Letters To The Editor


Dallas Morning News:

Published - July 22, 2020 - Resist Oppression With Vote

When I watch videos of armed federal agents in unmarked uniforms grabbing citizens from the streets of Portland, Ore., and throwing them into unmarked vehicles, I am reminded of the times that I worked as a peacemaker during the civil war in El Salvador. Our group often encountered what we called “Death Squad” cars, which served as a constant warning to the civilian population about the power of the government to maintain its grip.

With the passing of John Lewis, I am again reminded of my sacred obligation to resist oppression. Lewis believed in hope and love, and he did not let fear deter him from his vision of a better world. Will we resist the slide into becoming a third-world dictatorship?

Perhaps the Portland incidents with federal “storm troopers” are probing our tolerance for suppression of dissent, in anticipation of the November elections. This administration is asking a question and it deserves an answer while we still have time.

The Rev. Diane Baker, McKinney



Dallas Morning News:

Published - June 6, 2020 - Trump’s threat to use military

President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the U.S. military to intimidate peaceful protesters is a brazen attack on our founding principles. The president has strong dictatorial inclinations and it seems he will not hesitate to upend the most sacred agreements Americans have in place to preserve the nation.

For more than 200 years the civil-military relationship has prevented our republican democracy, however imperfect, from devolving into a military dictatorship, the unfortunate fate of many nations in history. Trump’s threat to use military force against U.S citizens, whom the military exists to defend, must not be taken lightly or dismissed as mere bluster.

Trump’s failure to handle the coronavirus pandemic, the ensuing massive unemployment and economic hardships and yet another gruesome killing by police of George Floyd, an African American man, has enraged Americans across the country. This president is not only unfit to govern, but his threat to use military force also foretells a failed presidency.

Hadi Jawad,
Executive Director, Dallas Peace and Justice Center.


Dallas Morning News:

Published - May 28, 2020 - Back universal background checks

As a college student, I appreciate your coverage of the gun violence crisis and hope you will continue to focus on this critical issue. Uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic have instilled fear and anxiety in some of my fellow Texans, causing them to stockpile guns and ammunition. The panic-buying has resulted in some stores running out of inventory. My concern is not exploding gun sales; I am worried there is no assurance that only responsible gun owners are behind the rush.

I am proud of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who days after the First Baptist Church shootings in Sutherland Springs told grieving church members he would act to ensure that “no other community had to experience something so evil and horrific.” He delivered on his promise by passing, with bipartisan support, the National Instant Criminal Background Check Improvement Act of 2019.

But now is not the time for complacency. I respectfully urge Cornyn to work with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, to take gun violence prevention to the next level and pass the Universal Background Check Bill so that Americans will have one less thing to worry about.

Giselle López Estrada, East Dallas
DPJC/FCNL Spring Youth Lobbyist


Dallas Morning News:

Published - March 23, 2020 - Inextricably bound together

A clear lesson of the coronavirus pandemic is how humanity’s fate is inextricably bound. What started in China is now affecting most countries of the world. All nations face the same existential threat and if all of us are not safe, none of us are safe.

Iran is currently the most heavily infected country in the Middle East and is fighting the outbreak with both hands tied behind its back. With its economy in a free fall due to U.S. sanctions and inept leaders, Iran is ill-equipped to handle the crisis. The Trump administration must lift crippling U.S. sanctions and give Iranians a fighting chance. If Iran is unable to stem the crisis, the virus will spread throughout the region and beyond.

But Iran is not the only country facing terrible odds. The U.S is also sanctioning Cuba and Venezuela. Both countries are reporting infections and will require massive medical assistance.

Perhaps the time for the Trump administration to abandon its “America First” slogan is now. Without the well-being and welfare of all nations, our own existence is in peril. The truth of John Donne’s poem “No Man is an Island” has reverberated through the ages and is poignantly obvious these days.

Hadi Jawad, East Dallas
Executive Director of the Dallas Peace and Justice Center


Dallas Morning News:

Published - February 11, 2020 - Don't expand travel ban

Re: “Dems protest travel change — Ban on pre-screening is called attempt to punish New Yorkers,” Sunday News Digest.

The Trump administration’s expansion of the travel ban to six new countries is unfortunate and ill-advised. The policy is more a reflection of the president’s Islamophobia and racism and less about security concerns. These countries have large Muslim populations and join seven others on the growing travel ban list.

Under the new plan, nationals from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania will no longer qualify for immigrant visas. National security is the reason cited for the expansion but there is no evidence that immigrants from any of these countries pose a national security threat. The number of Americans killed in the U.S. by extremists from these six countries in the last two decades is zero.

President Donald Trump’s contempt for African nations, “s--- hole countries” as he has described them, is well-known. Though Nigeria has been a major source of highly educated and skilled migrants to the U.S., the president has scornfully claimed, “Nigerians coming to the U.S. will never go back to their huts.”

Weaponizing immigration law to advance a xenophobic agenda is immoral and it undermines our national interest.

Hadi Jawad, East Dallas


Dallas Morning News:

Published - December 12, 2019 - Vietnam all over again

Re: “Battle for truth revealed — Papers reveal efforts to mislead U.S. public, wrenching ‘dysfunction,’ ” Tuesday news story.

For those who were opposed to the Afghanistan war, the so-called Afghanistan Papers come as no surprise. We now learn that top U.S. military officials believed the Afghanistan war was lost many years ago but continued to lie to Americans.

Like the Vietnam War, this $1 trillion war was yet another canard foisted upon hapless Americans. With 2,300 American soldiers dead, about 20,000 injured; tens of thousands Afghans killed and the entire country reduced to rubble, what can Americans learn from this tragedy? War is not the answer.

We were told that a $100 billion reconstruction program was making progress, that millions of Afghan girls were in schools and life expectancy was soaring. All turned out to be cruel lies by the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.

Eighteen years into America’s longest war, Afghanistan is in a worse state than at any time since the U.S. invasion. Only dialog among the Taliban, U.S. and regional powers such as Iran, Pakistan, India, Russia and China will bring peace and stability. The world community must provide a Marshall Plan to beleaguered Afghans so their decades-long suffering may end. Bring U.S troops back. Bring ’em home.

Hadi Jawad, Dallas, executive director,
Dallas Peace & Justice Center


Dallas Morning News:

Published - November 9, 2019 - Don't Militarize Dallas Police

Speaking to a conference of polief chiefs on Oct. 28, President Trump declared, "To help keep you safe I've made $600 million worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement." This is not just bad policy — it's dangerous. It hurts efforts to bridge the gap betwen police and the communities they serve and blurs the lines between our armed forces and domestic police.

Created in 1990, Federal Program 1033 allows the Pentagon to give away large-capacity weapons and ammunition, .50-caliber guns, grenades, armored vehicles, military tanks and armed drones to police departments nationwide.

With military-style weapons comes military-style training and the possibility of police officers imagining themselves at war rather than as public servants keeping communities safe. Police should not be confused with soldiers and American cities should never be turned into battlegrounds. Although free for the asking, such equipment has to be freighted, stored and monitored in highly secure warehouses, expenses cash-strapped cities like Dallas can ill afford.

We fervently hope Police Chief U. Reneé Hall will tell the presIdent, "Thanks, but no thanks".

Hadi Jawad, executive director, the Dallas Peace and Justice Center.



Dallas Morning News:

Published - October 13, 2019 - Strong reaction to leaving Syria

Re: Readers weighed in on the developments in the Middle East after President Donald Trump withdrew U.S. troops from Syria, Turkey began striking across the border, and civilians fled for their lives.

Leaving is the right call

It is confounding that no action taken by President Donald Trump, no matter how egregious, has united politicians of both parties in opposition other than his recent decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

Under both national and international laws, the Syrian deployment was illegal. Congress did not authorize and the Obama administration did not receive a mandate from the United Nations to invade. Demands for oversight for a war that was unconstitutional and illegal is perplexing if not bizarre.

Protecting Syrian Kurds from slaughter by Turkish forces is cited as justification for the U.S. military presence. But safeguarding Syria's Kurds was never a stated U.S. policy, and, in fact, protecting civilian lives has not been an objective in this sordid affair. According to Amnesty International, "The U.S.-led coalition killed hundreds and injured thousands of civilians during its offensive in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria."

For decades U.S. policies have created instability and misery in the Middle East. It's time to start a narrative of good will toward Middle Easterners based on the sanctity and dignity of human life.

Bring 'em all home.

Hadi Jawad, Executive Director, Dallas Peace and Justice Center, Old East Dallas

Dallas Morning News:

Published - July 3, 2019 - U.S. had role in turmoil

Re: “Promote Freedom Abroad — To solve U.S. border crisis, we must reduce need for people to flee their countries,” June 26 Editorials.

What is glaringly missing in this analysis of the border crisis is the nefarious role the United States has played in creating political turmoil, social and economic instability, and violence in Central America.

CIA-engineered military coups, subversion of democratically elected governments and exploitation of the region’s natural resources by American corporations have been an essential ingredient in the “witch’s brew” that compels families with young children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to undertake the perilous journey to our southern borders.

For more than 100 years, the U.S. has relentlessly projected its imperial power in Central America to advance its interests with little heed for human rights concerns. In the last century, Congress’ fear of communism helped unleash violence across the region that killed hundreds of thousands and created extreme poverty, homelessness and refugees. These interventions guarantee that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador will remain among the poorest nations in the world.

We cannot have an honest debate about the border crisis if we ignore the sordid history of U.S interventions in Central America.

Hadi Jawad, Dallas



Dallas Morning News:

Submitted - February 5, 2019 - No U.S. Intervention in Venezuela

Undoubtedly, the people of Venezuela have suffered immensely under the repressive rule of President Nicolas Maduro. In the last five years, the economy has shrunk by 50% with nine out of 10 Venezuelans living in poverty. Malnutrition is taking a grim toll. Yet as devastating as the regime has been for the people of Venezuela, and as compelling the need for change, a military response by the U.S. would worsen an already dire situation.

The United Nations calculates 2.3 million Venezuelan refugees have fled the country in the last four years, a number that would grow exponentially in the event of a U.S. military strike. The recent arrival of migrants at the southern border is a direct consequence of past U.S interventions in Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

The United States must seek a reduction in tensions and prevent an escalation in violence. Threats and intimidation against President Maduro are ill-advised. The U.S must back Mexico and Uruguay's proposal to a "process of inclusive and credible negotiations, with full respect for the law and human rights." Instead of war, the Trump administration must consider delivering massive amounts of humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

Hadi Jawad



Dallas Morning News:

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - U.S. must halt Saudi arms sales

Re: "Coalition regrets bus attack — Saudi-led team admits mistakes in airstrike that killed 40 children," Sept. 2 news story.
Saudi Arabia admitted "mistakes" were made on Aug. 9 when Saudi warplanes dropped a 500-pound bomb on a school bus in Yemen, killing 44 children and their teachers returning from a picnic.

The 3-year-old Saudi bombing campaign has destroyed Yemen's infrastructure, killed thousands of civilians and placed millions at the brink of starvation amid the worst outbreak of cholera. The U.S plays a critical role in the Saudi campaign, supplying bombs, targeting intelligence and midair refueling services.

Rightfully, the U.S. Senate has loudly condemned Saudi conduct in Yemen. Last June, a bipartisan group of 47 senators voted to block a major arms sales to Saudi Arabia over allegations of disregard for civilian deaths by weaponizing famine and disease to inflict massive civilian casualties.
Justifying U.S support for Saudi Arabia is unconscionable. American involvement in an immoral war does not serve our national interest; neither does killing schoolchildren comport with our core values. The U.S. must halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia and use its formidable influence to call for an end to hostilities and jump-start peace talks between warring parties.

Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas



Dallas Morning News:

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - "Texas represented," Tuesday news story

It is appalling that Robert Jeffress continues to verbally spew his poisonous and hateful beliefs in the name of faith. It is pathetic enough that our President panders to the lowest common denominator of bigotry, lies, fear, lies, racism, and more lies, but when denominational leaders of faith communities do not lead by moral example and dissenting courage from such behavior then we are truly in a quagmire. The fact that over 60 people were killed in demonstrations while Mr. Jeffers lavished praise upon Israel, and that he wholeheartedly endorses the President's behavior, should give all people of conscience a serious reason to truly wonder what is happening to this country.

Rick Halperin
Dallas, Texas





Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - Courage in wrongful death penalty case

I had the opportunity to hear Glenn and Judy Cherry tell their story as they accepted the 2018 Courage Award from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. ("Judge recommends state spare death row inmate convicted in Hurst Putt-Putt murder," May 9)

They have been true examples of humility, selflessness, and grace in the face of unimaginable loss.

The prosecutor told the jury that the Cherrys supported the death penalty, despite their ethical and spiritual opposition and their desire to spare Paul Storey’s mother from the grief they endured.

That was a terrible miscarriage of justice.

On Tuesday, Judge Everett Young held the State accountable for this inappropriate conduct. I urge the Court of Criminal Appeals to follow.

—Aftab A. Siddiqui, Arlington




Dallas Morning News:

Wedneday, August 23, 2017 - A flawed strategy

President Donald Trump's promise to handily defeat the Taliban and stabilize Afghanistan's borders on the absurd. That he will prevail where two Americans presidents, Russia and the British Empire (twice) have been humbled is incredulous.

When 100,000 U.S. troops could not pacify that country, can we reasonably expect 13,000 (after the Trump surge) to accomplish that goal? At one time 8,000 Marines were based in Afghanistan, now there are 300. Like his predecessor's policies, the Trump Afghanistan strategy is tragically flawed and destined to fail.

Frankly, those opposed to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan were pleasantly surprised when Trump boldly questioned the 16-year-old war and criticized what little there was to show for the loss of American life and treasure: more than 2,000 American casualties and $700 billion.

We disagreed with the president on many issues but on this subject we thought he was clear-sighted. Our hopes were dashed when voices seeking unlimited war in Afghanistan prevailed. Now this president owns the debacle.

Ironically, America's enemies stand to win whether the U.S. cuts and runs or stays and bleeds. That's a quagmire.

Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas


Dallas Morning News:
Monday, May 1st, 2017 - Sanctuary' bill ignores facts

Re: "House OKs 'sanctuary' bill -- Lawmakers arrive at stronger measure with traffic stop amendment," Friday Metro story. House Republicans deserve opprobrium for passing SB 4, the so-called sanctuary city bill. The bill is wrong on moral, social and economic levels.

Legislators ignored the voices of police chiefs who said this bill will increase crime instead of decreasing it and faith leaders who said this will tear families apart and traumatize children. Legislators ignored business leaders who said this bill will hurt the Texas economy; the concerns of millions of immigrants across the state; and what happened in Arizona a few years ago when a similar attempt was defeated.

As Rep. Rafael Anchía said, this is a political ploy -- actually a gimmick, in my opinion -- by House Republicans to protect their right flank by throwing red meat to supporters. The bill, if it becomes law, will be subject to lawsuits and I hope ultimately be declared unconstitutional.

Political theater makes for a lot of wasted time and resources. Instead of fanciful issues, Texas legislators could be paying attention to real issues facing Texans: systemic poverty, joblessness, educational opportunity, air and water quality, a living wage, a dysfunctional foster care system, etc. The list is long.

Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas

Dallas Morning News:

Dec. 2016 - Our letter being submitted to the editors of the DMN on the purchase and use of explosive-equipped robots:

City of Dallas City Council - Consent Agenda (business development and procurement services)

13. Authorize (1) the purchase of one medium duty explosives robot - Remotec, Inc., in the amount of $200,703, sole source; and (2) the purchase of medium duty explosives robot accessories - Remotec, Inc., in the amount of $100,468 through the General Services Administration - Total not to exceed $301,171 - Financing: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant Funds

In our November meeting, we undersigned members of the Human Rights & Justice Committee of the Dallas Peace & Justice Center discussed an item of the Dallas City Council Meeting’s “Consent Agenda” for October 26th.  Nestled between authorization for the purchase of snow blowers and trucks was an item authorizing the purchase of an ‘explosive robot’ with accessories?   We wonder it the purchase of and the use of explosive robots was to become standard practice in Dallas without public discussion or even awareness (who reads the Consent Agenda?). The use of an explosive robot to take down a dangerous person is a form of ex-judicial execution and a violation of human rights. It was understandable that few voices were raised in protest when Chief Brown recently used an explosive robot to stop a man who had already killed five policemen and was trying to kill more. However, committee members believe that adoption of their use as a standard practice creates opportunities for violation of Human rights and should not be done without a full-throated public debate. The disturbing trend towards militarization of local police department is a Human Rights issue that should be recognized and addressed.

Human Rights & Justice Committee: Aftab Siddiqui, Chair

Mavis Belisle, Bill Maxwell, Carolyn Bentley, Joyce Hall, Don Dillard, Leslie Harris, Hadi Jawad – members.


Dallas Morning News:

Oct. 9th - this letter was submitted to the editor at DMN two weeks ago about an impending sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. The letter was published yesterday after news broke about the latest Saudi carnage in Yemen that killed hundreds of civilians. According to news reports today, the Obama administration is reviewing future arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Here's the letter:

Date: Oct. 8th, 2016
Subject: Halt weapons to Saudis

By helping Saudi Arabia's unlawful bombardment of civilian targets in Yemen, the United States might be complicit in war crimes. The Obama administration should heed concerns of international rights groups and lawmakers in Washington and immediately halt weapons sales to the Saudi monarchy.

According to Amnesty International, the Saudi-led bombing campaign has killed hundreds of civilians, displaced 2.5 million and 7 million face famine. The U.N. has documented a distressing array of places where civilians have been targeted with impunity: refugee camps, hospitals, schools and markets. U.S-made cluster bombs have also been used in civilian areas -- a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

Since President Barack Obama took office, the United States has done a staggering $110 billion in arms sales with Saudi Arabia. While U.S support for repressive Middle East governments is undisputed, the Obama administration's support for the Saudi regime is unprecedented and dangerous.

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz should support efforts by Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to block an impending $1.15 billion sale to restock Saudi Arabia's depleted arsenal. We must end the deadly hypocrisy of arming Middle East nations engaged in war crimes and claiming human rights as our guiding principle.

Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas, @HadiJawad2


Dallas Morning News:
Date: July 22, 2016 at 11:03:28 PM CDT
Subject: Letter to Editor about Turkey Coup .

Coup attempt exposed U.S.

Re: "Coup appears thwarted -- Dozens reported killed; president says plotters will pay 'heavy price,'" Saturday news story.

The initial U.S. response to the ill-fated coup attempt in Turkey should give pause to all who believe in democracy. Instead of denouncing attempts to forcibly remove from power Turkey's legitimately elected president and parliament, Secretary of State John Kerry called for "peace, stability and continuity," followed by a crushing silence as Turks battled for their future. It was only after it became evident the coup had failed that Washington offered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan support.

If recent history is our guide, the price to pay for depriving nations of their right to choose leaders and build societies that best reflect their deepest hopes and aspirations is very high. The 30 years that followed the U.S. removal of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala claimed more than 200,000 lives. Iranians are still reeling from the CIA-engineered coup that removed Mohammed Mossadegh from office and installed the brutal shah. And who can forget the atrocities carried out by U.S.-supported Gen. Augusto Pinochet after the overthrow of the democratic government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973?

If we claim that democracy is our guiding principle, we should offer nations that aspire for the same a helping hand, not a dagger in the back.

Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas, @Hadijawad2


June 18, 2016 at 12:52:23 PM CDT

Subject: Letter how to curb terrorism in US in Dallas Morning News

Letters to the Editor | Dallas Morning News

Drone strikes create terrorists

Hadi Jawad, Old East Dallas, @HadiJawad2

If we want to curb terrorism in the United States, we must stop drone attacks in Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan; Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency; former national security czar Richard Clarke; and many respected military and civilian leaders have called President Barack Obama’s use of his favorite military weapon as “ill-advised” and “counterproductive.”

Every time we drop a drone bomb, we make terrorists out of ordinary people, who before their innocent family members were eviscerated, bore no ill will toward the United States. “The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes,” according to McChrystal, “is much greater than the average American appreciates.”

U.S. policy is creating more terrorists than it is killing.