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Hoodwinked by War

We are so deeply saddened by the tragic taking and horrible loss of life at Ft. Hood, Texas. Our grief-filled hearts go out to all who are personally touched by this madness.

The lesson we take is that none of us can live in a world of war and injustice and stay sane. The tools of a warfare society (minds bred to violence, spirits darkened by despair, hearts hardened to loss, eyes blinded by false promises of security through might, weapons of deathly power housed in a culture of shrinking civility and rising vituperation) pose an additional and profound threat, especially to the American Muslim community in this moment.

We each need to reach out to secure, protect and ensure that this tragedy does not feed bigotry and ignorance and result in more violence and death. While our hearts ache let our acts be those of nonviolence. May our compassion breed a commitment to end our warring presence in the world.

Pray for peace, preach peace, practice peace.

The cost of war

The news of the day has been unbelievable. Again our headlines read about the numbers dead and the numbers wounded. Again commentators and talk show guests speculate about motives and reasons. The reports of numbers begin to desensitize us to the reality of death and the loss of human life.

Tonight news programs are full with the coverage of Fort Hood, Texas and the events surrounding the largest number of casualties on a US military base. Speculation is everywhere. One guest on a television program attempted linked the suspect’s last name with a possible terror motive for the shootings and killings.

31 Oct. UN Security Council Resolution on the Peacebuilding Role of Women

31 Oct. UN Security Council Resolution on the Peacebuilding Role of WomenRene Wadlow*

Only Free Men Can Negotiate; Nelson Mandela

For many years, peace activists engaged with Iran-U.S. relations worked hard to create an atmosphere for direct dialogue between the two counties. Their activities have had a wide range of aspects known as "track two" diplomacy; these people-to-people connections have led toward writing and talking to the U.S. Congress to encourage the members of the Senate and House to press for direct talks with Iran.

United For Iran

In this historical moment when Iran is under international pressure for its nuclear program, isn’t it best to be united as Iranians for Iran.

Wouldn't be better, regardless of whom we support; Principlist or Reformist, agree on one thing and that is the fact that Iran needs to be united. But what the Iranian authorities are doing these days does not show their desire for unity.

The sham courts, “confessions”, and recently long sentences for the political prisoners, add to these putting on trial many ofthe well respected ideologues and even some of the most politically prominent people of Iran. These are the people who are well known and are among thetop former officials of the country.

Iran's Tough Neiborhood and Efforts at Citizen Diplomacy

On the first of October, there was a meeting here in Geneva of diplomats from Iran along with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council”” China, Russia, the USA, France, Britain ”” and Germany which has been involved with negotiations on the nuclear program of Iran ”” and the Foreign Affairs representative of the European Union. A follow up meeting is planned for the end of October.

FOR Endorses Gaza Freedom March Interfaith Peace Walk

Fellowship of Reconciliation USA Position on Gaza Freedom March December 31, 2009, includes encouragement to understand the UN Fact Finding Mission now known as the Goldstone Report linked below.

The key to peace in the Middle East is restoration of international law and the recognition of the right of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews to live in peace and security side by side.

Justice Rooted Resistance Leads Young Women to Conscientious Objection

Maya and Netta at John Jay CollegeA powerful story of courage, maturity and reconciling spirit is being shared by two teenaged women from Israel who have, with eight other youth, submitted a letter of refusal in response to their obligatory draft call to the Israeli Defense Forces. They say they can not in good conscience serve in the occupation of territory and the oppression of another people as soldiers.

Baghdad, Beirut, New Orleans — An Existential Jazz Video Montage

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, a Freeman Fellow of FOR, spent a week in Lebanon following his presentation at the Interdependence Day meetings in Istanbul, Turkey in September. Following three days of visits in Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, Rev. Sekou presented a lecture exploring connections between events in Baghdad, Beirut and New Orleans. A transcription of the lecture will be available in a few days, but attached is a jazz-video-montage of his visit: http://www.mydeo.com/videodownload.asp?YID=303&CID=276222