Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Month: February, 2015

How Saddam, the So-Called Butcher, Dealt With Prisoners

Who's the Real Butchers in this Picture?

Who are the Real Butchers in this Picture?

Iraq was bombed for 43 consecutive days during the 1991 Gulf War.  The coalition flew over 100,000 sorties, dropping 88,500 tons of bombs, and widely destroying military and civilian infrastructure. So when Iraq captured Americans and journalists a few months later, what did they do to them? They released them.

Missing American, French Journalists Released by Iraq

April 16, 1991 | From Reuters

An American and a French journalist, missing and feared dead in Iraq for almost three weeks, are alive and on their way to Amman, Jordan, from Baghdad, CBS News reported Monday. CBS News broadcast a brief interview with Frank Smyth, 29, and Alain Buu, 30, who were released from an Iraqi prison. Both men said they were fine, but they did not give full details of what happened to them after their capture by Iraqi troops while covering the Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq.

Ex-POWs Return to Hero’s Welcome at Camp Pendleton


Two Marine Corps fliers who spent 48 days as Iraqi prisoners of war, most of the time handcuffed and blindfolded in prisons in and around Baghdad, returned to their home base to a hero’s welcome Monday. Shortly before dusk, the Air Force Lear jet that had carried Lt. Col. Clifford Acree and Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter Jr. from Washington touched down on a wind-swept Pendleton runway as hundreds of family members, friends, well-wishers and fellow Marines shouted their names and waved American flags and yellow balloons.

The two men were forced to eject from their damaged OV-10 Bronco reconnaissance plane on Jan. 18 and parachuted to the Kuwaiti desert, where they were seized by patrolling Iraqi soldiers.

In Honor of the Jordanian Pilot Killed by ISIS

Cradle of Humankind

Cradle of Humankind

Lynn Andrew’s Walk in Balance has daily readings filled with ancient wisdom. For February 3, the following is the teaching:

Respect the Unknown

Great evil has been done on earth by people who think they have all the answers. They have no respect for the unknown. If you do not see all sides of truth and you think that only what you understand is valid, then you dishonor power. You ignore much of the body of the Great Spirit. The body of the Great Spirit is all creation.

We are limited as human beings. Most humans live in a tiny little world where only their own perceptions are accepted as real. They will kill for those perceptions. I am asking you to respect what you don’t see. Give humble respect to what is unknown and unknowable in the universe.

Ruby Plenty Chiefs

Crystal Woman

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Given the cruel manner in which the Jordanian pilot was burned to death by ISIS today, the February 3rd teaching is most appropriate to describe what is happening in our world.

Run Warren Run

Elizabeth Warren

It’s time for the United States to have a woman president. Actually, the time is way overdue. Dozens of countries around the world have had female political leaders for decades now. Eight Muslim countries have already chosen female leaders.

Obviously, not any woman leader will do. She has to be strong, honest, and intelligent. She also must really care about the majority of American people and not only the elite. When I received an invitation from to attend a “Run Warren Run” house party in Rochester, which is intended to convince Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for presidency, I decided to go and learn whether or not Warren had the qualities to be a great leader.

I watched videos of Warren talk about the fact that average Americans are being left behind because Washington has failed them. How? She gave her story as an example.

When she was twelve, her father, a janitor, had a heart attack – which led to many medical bills, as well as a pay cut because he could not do his previous work. Eventually, this led to the loss of their car because they couldn’t make the loan payments. To support their home of four children, her mother found work in the catalog-order department at Sears.

“That minimum-wage job saved our home,” said Warren.

Imagine that! In the early sixties, a minimum-wage job saved a home of six family members. I remembered a recent interview I did at the Chaldean Community Foundation, where the director of this nonprofit organization told me how some of the difficulties that Iraqi refugees face is the inability to provide for their families despite their hard-working efforts.

Their complaints are similar to this: “Back home, a father worked and was able to feed all seven of us. Here, all seven of us are working and we’re barely making it.”

“A lot of people feel discouraged and it’s because the government is not working for them,” said Warren. “It’s time that Washington starts working for them.”

I recalled a report I read in 2014 in the Huffington Post, entitled “The Top 25 Best Countries to be a Woman.” The United States scored number 23, with areas in Africa scoring higher than us. How is it that our rating was so low? Well, countries that fared much better in living conditions, for less money, shared their wealth and opportunities more equally between the genders.

Those numbers say a great deal about our need to balance the give and take between the people and the government. Given her passionate advocacy for working families, it looks like Elizabeth Warren could help bump the U.S.’s position on that poll quite a few notches.