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Home arrow Blog arrow March 2008 arrow March 1, 2008

March 1, 2008
WAWA Blog March 1, 2008: USS LIBERTY Radio Show, the AIR FORCE ACADEMY in Colorado is waking up, Churches for Middle East Peace are Doing Something and hope you will too

Hosted by USS Liberty Survivor Phil Tourney and American Free Press reporter Mark Glenn, the USS LIBERTY Radio Show will air every Saturday at 10 am central standard time and runs 2 hrs:

http://www.republicbroadcasting.org

It is a live call in program dedicated not only to what happened to the USS Liberty 40 years ago but as well as everything that has taken place since then, including how it all relates to the present debacle in the Middle East that has American boys and girls dying everyday. If the American people knew what happened to the men aboard the Liberty 40 years ago and the cover-up that has taken place, there is little doubt that this terrible mess in which we find ourselves would come to a quick end.

The call-in number for 'The Liberty Hour' is 800.313.9443




Air Force grants equal time to critics of alleged ex-terrorists
By ROBERT WELLER Associated Press Writer
Article Last Updated: 02/28/2008 04:14:58 PM MST
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_8396675


AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.—The Air Force Academy has invited three speakers to give their vision of Islam after remarks made by three self-described former terrorists that some in the audience believed were condemnations of all Muslims.

Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, former U.S. ambassador to Niger Joe Wilson and Islamic expert Reza Aslan, a research associate at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy, will speak to cadets April 9 at a forum on terrorism.

Academy officials invited the three amid criticism of the appearances of Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani at a Feb. 6 forum on the topic, "Dismantling Terrorism."

Although academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said this was not in response to the criticism, he acknowledged that it occurred only after the complaints were made.

Academy officials insisted that Shoebat, Saleem and Anani, who claim to have abandoned terrorism after converting to Christianity, are genuine.

Maj. Brett Ashworth, academy spokesman, said the three had been checked out by Air Force intelligence. Ashcroft disputed reports that the three had pushed a Christian agenda during the February forum and had insisted in advance they would not be proselytizing on behalf of Christianity.

Religion has been a sensitive topic at the Air Force Academy in the past. A group of cadet graduates had claimed the academy violated their rights, saying evangelical Christian values were forced onto them. They filed a lawsuit, which was dismissed in 2006 after a judge said they couldn't claim their rights were violated because they no longer attended the academy.

An Air Force task force also concluded there was no religious discrimination at the academy but noted some cadets and staff were insensitive. In February 2006, the Air Force adopted new guidelines cautioning top officers about promoting their religious views.

Shoebat has published an online autobiography describing his journey from membership in the Palestine Liberation Organization to Israeli sympathizer. Saleem says he also is a former member of the PLO, and Zak Anani describes himself as a former member of several Lebanese terrorist groups. The three appear together regularly.

The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized the speakers, saying one of them, Shoebat, has said that "Islam is the devil."

Weinstein said his foundation fights what it calls the spread of evangelism in the armed forces and stresses the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

Referring to the Feb. 6 panel, Weinstein said, "We may add 'deprogramming' to our list."

Weinstein is a lawyer, while Wilson and Ansla are experts on Islam.

The only member of the three self-described former terrorists who could be reached this week defended his credibility. He said he could "not really" speak for the other two.

"I am who I am," said Shoebat.

Asked if he gave up terrorism after converting to Christianity, Shoebat said, "Absolutely."

His publicist, Keith Davies, said Shoebat never killed anyone but had once tried unsuccessfully tried to lynch an Israeli soldier. Davies said Shoebat tossed a bomb at an Israeli bank that injured no one, and that Shoebat was jailed by the Israelis but released because he is a U.S. citizen.

Davies also said Shoebat has been in hiding because of what he called threats from Arabs.



On Friday, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai threatened a "shoah" on Gaza in response to qassam rocket fire directed at the Israeli settlement Ashkelon. "Shoah" is a Hebrew term for "big disaster" and is often used to describe the Holocaust.

Israeli leaders have been put under pressure to launch a full-scale invasion of Gaza. Vilnai commented on the situation to Israeli Army Radio:

"The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."

The humanitarian crisis continues within the Gaza Strip, where almost 1.5 million Palestinians remain trapped and without basic needs.

On February 29, 2008
Church Leaders for Middle East Peace sent the following Letter to:

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Rice, As you prepare to return to the Middle East, we - the leaders of U.S. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches and church-related organizations that make up Churches for Middle East Peace - are writing to ask you to take urgent action to address the still unresolved Gaza crisis. The continuing violence and suffering experienced by Palestinians and Israelis is hindering progress on the peace process and also create conditions that pose a particular threat to the small Christian community in Gaza.

As people of faith, we are greatly concerned by the situation of civilians caught in the conflict. The blockade of Gaza and the frequent occurrence of rocket attacks against southern Israel cannot be tolerated. The blockade results in power outages, water and food shortages and a lack of adequate access to medical supplies that create a humanitarian crisis felt by all Gazans, while rocket attacks on Israel have targeted civilians indiscriminately and made normal life impossible in the areas affected.

If action is not taken soon, the possibility of a larger military confrontation looms. We welcome your February 22 statement announcing additional U.S. resources to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza and recognizing that improvements on the ground are necessary to the peace process. We join together to ask you to work with the international community to achieve a ceasefire, end the blockade, and establish real security at Gaza's borders. The current closure and separation of Gaza has increased violence and humanitarian hardship. It also is not compatible with the vision of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state living in peace alongside a secure Israel for which you and President Bush have so eloquently called.

While our concern is for all the peoples of the Holy Land, we must raise our particular distress about the recent bombing of the YMCA library in Gaza. Though authorities in Gaza have denounced this action, it follows the killing of a Christian bookseller last fall and is symptomatic of the deteriorating social conditions and instability that threaten the safety of all the residents of Gaza. A reduction of tensions in Gaza and the easing of daily life will strengthen the tiny Christian community just as progress on the peace process will help sustain Christian communities elsewhere in the region. Such steps are vital to preserving the cultural and religious pluralism that has long enriched the Middle East.

We believe that all the children of Abraham should be able to live in the "land of milk and honey" free of violence and insecurity and with the ability to provide a positive future for their families. We are grateful to you and President Bush for your efforts, and we urge you to use your upcoming visit to resolve the Gaza crisis and enable substantive progress forward on peace negotiations. Our prayers will be with you as you travel and in the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Bishop Wayne Burkette
Moravian Church in America

Marie Dennis
Director
Maryknoll Global Concerns

Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
President
Franciscan Friars (OFM)
English Speaking Conference, JPIC Council

Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
General Secretary
Reformed Church in America

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. Dr. Stan Hastey
Minister for Mission and Ecumenism
Alliance of Baptists

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church, (USA)

Albert C. Lobe
Interim Executive Director
Mennonite Central Committee

Reverend John L. McCullough
Executive Director and CEO
Church World Service

Mary Ellen McNish
General Secretary
American Friends Service Committee

Stanley J. Noffsinger
General Secretary
Church of the Brethren

Bishop William B. Oden
Ecumenical Officer
The Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Very Rev. Thomas Picton, CSsR
President
Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes

Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba)
Primate
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
Episcopal Church

Rev. William G. Sinkford
President
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

The Rev. John H. Thomas
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Joe Volk
Executive Secretary
Friends Committee on National Legislation .  




PLEASE TAKE ACTION
Send a message to Secretary Rice and the White House to Resolve the Gaza Crisis for Violence and Suffering Threaten the Peace Process and Innocent People are TERRORIZED on Both Sides of The Wall:

Sec. of State Email/Comment Line:
[202] 647-6575


White House Email/Comment Line:
president@ whitehouse.gov
[202] 456-1111
 
   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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