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September 11, 2012

The Role of Women in Creating a Peaceful World

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said. “The world would be a peaceful place if it were ruled by women…Women were by nature more inclined towards compassion, whereas men tend to feel they have to be macho. You are basically life-giving, life-affirming. That is what you are naturally when you are unspoilt… Women can actually make society civil…Actually it is very straightforward: let women take over.”

I have written articles and made videos about this, as I see female empowerment as the only practical way we can create a peaceful world. My latest article on this, published on the Hub pages, is called, “A Practical Method of Creating a Loving and Caring World.”


September 11, 2012

September 11 – Remembering the Heroes

When many of us think of September 11 – images of falling buildings, erupting planes and countless grief-stricken faces come to mind. And of course it’s understandable that we should recount this tragic day by thinking of the fallen, the heartbreak and the devastation. Yet – the stories of heroism and sacrifice that have surfaced since that fateful day are some of the most moving and inspirational imaginable.

Take Richard “Rick” Rescorla. A 62-year-old retired and decorated U.S. Army colonel, Rick was Morgan Stanley’s director of security where he insisted on holding twice-yearly evacuation drills. Thanks to his planning and preparation, and despite being told to stay put after the 8:46 a.m. crash next door, Rick calmly encouraged Morgan Stanley staffers down the 22 floors in the south tower. Although 13 employees – including Rescorla – perished, more than 2,500 employees left the tower alive. It’s been reported that, during the mayhem, he called his wife, telling her, “If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier.” His story was ultimately made into an opera called, fittingly, Heart of a Soldier.

‘Heart of a Soldier’ Opera Chronicles Heroism, Love Amid Tragedy of 9/11

Reluctant Hero BookMichael Benfante is another hero who wrote a book titled Reluctant Hero about his experience. He and a co-worker carried a woman in a wheelchair down 68 floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center to safety. The media immediately called him as a hero, and rightfully so. Yet, as Michael points out in his book, there were many heroes that day.

Army Lt. Col. Marilyn WillsThere are so many other, lesser known individuals whose acts of bravery aren’t written on pages or sung about on stage. Such as subway operator Joe Irizarry who ordered that the doors of his train open as long as possible – providing refuge and escape to those trying to escape the dust and debris blanketing lower Manhattan. Or Army Lt. Col. Marilyn Wills, who helped others escape from the fire-inflamed Pentagon, receiving the Purple Heart for her injuries.

There are even non-human heroes whose courage should not be forgotten. Computer sales manager Michael Hingson was at his desk on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower on the morning of 9/11 when the plane hit. Thankfully, his guide dog Roselle was by his side. The yellow lab calmly guided her blind charge 1,463 steps out of the building and led him safely to a nearby subway.

Hero Dog Roselle – American Humane Association

We hope that a tragedy like the one that befell us on September 11, 2001 never happens again. While nothing can erase the desolation of that day, stories like these hopefully provide some comfort. These accounts demonstrate the very best of us … they not only provide inspiration – they offer a great deal of hope.


September 5, 2012

Iraq – The Failure of Imposed Democracy


I am an Iraqi man now living in Sweden.  I fled my country in 2006.  I am a witness to what happened in Iraq when George Bush and Tony Blair invaded my country in the name of bringing Democracy.  I read about Archbishop Tutu’s opinion in the Huffington Post on September 2nd regarding what happened in Iraq and how you feel George Bush and Tony Blair should be brought to trial.

As a witness to what happened to my country, what Bush and Blair brought to Iraq had nothing to do with whether I and other Iraqi people wanted Democracy—we DID—but not brought to our country with force, with killing, with such destruction.  We would have developed a democratic government all on our own if we were allowed the time and left alone.

I believe that Democracy grows from the ground up and cannot be imposed on a nation from outside forces, as what happened in Iraq.  I consider that my country was destroyed in the name of Democracy.

Please accept my best regards and GOD bless you and for your work to bring about global peace.

September 5, 2012