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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.
Fear mongering, fiction, fact, and dealing with reality. written january 31, 2003. Was slated for publication, but got overtaken by changing events.
Looking our anger in the face, here's what we see - published in the Standard-Times January 25, 2003.
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.
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.
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.
This column was written in November, 2002 but events tended to outrun it (maybe) , so it never did get published int he newspaper
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.