Could it be Love?

11/14/2005 12:45 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Thirty five year old Hussein Ali al Shamari affixed a suicide belt to the torso of his wife Saijida. They traveled by truck to from Iraq to Jordan both planning to make the ultimate sacrifice to their cause. Hussein's explosive belt detonated, Saijida's did not. I prefer to believe that was what Hussein wanted.

I understand about giving your life for a cause. Like most of my generation I was raised on Nathan Hale's "I regret that I have but one life to give to my country." But I also understand about men in love. Were I Hussein, no matter how fervently I believed in the cause, I would also, with at least equal passion, desire the life of the woman I love. When it came right down to arming her belt to explode, when there were the green and red wires whose stripped ends had to be firmly twisted together lest the circuit not complete and the detonator not fire, it's entirely possible that I would have taped the wire ends so that they could not have touched. I might well have sabotaged my wife's bomb. Mine would still go off, the mission, in all its horrific spectacle, would still be accomplished, but my heart would go on. I would reason that my wife might find leniency as a weak woman dominated by a manipulative husband. I would comfort myself that even people who disagree with our methods will empathize with our cause and and might well visit mercy upon my widow.

I believe Hussein Ali al Shamari intentionally saved his wife's Saijida life in defiance of what they both had decided and vowed to do. I believe he did it as an act of secret devotion to her. I believe he did because above all else I insist on believing in love.