For the past twenty-five years, I have followed the U.S.-led wars in Iraq. They hit a special nerve because I was born and formed in Basra, Iraq, of an Iraqi father and an American mother from southwest Missouri whose forebears pioneered America. I am first cousin six times removed of Davy Crockett, which makes me about as Texan as the Bush presidents. Why did my parents marry after knowing each other only three days? Why was their elopement in all the papers, including on the front page of the New York Daily Mirror? How did their experience of war affect me? Was their behavior towards their children based on culture, gender or craziness? I am presently preparing to query publishers for their interest in publishing my memoir, A Little Tin Heart. "Misadventure in Montclair," an excerpt from my memoir, has been accepted for publication in the 2017 edition of the North Carolina Literary Review.
A former copywriter for LIFE magazine with poems published in a variety of publications, I have participated in numerous anti-nuclear and anti-war protests in New York City and Washington, D.C. My essay “U.S. First to Target [Operating] Nuclear Reactor” that appears in Metal of Dishonor, Depleted Uranium can be found in the Articles section of my website. I served as co-chair of the Northeast Westchester branch of the national anti-nuclear organization SANE/Freeze, the predecessor of Peace Action.
My hope is that one day people will recognize that a leader taking his (or her) nation to war is as dysfunctional in the family of humankind as an abusive parent is in an individual family. Believing violence begins at home, I have studied the childhoods of the warring Bush presidents as well as what they have in common with the people who supported them. I devoted my Master’s thesis to “George Bush, the Formative Years, 1924-1942” (Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York, 1994). The results of an independent study I completed towards my M.A. in the Humanities--“What the Gulf War Reveals About George Bush’s Childhood”--was published in The Journal of Psychohistory and appears in the Articles section of my website. My book previewed here is entitled The Childhood of the Bush Presidents and War.