Collateral Damage

Terrorists set off explosives among a civilian throng celebrating the Iraqi national football team’s semifinal victory in the Asia Cup, and dozens of civilians are killed. American warplanes bomb a suspected terrorist gathering, which turns out to be a wedding reception or any such innocuous event, and dozens of civilians are killed. What is different about these two circumstances, and scores like them over the past years? Continue reading “Collateral Damage”

Nothing in the West

When I was young, I didn’t care for the west. Actually, I hated it. It seemed to me the land of the dead. The desert was dry, dirty, devoid of anything other than the most prickly of life. And it was hot. Unbelievably hot. I was nine when I stepped off a plane in Phoenix for the first time. There was a jetway, but there was a small gap between the jetway and the aircraft door. As I moved from plane to jetway, my eyes opened wide and my mouth gaped. I uttered a childish ‘whoop!’ as I was blasted by a stream of superheated air. I had never felt something so hot before in my life. It was akin to a supercharged hair dryer. I couldn’t understand why the Phoenix airport felt it necessary to blow hot air on passengers as they left the plane. What devilish art was this? Why was it done? Were they trying to blow dust off the plane, or something else? I had no idea. Until I was led out of the concourse and into the parking lot towards my uncle’s car. Of course the hot air wasn’t the machinations of man, it was merely Arizona in August. Continue reading “Nothing in the West”