and become too dense for the content - I think this Web version works better.

We could try talking!

This column was written in November, 2002 but events tended to outrun it (maybe) , so it never did get published int he newspaper

Clash of Parallel Universes in the City of Peace

I was born in Baghdad on July 9, 1941, the son of a Muslim cleric and the fourth child of four. When I was six I learned that my native city was originally called Madinat as-Salam, City of Peace. How ironic that name sounds today. (This column was published on the editorial page of The Standard-Times (New Bedford, MA) August 25, 2002)

War with Iraq signals disastrous policy shift

The proposed attack on Iraq signals a major foreign policy shift that is as disastrous as it is moral and legally bankrupt. This column was published on the editorial page of The Standard-Times (New Bedford, MA) August 4, 2002

The first victims . . . and many more

This column was published on the editorial page of The Standard-Times (New Bedford, MA) July 25, 2002 and demonstrates continuity in the murder of innocents from the first air raids on London in 1917 to actions of America and Israel in 2002.

Let's grow up now!

This column was written in response to a column by Mary Ann Sorentino which appeared on the editorial page of The Standard-Times (New Bedford, MA) July 3, 2002. It was printed on the op ed page of The Standard-Times July 9, 2002.

Killing is reprehensible, no matter who does it

This column appeared on The Standard-Times editorial page December 17, a few days after the famous "bin Laden" tape which left everyone wondering how anyone could be so callous and brutal.

Yeats, The Second Coming, and today

I kept being haunted by the question "What rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? " I couldn't even remember where the phrase came from, but it seemed relevant to the time, so I started searching. What I found was more relevance than I could ever want.

Lemmings? Or honest debate? Our choice. - November 7, 2001

This column was written in an attempt to pull together several basic ideas dealing with Ike's "Cross of Iron" speech, FDR's "Four Freedoms," Bob Bowman's explanation as to why they hate us and this "unity" thing which stifles meaningful debate.

Pacifism, Just Wars and Grace - October 10, 2001

This column was written in response to some of the points raised by letter writers. Much of what they had to say was mean-spirited and foolish - which, of course, needs no rebuttal. But they also made me think hard about why I felt the way I did and writing this column was a grace-filled experience in itself, so I am genuinely thankful for their criticism.

War Fever - October 4, 2001

This column was published in the New Bedford Standard-Times editorial page and caused some very positive phone calls from people I don't know and some very negative letters to the editor. This is hardly surprising - at the time of its writing polls showed that perhaps 5-10% of the country felt the way I did.


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