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I think it’s pretty safe to say that no one would accuse me of being a fan of Saddam Hussein.  Any leader who harms his own people and punishes erring ones by allowing sewage in their water lines is rather despicable in my book.  And don’t get me started on his playboy sons and their treatment of women.  In the beginning I was for the war in Iraq.  Perhaps I was living in my imaginary world where USA represents all that’s right in the world and we had to fight off those evil dictators and rescue the poor Iraqis.  Sure, it’ll be great to liberate Iraq.  Then those people will be free like us!  Whoo hoo….get ’em, boys!

For one thing I thought this was going to be a remove-Saddam-and-get-out deal.  NEVER did I think we’d still be there to this day.  I have been tired of the war for, oh, years now.  We quickly got to Baghdad, even found Saddam, but why are we still there?

Reading things outside of the American media has opened my eyes to some of the realities.  The imaginary world has been shattered and I’m left facing the ugly reality.  Perhaps my more enlightened Americans will berate me for this and show me where I’m wrong, and that’s all well and good. But I’m just telling it how I see it after listening to people outside my normal circle. Maybe they are feeding me a lie and I’m falling for it.  Who knows? But somehow I don’t think so.

For starters America is not making fewer terrorists by it’s preemptive wars.  No matter how we justify it, we don’t win friends by tearing up a sovereign nation.  And staying there.  For years.  If we were so wanting to truly help the Iraqis, why did we use weapons that have created so much lasting damage? Not just to buildings, but to people … I’m talking about weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) which, by the way, has not only caused a rise in birth defects and rates of cancer in Iraq, but also among our own soldiers!  So why all that just to remove Saddam from power? Did we have to leave this nasty gift for the Iraqis to deal with?  Some reports say DU can affect generations of people giving Iraqis a great reminder of what evil American WMDs can do.  We didn’t find WMDs in Iraq. They may have been there and moved elsewhere, but that’s beside the point now.  Sadly, America brought her own.

And in so doing we have given evidence of our own brand of terrorism … something that Iraq won’t soon forget. As their children are born with defects and suffer higher rates of cancer, don’t think for a minute they will be blessing the liberators from the West.  I see them instead simmering in their hatred and desiring justice.  Who will avenge them of their losses? Their shame?  And we wonder why the ranks of the terrorists grow.

Sadly, we are our own worst enemy in this (recently renamed) “war on terror.”

For more information see

The Depleted Uranium Cover-up


“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

In American culture we generally expect to receive a few gifts around certain holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, but, to me, gifts are more special when they arrive for no obvious reason.  No birthday, no wedding anniversary, no holiday or graduation from school or college.  One of those “just because” gifts that make us feel loved or appreciated by the giver because he or she was thinking about us and decided to bless us with something thoughtful.  For many people, a gift’s value isn’t determined as much by the cost as the thought behind it.

One year ago today, I was given such a gift.  Well, my gift is both valuable and full of thought.  One year ago today — 9 October 2007 — I was at my parents’ house with my nephew when I decided to check MySpace to see if I had any new comments or messages.  What a surprise to see a note from a young Arab college student from Damascus, Syria!  Who knew by answering this simple message, my life would change so drastically?  Ha, ha……probably the One Who sent me this special gift!

I never would have thought replying to Samer’s message that I would come to have more of an understanding and love for Arabs and Muslims.  Those were two groups I really didn’t know much about or cared for very much. I just didn’t know any.  None.  And I didn’t care to understand them. It just never occurred to me that I should care since I never crossed paths with them.  Ahhh, but the Lord had different plans!  He wanted me to “cross paths” with some Arab Muslims. Apparently He wanted me to learn some things, to broaden my perspective and understand their views and struggles.

I thank God for Samer and the other young Arab friends that I have met as a result of him.  I praise God for my Shami, Latakian and Palestinian friends — Amer, Basheer, Sami, Louai, Hassan and Ahmad (aka Jake). God has given me such wonderful opportunities to learn from them this past year.  They are my unexpected gifts!  I am so very thankful for each of them and the way they have impacted my life.  Definitely I can no longer hear “Arab” or “Muslim” or “Syrian” or “Palestinian” and dismiss them as before. Now when I hear those words, I think “FRIENDS.”

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)