Tag Archives: Iraq

Welcome to America

My daughter Lejla became a citizen Monday.  The ceremony was at the federal courthouse downtown; she joined 29 other immigrants from 17 nations in taking the oath of citizenship. (Lejla was born in Switzerland, the child of Bosnian and Croat refugees.  Since Switzerland neither allows refugees to stay very long nor grants citizenship to people [...]

To Appease the Gods

So the last Americans pulled out of Iraq, eight and a half years later, leaving an uncertain nation with an even more uncertain future. As I watched the video of the last trucks crossing the Kuwait border, all I could see were the black hulls of the Greek ships sailing away, gray smoke still hanging [...]

Cowards, Every One of Them

A week ago, I asked how bad political discourse can get in this country.   Discouraged as I was, I hadn’t seen this coming.  Perhaps – despite everything my family and friends tell me – I’m too optimistic. Last week, Republicans who hope to be president stood silently by as their constituents cheered for the [...]

Thousands and Ten Thousands

I have a friend who came back from serving in Vietnam 40 years ago. Shortly thereafter, his father, who owned a liquor store, was shot and killed during a robbery. The killer was African American. My friend’s family is white. “I used that for a long time,” he told me. “I’d say, ‘It’s OK for [...]

The Audacity

The need to address the co-option of Newsweek and the Washington Post was so strong last week that I left hanging President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize today, Mr. Obama spent a good portion of his speech addressing war in general and the Afghan war specifically. So, [...]

Condemned to Repeat It

The actual quote from George Santayana is, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Those who cannot remember the quote are condemned to misquote.) Today’s New York Times has a story about Ted Kennedy’s posthumous memoir, in which he says President John Kennedy’s “antenna” was up over the misbegotten situation in [...]

Who’s Anti-War Now?

I am. Principles aren’t principles unless they’re consistent. Now that the White House and Congress have changed hands since 2006, it’s interesting to see politicians and pundits on both sides of the ledger flipping and flopping. Still, the world is not two-dimensional and those who pretend it is do an injustice to reality. I’m willing [...]